For over 45 years, Youth Challenge has empowered young people with physical disabilities to try new things and reach their full potential. YC has left a lasting impact on every young person it serves, and many choose to give back once they become adults. YC has several alumni participants on our staff team.
Gabby Bova, Alumni Program Associate
Gabby Bova is an Alumni Program Associate. In her role, she creates and leads programs for alumni participants and volunteers, and helps manage the alumni Facebook group.
“My favorite part of working at YC is how during these times our virtual programs have brought a sense of togetherness, worth, and joy to both participants and volunteers from a safe distance,” Gabby said. “I enjoy collaborating with other staff members and learning how to adapt games for everyone to play at our virtual game nights.”
Gabby is a very familiar face at YC. Not only has she been a participant since 2000, but she also served as a student intern on the Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2014 and was the YELP intern in 2020. Gabby is a true go-getter and plays on the Team YC soccer team!
In addition to her work at YC, Gabby is also a member service representative at YMCA.
Sara Steimle, Alumni Program Associate
Sara Steimle works at Youth Challenge as an Alumni Program Associate. In her role, she creates and leads programs for alumni participants and volunteers, manages the alumni social media group, and assists alumni participants with applications for waivers, housing, and transportation.
“I would have to say my favorite part of working at YC is being able to work with such great, supportive, and dedicated co-workers and alumni,” Sara said.
Sara has been a YC participant since 2000. A natural-born leader, Sara served on the YC Board of Trustees from 2019 to 2021. She also plays on the Team YC boccia team!
Sara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Services from Wright State University. In addition, she brings previous experience helping people with disabilities learn vocational skills through a Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities provider agency.
Jen Taggart, Development Coordinator
Jen Taggart is the Development Coordinator. She uses her journalism degree to manage YC’s social media accounts, manage the Challenger e-newsletter, write grant proposals and sponsorship letters, and help with fundraising events. Jen has been a YC participant for over 15 years and is still involved in the Alumni Community Team. She also serves as a peer mentor to our YELP participants.
“As a member of the development team, I love learning about all the different foundations, companies, board members, volunteers, and donors that support YC,” Jen said. “I know there are many needs and social causes in the world, and I am always encouraged by the number of people who choose to use their time, talent, and treasure to support my friends and me.”
Jen said she also loves connecting with the YC community on social media.
Sean Walker, Head Boccia Coach and Alumni Program Associate
Sean Walker is the Head Boccia Coach and Alumni Program Associate. His responsibilities include organizing Alumni Community Team (ACT!) programs, coaching the Boccia team and competing in Paralympic tournaments, and engaging with YC alumni in the community.
“I love being able to see alumni and be able to be a part of a team because a lot of people with disabilities don’t get that,” Sean said. “My favorite part about ACT! is that we’re able to build it from the ground up with very little involvement from other staff.”
In addition to his work at Youth Challenge, Sean also serves as a Good Life Ambassador for the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities where he advocates for people with developmental disabilities in the Greater Cleveland area.
Not only do alumni participant employees offer an important perspective into the operations of Youth Challenge, but they also serve as role models to their peers. Many Youth Challenge alumni are employed at other organizations across northeast Ohio. Follow us on social media to read more YC stories, including how many of our alumni went from being “participants to professionals.”