East Van YU

The Team

Jordan Berrner

Jordan is the Coordinator of Work Life, and has been doing youth work for the last 4 years in different contexts and capacities. He is passionate about seeing youth grow into a fuller sense and understanding of their identities. He is deep into Work Life because it is an initiative that develops skills and assets implicit within the youth which are fostered and encouraged to grow in a work context. Living in the neighbourhood, Jordan is seeking to engage in a community of equality and acceptance despite addictions, ethnicity, economic status, and mental health concerns.

Charlotte Browning

Charlotte’s passion for youth is evident as soon as you meet her. She has been on staff with Youth Unlimited since 2008.  She directs our creative initiatives in East Vancouver through Creative Life. She will be using her passion and skill with art to help youth both discover and tell their stories. Charlotte is also part of a youth mentoring program where she is able to come along side and support young girls who are at-risk.

Laura Klassen

Laura Jane is the Project Coordinator of Creative Life. Laura Jane isn’t your regular Vancouverite. Although she grew up in the area, it wasn’t always that way. She is a Trinity Western University art graduate who has filled her life with her passions. From the time she was in daycare until today, she found her times of greatest solace and gratefulness, her confidence and her life-giving resourcefulness, through different mediums of art. She explored her cognitive artist penitent through experiences in Indiana, Guatemala and finally at Trinity Western. Always, she had a passionate eye for things that wouldn’t catch other’s attention.

Seeing what art can do for people, how it can bring joy and transformation into their world has further inspired Laura to want to reach out to local communities that often go unnoticed to others. Laura is compelled and committed to seeing the arts become a way for her community, these youth and her friends, to see their God-given worth and to help them be noticed in a positive way.

Laura Manca

Laura first got connected to Youth Unlimited through Lifeteams, a 9 month school of youth outreach. She knew after that time God wanted her to join the YU Staff. She provides leadership and support to Street Life, engaging street-involved youth in the Commercial Drive area. She also works in partnership with Genesis, an alternative school, and connects with youth in the DTES through the local drop-in center. Laura is a fantastic youth worker with a passion for young people who are hurting and on the margins.

Jennifer Penner

Jen hails from Youth Unlimited in Manitoba and jumped at the chance to work with East Van YU in April of 2013. Her love of working with urban youth at risk has given Jen the passion to be the Work Life Project Manager.  This project transitions youth from street culture to non-street culture through meaningful work, mentorship and workshops. During the intake process, Jen is deeply inspired by the hopes and dreams of these youth despite the many barriers in their lives. She believes they are a very real, alive group of individuals and finds it a great honor to walk, share, and grow with them in their journey towards a more meaningful life.