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Denise L. Jones

Ombudswoman + Legacy Liaison

Denise Jones lovingly served as YES’ Program Director for four years. During her time in this role, she catalyzed the organization’s growth and built its programmatic and functional capacities. Denise empowered young people to reach beyond their known heights, reframe their self-concepts, and embrace their forthcoming contributions to the world. Some of Denise’s most rewarding work occurred when she sat down with students, looked them in the eyes, and helped them reimagine possibilities.


Denise’s work over the last four years has led her to pursue a PhD in University of Michigan’s Combined Program in Education, Psychology, and Public Health. It is her hope to continue testing YES’ mentorship model and building the case for how community-based practitioners can help underserved students in out-of-school learning spaces. Denise is eager to explore how to embolden students from inner-city, low-income communities to shift their mindsets about themselves and to look inward in a way that connects them to their life purposes and elicits their civic responsibility to their communities.


Although Denise will no longer serve as YES’ Program Director, she is transitioning into the role of the organization’s Ombudswoman and Legacy Liaison. In these positions, she will continue fulfilling YES’ mission and shepherding its legacy.

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