Children, Youth & Family Studies Alumni Profiles


Leanne Elliott

Leanne Elliott (’12)
Hometown:  Brookhaven, PA
Current position:  Director of Christian Education, Youth and Family Ministry, Grace Lutheran Church, Westminster, MD

If it weren’t for this program, I would not be as prepared or confident as I am in my position today.  I was offered my first job precisely because of my training from Trinity and the CYFS Department.  I had a lot of experience, but the search committee was most impressed with the wealth of knowledge and training I received at Trinity that provided me with a holistic understanding of ministry and my ability to articulate that knowledge. 


Justin Snider

Justin Snider (’03)
Hometown: Puyallup, WA
Current position: Associate in Ministry, Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Olympia, WA

I attended Trinity specifically for a degree in youth ministry and it was the reason I got my job – and the reason I’m still doing youth ministry.  Trinity’s small Christian community enhanced my faith and the professors cared about me as an individual.  I had an excellent internship to prepare me for full-time ministry and felt well prepared for both youth ministry and life when I graduated.


Kelly Stocker

Kelly Stocker (’09)
Hometown: Anchorage, AK
Current position: Student Life Director, Christ the King Community Church, Bellingham, WA

The program is invaluable to those seeking to work with youth. Balancing hope and reality, the faculty prepares students to step into a multi-faceted call. I have been given the skills to adapt and serve wherever life takes me!


Kelly Stocker

Rebekah Mitchell ('08)
Hometown: Eugene, OR
Current position: Mental Health Specialist, Jackson County, Medford, OR
Graduate program: M.A. in Pastoral Counseling, Loyola University of Chicago

Trinity professors cared about my individual education and encouraged me to challenge myself and reach for greater educational goals. They worked with me to personalize my educational experience around my interests, including the opportunity to complete an independent study focused on mental health -- which helped me confirm that I wanted to work in the mental health field. And, because of my time at Trinity, I see my work as a vocation and calling, not just a job.


Joel Metschke

Joel Metschke (’09)
Hometown:  Graham, WA
Current position: Teacher/Institute Business Manager, Hilltop Children's Center, Seattle, WA

An incredible team of professors took the time to get to know me personally, to discover my particular interests, passions, and strengths, and allowed me to tailor course assignments and projects to those personal interests. This freedom and personalized attention helped me identify my own ideas about education and led me to a teaching position at Hilltop Children's Center, where I am able to put into practice and continue exploring child-centered, emergent curriculum, and anti-bias education practices with children.


Jennifer Sluke

Jennifer Sluke (’06)
Hometown: Grafton, ND
Current position:  Behavior Specialist/Special Education Teacher, B.F. Day Elementary School, Seattle, WA
Graduate program:  Master in Teaching/Special Education, Seattle Pacific University

Trinity prepared me for the rigor of graduate school by requiring me to show my understanding through research and application.  These together prepared me for the caliber of work required in graduate school, as well as in my new teaching position.  As a behavior specialist/special education teacher, I support students in academic and social/emotional areas while collaborating with parents, teachers, and multiple service providers to provide wrap-around support. My educational experience at Trinity gave me a strong base for addressing and responding to the needs of diverse students and families.


Lynn Smythe

Lynn Smythe (’04)
Current position: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Cascade Counseling, Monroe, WA
Graduate program:  Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, Seattle Pacific University

I am very grateful for the educational experience I had at Trinity. The program exposed me to a lot of the concepts I would later study in my master’s program. This lowered my anxiety level so I could focus on the rigorous expectations of graduate school.