Our Team

Staff

Ben Cooney, Executive Director

ben@edittheworld.org - 612-296-7371

As a licensed Minnesota teacher, Ben brings a deep understanding of curriculum design and youth development to EDIT. As one of the co-founders, Ben has been with EDIT since its inception and now leads the team in strategic planning, development, and program management. Ben's passions for youth empowerment, social justice, and the arts are a perfect match for EDIT's mission and programs.

 

Caryn Pernu, Associate Director

caryn@edittheworld.org - 651-353-8617

Caryn comes to EDIT with more than 20 years of experience in education, nonprofits, and youth development. During eight years at the National Youth Leadership Council, she served in a variety of roles, including communications, public policy, program development, and instructional design and training. She is passionate about empowering youth to contribute to their communities and work for social justice.

 

 

 

Board of Directors

 

Molly Seaver, Chair

Molly has her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Community Organizing and Advocacy from the University of Minnesota. Her background and education is in youth program development and mental health. She is a trained facilitator in diversity education and a passionate advocate for equity. Currently, she works as an Academic Advisor and Community Builder at Walden University, which has a mission of social change.  Social justice and community development bonded her to the mission and staff of EDIT; she has been a part of the EDIT building team from the ground up as a Co-Founder. Bringing people together through the outdoors, food, games/sports, and dancing is what she loves most!

 

Dani Rae Gorman, Vice Chair

Dani earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and sociology of law from the University of Minnesota. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and is interested in studying inequality, social policy, and advanced methods for policy analysis. She has a wide variety of professional experiences including working as an early childhood educator, a residential counselor with youth, and currently as a mental health practitioner for a large Minnesota nonprofit organization. She has also volunteered with Urban 4-H, Project Footsteps, and Feed My Starving Children. Dani is passionate about empowering youth to make changes in the community through leadership and learning through serving others, which motivated her to join the EDIT community.

 

Tiffany Ker Xiong, Treasurer

Tiffany graduated from St. Catherine University with a degree in Sociology and International Relations. Tiffany is currently employed at Grassroots Solutions as a regional grassroots organizer. She has over three years of experience in community engagement, event planning, electoral campaigns, and volunteer management. She believes that art can be a tool to bring people together, for people to learn about themselves, and inspire people to get involved. Her passions include fishing, camping, volunteering at her church, and promoting opportunity and racial equality.

 

Christen Pentek, Secretary

Christen Pentek greeted EDIT post-graduating from the Youth Studies and ‘German, Scandinavian, and Dutch’ programs at the University of Minnesota. A youthworker, researcher, and lifelong knowledge seeker, Christen empowers and invites youth in multiple CBOs and non-profits, co-creating stories that include engaging arts, media, creative and quality learning experiences, and reading the world as well as the words. In her spare time she makes bread from scratch, runs marathons, and devours books.

 

Eva Moses-McDew

Eva received her Bachelor of Arts degree in African and African-American Studies from the University of Minnesota. She is now an HR Consultant for Target.  She resides in Minneapolis and has a passion for equality and youth development.  One of her favorite ways to celebrate diversity is through culinary arts as self-proclaimed foodie.  She volunteers as a mentor with youth across Minneapolis and St. Paul.  Eva comes from a very diverse family and has enjoyed learning about and celebrating cultures from around the world.  Eva believes in the power of today's youth and is excited about how EDIT's mission empowers youth to make a positive impact on their communities and the world.

 

Jill Hayes

Jill is a Co-Founder and former Executive Director of EDIT.  Her passion for youth voice and arts accessibility is what motivates Jill to continue striving to grow and improve EDIT's programming.  In addition to serving on EDIT's Board of Directors, Jill works as a Forensic Interviewer and Trainer at CornerHouse.  In this role, Jill assures that the voices of children and adolescents are heard.  Jill holds a Master of Nonprofit Management degree from Hamline University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  She has over 13 years of youth development experience and 6 years of nonprofit management experience.

 

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