To walk with, and ensure, each youth we serve is career, college, and life ready. Using a Youth-Centric approach, community supports, and fluid movements to align with their personal growth and goals. We will do whatever it takes – No Exceptions, No excuses.


Youth by Youth, House by House, Block by Block, building a stronger and sustainable future for all of us.


Mary Elsa

Program Specialist / Spanish Liaison

Mary is a Tepe Park resident, and mother of two Southside Stars. Prior to moving to Evansville, she grew up and was a preschool teacher in Mexico. She also spent many years training in a variety of dance.

She teaches Spanish class and Dance class, in addition to regular movements in both our evening and Educational Co-op.

She is an incredible asset to the growth of the SSYZ and our neighborhood!

Cathy Davidson

Founder/ Executive Networking and Media Consultant

15+ Years experience working with Disabled and Autistic youth. This includes resource identification and navigating various government systems, including school systems.

Currently a Resident Leader in Tepe Park Neighborhood and South Sector Vice President for UNOE. She is an advocate for our youth, families, neighborhood, and all our surrounding neighborhoods. Bringing us together to communicate, collaborate, and move us all forward!

Lisa Barnett

Founder/ Executive Director

Formerly a Critical Care RN and Educator, with experience in gang outreach. Currently a Resident Leader in Tepe Park and consultant for the Evansville Promise Zone, with a focus on Community Engagement, Housing, and Youth related aspects. 20+ years experience working with youth, specifically those in under-privileged areas and considered high-risk.

On Youth: “Our youth know where they want to go. It’s our job to ensure they have the right supports, opportunities, and resources to get there.”

On Community: “Attacking a problem from one side will only shift the problem. We are wrapping around the problems, to transform them into assets.”

SSYZ Board of Directors

(Coming Soon)