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:


Aisha Al Amin – Program Coordinator

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:


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 – Development Coordinator

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 Rhetoric & Media Studies 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, or color-coding schedules and buying new planners. Contact:



Anna McCracken – Program Manager, 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:



Emily Paine – Social Work Intern

Emily Paine is an artist and activist who is pursuing her Master’s of Social Work (MSW) at the University of Washington. Emily strongly believes in the value of creative outlets for young people to find their power and voice, as well as social justice education for us all to relate to one another more authentically. She is thrilled to be interning at Y-WE for the 2017-2018 school year. An east coast woman through and through, Emily grew up in Montclair, NJ, pursued a degree in Community Health and International Relations at Tufts University, and lived in the Boston area until September of 2016, when she moved to Seattle. Emily began working with youth as a personal trainer and youth wellness coordinator at a fitness center for low-income women and children in Boston. Driven by her own story and the stories of so many women she worked with, Emily started volunteering as a hotline counselor at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. She went on to work as a behavioral youth counselor with teenage girls at a residential treatment center, where she deeply considered the challenges faced by marginalized young folks and her role in the oppressive social service systems involved. This led her to apply for the MSW program at UW, where she currently studies with a focus on group facilitation, sexual violence prevention education, and activism among young people. 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: