Staff
  • ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

Liberty Barrett – Founder/Executive Director – Liberty Barrett grew up in the Boise, Idaho area as the third of seven siblings.  From a young age, she demonstrated a concern for the orphans and friendless and pursued friendships with those overlooked by others.  In 2009, Liberty founded JEMfriends with the vision that each youth aging out of foster care would have opportunities to flourish in a society that understands their adversity and supports them in becoming loving adults.  Currently, Liberty serves as executive director for JEMfriends, leading several programs to support aged-out youth, positively engaging many youth through personal mentoring and coaching, and increasing awareness of the needs of these youth.  She is enthusiastic, motivated, and creative in her leadership of the JEMfriends community.  Her life goal is to passionately serve others as Jesus did and to love without overlooking anyone.  

Naomi Miller – Volunteer Coordinator (Treasure Valley) – Naomi grew up with seven siblings and at a young age learned the value of a family’s support.  Through circumstances in her life, God opened her eyes to those around her without love, support, and guidance from their family context.  Naomi wanted to spend her life serving Jesus by loving people, especially those who are broken, orphaned, widowed, homeless, or abused.  In 2012, she met Liberty, and through her, learned about the needs of aged-out youth.  She knew she wanted to dedicate herself to serve these youth.  Naomi’s greatest joy is being a child of God, who has given her the greatest love she could ever have.  Only because of Him does she have the ability to serve and love others with her whole heart.

Jenifer Anderson – Programs Director (Twin Falls) – Jennifer grew up in Burley, Idaho, the third of seven siblings.  She is married and has adopted two children out of foster care.  For the past three years, Jenifer has been a stay-at-home mother and foster mother.  Today, she works with aged-out youth as the programs director of the JEMfriends house in Twin Falls, Idaho.  Jennifer has always been very hardworking and dedicated to achieving her goals.  She does not succumb to obstacles in her way; instead, she perseveres and keeps working toward her dreams.  Jennifer’s passion is to guide youth in developing new skills and becoming aware of skills they already have, so that they can become the best they can be.

Melissa Wood – Life Skills Class Coordinator – Melissa Wood grew up in Boise and attended Capital High and BSU.  She then spent two years in Peru as a Peace Corps volunteer.  For ten years after coming back to Boise, she was involved in Rotaract and helped establish and facilitate a Rotary club, while working in real estate and agent services.  Melissa heard about JEMfriends through her dad and his Rotary club.  The ministry of JEMfriends peaked her interest, especially after having attended a foster care informational meeting at St. Alphonsus.  She is enthusiastic about coordinating life skills classes, getting to know the youth, and making a difference in their lives.

 

  • SUPPORT STAFF

Julianne Nelson – Editor/Website Administrator – Julianne has grown up as a big sister to eight siblings.  She met Liberty and JEMfriends through homeschool sport programs that Liberty was involved in facilitating.  Because she has had the experience of adopting two siblings, she has a great appreciation for JEMfriends’ ministry to displaced youth.  She has a love for writing, and enjoys supporting the ministry of JEMfriends by editing newsletters and e-mails and managing the JEMfriends website.  She also really enjoys participating in prayer support and watching as God provides for the needs of the ministry.

 

Mikayla Lee – Social Media Manager – Mikayla Lee was born and raised in Boise, Idaho.  She graduated in 2017 as a homeschool student and is currently studying audio engineering online.  She works at Spring Creek Assisted Living as an assistant to the activity director and loves to play music and games with the residents.  She enjoys contributing to JEMfriends by creating posts on JEMfriends’ social media to keep supporters updated on JEMfriends’ recent stories and events.  

 

 

  • RESIDENT ADVISER STAFF

Melissa Mitchell – Girls House Resident Adviser – Melissa was born in Boise, but moved all over the country as a pastor’s kid growing up.  When she was about twelve, the Lord placed a desire in her heart to serve the foster care community.  Along the way, she found opportunities to do this by serving at Royal Family kids camp, volunteering at local welfare offices, and raising awareness of foster youth at local churches.  After attending Bible college in Murrieta, California, she moved back to Boise.  She was introduced to JEMfriends and immediately identified with what JEMfriends is doing to support today’s aged-out youth.  God provided her the opportunity to get involved as an RA, her dream job and most exciting adventure yet.

Sam Staigle – Guys House Resident Adviser – Sam is going to school for human biology and has worked as a phlebotomist for a year and a half.  He got connected to JEMfriends through a Facebook post his mom shared and through a mutual friend who worked as a JEMfriends RA before him.  He finds being a resident adviser to be hard but rewarding.  He is hopeful for what his future in this ministry will bring.