Emily Paoli Johnson has been working with youth for as long as she can remember. Emily has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point and has recently gotten her Masters in Organizational Leadership from Saint Mary’s University. Emily began working in college access in 1999 with students on the East side of Saint Paul. Throughout her 14 years in this work she was able to get to know families in many ways from taking them on college visits, to providing students with summer experiences, to watching them graduate from high school and even college. It has always been her passion to work with youth, but the real rewards were learning about their families and becoming a part of their communities.
Jackie Gadbois brings a unique perspective to helping disadvantaged youth. She grew up in foster care until she legally emancipated at 17 years old. There were many times when it seemed nearly impossible for her to pursue her greatest dreams given her background. She learned a lot along the way pertaining to common risk factors. She values the importance of promoting ingenuity, resiliency, motivation, and perseverance when serving youth. In addition, having a thought out and executed plan as well as seeking out mentors and strong support systems is crucial to success. Her experiences drive her to help others believe in themselves and meet their full potential. She has been a speaker for independent living programs in Colorado and continue to mentor underprivileged youth. Currently, she is a resident physician at Emergency Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis.
Mai Neng Moua is highly involved in the immigrant and refugee community. She currently serves as the Youth Director of Savior Alliance Church (Hmong congregation in St. Paul); Board of Director of Hmong American Education Fund; and the Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association -Minnesota/Dakotas chapter. She is the founder and managing attorney of Mai N. Moua Law Office in Maplewood, MN. She received her Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law in 2007; and Bachelor of Arts degree in History, Political Science, and East Asian Studies from the Univ. of St. Thomas in 2004. Her area of focus includes immigration and personal injury law, with an an emphasis on naturalization, family and employment-based immigration, and asylum.