“I was a Peer Counselor long before I became an employee. Teen Lifeline completely changed my life’s trajectory and made me who I am today. I see that same change happen time and time again with our volunteers now and it’s amazing to see.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Fund Development Associate
ROLE | As fund development associate, Luis works with current and potential donors, parents, community partners, and other stakeholders to share the story of Teen Lifeline and its volunteers.
CONTACT FOR | Questions about gifts, events, third-party fundraisers, or making in-kind donations.
EXPERIENCE | At age 16, Luis became a Teen Lifeline hotline volunteer, answering calls and texts and helping at events for seven years. He joined Teen Lifeline as a fund development staff member in 2018.
EDUCATION | Brophy College Preparatory and Camelback High School in Phoenix
EVERYDAY LIFE | Luis enjoys hiking, cycling, spending time with friends, reading, and discovering new music. He relates to border collies because he’s loyal, protective, playful, and ready for adventure.
THE BIG 3 | Three words to describe Luis are: amicable, funny, and positive.
Caring Contacts Intake Specialist
“The best thing about working at Teen Lifeline is the positive environment and opportunity to learn and grow every day. The peer counselors inspire me with their ability to withstand adversity and help others do the same.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Caring Contacts Intake Specialist
ROLE | As Caring Contacts intake specialist, Jennifer works with Teen Lifeline’s peer counselors and interns to make contact through texts, phone calls, and packages to teens recently discharged from inpatient behavioral healthcare. She researches community resources and services, providing knowledge to Caring Contacts clients and low-level case management oversight for the Caring Contacts program.
CONTACT FOR | Questions regarding the Caring Contacts program, volunteer opportunities, and mental/behavioral health education.
EXPERIENCE | Interned at Teen Lifeline from August 2021 to March 2022, joining the staff immediately after as the Caring Contacts intake specialist. Prior to Teen Lifeline, Jennifer worked in behavioral health and education.
EDUCATION | Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona State University.
EVERYDAY LIFE | Jennifer enjoys working out and spending quality time with friends and family. She was a student athlete as a teen. If you asked her what animal she most relates to, she’d say a lioness because female lions are known to be independent, fierce, ambitious, and nurturing.
THE BIG 3 | Three words to describe Jennifer are: driven, considerate, and humble.
Executive Assistant & Accounting Inquiries
“Working for Teen Lifeline has taught me not to be fearful of asking tough questions of someone you think might be having thoughts of suicide.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Executive Assistant
ROLE | As executive assistant, Amanda is responsible for accounting, board relations, employee recruitment, and human resources activities.
CONTACT FOR | Career opportunities and questions related to billing.
EXPERIENCE | Nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, event planning, and administration. Amanda joined the Teen Lifeline team in 2009. She experienced the impact of suicide personally at only 13 years old when a friend died by suicide.
EDUCATION | Bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
EVERYDAY LIFE | Amanda loves to travel, camp, hike, and snuggle on the couch with her husband while watching a good movie. If she were an animal, she would be a cat because they are particular about who they want to be around but love their people unconditionally.
THE BIG 3 | Three words to describe Amanda are: genuine, loving, and silly.
“Teens bring fun, passion, and energy to everything they do. They are so smart and insightful, and they keep me in the loop with what’s hip.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Prevention Specialist
ROLE | As a prevention specialist, Mackenzie spends most of her time in schools educating students, staff, and parents about preventing teen suicide and how to access resources. She also supervises the Teen Lifeline hotline and helps train teen volunteers.
CONTACT FOR | Curriculum development and suicide prevention presentation materials.
EXPERIENCE | Worked at DOROT in New York and the Child Crisis Center and Everybody Matters in Arizona. She volunteered as a peer counselor at Teen Lifeline for three years during high school and college and rejoined Teen Lifeline as a staff member in 2019.
EDUCATION | Master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Arizona State University.
EVERYDAY LIFE | Mackenzie hikes, plays volleyball, and enjoys anything outdoors. Her favorite thing in the world is her dog Friday. In high school, she attended the Arizona School for the Performing Arts.
THE BIG 3 | Three words describing Mackenzie are: energetic, passionate, and fun.
“Everyone at Teen Lifeline is here because they want to help others. It’s a shared compassion that fosters an empathetic work environment. We’re people here, not numbers.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Communications Specialist
ROLE | As communications specialist, Elizabeth works to enhance public awareness of Teen Lifeline and its services.
CONTACT FOR | Social media and digital campaign content, partnerships, website updates, graphic design assets, and communications internships.
EXPERIENCE | Volunteered as a peer counselor at Teen Lifeline during high school. Since 2018, Elizabeth has built a strong digital communications program at Teen Lifeline, increasing social media reach and engagement.
EDUCATION | Bachelor of Science in marketing from Arizona State University & Barrett, The Honors College. She graduated from Skyline High School in Mesa.
EVERYDAY LIFE | Elizabeth enjoys creative writing, art, video games, and tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons. She spends her free time working on stories with her girlfriend and partner of many years. Their goal is to have their stories published as a book, comic, or graphic novel.
THE BIG 3 | Three words to describe Elizabeth are: creative, compassionate, and diligent.
As Teen Lifeline’s Clinical Director
ROLE | As clinical director, Nikki oversees the Teen Lifeline hotline and all clinical and regulatory issues regarding crisis intervention, suicide prevention education and volunteer training.
CONTACT FOR | News media interviews, trends, statistics, and grants.
EXPERIENCE | Nikki serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition. Nikki joined Teen Lifeline as a teen peer counselor during high school and later became a full-time staff member in 1994. She specializes in mental health, crisis intervention, suicide prevention and postvention, suicide prevention education, and adolescence.
EDUCATION | Master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University.
“When one call is the difference in a decision that cannot be undone, our community of donors and volunteers answer the call every time!
Every day I use my skills and knowledge to contribute to the sustainability of our communities. Working with teens helps to keep me in the moment!”
As Teen Lifeline’s Development Officer
ROLE | As development officer, Helain is Teen Lifeline’s “friendraising” enthusiast! She introduces community members, civic groups, and businesses all over Arizona to the imperative work Teen Lifeline carries out daily to improve and save lives.
CONTACT FOR | Sponsor and donor opportunities; questions about our mission, how to involve your group, or how your business could meaningfully support the work of our teen volunteers.
EXPERIENCE | Helain has worked with nonprofits for 15 years; 10 of those years were also within the behavioral health sphere. She joined the Teen Lifeline team in May 2022.
EDUCATION | Bachelor’s degrees in Public Health and Latin American History with a Minor in Spanish from University of Arizona. An Arizona native, she also attended high school in Tucson.
EVERYDAY LIFE | When not connecting supporters to a cause, Helain enjoys horseback riding, hiking, traveling, and “chillaxing” in one of Arizona’s best rivers. In fact, she relates to horses as someone who can pivot on a dime even over the harshest of terrain.
THE BIG 3 | Three words to describe Helain are: persistent, animated, and creative.
Crisis Service Assistant
“I have been in the same hopeless place that most of our callers have been at. I started volunteering at Teen Lifeline when I was 17—I never heard of Teen Lifeline before and being able to see the progress Teen Lifeline has made is amazing. Now, I get to help teach teens skills that are important to helping other teens and themselves.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Crisis Service Assistant
ROLE | As crisis service assistant, Madison demonstrates the impact Teen Lifeline makes through data analysis and helps support staff with their tasks.
CONTACT FOR | Data reporting and community outreach material requests.
EXPERIENCE | Volunteered as a peer counselor from 2017 to February 2022, when she joined the staff as the crisis service associate. With five years’ experience as a peer counselor, she knows firsthand the issues teens face and what it’s like to be a teen volunteer.
EDUCATION | Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona State University. She graduated from Red Mountain High School in Mesa.
EVERYDAY LIFE | Madison enjoys playing video games, listening to podcasts and music, and going to concerts and conventions. With two cats of her own at home (Sushi and Mochi), she most relates to cats because she loves their independent personality.
THE BIG 3 | Three words to describe Madison are: nerdy, passionate, and understanding.
“Our teen peer counselors eventually go on to serve on nonprofit boards, work in health care and make a difference in their communities. Watching these teens grow throughout their time at Teen Lifeline is my greatest joy.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Executive Director
ROLE | As executive director, Michelle oversees all day-to-day operations, improving performance, developing organizational culture, reporting on revenue, and directing organizational strategy. She works with the Board of Directors, donors, stakeholders, staff, and volunteers to prevent teen suicide by enhancing resiliency in youth and fostering supportive communities.
CONTACT FOR | Compliance, finance, organizational strategy, board governance, and agency management.
EXPERIENCE | Involved in the research and creation of Teen Lifeline in 1986. Hired as the training and prevention specialist in 1988 and has been the Executive Director since 2000. Nearly all of Michelle’s more than 36-year career has focused on leading the movement to prevent teen suicide.
EDUCATION | Master’s degree in professional psychology with an emphasis in adolescent psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University.
EVERYDAY LIFE | Michelle and her husband Jeff love to travel, especially to see one of their favorite country bands. They have two grown sons. Michelle graduated from Tolleson Union High School and was involved in student government including Senior Class President and Flag line.
THE BIG 3 | Three words that describe Michelle are: maternal, compassionate, and dedicated.
“Teenagers have an incredible capacity for growth and change. We leave teens with skills they can actually use to help a friend and save someone’s life.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Prevention Coordinator
ROLE | As prevention coordinator, Morgan connects callers to the resources they need by overseeing the crisis hotline, training new volunteer peer counselors, and leading suicide prevention workshops for both teens and adults.
CONTACT FOR | Scheduling trainings, workshops, or community education. Also, contact Morgan about Mitch Warnock Act compliance, postvention services, and internship opportunities.
EXPERIENCE | Working with Serious Mental Illness, transition-aged youth, children and families experiencing poverty, and children and families experiencing behavioral health issues. Morgan is a trainer for SafeTALK, ASIST, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and More than Sad for Educators. She joined Teen Lifeline in 2015.
EDUCATION | Two master’s degrees from Arizona State University—one in social work and one in public administration—and a bachelor’s degree in human services from the University of Iowa.
EVERYDAY LIFE | Morgan grew up in a large family in Iowa but traded it all for warmer weather. She spends her time with her two rescue dogs, hiking, camping, and rooting for her favorite teams: Go Hawkeyes, Cubs, and Bears!
“My favorite part about working with teens is talking to them about the possibilities for the future and helping them find and establish their own unique identity. I love helping people who are struggling see the possibility for a better future.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Prevention Specialist
ROLE | As a prevention specialist, Hailey works closely with students, teachers, families, and community members to provide them with support, resources, and education on mental health and suicide prevention. She also supervises the hotline to provide support to both peer counselors and callers in need.
CONTACT FOR | Questions regarding the hotline, volunteer opportunities, suicide prevention, outreach, prevention, and mental health education.
EXPERIENCE | Interned at Teen Lifeline from January to August 2020, joining the staff shortly after as an on-call hotline supervisor. In August 2021, Hailey’s role turned full-time as a prevention specialist. Prior to Teen Lifeline, Hailey worked in behavioral health in schools and hospitals.
EDUCATION | Master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University and bachelor’s degree in psychology from Capella University. She graduated from Combs High School in San Tan Valley.
EVERYDAY LIFE | Hailey enjoys reading, watching movies, and weightlifting. She loves spending time with her large extended family and her loving dogs.
THE BIG 3 | Three words to describe Hailey are: compassionate, driven, and dependable.
“I honestly love working with my co-workers. They are such caring individuals, and you can tell they are passionate about what they do.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Administrative Assistant
ROLE | As an administrative assistant, Jaymee provides project support for the team members at Teen Lifeline.
EXPERIENCE | Working in departments that specialize in developmental disabilities, juveniles, alcohol and drug treatment, communicable diseases, and psychiatric crises. She first began working in the behavioral health field during her senior year of high school and joined Teen Lifeline in 2019.
EVERYDAY LIFE | Jaymee enjoys crafts like making earrings, photography, hiking, and exploring new places. She was the class clown in high school, getting along with anyone and everyone. She relates to butterflies because she adapts well to change.
THE BIG 3 | Three words or phrases that describe Jaymee are: different, funny, and extremely blunt.
Youth Services Associate
“My favorite part of working at Teen Lifeline is getting to know the volunteers and seeing them progress as peer counselors and individuals.”
As Teen Lifeline’s Youth Services Associate
ROLE | As youth services associate, Mark has supervised the training of hundreds of new volunteer peer counselors.
CONTACT FOR | Becoming a hotline volunteer or with questions about volunteer training.