Volunteers for Youth


Melynda Stone
Community Liaison

Melynda (Mendy) Stone is a lifelong Claremore resident, graduating as Class Valedictorian in 1978 from Claremore High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising/Public Relations from the University of Tulsa in 1981 and has been married to Gary Stone since 1980. They have two grown children, Amanda and Brett. Mendy lead the staff, as Executive Director, dedicated to enriching the lives of young people in our community through several youth focused grants since its inception in 1998 through the Summer of 2015. She is now serving as Volunteers for Youth’s  Community Liaison where she will continue to serve as the “Face of V4Y”.



Taylor Steenveld PAL Project Assistant

Taylor Steenveld moved to Claremore at age three from Bristow with her parents. She attended Justus-Tiawah, then graduated from CHS in 2010. Taylor earned an Associates degree in Psychology at TCC and has been a dog groomer for more than 6 years. She now grooms part-time at Tails-a-Wagn’ here in Claremore and lends the PAL Program her assistance on a part-time basis. She and her husband, Aaron Lowther, married in 2016 and filled their home with six animals: two dogs- Buddy & Moose, two cats- Kiki & Moxie, and two birds- Lennon and Bowie.


Celina Davis      PAL Program Project Director

Celina Davis moved from Indiana to Oklahoma in 1999 with her 4 young children.  They settled in the Claremore area where Celina was employed and became involved in many local organizations and community activities such as; Claremore Police Academy class II, Leadership Rogers County Class and 5 yr LRC Board member, Cast member of several fundraising plays for the American Red Cross, and many more.The children have grown and graduated and Celina continues to live in Claremore with her husband, Mike. She is the Project Director for the Volunteers for Youth PAL and e-PAL mentoring programs.

Dawn Holland DFC Project Director

Dawn Holland
DFC Project Director

Dawn Holland grew up in Rogers County where she resides with her husband Jordan and three sons Colton, Pacen, and Jaxon. Dawn is a 1992 graduate of Sequoyah High School. She has worked the past 14 years for local law enforcement agencies. She has been involved in the Rogers County Law Enforcement Assoc., Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Rogers County Prescription Drug Task Force. Dawn is the Project Director for the Drug Free Communities Support Program battling underage drinking and prescription drug misuse among youth in the Oologah Community Coalition.

Susan Jensen
BLAST & Summer Camps Project Director

Susan Jensen was born in St Louis, Mo, but has lived in Oklahoma for many years and in Claremore since 1980. She attended the University of Oklahoma. She has one grown daughter, Jessica, who lives in Tulsa. Susan has worked with children for nearly 30 years in various roles. Susan has been with Volunteers for Youth since 2008 and now fills the position of Project Director for BLAST After School Program and Summer Camps, housed within the Claremore Community Center.


Alyson Short                HLP Lead Project Director

Alyson Short was born in Tulsa and has lived in Oklahoma all of her life. She graduated from Claremore High School and has a Bachelor’s in Business Marketing from the University of Central Oklahoma. Alyson and her husband, Trent, reside in Claremore and have two young daughters named Ivy and Carter. She is currently the Lead Project Director for the Healthy Living Program, promoting overall wellness across the lifespan of the citizens in Rogers County. She loves to travel, and read. She has earned her certification as a Certified Prevention Specialist.


Jody Reiss HLP Project Director

Jody Reiss                   HLP Project Director

Jody Reiss is a Claremore native. She graduated from Claremore High School and earned her Bachelors in Sport Management from Rogers State University. Jody and her husband Mike currently reside in Broken Arrow and have 4 kids, Sami, Kristian, Mikey, and Blake. They range from adult to young. She is a Healthy Living Project Director for business, city governments, and municipalities. Jody loves spending spare time with family. She has a passion for fitness, and has been a certified aerobics instructor since 2008, and she has taught classes at the Claremore Super Recreation Center as a hobby for years.

Amber Brassfield HLP Project Director

Amber Brassfield               HLP Project Director

Amber Brassfield was born and raised in Claremore.  She is a graduate of Claremore high school.  Amber worked in law enforcement for eight years and has been active in several organizations in Rogers county including; Rogers County United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Claremore Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, and the Rogers County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force.  Amber was named the 2010 Rogers County Citizen of the Year.  She resides in Claremore and has one dog, Peyton Grace.  Amber’s passion is working with children and serving in the community she loves.  Amber is currently serving as a TSET HLP Project Director.

            Amy Graham                PFS Project Director


Amy Graham was raised in Kansas City Missouri, where she studied nursing. In 1979 she relocated to Oklahoma and lives with her husband Gary, in Owasso. They have 6 grown children and 13+ grandchildren. She was involved with CASA and Call Rape before becoming Director of Health and Safety for the Tulsa Chapter of the American Red Cross. After 17 years, she retired from Red Cross and began working with Drug Prevention Strategies through Rogers County’s Healthy Community Partnership in 2009. She is currently working as the Project Director for the Partnerships For Success grant battling Prescription Drug Misuse.

Caitlin Turpel STOP and PICH Project Director

Caitlin Hendrex   DFC Project Coordinator



Caitlin Hendrex was born and raised in Boca Raton, FL. She has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a focus on Health and Human Rights from Suffolk University in Boston. Caitlin has always had a passion for working with youth, and is thrilled to work on expanding healthy life choices and teaching Rogers’ County youth about prevention as Project Coordinator for the Drug Free Communities Grant in the Oologah Community Coalition. Caitlin is happy to be living closer to family in Claremore with her husband, Kyle, daughter, Harper, and two rescue dogs, Lola and Pam.


John Killebrew U-Turn Academy Director

John Killebrew
U-Turn Academy Director

John Killebrew has lived in the Mayes/Rogers County area since 1979. He was raised in Guthrie, and graduated from Guthrie High school. He received his BS in Marketing Education from University of Central Oklahoma in 1978 and received his Masters in Secondary School Administration from Northeastern State University in 1990. He has one grown daughter, Lindsey, who lives in Tulsa. He recently retired as Director of Claremore Alternative Learning, after 26 years there, and 29 years total in Oklahoma education. He enjoys gardening and working outside. He is currently serving as the Director for the U-Turn Academy which is housed in the Grand Lake Mental Health Outpatient Facility off of Lowry Road.

Cathleen (Cathy) Burkhead grew up in Claremore and graduated from Claremore High School. After raising her 4 kids in Chelsea, she went back to school and earned a Bachelor’s degree of Social Science in Psychology from Rogers State University. She and her husband Don live in Claremore and enjoy traveling, their many pets, and spending time with their grand-kids. Cathy has a passion for, and has worked with, children of all ages for the past 20+ years through scouting, her former child care in Chelsea, and as the former educator for Parents as Teachers. She is the U-Turn Academy Project Assistant.