Tim Gay, Founder & Executive Director
Tim left a successful career as a business executive in 2014 in order to pursue his desire to become a social entrepreneur focused on helping youth make a successful transition out of foster care and into adulthood. His thirty plus years of business experience includes leadership positions in banking, business development, strategic planning, and customer experience. He has an accounting degree from Oklahoma State University and an MBA from the University of Virginia.
Tim and his wife, Suzanne live in Overland Park and have six biological children. They began fostering older teens in 2013, and in 2014 they adopted a 17-year old girl who was in the foster care system. Tim was a co-founder of Spero House, a church ministry providing transitional living support for young women aging out of foster care. He and his wife served as a Support Family for two of the young women living in Spero House.
Jordan Lewis, Transition Advocate – KC Area
Jordan has dedicated his life to pursuing his passion for connecting and building relationships with those in need, especially youth. Spending the majority of his professional, educational, and athletic career working alongside young individuals, he is deeply fueled by seeing others grow and achieve a greater quality of life.
Jordan graduated with his Bachelors in Psychology from William Jewell College. There, he played basketball for four years and used his athletic network to train young basketball players in his community. After completing his undergraduate degree, Jordan attended UMKC where he is currently pursuing his Masters in Counseling. Prior to joining Youthrive, Jordan spent three years in inpatient mental health settings working with youth who suffered from various traumas.
Outside of work, Jordan enjoys staying active through fitness training, spending time with his son, Easton, and growing in his meditation practice.
Rachel Martin, Transition Advocate – KC Area
Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Avila University in Kansas city, Missouri and is presently licensed in Kansas as a LBSW. Her interest and career goals have always been focused on helping others in need. She has primarily worked in child welfare with children and families in different capacities for the past eight years.
Rachel is a KC native and is currently residing in Overland Park. She has a 15 year old son that she enjoys spending time with and volunteers for a local animal rescue in her spare time.
LeAndrea Thomas, Transition Advocate – KC Area
LeAndrea grew up in the KCMO area and attended UMKC where she played basketball and graduated with a Sociology degree. She also completed her MSW degree at UMKC. She has several years of social work experience including working with youth in child protective services and those involved in juvenile corrections. She recently joined Youthrive after learning that her true passion is working with older youth in the community.
LeAndrea presently resides in Raymore and is active in her church. She also enjoys spending time with her family and her fiancé.
Cara Mattson, Transition Advocate – Wichita Area
Cara has a passion for advocating and empowering our young people. Cara was introduced to the child welfare system as a practicum student in her undergraduate program. She started working as a Court Services Officer in the Child in Need of Care department in 2015. Upon leaving her position with the court she joined Youthrive’s team in 2018. Cara graduated with her Bachelors of Social Work from Wichita State University. Cara seeks adventure and loves to travel. She spends her time outside of work with her family. Her son and fur-baby keep her on her toes!
Margi Nisly, Transition Advocate – Hutchinson Area
Margi is passionate about serving and empowering the youth in her community. She has been working in the helping field since her graduation from Kansas State University in 2014. Margi spent four years working at the mental health center in Hutchinson, working with youth and children who have experienced various trauma.
Margi and her husband both have deep roots in the Reno County area and are happily raising their two little ones close to family.
Pam Zicker, Transition Advocate – Lawrence Area
Pam lives in Lawrence, KS where has lived for the past 22 years. She joined Youthrive in June of 2018. She completed her BSW from Oklahoma University in 1990 and her MSW from Denver University in 1992. She is a clinical social worker who has worked the past 26 years in various roles with families, couples and children including military child welfare, adoption, community and international development, and private clinical practice with children who’ve experienced trauma.
Pam and her husband have five children, two of whom were adopted from Ethiopia at ages 4 and 9. She and her husband also founded a non-profit serving at-risk youth in Ethiopia and Pam serves as the Volunteer Executive Director of the non-profit on a part-time basis.
Sarah Neher, Program Manager
For the last eight years Sarah has worked with a variety of youth programs across the country. Sarah graduated with her Bachelors in Biology Education from McPherson College and her Masters of Divinity degree with a focus in Youth and Young Adults from Bethany Theological Seminary. Sarah comes to Youthrive after two years as the Coordinator of Student Success at McPherson College. In this position she helped to develop and implement the first-year program assisting at-risk youth and other freshmen in their transition to college life. Sarah has always had a heart for advocating for the marginalized and is ecstatic to be working with the Youthrive youth, support families, and their communities. In her free time Sarah enjoys traveling the world, reading, a good cup of coffee, and an engaging conversation!
Christina Hughes, Office Manager
Christina has spent the last 15 years in healthcare management. Her experience includes leadership, operations management and business development. Christina graduated with her bachelor’s in business administration from Friends University. Christina is excited to be working with an organization that supports youth in our community.
Christina and her husband, John live in Lee’s Summit with their two youngest sons. In their free time they enjoy soccer, playing outside with their 2 dogs, and being on the lake.