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It all began in 1971 when as a seventh grader I started swimming at the Suncoast Youth for Christ pond. A few years later as a high school sophomore I started attending the weekly club meetings. Within a few weeks I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Shortly after that, I heard God whisper to my heart that He wanted me to serve in this ministry. I look back now at 43 years on staff with Youth for Christ and consider it the most amazing journey I could ever imagine. It has been an honor to have the opportunity to share the message of our Father’s love with lost teens. What makes my journey extra special is being married to Beth who continues to be a wonderful wife and partner with me in the ministry. Together we have had the joy of raising three children and now are thrilled to love on our four grandchildren. When not at Youth for Christ you will find me out on the water kayaking, fishing and enjoying sunrises and sunsets. Beth and I like to travel and have been to 22 National Parks.
Who would have known that in 1980 when I signed up to be a volunteer leader with Youth for Christ that I would still be serving on the team 42 years later. The answer to that question is our Heavenly Father knew and I am so thankful He has taken me on this journey. It was September of 1980 and I attended a volunteer orientation for YFC. Sitting across the room was this handsome full time YFC staff person who captured my heart. I was 19 and he was 22 years old. Ten months later we were married and the adventure began.
Throughout the years I have had the opportunity to serve in elementary, middle and high school ministry, mentoring programs, donor relations and mostly being the wife of a YFC staff person. In the midst of all of this I had the joy of loving and raising three children and now am blessed with four grandchildren. When not serving with YFC I enjoy bike riding, reading, and love to travel. It has been an honor to be a part of this mission of reaching youth with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In 2022, I moved with my husband, Alex, and my youngest child from Michigan to Bradenton, Florida. I was honored to serve as Parent Life Director with the West Michigan chapter and thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working with teen parents with Suncoast Youth for Christ. I have had the privilege of working with pregnant teens and single moms for several years in a variety of capacities. My passion and deep love is to serve teen parents who are navigating the challenges of parenting while still so young themselves. I honor them for choosing life and walk alongside them with the purpose of showing them the love of Christ.
I am blessed with 5 children and 3 grandchildren. Outside of my children, I love the beach and have an extreme fondness for palm trees. My current hobby is thrifting.
I am originally from Muncie, Indiana. Growing up in a pastor’s home, I never imagined I’d find myself in full time ministry. In 2018 I moved to Bradenton, Florida where I met my wife, Savannah. We were married in February 2021. We have our dog Lilo and enjoy going to Anna Maria Island, watching the Tampa Bay Lightning as well as going to baseball games. We also love getting to serve in our church together. Savannah is a pediatric Occupational Therapist.
Shortly after getting married, we felt called to full time ministry and we moved to Indiana to pursue that calling. In June of 2022, God directed us back to Bradenton. I stepped into being the City Life and Campus Life Director at Suncoast Youth for Christ. Part of my role is to direct the 180 House | Btown. I love Youth for Christ and the 180 House because we truly get to meet our teens right where they are at. They get to be themselves and we walk with them in that. I have a passion for students hearing the hope of Jesus in a culture that is lacking hope and is ever changing.
Hi! My name is Shelby and I am the House Manager of 180 House | Venice. I maintain all the daily functions, activities, and programming for our afterschool high-school program. Some fun things about me – I love being by or on the water, the ocean is my “Eden” and where I often am able to experience the Lord more deeply! I married the love of my life in February 2022 and it’s been the absolute best season becoming a wife and getting to do life and ministry with my best friend! Both my husband and I became serious about the Lord in our teen years because of the many mentors and Jesus-following adults who poured into our lives.
Because I was so impacted by these adults when I was a teen, it has definitely given me a passion to serve the next generations of young people for the purpose of knowing Jesus. I have always had a special soft spot in my heart for the students who make you work hard to love them, which is exactly the tribe we are able to connect to and build relationships with at 180 House | Venice. Youth for Christ has a unique and creative way of sharing Jesus with young people who have been hurt by the church or have a twisted perception of who Jesus really is. It is such an honor to break these barriers and love these teens to The Truth!
Hi, I’m Jonetta and I serve YFC in the role of Leader Formation. I am a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Ministry and a concentration in Student Ministry. I married my amazing husband Ryan, in 2016, and we currently have two very energetic boys. Some things that bring me joy are adventuring with my family, finding a moment of peace while I sip on a latte, and playing Dutch Blitz/Nertz/Peanuts (whichever name you prefer to call it).
I got involved with Youth for Christ in 2017, when I started serving as a volunteer at the 180 House in Venice. In 2018, I was offered a position to join the staff and, without hesitancy, I said yes. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this team and I love that our staff and volunteers take Youth for Christ’s mission seriously.
I am part of the YFC/180 House movement because I have personally experienced the power of a caring adult. When I was in high school my dad suddenly passed away but my life was changed when an adult stepped in and shared the hope of Jesus with me. Many students today are facing various trials in their life and I want them to hear the same hope that someone showed me at that age.
Since 2012, I have worked as a full time English teacher in Sarasota County where I get to spend time with students. I have a new puppy named Winston and enjoy playing and training him. Having people over for dinners, small parties or gatherings is something that I love to do. In my free time you’ll find me grabbing coffee with friends, scouting for new fishing spots or trying to book a flight for my next adventure! I serve at the 180 House in Sarasota and work with the Campus Life club at Sarasota High School as well as with a small girls group.
I am currently serving as the Venice Area Director at Suncoast Youth for Christ and am one of the original founders of a local teen center called The 180 House. My first ministry is to my wife and three kids and, together, we share a passion for fostering and providing respite for foster families. Prior to being called into full time ministry with teens, I was a high school Biology teacher.
Since the launch of The 180 House in Venice, the ministry model has been replicated in two other locations. The 180 House tagline is Be Here, Be You, Belong. The goal is to provide a safe place where teens, who would likely never step foot in a church, can experience the love of Jesus through authentic Christ-sharing relationships with their leaders.
I am also the President and co-founder of a new non profit called “Caleb Would Go”. The organization stands as a legacy for the late Caleb Bell who was a radical missionary and co-founder of The 180 House. The mission of Caleb Would Go is to empower the adventurous by providing seed money for those with a calling to ministry all over the world.
My husband, Dan, is responsible for igniting my passion for youth ministry. When he first proposed having a small group for high school students in our home, I felt more than a little intimidated. What I soon realized is that all young people have a deep need for caring, interested adults in their lives – regardless of their home life or circumstances. This is even more true for youth living at the edges – those who feel completely unseen.
My connection with YFC started as a volunteer – bringing coffee early Friday mornings to Manatee High School for Breakfast Club. After 6 years of volunteering, I joined the staff as Director of Communications. Each month I get to share the stories of how God is impacting the lives of teens from Venice to Palmetto through the faithful efforts of our volunteers and staff. It is such joyful work!
When I am not at work, I enjoy time at the beach, camping, reading, home remodeling projects, and discovering the joys of grandparenting with my grandson, Derek Mathias. We have three grown children, Derek (married to Mayi), Brennan, and Ryley. Originally from Minnesota, we have called Bradenton home since 2003. The ocean beats the snow, hands down!
I serve Suncoast Youth for Christ as Bradenton Area Director & Juvenile Justice Ministry Director. I am a graduate of Nazarene Bible College and have been serving in youth ministry for 13 years. I married my incredible wife, Kalli, in 2019, and we have two little chihuahuas; Teeka & Taco. I am totally passionate about speaking truth and life to teenagers and seeing them say “yes” to Jesus.
My current role is working with youth living at the margins of life. Those that are failing school, in juvenile detention centers, on probation, addicted to drugs, in gangs, are teen parents, and who struggle with trauma. I believe that every teenager deserves somebody standing in their corner and I will fight injustice in any of their lives. I am a fierce advocate for youth having mentors and community.
Prior to YFC, I have been a youth pastor, college pastor, discipleship pastor, interim pastor & preaching pastor in Kansas City, Bradenton, and Tampa. I love to read, lift weights, travel all over the world, run, and eat.
I have served as Business Manager with Suncoast Youth since 2015. Prior to YFC, I spent over 20 years working in various accounting roles in the public and private sectors. My two greatest passions are family and Jesus. I have been active in my church and children’s school environments, including teaching Financial Peace University and Growing Kids God’s Way with my husband, Todd. I enjoy spending time with my family, recharging in the mountains, reading historical fiction and watching my two favorite baseball players – my sons, Grant and Cooper.
I serve at Suncoast Youth for Christ as the Sarasota Area Director and The 180 House Director in Sarasota. I am married to my amazing wife, Stacy, who is an elementary PE teacher at Brentwood Elementary and a girls’ volleyball and basketball coach at Brookside Middle School. We have two awesome kids. Our son, Tanner, is our oldest and has recently graduated Ringling College in film studies. Our daughter, Sydney, is currently attending Valdosta State University and is studying mass media.
I have been involved in youth ministry for about 15 years and have also run a skate ministry called 180 Skate for over 8 years. I grew up as, what I would call a misfit and now, I have a passion for reaching the lost kid out there that others may turn their backs on. This happened to me most of my teen life but I believe that Jesus loved all walks of life. Most of the time He even hung out with the people that others turned their back on. It is one of the main reasons I love being a part of Youth for Christ and The 180 House. Everyone who we come in contact with or walks into our place is welcomed with no questions asked.
Be Here. Be You. Belong.
I first discovered YFC through my wife, Katy, when she was leading a Parent Life group in Palm Beach County. It was through seeing the incredible need for this next generation to hear the gospel firsthand that I then felt God leading me to make a career change. He called me away from the business world to full time ministry with YFC in June 2008. It has been an incredible ride so far. From the early years of serving as a Campus Life Director reaching teens at Palm Beach Central High School to following God’s call to step into leadership here at Suncoast YFC in 2014, the job descriptions may have changed but the desperate needs of our youth have not. We are passionate about seeing young people surrender to Christ and become lifelong followers in His kingdom.
Katy and I were married in 2004 and have 4 children (Ethan, Liam, Grant and Grace). We’re members of Lakewood Ranch Baptist Church and have a passion for serving in both our church and local community. As a family, we spend a lot of time outdoors (particularly beaches and theme parks) but aside from family fun, my main interests are kayak fishing, RC cars and gaming. As a Miami alum, I bleed orange and green for the Hurricanes, but in recent years I find there’s more hope for a great day of catching fish than my ‘Canes returning to national prominence.
I serve as the President of National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA.org). We are a faith-based organization that is called to “equip Christians to counsel the hurting.” We believe that having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the foundation on which any true healing, recovery, and long-term growth can occur in a person’s life.
I was born in Detroit, Michigan and received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 16. I have been married to my wife, Erin, since 1999 and we have two children. My hobbies include bowling, golf, and pretty much any outdoor activity. I really enjoy inspirational books by Andy Andrews like A Traveler’s Gift, The Butterfly Effect as well as business-minded books like Built to Last and How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins.
I enjoy serving on the Suncoast YFC Board for two main reasons. One, to share the lessons I have learned serving the NCCA for over 20 years. The second reason is to be around other like-minded individuals – people who love Jesus and care about an organization whose mission is to share Jesus with others.
I have lived at least seven lives as I figure it. Since1990, when life #3 started, they have all involved the LORD. I’m an overachiever and A type personality. I believe your strengths are your weaknesses and, more importantly, I believe in the absolute inerrancy of scripture. ABSOLUTE!!!
I have six married children and thirteen grandchildren with two more on the way – all born after 2014. My beautiful Proverbs 31 wife of this incredibly blessed family was called home in 2016. The LORD has blessed me and continues to bless me beyond measure and HE is the way, the truth and the light. THE ONLY WAY.
YFC has been part of my life since about 1994. Becoming part of Suncoast YFC was another listening opportunity at “that” moment to GOD’s prompting. Lately, I have been repeatedly digesting Purpose Driven Life, My Utmost for His Highest, JESUS Calling, The 52 Greatest Stories of the Bible and monthly, “Today in the WORD”. I believe the mission is simple – to listen and be obedient – wherever and in whatever capacity HE says – to carry the message outward. Easier stated that followed. For now HE has me here surrounded by a very GOD-talented group of individuals dedicated to bringing ABSOLUTE truth to today’s youth challenged in ways I find sad and incredibly mind boggling.
Catch the fire. Change the world. Join the mission. Numbers 6:24-26
I was introduced to Suncoast Youth for Christ in the 1990’s by my wife, Deborah, who had been involved with summer water sports camps. We have been financial supporters for many years and have been blessed to see the growth of the clubs and their faithful presentation of the Gospel message and the love of Christ.
I received my BS and JD degrees from the University of Florida. After serving in the USAF for 4 years as a Judge Advocate, I worked for 27 years as a trust officer for Northern Trust Bank. During those 27 years, I had the opportunity to work with a number of private foundations and charitable organizations. I was instrumental in establishing policies and practices for these entities. With my retirement, I am eager to put this knowledge to work for Suncoast Youth for Christ. My wife and I are blessed with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and two young grandsons. We enjoy spending time with family and helping with our grandsons.
My approach to life is balanced between a logical, common-sense perspective and a heart for helping others. I believe ministry should be rooted in relying on the power of God rather than the wisdom of this world. It has been my privilege to have traveled and lived around the world—both as a missionary/pastor’s kid as well as on my own— experiencing everything from apartheid in South Africa to squatty potties in Cambodia. These experiences have taught me what it means to truly rely on God, which happens naturally when God is all you have. All of these experiences have shaped how I live as well as how my husband and I raised our two college-age sons who were home-schooled and have also traveled extensively and been to the mission field.
I enjoy learning about and traveling to different cultures, reading, exercising, and being outside working with plants and doing family activities. Our two sons are attending Southeastern University in Lakeland; Gabriel is studying to be a nurse anesthetist and Caleb is studying aviation to be a pilot.
My family was first introduced to YFC by Carlos Portillo and soon became acquainted with Mike Chaplinsky. We immediately appreciated their heart for the ministry. Soon our family was helping with meetings as well as assisting with the groundskeeping at The 180 House | Btown. We love how The 180 House is meeting the needs of local teens and changing their lives by showing them Jesus.
Director General | Revista Latina
Professionally, I am a Web Designer, with a passion for photography and graphic design, as well as knowledge of media production. I am fluent in English and Spanish, am a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, and always enjoy helping others. It is my belief that the younger generations are the future and we need to invest in them.
I was born in Guatemala, Central America the same year my family founded a Christian Ministry. Growing up in this environment gave me a profound appreciation of service and Christian faith. Educated in Britain, I have a BA in Marketing and an MSc in Social Sciences. After schooling, I returned to Guatemala where I founded a company focused on marketing and logistics for the Central American market.
In 2017, I sold this business and decided to pursue my wife’s career in writing so we moved to Sarasota County. In deep appreciation of how God has blessed me and my family, I embrace the privilege to be part of the YFC board and contribute my experience to the cause.
My wife, Monique, my son, Harold Jr. and I live in Venice very close to the 180 House!
I love being a part of Youth for Christ! One day, I stumbled upon the Venice 180 House by “coincidence” and fell in love with the mission. I immediately understood the heart and value that Youth for Christ adds to the local students and families. It is an honor to currently serve as a member of the Youth for Christ Board as well as on the prayer team. One of my favorite things to do is have the kids skateboard down to my house after the 180 House closes. We serve the students dinner & dessert and my husband, Shaun, co-leads a Bible study.
In my profession, I work as a real estate Broker Associate and have been licensed since 2002. I also work for a private investment research and consulting firm and am involved in prison ministry, as well as my full time job as a wife and mom to three teenagers! I am grateful to be part of the YFC mission.
I am a graduate of Miami Carol City High, served 3 years in the Army, 19 years in Florida National Guard and was deployed 8 months in Desert storm. I have worked 25 years in the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a Maintenance Foreman. I’ve also served my community as youth minister at my local church in Miami, with Fellowship of Christian Athletes as Chaplin to the Stranahan Football team, and in the inmate recidivism program with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I was also honored to serve as a voluntary Chaplin with the Broward County Sheriff office for four years and with Manatee County Sheriff office for one year.
I am married to Deborah Finch and the proud father of Brandie and George Michael. We moved to the Bradenton area in 2014 for the purpose of helping our church build and grow in the community.
My number one reason for joining the Youth for Christ Board is to see lives of young people transformed through Jesus Christ. I fervently desire their betterment which will improve our community as a whole.