DENISE L. JONES (she, her, hers)
Ombudswoman + Legacy Liaison
Denise Jones graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Black Studies from Allegheny College. After her undergraduate experience, she taught middle school social studies, math, AVID, and English as a member of Teach for America for several years. The joys and limitations of her classroom experience fueled her to pursue a master’s degree in Education Policy and Social Analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University. As a former YES student and intern, Denise became increasingly interested in understanding what attracted youth to YES’ out-of-school time experiences and what sustained their engagement. Upon graduation, this work led her back to YES to anecdotally “find out.” As YES’ Program Director, Denise and her colleagues developed YES’ motivational model which she continues to examine and build as part of her PhD studies at the University of Michigan. Alongside her current studies, Denise now serves as YES’ Ombudswoman and Legacy Liaison where she continues to support the organization’s programmatic, operational, and strategic efforts and shepherds its mission and legacy.