Board of Directors
Board Member Recruitment:
Fairbanks Youth Advocates is currently seeking to expand our board with passionate and skilled individuals who share the desire to help the homeless, runaway and at-risk youth in the Interior Alaska Community. Specifically we are seeking individuals who have a legal background, and a background in web design, graphics & general web skills.
The documents below will inform you of that process and offer information about what that involves. Please read through the documents and send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fairbanks Youth Advocates Governance Board
- Patrick J Endres: President
- Dave Miller: Interim Vice President
- Barb Tyndall: Secretary
- Brad Johnston: Treasurer
- Sarah Finnell
- Kathryn Birch
- Rilene Ann
- Jeff Bizzarro
- Adena Benn
- Meryem Kugzruk (youth representative)
Why we serve on the governing Board
Patrick J Endres
Business owner: AlaskaPhotoGraphics
B.A. Theology; minor: Family & Counseling
I came to Fairbanks from Wisconsin in 1981 to attend the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. I’ve been here ever since, and have my home and business in the Fairbanks community. My choice to serve on the FYA board lies in the simple fact that I’m drawn to help young people, particularly those who for reasons often beyond their control, end up in difficult circumstances. I believe that older generations need to look back on younger ones with shrewd eyes and understanding, and where possible, help mediate them out of troubled pathways. I believe in the power of human presence, and creating an infrastructure to make positive connections happen in practical and meaningful ways can offer hope and help for at risk youth. I want to be part of that process, in particular in my community.
My academic degrees include a BA in Theology and a minor in family and counseling. My vocational experience includes creating a business in the visual arts, with a focus on free lance photography. Coupled with years of keen observation of life and society, my academic and work experience provide a skill set in the business and social spheres helpful for seeing the big picture of a non-profit entity.
Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Board
B.A. Journalism, M.A.: Theology
I am a sixty-something mother of five, grandmother of eleven. I have worked with children and youth for over forty years. Working with kids is my passion and my calling. What began with my own children; church nursery, Sunday school, youth groups, etc., evolved into full time teaching at a Christian School for nearly twenty years now. I have taught all grades, but my specialty is junior high, high school, and young adults. For fourteen years I have taken these students on mission trips to Mexico, the Philippians, and Uganda. I do this because of the transformation I see in American youth when they see real poverty in some of these nations.
For the past twenty years I have served on the Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, where I have had the opportunity to visit youth in our juvenile justice system and see first-hand what our most troubled kids are dealing with. In this capacity I have had the privilege of attending multiple conferences and workshops around the country on topics dealing with incarcerated youth. I have also visited a number of rural Alaskan villages. I have a calling to serve all kids, but kids in trouble are my greatest passion. There isn’t a family around, including mine, who hasn’t been impacted by the break-down of family and the repercussions of children being raised without the benefit of two parents. Working on behalf of these youth is my strongest calling yet.
Elementary Education Teacher
My participation in Fairbanks Youth Advocates can be traced back to my experiences growing up in a privileged environment, while recognizing the copious amounts of suffering throughout the world. At a young age I decided that I needed to spend my time trying to balance the inequalities of the world. In college, I studied abroad in South Africa and learned about the struggles and social justice programs there. I considered putting my efforts into global change, but decided I needed to return home to the United States where I could work within our country’s system to hopefully bring about change at a local level.
After graduating with a degree in Theater, I worked with at-risk youth in Seattle as an AmeriCorps volunteer. A year later, I moved to Fairbanks and soon was hired to run a Federally funded Street Outreach Program for homeless and at-risk youth. Throughout my years as the coordinator of that outreach program, I also worked as an HIV prevention educator, served as the financial officer at the Arctic Alliance for People, and directed a play about the lives of homeless teens in Fairbanks. After only 5 years in the social work field, I decided to pursue a slightly different career in Elementary Education (where not every youth I met would be in crisis). I am still passionate about this important social issue and want to stay connected and involved, using my past experiences to continue to support at-risk and homeless teens at a different level than I previously did. My involvement in Fairbanks Youth Advocates was a natural choice in rekindling my involvement with homeless youth advocacy.
M.A. Business Administration
When I heard and saw the passionate commitment to help the Fairbanks youth by establishing Fairbanks Youth Advocates, I felt called to help in that effort. My personal commitment is to help develop sound financial management policies and procedures for the organization.
I arrived in Fairbanks in 1961 with my parents. We built a home and I grew up here. I attended the University of Alaska and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Upon graduation, I was commissioned in the United States Army and served as an ordnance officer in a wide variety of assignments until retirement in 1994. I returned to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and received a Masters of Business Administration. My emphasis was in accounting. Upon this graduation I joined Wilson & Wilson CPAs, Inc., obtained my license as a Certified Public Accountant, and became a partner in the firm. I work with a wide variety of for-profit, non-profit, and governmental clients and am familiar with their accounting needs and issues.
Since I was a very little girl, I had wanted to be a nurse. I felt at the time, though not fully understanding the complexity of the word, that it was my calling. A strong part of that dream was to work with children. The nurse part came true in 1969 when I graduated from a three year diploma program in Detroit, Michigan. Ten years later, I graduated from Denver Colorado’s Metro State College with a BSN. I moved to Alaska in 1980 and since then I have worked in clinics, hospitals, and most recently (19 & 3/4 years) as an elementary school nurse. These different nursing settings have been wonderful, yet my greatest joy has been as a school nurse.
Having recently retired, I have been spending time as a care-taker to my first and only grandchild and volunteer at local health fairs in the community. I’m looking forward to more volunteer work and cherish the opportunity to be a part of Fairbanks Youth Advocates, fulfilling a life long calling to help empower our youth. To aid them as necessary and help them appreciate and care for themselves. I hope to be able to confirm in those who are homeless, scared, & adrift that there is a safe & fulfilling future awaiting them. I feel blessed to be a part of an organization whose actions demonstrate that their community cares. Dreams do come true.