CHRISTINA SAUNDERS | Executive Director
Christina comes to ACES from KIPP Minnesota where she was the Special Education Coordinator for three years. A native Minnesotan, she ventured out east after high school and graduated from Trinity College with a degree in Public Policy and Law. Following college graduation, she became a New York City Teaching fellow in the South Bronx. She taught both elementary and special education, and went on to be a founding member of the School for Environmental Citizenship, also in the South Bronx.
ZONG VANG | Program Operations Manager
Zong brings to ACES over 9 years of experience as a Program Director for Community Education Programs in Saint Paul. She enjoys working with both families and students to achieve their full potential in becoming future leaders. She holds a B.A. in Secondary Education Social Studies with a minor in Special Education from Concordia University in St. Paul. She currently resides in Woodbury, MN with her husband and two boys' ages 7 and 9. She loves the Twin Cities for their historical value, and is proud to live in a place that has given generations of immigrants' opportunities to flourish and live their dreams.
ERIC OINES | Program Manager
Eric Oines has been in youthwork and education for 20 years. He brings decades of experience in secondary education, curriculum design, youth development program design and management, and outcome measurement. He specializes in staff and volunteer recruitment, management, and development. He is well versed on both the micro and macro issues of poverty and related areas, and seeks to create, develop, and implement sustainable solutions. He is a frequent presenter at professional youth development conferences, has provided staff training on coaching skills and self-care for numerous youth organizations, and has been looked to for his vast experience in outcome measurement tools and best practices. He has a BA in English and Theater from Manhattanville College and received his Secondary Social Studies certification at SUNY New Paltz. Eric lives in The Midway area of Saint Paul with his spouse and two children. He loves biking and gardening.
MISHA EVERTZ | Evaluation and Grants Manager
Misha Evertz grew up through the Saint Paul Public School District before heading west to Whitman College, graduating in 2013 with a degree in biology and geology before returning to Minnesota to serve a term as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation. Joining ACES shortly after, Misha has grown within the organization and is now the Evaluation and Grants Manager, working to develop and revise curriculum, train and coach staff, write grants, and evaluate program impact for the students ACES serves across Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Misha is an avid sports fan, soccer player, and geology nerd.
CLAIRE BARTHOLOMEW | Development Coordinator
Claire was born and raised in Washington, D.C but fell in love with the Midwest when she attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated in 2016 with a double major in Psychology and English Literature and taught third-grade in St. Paul before joining ACES. Outside of ACES, she enjoys biking around the city, reading, and baking.
ANNY VANG | Operations Coordinator
Anny began working with ACES in 2011 as a freshman at Hamline University with an interest in tutoring. She never left and has worked her way up, first as an Academic Coach, then as a Site Leader, and now as the Operations coordinator with roles spanning from program support, to accounting, to HR. She graduated in 2015 with a degree in Economics. Outside of ACES, you can find Anny babysitting her nieces and nephews or spending time with family.
SARA SCHMIDT | Site Coordinator
Sara was born and raised in northern Iowa. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa where she majored in Leisure, Youth, and Human Services and minored in Family Services. Sara has worked in various youth programs including resorts and camps. Outside of ACES, Sara enjoys walking around the lakes, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family.
CLAIRE WILLIAMS | Site Coordinator
Claire graduated with a culinary degree in 2007 and has spent time working in both restaurants and bakeries around the country. Seeking a career change, she began with ACES in early 2015 as an Academic Coach and is now working as a Site Leader in Minneapolis. In her spare time Claire enjoys biking around the city, listening to live music, and crafting.
KRISTA MEHRL | Site Coordinator
Krista, a converted Minnesotan, grew up in a southern suburb of Chicago. As an education major at the University of St. Thomas, Krista started out with ACES in 2012 as an Academic Coach hoping to develop her classroom skills. She graduated in 2015 and currently holds a license to teach 5th-12th grade Social Studies. Krista is able to combine her love for kids and sports as she edits and implements curriculum as a Site Leader.
CLARE EISENBERG | Site Coordinator
Clare was born and raised in Minneapolis and attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Education through the University of Minnesota’s Youth Development Leadership program. Previously, Clare has worked with the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, College Possible, and the Minnesota State Fair Foundation. Outside of work and school, Clare enjoys cooking, spending time outdoors, and volunteering.
LUKE HOFFMAN | Site Coordinator
Luke grew up in Indiana, but has been living in the Twin Cities for several years now. He graduated from Bethel College with a degree in International Business. Luke has worked with youth and children from around the country the last six years while facilitating and planning cross-cultural service trips. He played tennis in college, but brings with him a passion for all sports and helping students succeed.
JANYESHA JACKSON | Site Coordinator
Janyesha grew up in the historic Rondo community in Saint Paul. As a child, she loved being a part of after school enrichment programs. She knew that was the type of work she wanted to do and started her first, of many jobs working with youth, at age 15. She has worked with ACES since 2011 and graduated from Metropolitan University in 2016 with a degree in Organizational Communications and a minor in Sociology. When she is not working, Janyesha’s hobbies include singing, drawing, and traveling.