Liberty (Barrett) Thompson – Founder, Executive Director
Liberty 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 2008, 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 that 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 – Programs Director, Resident Adviser
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 who were 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.
Natalie Williams – Volunteer Coordinator, Social Media Manager, Resident Adviser
Natalie is an Idaho native and moved to Boise from Northern Idaho a few months ago to become a part of the JEMfriends community. She has had quite a few interesting jobs, but in each of them she has loved working with people, connecting with them individually, and sharing her faith with them. She loves hanging out with friends and family, meeting new people, painting, reading, hiking, filming ridiculous music videos, and working on cars. Her dream is to eventually start her own non-profit for young women.
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.
Julianne Nelson – Editor, Website Administrator
Julianne grew up as a big sister to eight siblings, two of whom were adopted. Because she has experienced adoption firsthand, she very much identifies with the ministry of JEMfriends to displaced youth. She has a love for writing and enjoys supporting the ministry of JEMfriends by editing newsletters and e-mails and by managing the JEMfriends website. She also keeps a small herd of alpacas and is a licensed massage therapist with a private practice in Star.
Mikayla Lee – Office Assistant
Mikayla is a Boise, Idaho native. Way back in 2017, she graduated as a homeschool student and is currently learning more about audio production at Calvary Church and online. She loves to stay busy so she works multiple jobs – as Covenant Academy’s Athletics Coordinator, as CSAA League’s Scheduler, and as a Production Assistant at Calvary Boise Church. She also thinks snowboarding is absolutely fabulous and loves to go up to Bogus as much as she is able to. She enjoys contributing to JEMfriends by being Liberty’s assistant and helping her crunch the numbers.
RESIDENT ADVISER STAFF
- Josh Conner – Guys House Resident Adviser
- Naomi Miller – Girls House Resident Adviser
- Natalie Williams – Girls House Resident Adviser
Please refer to the Administrative Staff section to read Natalie’s and Naomi’s bios.