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 a blended family of seven children. They began fostering older teens in 2013, and in 2014 they adopted a 17-year old 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 Supervisor
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 graduated with his Masters in Counseling degree. Prior to joining Youthrive, Jordan spent three years in inpatient mental health settings working with youth who suffered from various traumas.
Outside of Youthrive, Jordan provides therapy services at a private practice in the KC metro area and enjoys staying active through fitness training, traveling, and spending time with close friends and family.
Jamie Visser, Transition Advocate – KC Area
Jamie currently lives in North Kansas City with her husband and five children. Jamie absolutely loves working with children and youth and is passionate about social justice. She earned her BSW from KU in May of 2021 and is currently working on her MSW at KU as well. She plans to graduate in May 2023 and hopes to earn her clinical license someday.
Jamie enjoys being outdoors, gardening, adventure, and working with her hands creatively. She and her husband work on lots of carpentry projects together: they are currently remodeling their home together in the evenings and on weekends. More than anything, Jamie loves being at home with her family and caring for her kids and pets. With five young children at home, life can be chaotic, but it is also full of love and joy.
Jamie has been humbled and inspired by the youth at Youthrive. She is constantly in awe of their courage, hope, and determination. Working with these young people has been one of the greatest privileges of her life. She is passionate about supporting, encouraging, and advocating for this exceptional group of young people.
Breyanna Avila, Transition Advocate – KC Area
Breyanna is an LMSW that recently graduated with her Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from the University of Kansas. She holds a special place in her heart for youth who have spent time in the foster care system due to having a comparable background. Breyanna has always been passionate about helping others better themselves and find their own voice in the process.
Outside of work Breyanna enjoys spending time with her friends and family, as well as her two dogs. She also enjoys cooking and embarking on new travels.
Mariah May, Transition Advocate – Lawrence Area
Mariah, who is HoChunk from the Winnebago Tribe of NE, graduated with her Bachelors in Indigenous American Indian Studies with an emphasis in Social Welfare from Haskell Indian Nations University. During her time at Haskell, she became educated on the many socio-economic factors and the social injustices that are impacting Indigenous communities. Because of this knowledge, she became passionate about working with not only Indigenous communities but communities that are more often than not impacted by similar circumstances.
Like many before her in her family, she decided to further purse an education in social work. She then went on to Washington University in St. Louis where she obtained her Master of Social Work. Since graduating, Mariah has spent the last year and a half working in an impatient mental health setting before transitioning to Youthrive.
Outside of work, Mariah loves spending time with her family and her fur baby, Rocky. She also enjoys reading books that are written by and about Indigenous people and painting.
Margi Nisly, Transition Advocate – Reno County Area
Margi is passionate about serving and empowering the youth in her community. She received her Human Ecology degree from Kansas State University in 2014 majoring in family services with minors in women’s studies and non profits.
Margi has many years of experience working with children and young adults who have experienced trauma. She worked in the mental health field, working with children and teens in the school environment. She also has previous experience working on crisis teams and in women’s shelters. She has been with Youthrive for 3 years and loved the opportunity to work with young adults with experience in the foster care system.
Margi and her husband are raising their three children, their oldest child they adopted out of foster care at the age of 16. She and her husband have deep roots in the Reno County area they both work in the nonprofit world and are also very involved in volunteer work with teens in the community.