Michelle is Pacific Northwest born and raised, growing up in Lakewood and graduating college in Oregon. She double majored in community health and school health with a minor in communities. Originally, Michelle wanted to be a health teacher and quickly realized the classroom and strict curriculum weren't for her. Looking for an opportunity to make a deeper and more holistic impact with youth, Michelle began her career with Friends in 2009 as a professional mentor. Through the years, she took on many leadership roles in the capacity of K5 Team Lead, K5 Program Manager, and Program Project Manager and Director overseeing youth enrollment and hiring for the last several years. She continued to mentor through the years and in 2021 the girls she started working with graduated from the program.
Michelle's favorite thing about being a mentor is the relationship you build with your youth and families and watching their journey. "I got to see them become the adults they talked about becoming when they were younger people. Seeing them put in the work to learn, grow, and own their true selves. It's been fun and more exciting to know it's not over. Their journey, evolution, and continued success. And we get to continue to celebrate them."
Aside from her girls, Michelle has enjoyed creating and coordinating long-running program events such as the annual Women of Influence Celebration that provides a day of pampering for and celebrates the incredible women who support and work with our youth, and the annual Back to School Bash. She especially enjoys creating 'fun chaos', gift baskets, and designing extra special details for celebrations.
In her downtime, Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband going on outdoor adventures in the Northwest, traveling to new cities, catching Mariners games (with a pretzel and squishy, of course!), and anything that keeps her moving and making new memories.