Young Women Empowered

Our Staff

Victoria Santos – Co-Director
Pronouns: she/her

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: victoria@y-we.org

Jamie-Rose Edwards – Co-Director & Co-Founder
Pronouns: they/them

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: jamie@y-we.org

Jessica Agi – Development Director
Pronouns: she/her

Born and raised in Alaska, Jessica moved to New York City at just 17 where she spent nearly a decade as a writer and media producer (working in the male-dominated fields of radio, comedy, and TV production). While as a story producer for A&E’s hit reality show “Hoarders” she realized how fulfilling it felt to use her skills to uplift others and eagerly transitioned into meaningful public sector work. She has since been part of dozens of political/advocacy campaigns and helped raise over $12 million for nonprofits (including the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, United Way of King County, Swedish Foundation, and more). She currently serves as the Vice President of What’s Next and a member of Planned Parenthood’s Board of Advocates. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Marymount Manhattan College and a master’s degree in public administration from Seattle University. A lifelong feminist, Jessica is fired up about Y-WE’s mission and thrilled to join the team in this new role. Contact: jessica@y-we.org or 206-724-4776

Aisha Al Amin – Development Coordinator
Pronouns: she/her

Aisha started with Y-WE in 2015 as a participant and has since been in several Y-WE programs, including interning with one of our summer camps. She has interned or participated with CAIR-WA, EFLI programs, Seattle Globalist, and Richard Hugo House. She has a deep love for assessing how we communicate in society, advocating for civil liberties, and promoting political education. When she’s not at Y-WE, Aisha can be found at poetry readings, listening to music in a park, or learning about marine biology.
Contact: development@y-we.org

 

Reagan Jackson – Program Manager
Pronouns: she/her

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: http://www.rejjarts.com. Contact: reagan@y-we.org

 

Anna McCracken – Program Manager
Pronouns: she/her

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 manages the Y-WE Nature Connections program, a program focused on adventuring in the outdoors, learning about environmental justice, realizing our strength, building confidence and resilience, and growing in a supportive, intergenerational community. Anna values the work of Y-WE because it is a place where we can come and feel empowered to be exactly who we are and who we want to be; a place where community, creativity, and social justice are at the heart of our work. Contact: connect@y-we.org 

 

 

Sophia Pingul – Operations Manager
Pronouns: she/her

Sophia grew up in Brier, WA and moved back to the Seattle area in 2018 after graduating with her Masters of Public Policy and MBA in Nonprofit Management from Brandeis University. Prior to graduate school, Sophia served as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, working at a permanent, supportive housing apartment building in Detroit. During her time there, Sophia worked with tenants to build community and develop advocacy channels to empower folks to be leaders in their communities. Sophia was first connected with Y-WE when her sister joined the Y-WE team as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in 2014. She has witnessed the transformative impact of Y-WE and is grateful to be a part this incredible community. Contact: sophia@y-we.org

Coral Mercado – Healthy Futures Program Coordinator
Pronouns: they/them

 

Coral grew up in Kent, is a 2016 graduate of University of Washington, and the oldest of 6 siblings. They are a graduate of the Community, Environment and Planning major with a focus on Nutrition and Food access. While in university they organized on campus with Huskies for Food Justice and interned with Community Alliance for Global Justice. After graduation they were a stipended volunteer as a Volunteer Coordinator with El Centro de la Raza and a Nutrition Educator with Solid Ground. This will be their second term with Americorps. In their spare time they go on hikes, search for and cook new recipes, and take photos of nature and their friends.  

Sonali Jasuja – Program Coordinator
Pronouns: she/her

Sonali first connected with Young Women Empowered as a mentor with the Nature Connections program and fell in love with the powerful intergenerational community of diverse womxn supporting, motivating, and inspiring each other in the outdoors. During this time, she served an AmeriCorps term with Solid Ground teaching nutrition, cooking, and gardening with elementary school students experiencing food insecurity in Seattle Public Schools. Before this, Sonali worked in tech marketing for 3 years after attending Stanford University, where she studied Science, Technology, and Society. Sonali is passionate about empowering youth, holistic health, outdoor learning, and social justice. In particular, she appreciates exploring organic cycles of life as a framework to sustainably participate in our environment and communities as well as to connect more deeply to self and others. Sonali also goes by Neli, feel free to call her either or both! 

Peter Blaustein – Grant Writer and Evaluation Manager
Pronouns: he/him

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: peter@y-we.org

 

Meskie Mize – Social Work Intern
Pronouns: she/her

Meskie is a practicum student from the University of Washington, pursuing a Masters in Social Work. Her concentration is in children, youth, and families. As an east African immigrant, Meskie is dedicated to continue serving her community through her work in refugee resettlement. Meskie is excited to be a member of the Y-WE community and to provide support to the next generation of young women leaders. Contact: mswintern@y-we.org