Jeremy Bouman, Founder & CEO
Jeremy currently serves RISE as the Founder and CEO. Prior to joining RISE, he served for 7 years as Associate Vice President of Development at Creighton University.
Jeremy has 17 years of leadership experience in higher education and non-profit organizations in New York City, Baltimore and Omaha. He earned a BA in Communications from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania and a master of science in leadership from Creighton University.
Jasmine Harris, Director of Advocacy & Policy
Jasmine brings 12+ years of experience to RISE that includes non-profit program management, community engagement, and coalition building. Most recently, Jasmine served as Co-Founder/CEO of WayMaker, LLC, an organization that motivates women and girls to overcome setbacks from being involved in the criminal justice system.
She also served as a Health Educator at Creighton University and as Civic Engagement Committee Chair for the Urban League of Nebraska Young Professionals, where she focused on advocacy and awareness around criminal justice issues. Jasmine received a Bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In 2017, Jasmine was awarded the Omaha NAACP Freedom Fighter Award and was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Omahans (TOYO) by the Omaha Jaycees.
Brittany Burling, Director of Operations
Brittany received a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Evangel University. During her time at Evangel, she worked as the Public Relations Director for Evangel University Activities Board. Since completing her studies, she worked as the Director of PR/Communications for Venel, The Authority in Orthopedic Marketing.
Most recently, Brittany served as Co-Founder/Director of Marketing for Drink Local Think Global, an organization that partners with craft breweries to raise money to provide clean water in developing countries.
McKenzie Ring, Storyteller | Digital Marketing
McKenzie has been a Midwest photographer and content creator for 10 years, specializing in documentary-based work. Originally from a small, rural farming community, McKenzie is rooted with a hard work ethic, growth mindset, and entrepreneurial spirit.
She is passionate about documenting the legacies of everyday people for future generations and telling the community about everyday success. McKenzie received her Associates degree from ITT Technical Institute in Multimedia, and also has 15+ years of experience in marketing, graphic design, and social responsibility.
Chantal Randall, Volunteer Relations Manager
Chantal is passionate about reaching and connecting with people. You'll often find her meeting with leaders in the community, visiting with students and families, and creating meaningful conversations with all who cross her path. All of these assets make her an incredible Volunteer Relations Manager for RISE.
A 2019 RISE Graduate, Chantal uses her lived experience to help encourage others. In addition to being a RISE graduate, she is an esteemed TedX speaker.
Jaxson Schneider, Mentor Coordinator
Jaxson recently received his Bachelor's degree in English and History from Creighton University. At Creighton, he spent three years as a Weekly Service Coordinator taking students to Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter where they shared a meal with the shelter's guests as well as heard from someone in the addiction recovery program.
Similarly, Jaxson worked as a Program Assistant alongside Creighton professors on the University's six-week service-learning/immersion program in Lima, Peru for three summers.
Erin Cooper, Director of Research and Evaluation
Erin graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with her Masters of Science in Criminology and completed her thesis studying the delinquent effects of placement instability among foster care youth in Kansas.
Over the past 10 years, Erin has served various non-profits and state organizations a multitude of capacities. Her roles include serving as high risk, re-entry parole officer in Kansas City, Kansas, managing juvenile assessments for the Johnson County (KS) Department of Corrections, and managing a group home for at-risk teens in Omaha, Nebraska.
Most recently Erin served as an Administrator of Workforce Services for the Nebraska Department of Labor where she managed 10+ federal grants requiring her to develop and evaluate program efficacy and compliance with federal regulations. Erin also successfully wrote two grants for the Nebraska Department of Labor bringing in over $2 million of federal dollars benefiting re-employment programs. She successfully implemented research and data driven best practices in several programs garnering national recognition from the United States Department of Labor.
Fred Collins, Jr., Program Data Specialist
Fred is a Nebraska native with several years experience in recruiting, sales, real estate, and public speaking. With a Communications degree from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Fred spent a number of years as an admissions counselor, transfer recruitment liaison, education talent search coordinator in higher education, in addition to being a highly successful Realtor.
A 2017 RISE graduate, Fred learned to use his incarceration as an opportunity to work through his past and further improve himself as an individual. “Programs like RISE helped me to realize my potential, and also my responsibility to the community. RISE has helped me be the change I want to see.”
In addition to cheering for his alma mater, Fred enjoys cooking, singing, and eating at Chick-Fil-A.
Abbey Brown, Program Coordinator
Abbey was raised on the beach in Fort Myers, Florida and has a passion for plants, the beach, volleyball and gardening.
She firmly believes kindness and compassion are essential to being happy within herself and that treating people with those same actions is the best way to interact with humanity. Through her experience, Abbey brings valuable insight to the reentry process.
Abbey is a proud 2020 RISE graduate for the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women, has completed a vocational horticulture program (she is our resident plant educator and caretaker now), and is a proud and loving mother.
Maria Moreno, Program Manager
Maria received her Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Over the past 10 years, Maria has served in a variety of roles in organizations addressing social justice, community development, and community engagement issues. Most recently, Maria worked as Country Manager & Interim Volunteer Program Manager for the FutureSense Foundation in Cambodia. At FutureSense she managed day-to-day operations including developing sustainable community health and education programs, organizing logistics over 11+ project sites, cultivating strong community relationships, monitoring evaluation of projects, and developing and managing budgets.
TJ Dickson, Program Associate (TSCI + OCC)
TJ Dickson has earned her Doctorate in Metaphysical Science and Bachelor's and Master's degrees in both Business Administration and Metaphysical Science and certificates in Law of Attraction Coaching and Corporate Wellness. She started Taraji, LLC, a business and personal holistic wellness organization, in 2012.
She also owned a successful accounting service for 19 years. She has coached, consulted, taught, or trained over 400 adults in business, accounting, math, wellness, healing, and career preparation. Her mission is to empower others to heal, transform, and be well to live their best lives.
TJ is currently teaching in the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI) and the Omaha Correctional Center (OCC).
Amanda Struble, Program Associate (NCCW + CCC-L W)
Amanda graduated for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture Science. Receiving her teaching certificate in Agricultural Education has allowed her to continue with her passion for teaching in Nebraska schools, with an emphasis on hands-on learning in order to help her students understand complex topics.
She has a small business, volunteers as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, and serves as the rescue captain for her local fire and rescue department, along with teaching CPR and First Aid classes as a certified instructor for the American Heart Association.
Amanda is currently teaching RISE cohorts at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women (NCCW) and Community Correctional Center in Lincoln for Women (CCC-L Women).
Bryan Dahlberg, Program Associate (NSP + LCC)
Bryan has been a business owner, owning and operating 3 different businesses which included a commercial roofing business, landlord of rental properties, and a Scooter’s Coffee Shop. He would eventually step out of the self-employed world to work for Olsson Associates, a national civil engineering firm, for 10 years, only then to be called into a Protestant pastorate serving two local churches.
Upon ministering to families, men, women and children, Bryan grew a deep love for his diverse group of neighbors and developed a food sharing ministry collaborating with Community Crops. In addition to his local work, Bryan also served in Russia and Mexico over the fourteen-plus years he served as a pastor/elder.
Bryan would finally serve as the Director of Operations for Catholic Social Services before joining the RISE staff. He has always found a way to serve others which he continues to do today as a Vincentian at Sacred Heart Church and the President of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Lincoln.
Bryan is currently teaching in the Nebraska State Penitentiary and the Lincoln Correctional Center.
Erica Pieper, Reentry Supervisor
Erica received her Bachelor’s in Social Work with a minor in Criminal Justice from Texas Christian University (TCU). She recently graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s in Social Work (MSW).
While pursuing her BA, Erica served as a Jail Advocate for The Net, visiting women in jail, and providing resources such as job training, education, and housing. She also worked as a Research Assistant at TCU’s Department of Social Work, where she performed statistical analysis to determine the effects of supportive housing, and as a Rape Crisis Advocate at The Women’s Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
Most recently, Erica served as a Special Victims Counselor at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she provided supportive counseling, court accompaniment and case advocacy for victims of violent crime.
Jason Kotas, Reentry Specialist (OCC, TSCI, CCC-O)
Jason Kotas involves himself in the community by being an active member of his Church, St. James United Methodist, East Campus in Bellevue NE, locally co-facilitating weekend workshops for the Alternative to Violence Project, and sharing his experience, strength, and hope at area treatment facilities and other venues.
Mr. Kotas would like you to know that he has not always been this version of himself, as he initially got involved with RISE while he was a resident of the Omaha Correctional Center. He graduated from RISE’s inaugural cohort at OCC, stayed involved as a Peer Facilitator until he was transferred to Community Corrections. Today, Jason is living a life that a few years ago he would not have dared to dream about, thinking that his time had come and gone to ever live a life that was meaningful and fulfilling. By finally taking responsibility for his own life, he has risen up out of the ashes that were once his reality, and is dedicated to helping others rise up out of their own.
Jason is currently the RISE Reentry Specialist working with Builders associated with the Omaha Correctional Center (OCC), the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI), and the Community Correctional Center in Omaha (CCC-O).
Demetrius (Dee-Dee) Gatson, Reentry Specialist (NSP, LCC, CCC-L M)
Demetrius (Dee-Dee) has found her most fulfilling positions through helping others. She is an excellent communicator and relationship builder, which suited her previous positions as a welding instructor for the TRADE program and Peer Support Specialist with the Mental Health Association of Nebraska.
Demetrius currently facilitates WRAP (Wellness and Recovery Action Plan) classes at the Honu Home in Lincoln, NE and is a REAL dog lover. She began training dogs while incarcerated in Nebraska and uses the skills she learned in that role to this day.
In addition to earning a degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Dee-Dee is currently enrolled in Southeast Community College, majoring in Human Services with an emphasis in Prison reform and Re-entry. In her free time, she loves spending time with her four dogs and facilitates teacher trainings across the United State for Dance to be Free.
Demetrius is currently the RISE Reentry Specialist working with Builders associated with the Nebraska State Penitentiary (NSP), the Lincoln Correctional Center (LCC) and the Community Correctional Center in Lincoln for Men (CCC-L M).
Othello Meadows – Executive Director, 75 North Revitalization Corp.
Ken Stinson – Chairman Emeritus, Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc.
Amy Johnson – Co-Founder & CEO, LifeLoop
Jeff Slobotski – Founder, Router Ventures
Shonna Dorsey – Mutual of Omaha Insurance, Senior IT Consultant
Cortney Bauer – Associate Vice President of Development, Creighton University
David Bills – President, Titan Group
William Ochsner – President, National Everything Wholesale
Leah Smejkal – Senior Vice President, Operations, Dundee Bank
Jeremy Bouman – Founder & CEO, RISE
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