Photo courtesy of Tom Dunn Photography. Shown left to right: Chrissy Sola, Ravi Roelfs, Shelby Bailey, Julia Geigle, Barbara Ohs, Andree Aronson, Rebekah Windschitl, Michael Huntley, Gina Johnson, Ashely Rome, Sandra Carlson, Rochelle Kruszka, Merri Guggisberg.
Chemical Health Specialists
Julia holds a Master of Social Work degree and is a Licensed Social Worker (LICSW). In 2015, Julia also became a Certified Prevention Professional (CPP). As YSB’s Chemical Health Specialist, Julia helps students and families in the Stillwater Area Public Schools (District 834) access a variety of services such as chemical health screenings, early intervention, education, and related support services.
She also coordinates and delivers substance abuse prevention services through District 834 such as classroom and community presentations, policy and program development, and educational and resource materials.
As Program Supervisor she provides guidance and support to 3 additional Chemical Health Specialists serving across the East Metro area.
Prior to joining YSB, Julia provided crisis stabilization, assessment, and counseling services to children, adolescents, and adults with chemical and mental health issues in a psychiatric hospital setting. She also served a North Dakota college campus as a Tobacco Prevention and Control Coordinator and completed a yearlong social work internship in a northwestern Minnesota high school.
“I am very passionate about working with youth in the school system! YSB’s school partnership allows students, especially those with minimal resources, to easily access my services. It is such a gift to be with a young person on their journey as they learn more about themselves and their patterns and learn new ways to manage life’s challenges”
Ashley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Minor in Chemical Dependency and is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). As YSB’s Chemical Health Specialist, Ashley provides chemical health screenings, early intervention, education, and related support services to students and their families across North St. Paul, Maplewood, Oakdale with Independent School District 622.
Prior to joining YSB, Ashley worked as a primary counselor in the residential treatment setting, providing counseling, assessments, treatment planning, and aftercare planning to clients. Ashley also has experience working to help clients access treatment and obtain funding for the services they need.
“I have had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful adults who struggle with addiction and that experience has been extremely enriching. It is rare to have the opportunity to see the strength and perseverance of those working towards positive change and I am happy that I will be able to utilize my experience and passion to assist youth. It has always been a dream of mine to work in the school system and I am very excited to work with YSB to help students as they navigate through such a crucial time in their lives.”
Gina holds a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with an emphasis in Public Health. As YSB’s Chemical Health Prevention Specialist for South Washington School District (ISD 833) her focus will be to prevent and reduce youth chemical use by supporting and strengthening the health and wellness of individuals, families, and the greater school community.
Prior to YSB, Gina worked for four years in tobacco control for Goodhue County educating the public on secondhand smoke, electronic cigarettes, and the harms tobacco can cause. She worked on tobacco policy changes on a statewide and local level. Prior to that work Gina was a General Health Intern at UWRF where she helped pass a tobacco free campus, organized health fairs, and educated the students.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with youth in the schools. My passion is to educate and work with youth and the community, so I am excited to work with YSB, a great organization that does so many important things in our community.”
Colleen joins YSB with a Bachelor of Science degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor (LADC). Before coming to YSB, she worked as an Adolescent Chemical Health Counselor in an intensive outpatient chemical health treatment program, working with young adults between the ages of 13-18. Her experience also includes working in the residential treatment setting as well as working directly with parents and guardians.
“I believe it is a privilege working with both teens and their family, and am honored that I can help them navigate the challenges that substance use often creates within the family unit.
For the past 20+ years I have worked, off and on, with adolescents in a school setting – and am beyond excited to be back in the schools!
I love that I am able to use my knowledge, experience and passion daily while being surrounded by dedicated educators and YSB staff who hold the same beliefs and passions as I do!”
Youth and Family Therapists
Jill Damron, M.A., LPCC, joined Youth Service Bureau in January 2018. She is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. As a Youth & Family Therapist in our Cottage Grove location, she provides therapy to youth between the ages of 4-24 and supports their families.
Jill uses multiple therapy approaches to tailor care to each family’s specific needs and circumstances. The approaches she utilizes include play-based therapy, family therapy, attachment, art/expressive approaches, CBT, DBT skills, solution-focused interventions, motivational interviewing and insight-oriented approaches. Prior to joining YSB, Jill provided outpatient therapy to youth and families in Western Wisconsin and the St. Croix Valley. She also worked as a day treatment therapist in Minnesota, working with children with emotional and behavioral difficulties.
“My life experiences and passions have continually led me to working with youth and their families. I am so excited and grateful to be a part of an organization who is dedicated to helping children, teens and their families through the challenging parts of life –with care, compassion and understanding. I am dedicated to providing a place where youth and families can come to learn more about themselves and each other as they navigate the world around them. It is important to me to provide a welcoming, warm environment to help families identify what challenges they are facing and the strengths that they hold to work toward greater health and connectedness.”
Mike has been with Youth Service Bureau for over twenty years. He holds an M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services and is a Licensed Psychologist in Minnesota (License #LP0420). Mike provides family counseling services in addition to his responsibilities as the Program Director, in which he oversees all program services and staff, in addition to overseeing YSB’s information technology systems and assisting with program evaluation.
Mike is an active member of community groups involved with teen health. He has chaired the Washington County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative, and remains a member of that group. He is also a member of the Community Health Action Team at Lakeview Hospital. For several years he was a member of the Youth Drug and Alcohol Project group in the Stillwater area and he also participated in the local SPC (Suicide Prevention Collaborative). He is currently involved with the CONNECT/ Chemical Health Action Collaborative in Washington County. Mike also consults with local ECFE groups and does public speaking on various topics including youth depression, stress, parent-child communication and discipline.
“I believe in the concept and power of early intervention and supporting families. This has been the YSB philosophy since it’s inception – I joined YSB years ago, and have remained for that very reason. It makes me proud to help keep this strong tradition going with our outstanding staff – and seeing us produce real outcomes that show we make a real difference.”
Kay joined our therapy team in 2011. She holds a M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (License #1904). Kay is the primary therapist in our Woodbury location and provides therapy to youth and their families.
Kay is also the Teen Health Fund Coordinator for South Washington County, a member of the Suicide Prevention Collaborative and a member of the Crisis Response Team for local school districts. Prior to working at YSB, Kay provided in-home therapy services to children, adolescents, adults and families throughout the metro area.
“I continue to be passionate about working with children, adolescents and their families at YSB. I continue be amazed at the hard work, resiliency, and growth clients demonstrate. I consider it an honor to work alongside my clients to assist them in making better choices and building stronger, healthier relationships.”
Rochelle Kruszka joined Youth Service Bureau in 2015. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and she is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (License #3345). Rochelle is a therapist in our Cottage Grove location and provides therapy to youth and their families. She also provides school-based mental health support to students at the South Washington Alternative High School one day per week.
Rochelle works with clients ages 5-24. Her interest areas include family relationships and conflict, peer relationships, anxiety, depression, school issues, grief, self-esteem, sexuality, and gender identity. Rochelle often does public speaking on these and other topics.
Prior to joining YSB, Rochelle provided in-home therapy to children, adolescents, adults, and families in Ramsey County. She also worked as a Behavior Therapist, using Applied Behavior Analysis with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“My passion has always been working with youth and families, so I am very excited to be part of an organization that matches my interests and experience so perfectly. I believe that no two families are the same, so I will support families in identifying what may be happening for them and work with them to build on their strengths to resolve problems and find ways to connect.“
Michelle Sveiven Smith holds a Master of Social Work degree from St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW License #22611). As a Youth & Family Therapist in our Cottage Grove location, she provides therapy to youth between the ages of 5-24 and their families.
Her interest areas include family conflict and communication, behavior management strategies, trauma, anxiety, school issues, coping strategies, oppositional defiance, grief, anger management, self-esteem, and relational issues. She uses a variety of approaches to assist clients with achieving their goals, including CBT, trauma-focused CBT, solution-focused interventions, strengths-based, motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitment therapy, and play-based approaches.
Prior to joining YSB, Michelle provided school-linked therapy services to youth and families in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district. She has also worked in community mental health assisting adults with severe and persistent mental illness.
“My passion for working with youth and families and strong belief in early intervention as a means to prevent crisis and create healthy communities led me to YSB. I am extremely excited and proud to be part of an organization with a long history of, and strong commitment to, making a meaningful difference in the lives of children and families. I am so grateful to do this work, and am always honored and humbled to walk alongside children and families as they find hope, discover their strengths, strengthen relationships, and learn new skills to manage life’s challenges.”
Rebekah Windschitl joined Youth Service Bureau in October of 2017. She earned her Bachelor degree in Psychology at the University of Minnesota and her Master degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas. She has been a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor since January of 2016. Rebekah provides individual and family therapy services in the Stillwater office.
Rebekah has experience working in a variety of settings. She has worked in an inpatient unit, intensive outpatient, outpatient, in-home, in-school, and in day treatment. Her focus is working with children and their families surrounding issues such as trauma/PTSD, anxiety, depression, suicide, self-harm, bipolar disorder, ADHD, grief and loss, attachment issues, and parenting psychoeducation.
“I find my niche in working with adolescents and their families. I believe I have a unique way of connecting with teens and am able to help them learn and use the skills needed to communicate more effectively with their parents. I enjoy helping families identify their strengths and help the family build on these strengths to resolve problems and create happier, healthier relationships.”
Youth Diversion Specialists
Shelby primarily serves the communities of Cottage Grove and Woodbury. She holds a B.A. in Human Services with a minor in Criminal Justice. Shelby joins YSB with previous work experience at a residential treatment facility as a Youth Counselor. She has also worked at the Family and Children’s Center in Winona, MN where she guided adolescents in a court-ordered after school program and alternative learning programs.
“I am excited to work as a Diversion Specialist here at YSB. The thing I am most looking forward to is helping youth and families understand that we all have bumps in the road and there are people like myself to help. I hope to empower parents and guide youth to a path for success.“
Ravi serves the communities of Stillwater and Woodbury. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Sociology, with a minor in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement. Ravi’s previous work history includes working with Adults and Juveniles in the Criminal Justice System, while working as an Adult and Juvenile Probation Agent in Pine County Minnesota doing the duties of Adult Intake, Juvenile Diversion and Restorative Justice. Other work history includes working in Balsam Lake Wisconsin, Polk County, WI, running a Restorative Justice and Community Service Program for adult and juvenile offenders, and being involved with a Drug Court Program.
“The Youth Service Bureau, Inc. has an excellent reputation for helping youth and families. Everyday is a second chance to do better, and improve lives. Telling your story and holding juveniles accountable for their actions is important step in this process. Youth today are the future of tomorrow and it is our job to prepare them to be the best they can be. I look forward to serving Washington County, and helping improve YSB’s reputation and working with its clientele and staff.”
Youth and Family Education
Merri Guggisberg joined YSB as their Youth & Family Education Coordinator in 2017. Merri brings 10 plus years of experience leading youth and coordinating parent education sessions offered at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church. A great success of Merri’s is offering Parent Education sessions throughout the Tri-District Region, reaching families of the Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul, West St. Paul, Mendota Heights, and Eagan School Districts.
“Being a parent myself, I know the importance of an equipped toolbox. My hope is to come along side families and help build their own toolbox as they journey through each stage of parenting. It is an honor to join such a compassionate, caring and knowledgeable team.”
Barbara is that Administrative Assistant at our Stillwater location. She holds a B.A. in Social Welfare with a Specialization Certificate in Criminal Justice Studies. Barbara has 25 years of experience in fund development, database management and other administrative duties.
“I am passionate about YSB’s mission for helping kids deal with life. It’s about helping them make better decisions, learning strategies to make positive changes, and learning how to deal with life’s ups and downs. Helping them realize their best potential for their lives is what it’s all about.”
Chrissy primarily serves our Woodbury office. She holds a B.A. in Elementary/Middle School Education and brings 9 years of youth-work and leadership experience to YSB.
Prior to joining YSB, Chrissy worked across the Saint Paul and eastern suburbs through positions in AmeriCorps, the YMCA’s Urban Youth Department and most recently, ISD 622. Her work focused on providing Out of School time programming for students ranging 4-18 years old, including those identified as At-Risk or having Special Needs.
“When families first call YSB, it’s usually during a time of intense stress, frustration or concern for someone they love. I love working for YSB because everyone here truly commits to building positive outcomes and restoring hope for youth and families in our community. With knowledge, talent and understanding, we make sure you never have to face the challenges of raising kids and teens on your own.”
Sal is the Administrative Assistant at our Cottage Grove location and joined our team in July of 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications. Prior to joining YSB, Sal spent nine years as a substitute teacher in ISD 199 working with kids in PreK-5th grade as well as filling in for front office staff. She spent a significant amount of time in those years working with kids in special education programs. Before that, Sal worked as an account executive at advertising agencies in both Rochester, New York and Minneapolis, MN.
“It’s such a great feeling to be part of a team that is making a direct positive impact on our kids, our community and our future.”
Sandra Carlson joins YSB after several years as the Director of Finance and Human Resources at St. Paul’s Monastery. She holds a BA in Accounting and is a Certified Public Account. Prior to St. Paul’s Monastery, Sandra was with the Wilder Foundation, Wilder Forest Youth Development Center as the Accountant and Business Manager and has also held positions in finance and accounting within the medical field.
Bob began as Executive Director of YSB in April, 2016. He spent several years practicing commercial law before serving in a number of leadership roles in the energy sector, including as CEO of Cogeneration Corporation of America in Minneapolis.
Bob started a new career in nonprofit leadership as CEO of Character Education Partnership in Washington, D.C. in 2004 but returned to Minnesota to become the first Dean of the School of Business and Technology at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. While there, he led the creation of a new “recovery school” program that serves students in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. His most recent role before YSB was as Capital Campaign Director at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, where he helped raise $9.5 million for a new homeless youth facility. He has been an active Rotarian for 12 years.
“Serving young people with chemical health challenges, and helping families grow stronger in many other areas, is important work that I am honored to be a part of. With the help of YSB’s board and staff, we will find new ways to serve youth and their families while ensuring YSB’s financial stability and growth.”