Julie Rogers Bascom. Julie is the PreK-12 Service-Learning Coordinator at Edina Public Schools, working with teachers and students to solve community problems as part of classroom learning goals. She has been with the district for more than 11 years and launched Kids Voting Edina in 2008 for the Edina School District. Her passion for supporting young people to become problem solvers formed when her own children attended an Oakland, CA school where every student, every year was engaged in service-learning. Julie also serves on non-profit boards that encourage civic engagement including the League of Women Voters; Connecting with Kids, an initiative to support positive asset development in youth; and Doing Good Together, a group that empowers families to raise caring and engaged children through family service. In addition, she has presented at local and national workshops on how to incorporate service into curriculum and community.
Rebecca Biel. Rebecca is the Social Studies Supervisor K-12 for St. Paul Public Schools. She is originally from southwest North Dakota where she grew up appreciating the role history plays in people’s identity. Rebecca graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a degree in Secondary Education and Social Studies. She taught for 16 years at Johnson High School, ensuring the East Side will always have a place in her heart. Rebecca is a tireless advocate for the importance of social studies for students, working to engage young people to prepare for success in a global world through events like Minnesota History Day and St. Paul’s Project with World Savvy. She is a champion for improving access to social studies content in high-needs schools and works to ensure students see themselves reflected in social studies curriculum.
Carrie Dobie. Carrie is the Youth Programs Coordinator for Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools. She has been in this position since 2007. In this role, Carrie plans out-of-school time enrichment and development programs for students through Community Education. Prior to 2007, Carrie worked as the Prevention Education Coordinator at the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau, working to develop self-esteem and leadership skills in children and youth. Carrie grew up in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and attended the University of Minnesota –Twin Cities, earning a B.S. degree in Child Psychology.
Mason Fong. Mason is the Achievement and Integration Student Programs Coordinator for the Equity Alliance of Minnesota (formerly the East Metro Integration District). In that role, he coordinates the Youth Executive Board (YEB), a multi-district group of high school students who meet weekly to build bonds through team-building activities, learn how to use their power in positive ways to influence change, and work to fulfill their leadership and academic potential. Mason grew up in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For the first 16 years of his life he lived in a restaurant named “The Magic Fan,” which served Chinese American Cuisine. During high school he was active in sports and other extracurricular activities. He attended the University of Minnesota, where he received a B.A. in Communications, Philosophy, and Leadership. While still in college, Mason took a job as the wrestling coach at Johnson Senior High School in St. Paul. After graduating, he spent two years as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow at the National Youth Leadership Council. Mason enjoys traveling the world, cooking for family and friends, and being active in his community.
Eldon Kaul. Eldon joined the Minnesota Attorney General’s office in 1970 as a staff attorney in the State Solicitor General’s office. In 1972, he became chief counsel for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. In 1976, he was promoted to Managing Attorney for the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Division, a position he held until his retirement in 2004. In 2004, Eldon received the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Public Law Section’s Douglas K. Amdahl Public Attorney Career Achievement Award. In 2012, he received the MSBA’s Citizen Lawyer Award, which is presented to the MSBA member who best exemplifies the Association’s commitment to support and promote public understanding of civics, the legal system, and the rule of law in Minnesota. Eldon served as Chair of the MSBA’s Civic Education Committee and is a tireless advocate of civic education in public schools.
Emily Richardson. Emily is Director of Communications at the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health, an organization that strives to break the stigma surrounding mental health disorders and promote positive mental health for infants, children, adolescents and families. Prior to her role at MACMH, she spent four years working on the communications team at the YWCA St. Paul. Passionate about animal rights, Emily has been involved in numerous projects working to put an end to inhumane animal breeding practices. She also devotes her time and skills to various criminal justice reform efforts, serving as a volunteer with the Second Chance Coalition and Amicus. Emily recently completed her master’s degree in advocacy & political leadership and holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications.
Kevin Robinson. Kevin is a native of the Southside of Minneapolis, and has more than six of experience working with at-risk youth. In 2013, Kevin co-founded ANEW BAM, a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase college admission with minority students and decrease the achievement gap among minority students who live below the poverty line. The organization is located on the East side of St. Paul and offers homework help, ACT/SAT and Accuplacer Prep, GED prep, culturally relevant book clubs, Boy Scouts, chess club and role models of color. Previously, Kevin worked for the Department of Children Services in Tennessee, serving as a family liaison between the courts and families. He has also worked with Minnesota Voice and Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change to organize youth around voter registration. Kevin has a B.A. degree in sociology with a minor in deviant behavior from Cleveland State University.
Shakita Thomas. Shakita is a native of Chicago, IL who has spent the past nine years in Minnesota as a student and educator volunteering, mentoring, advocating and fighting against systemic inequalities. She earned her B.A. at Carleton College and her M.A. at the University of St. Thomas. Shakita served as an AmeriCorps member for two years with College Possible at Saint Louis Park High School. In addition, she worked in six St. Paul schools as a student advisor and later as the assistant director of the TRIO Educational Talent Search program at Century College. She interned at the State Capitol with the Chair of the Education Finance Committee as well. Shakita will be returning to school in the fall at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to pursue her doctorate in Culture and Teaching.