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The Youth Job Center has hired a new executive director, Karen Tollenaar Demorest. She recently moved to the Chicago area from Seattle, where she served as the vice president of a nonprofit that works with the public school system.

“Karen brings to YJC the experienced and visionary leadership that we need to ensure that the agency reaches the goals in our strategic plan,” said Adam Goodman, chairman of the agency’s board of directors. “In particular, we are confident that Karen will prove to be a collaborative, thoughtful and energetic presence for the agency and the communities in which we work.”

Ms. Tollenaar Demorest earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington, with a focus on education and social policy as well as nonprofit management. Since 2007, she has worked at the Alliance for Education, an agency that advocates on behalf of Seattle Public Schools.
“I am very excited to work with the board and staff of the Youth Job Center to build upon the successes of this organization over the past 30-plus years,” Ms. Tollenaar Demorest said. “I am eager to explore how YJC, working with business partners, schools and other community organizations can support more young people for success in their lives through future planning, continuous learning and finding their individual power to reach their desired goals.”

Ms. Tollenaar Demorest succeeds former executive director Sacella Smith, who left the YJC in January.