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YES! Team

YES! is driven by a very active and engaged board, many of whom have a personal connection to YOD. The YES! Team drives the push to raise awareness about the resources that YES! has to the community who needs them most.

 

KARIN ABMA

Director of Communications & Nonprofit Consultant

Karin Abma is a professional with experience in higher education and the nonprofit world. She is an independent contractor and consultant who has a wealth of experience in grant writing and management, online communication, program development, and supervision. With a former employer, Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic (CCMA), she managed an AmeriCorps VISTA federal national service grant worth approximately $1.5M. This grant allows 35 member campuses to recruit an AmeriCorps VISTA member to complete an anti-poverty project like a campus food pantry or a tutoring and mentoring after-school program. Her experience working with CCMA has given her insight into a small nonprofit doing many different things with a limited budget. Working with nonprofit social media presence, online newsletter, and website, Karin knows how important it is to communicate the idea and mission behind the organization through real people and real stories. After her father-in-law was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s in 2014, she experienced a steep learning curve in the needs and care required for both those with YOD and caregivers. She is excited to use her expertise to help grow YES! as an organization and to convey the YES! stories that are so impactful, whether for advocacy, fundraising, or in support of caregivers. She enjoys hiking, listening to a good investigative podcast, and playing roller derby. She lives in Frederick, MD with her family.

AUDRA MCSHANE

Marketing & Social Media Strategist

Throughout her life, Audra McShane’s mother was her rock. She taught Audra how to be a strong, independent woman. Three years ago, Audra’s life completely changed when her mom was diagnosed with moderate stage Early Onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 56. At that time, Audra was living her dream as a Golf Professional in Florida. Once the diagnosis was determined, she had to make a decision: stay in Florida or move home and help with her mom. She chose to move home. It was the right decision. Her step-father is her mom’s primary caregiver, but Audra spends two days a week relieving him and spending time with her mom. Audra first learned about YES! through a Facebook group and couldn’t believe that this group was in the region. She felt so alone and isolated and like no one truly understood the pain of watching a parent deteriorate. YES! was exactly what she needed. She was able to make personal connections right away and was eager to help provide the resources and support to others that she received. Erin and Audra have been working to grow the Social Media platform for YES! with the mission to reach those that might be feeling the same thing Audra felt. “If we can help just one person feel less alone, we have served our purpose,” Audra says.

ERIN MILLIKEN

Marketing & Social Media Strategist

Erin Milliken, an ambitious and gregarious young adult, was eager to find her niche in the world of youthfulness and independence. She had just planned a year off from college when her trajectory was profoundly impacted by the diagnosis of young onset Alzheimer’s disease given to her 52 year-old mother, Nancy. Erin is an incredible self-taught women. When faced with a challenge she takes action. Already generous in her outlook toward others, Erin sees a gap and goes into problem solving mode to address the perceived needs. So it’s not surprising that Erin moved in to her parent’s home to care for her mom for three years. Returning the care and love she had received from her mother was her natural response. Erin has a unique ability to rally people for a cause. Adam Jones, a well known player for Baltimore Orioles and his wife, were inspired to hold a fundraiser at their personal home after meeting Erin. The funds went to Erin’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s team, a fundraising event of Alzheimer’s Association. As a member of the YES! Board, Erin is emboldened by her experience to reach other young adults who are impacted by their parent’s diagnosis of young onset dementia. In her usual style she will listen to their stories, find the gaps and move into action.