Our team comprises dedicated staff and volunteers who are committed to seeing and guiding LIFT students to become bright, active, and compassionate members of our community. Each team member brings unique talents, strengths, and gifts to share with the program and is encouraged to grow both personally and professionally within the inherently nurturing and empowering environment of our organization. Interested in joining our team?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER
Rebekah TenBrink is the Founder and Director of LIFT Teen Center. Raised in Holland, MI and transplanted to Leelanau County in 2012 after a series of travel and social service jobs. Setting roots in Northern Michigan, Rebekah found a great need for youth services. She attended Spring Arbor University and received her Bachelors of Arts in Family Life Education; a model which builds a stronger community by fostering partnerships that engage families in a participatory process leading to self-efficacy. As a vibrant and passionate soul Rebekah is always striving to “be the change”.
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Born and raised just a block from The Center, Emily has been a lifelong resident of Northern Michigan, attending elementary and high school at Lake Leelanau St. Mary and then obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree from Central Michigan University in Communication. After spending a little more than five years as a corporate volunteer coordinator, she decided to switch to the nonprofit world and now serves as The Center’s Program Development Director.
NORTHPORT PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Alana was born and raised in Lake Orion. After working in the service industry for over ten years Alana recently felt a pull to do something more meaningful with her time. She began volunteering with LIFT in the Fall of 2022 and was a perfect fit for our team. At the beginning of 2023, Alana became LIFT's first-ever Northport Program Coordinator. She is passionate about making sure kids know that we care about their lives and their futures. Alana enjoys art, music, and cooking and loves getting to share those hobbies with our teens.
Audrey grew up in Suttons Bay and graduated from Suttons Bay Schools in 2011. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and International Studies from the University of Michigan in 2015. After graduating, Audrey lived abroad in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua for three years, teaching English to children living in underserved communities. She now lives in Cedar with her fiance, Alex, and their dog, Sage. She is the Associate Director of LIFT and The Friendship Community Center.
CORRIE JO PIERSMA
SUTTONS BAY MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Corrie grew up in Manhattan, Kansas and graduated from university in 2012 with degrees in Linguistics and in French. She has been working with children for nearly 20 years and has served, taught and mentored them in over 30 countries across the world. Corrie is passionate about culture, food, painting, family and all things outside. Above all, she is passionate about loving people into loving themselves and walking with them as they discover and unlock their potential, self-worth and identity.
GLEN LAKE MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Stefanie grew up in Leelanau County and her journey working with teens began when her own children came of age. She applied for a special educational paraprofessional job at Glen Lake Community Schools for a second-grade student. Working as a paraprofessional and becoming a Family, Student, and Support Specialist ignited her interest and dedication to helping young minds thrive. Working with kids and teens is not just a job, its a calling. Stefanie joined the LIFT team in Fall 2023 as LIFT's first-ever Middle School Program Coordinator at Glen Lake Community Schools.
Claire grew up in Northern Michigan and has lived in Traverse City for over half her life. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Michigan State University in Professional Writing and got involved with LIFT after writing an article about us for a local newspaper. She began volunteering shortly after and is now the Brand Manager for both The Center and LIFT. Claire lives in downtown Traverse City and runs her own Brand and Web Design business, Juniperfolk Designs.