Youth Innovator Collective

Tatyana Benson

Outreach Intern

Tatyana Benson provides leadership and creativity to Youthprise in building partnerships and collaboration across different sectors. Tatyana hopes to build these partnerships to increase the core values of Youthprise within the out-of-school time field. Tatyana has lived in the Twin Cities all of her life ,and graduated in 2011 from Central Senior High School in Saint Paul. She attends Hamline University with a focus on Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Social Justice. She has worked at The Canvas, a teen arts center in Saint Paul, for the last 3 years as a youth arts coordinator. She also volunteered on the Saint Paul Youth Commission during high school for 3 years as an advocate to make Saint Paul a better place for youth. She hopes to continue to give back to her community through service, and to expand her experiences to make an impact on people’s lives.

Erica Deanes

Social Media and Policy Intern

Erica graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2012 with a degree in Communication Studies where she focused her studies on Mass Media and how the media portrays race and gender. Erica will be attending graduate school in 2014 to pursue a masters degree in Social Policy.  She previously covered Minneapolis social events as a columnist for The Daily Planet newspaper. As the Communications and Policy Intern Erica will be working to significantly increase Youthprise’s social media presence and to help promote Youthprise’s services and mission to a larger audience. Additionally Erica researches public policy initiatives and legislation that will enable youth to socially and academically thrive. Erica is committed to serving youth and increasing access to quality educational opportunities to all Minnesota youth.

William Gblolo

Enterprise Intern

William Gbolo’s role at Youthprise is to strategize and assist in the implementation of a fund development plan and work with grantees. William will also provide technical support to develop and maintain its database. He graduated from Hamline University in May 2012, with a double major in Actuarial Science and Economics, along with a minor in Mathematics. His specialty skills include economic research, statistical analysis, and computer programming. William is a dedicated member of his community who has contributed over 200 hours of volunteer work to various organizations during his 4 years at Hamline University.

Tyler Hamblin

Special Projects Intern

Tyler Hamblin is the spokesperson and speaker for specific Youthprise events, supporting community relationships and establishing innovative partnerships and collaborations. Tyler is a 19 yr.old St. Paul native and is currently attending Columbia University in New York City.  He has had great experience in the field of out-of-school time and has authored two self-help books, 15 Ways to Get A’s and Putting Your Education to Work, focused on academic and non-academic success. He also has founded a nonprofit organization, The Point for Youth Inc., which is dedicated to the out-of-school development and guidance of youth. Being a Saint Paul native, he has had 19 years of the metropolitan experience.

David Kim

Media Research Intern and Youth Community Builder

David Kim explores and analyzes the relationship between youth identity formation and mass media for Youthprise.  David draws from a wide range of perspectives, including those of local youth, community activists, and intellectuals. David is working to develop strategies for fostering a critical relationship to mass media and its influence, as well as spaces for youth self-definition and expression. He is a practitioner of Circle, a sacred space of authentic listening and being, which he leads with Youthprise’s Innovation Team. David is a poet and gains his strength from his Circle community. He graduated from Bethel University in May of 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Reconciliation, and Third World Studies.

Chaquona McCall

Philanthropy Intern

Chaquona McCall serves as the philanthropy intern in the Youth Innovators Collective at Youthprise. She is a recent high school graduate of the public charter school Augsburg Fairview Academy.  Chaquona is originally from North Minneapolis and since her freshman year in high school, she has been active in service learning projects for organizations such as Phillips West Eye Institute and Hope Academy, where she tutored and mentored youth. Chaquona attended Urban Scrubs Camp and was invited to the Minneapolis Mayor’s State of the City Address where she represented the youth who attended the camp. She also served as an advocate for charter schools and on the Minnesota Youth Council. While serving on Minnesota Youth Council (MYC) she worked closely with other MYC members, The Alliance With Youth, and with Twin Cities Public Television (TPT)  on a project called One Voice, which focused on dropout prevention and closing the achievement gap. Chaquona strongly believes that we should invest in youth because they are the assets of the future.

Shanell McCoy

Arts Intern

Shanell McCoy assists in providing “un-realized” opportunities in the arts to youth through the Guthrie Youth Ambassador Program as the Arts Coordinator at Youthprise.  She contributes to the planning and facilitation of Youthprise’s Arts Advisory Network as well as a campaign for youth-made art at the Youthprise headquarters and virtual environments. Her experience includes work with the nonprofit organization, youthrive. During her work at youthrive she will be facilitating the Circle of Youth Engagement Program, which works to improve the quality of youth and adult partnerships. Shanell also served two terms as president of the Brooklyns’ Youth Council as well as on the Coalition for Youth in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center. She graduated high school in June of 2012, and she will be starting college in the fall where she will be pursuing a degree in marketing and communications in the hopes of starting her own nonprofit for young women.

Alexandria Rice

Lead Youth Engagement Specialist




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