Young Women Empowered

Our Staff

Jamie-Rose Edwards – Co-Director & Co-Founder

Jamie-Rose is passionate about empowering young women as community leaders and building positive relationships between women of differing backgrounds and generations. Inspired by their new-born daughter Amirra, Jamie-Rose envisioned and initiated the pilot program in 2010 that eventually became Y-WE. Serving as it’s Director and guiding light for five years, they remain dedicated to the vision of Y-WE as an organization that incorporates youths’ ideas and involves them as organizational leaders. They graduated from Earlham College in 2007 with a B.A. in Peace and Global Studies. They received the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Award and Seattle Met Magazine named Jamie-Rose as Seattle’s “Emerging Leader” for 2015. Jamie-Rose is committed to assuring that Y-WE will be sustained for Amirra’s generation and the many generations who will follow. Contact:



Victoria Santos – Co-Director

Victoria Santos has a passion for inclusive, sustainable community and creative approaches to learning and growth.  Born in the Dominican Republic, Victoria immigrated to the U.S. at age 11.  She is a certified mental health counselor and certified Kripalu yoga teacher.  Victoria’s commitment to social justice and service has expressed itself in many forms over the past 20 years, including school-based counseling and community-based enrichment programs for underserved youth, as well as community development in the U.S. and internationally.  She co-directs the non-profit Sister Island Project, which promotes diversity awareness, cultural exchange and sustainable development in the Dominican Republic. Contact:



Adiza Ameh – Program Coordinator

Adiza first got involved with Y-WE during the program’s first year in 2010 as a participant and then returned to the community in 2015 as an intern and finally in 2016 as the AmeriCorps Program Coordinator. Adiza works primarily with Nature Connections but is also responsible for creating ACE, which is Y-WE’s new academic and career enrichment program. Adiza hopes to continue creating and developing youth programs and engaging the youth voice in critical issues in society, particularly surrounding issues affecting folks in the African diaspora, class and gender. When she’s not at Y-WE, Adiza enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, eating spicy food and traveling to areas she has never before explored. Contact:



Reagan Jackson – Program Manager

Reagan Jackson is a writer, activist, and international educator with an abiding love of justice, spirituality, and creating community. Though she grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, Seattle has been her home base for the last 9 years. Reagan is passionate about providing young people with the opportunity to experience something new. To that end she has taken over two hundred youth abroad to Japan, Guatemala, and Mexico respectively. Her published works include three collections of poetry: God, Hair, Love, and America, Love and Guatemala, and Summoning Unicorns and two children’s book Coco LaSwish A Fish From A Different Rainbow and Coco LaSwish: When Rainbows Go Blue. She is a columnist for the Seattle Globalist and contributes to the South Seattle Emerald, Crosscut, and the Black Girl Nerds Blog. Check out her website at: Contact:



Le’Onna Lee – Administrative and Development Assistant

When Le’Onna began her professional journey, She believed that simply working within a harmonious environment would be enough to fulfill any individual’s career; however, she later discovered that it may be enough to fulfill another individual’s career, but not her own. Le’onna realized that she long to be involved within an organization that drove her beyond the mere concern for herself or for those closely connected to her. Le’Onna desired to alter the reality of others by becoming and remaining a person that the relevant community looks up to.

Le’Onna is actively entrenched within groups whose members seek to create sustainable change in diversified cultural communities. She’s created and have strategically implemented curriculum, mentored students (which has resulted in their being accepted to colleges across the country), and employed gardens to further assist with the nutritional needs of underprivileged children across Seattle. Le’Onna’s unyielding passion is community development, has led her to earn an M.A. at Northwest University’s International Community Development program.Contact:



Catlin Rene McCartney – Communications and Technology Specialist

Catlin Rene graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR with a degree in Communications specializing in youth development and media, gender studies, and rhetorical theory. After starting as a mentor with Y-WE in 2015, Catlin is still thrilled to be part of the Y-WE community where she has the opportunity to combine her areas of study and harness the power of language to be an advocate and ally for young women. Outside of Y-WE, Catlin can be found boxing with We Fight Back, a Seattle program creating opportunities for women to learn to fight to defend themselves as they navigate the world. Contact:



Anna McCracken – Program Specialist, Y-WE Nature Connections

Anna McCracken began her work with Y-WE in September 2015 in an AmeriCorps position as the Program Coordinator. Originally from Spanaway, WA, Anna studied Anthropology and Global Studies at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. Before coming to Y-WE, Anna worked with the Metrocenter YMCA’s Girls and Boys Outdoor Leadership Development (GOLD/BOLD) and the Corrymeela Community, a peace and reconciliation center in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland. The majority of her work in Northern Ireland was focused on creating a space for people to come together, embrace difference, and work towards a shared future. In her current role at Y-WE, Anna coordinates the Y-WE Nature Connections program, a program focused on adventuring in the outdoors, realizing our strength, building confidence and resilience, and growing in a supportive community of girls and women. Anna values the work of Y-WE because it is a place where young women can come and feel empowered to be exactly who they are and who they want to be; a place where community, creativity, and social justice are at the heart of our work. Contact:



Peter Blaustein – Grant-writer

Peter works to foster cultures of compassion, kindness, awareness and social justice. He deeply supports Y-WE’s diverse, vibrant community of girls and women. With a Master’s in Social Work, Peter has engaged in therapy for adults with mental illness, education for children with traumatic brain injury, grant writing and evaluation in school and non-profit settings, and rural community development in the Dominican Republic. Peter co-directs the non-profit Sister Island Project and teaches salsa dance. Contact:



Gladys Rodriguez – Social Work Intern

Gladys is a first-year Master’s in Social Work student at UW. She is excited to be doing her practicum at Young Women Empowered. She is a daughter of immigrants and values her culture greatly. Gladys has experience in working with refugees resettling in the United States. She is committed to working with marginalized populations in the Seattle area. Gladys is hoping to be a support system to young women at Y-WE, while assisting them in reaching their personal goals. She believes that every woman can reach their full potential while working in solidarity with other women. Contact: 


Eyerusalem Mesele – Intern

Eyerusalem Mesele is new to the Y-WE Community and is thrilled to be interning for the summer and immersing herself in the program. She’s a first-year education major, urban studies minor at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She loves cooking, reading archived articles, journaling and watching documentaries. As an education major, she aspires to one day open an unconventional school for inner city youth and hopes to travel to every country in Africa.



Dani Baxter – TIPS Intern

Hi! My name is Danielle Baxter and I am a rising sophomore at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. I am interning with Y-WE this summer as a Teens in Public Service intern. I love public speaking, debate and writing! Over my summer at Y-WE I hope to bond and learn new skills from the powerful women in the Y-WE community. Outside of Y-WE I am sailing instructor for 7-13 year olds, work as an outreach worker for TeenLink and have volunteered in various schools including art classrooms and playground supervisors. I am excited to be involved in an organization that puts forth such a great effort to empower women. I think with this I will have the opportunity to get my feet up and running and my wings out and what better way to start then doing something I’m passionate about!