Training & Operations Team

Jessica O’Tool

Training & Operations Director

Though she is a native Minnesotan who loves Minneapolis summers, Jessica was thrilled to spend five summers away with YouthWorks, beginning with Benton Harbor in 2008. She currently spends her time at YouthWorks preparing materials to train our stellar summer staff. Jessica is most often found trading stories over a good cup of coffee, exploring the outdoors with her husband, Josh, and trying not to lose her pet hamster and pet snakes.

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Jenny Liesenfelt

Training & Operations Associate

Jenny experienced her first YouthWorks trip as a teenager in 2006 at the Bayou La Batre site. Since then she has been hooked on serving others through missions. After college, Jenny tried her hand at being a Community Service Coordinator in Yankton, SD in 2013. Jenny joined the full time team in 2016 and has played many roles such as a developer of training materials, a member of YouthWorks summer area and regional leadership, a kitchen extraordinaire and a robust Kids Club crafter. Outside of work, Jenny enjoys reading, road tripping, cooking and adventuring in her hometown of Minneapolis.

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Rachel Townsend

Training & Operations Associate

Rachel joined the YouthWorks full time team in September 2016 after serving on summer staff for several years. Rachel spent most of her YouthWorks summers in South Dakota where she gained a deep love for the American West. More importantly however, she gained a passion and love for the communities in that area. At YouthWorks she works to create training materials for summer staff, talking about youth ministry and working on various programmatic elements for YouthWorks. Outside of work you can find Rachel hiking, camping, traveling the world with her friends and trying new restaurants with her husband Sam.

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Laura Gorton

Operations Associate

Laura has spent three summers as summer staff beginning in 2008 in Niagara Falls. She has also served on staff in Nashville and Sault Ste Marie, MI. Her role as Operations Associate means that she works behind the scenes to get the staff and participants the physical materials they use during training and summer programming. She is good at organizing, creating wicked spreadsheets, counting, and labeling things. When she is not at work, she enjoys hanging out with her rescue cats, reading a good book, and planning her next travel adventure.

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