YouthZone is pleased to welcome Jonathan Greener to our family. Jonathan recently joined the organization as our new Assistant Director, providing much necessary support to both administration and programs at YouthZone.
For more than a decade, Jonathan has worked with and advocated for at-risk youth and families. Prior to relocating to Glenwood Springs to accept the position with YouthZone, Jonathan lived and worked in Chicago. In his most recent position, Jonathan was the Director of Urban Life Skills with the New Life Centers of Chicagoland. His experience includes program development and oversight, in addition to working directly with youth, families, and probation officers, as well as with court officials and other entities.
Jonathan's dedication to social work originated at an early age, as his mother was a developmental psychologist who worked with kids and within community development. With parents who emphasized the importance of the child, it seemed only natural for Jonathan to also be drawn to a career that involved helping kids overcome trauma and violence.
After earning his bachelor of arts in sociology at Wheaton College, Jonathan began working as a case manager in an alternative detention facility where he counseled young men and helped them create goals for personal development.
"Early on in my career, I was really looking for ways to help kids take ownership within their communities and develop an identity," said Jonathan. "The collaboration and strong network I experienced in Chicago was amazing. I wasn't necessarily seeking a new position or to move from Chicago. However, when the YouthZone position became available, I became intrigued by the opportunity to work with such a strong team that held such a great reputation."
When YouthZone Executive Director, Lori Mueller, was promoted to her current position, she continued to oversee programs as well as execute all of the high-level details required of the executive position. As caseloads and hours of time spent on each case have increased over the past few years, having an Assistant Director to help support YouthZone staff in their efforts is integral.
"In the immediate future, Jonathan will focus his time on learning the various intricacies of the communities served by YouthZone. His fluency in Spanish will be a tremendous asset in helping bridge the cultural differences together, as well as help us, as a community, understand each other's needs."
Jonathan will oversee all programs at YouthZone, in addition to supporting staff and their needs. Understanding that secondary trauma can be prevalent in social work, Jonathan is passionate about helping YouthZone employees continue to work in an atmosphere of respect and peace.
While not at work, Jonathan is looking forward to taking advantage of all of the amenities that Colorado has to offer. After growing up in an urban environment, he and his wife, and their two children, are excited about spending time in the great outdoors and all of the opportunities that lie ahead.