We are energetic and inspired, organized and driven, compassionate and caring. We’re committed to solving big problems together, honoring our community, and uniting with you to form a stronger whole.
Cheniqua has 7 years of experience in public policy, youth and education advocacy, and community organizing. Over her career, she has held several roles including being the Legislative Correspondent for the Office of Congressman Keith Ellison. Cheniqua became the youngest woman to be DFL-endorsed for State House in Minnesota House District 22B. She is a first-generation, TRIO college graduate with a B.S. in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities College of Education and Human Development.
Gabrielle’s work centers around being a facilitator and participant of growth, perspective shifts and intentional responses to political and social change to act as a bridge between community and schools. She has spent 15 years partnering with schools and organizations in Wayzata, Minnetonka, Medina, Orono, and most recently Minneapolis both in charter and district schools. She holds a Master’s in Education in Youth Development and Leadership and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Fine Arts and Youth Studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Susan has served in education as a mentor, educator, and coach for over 15 years in the Eden Prairie and Minneapolis Public Schools districts. Her passion is connecting people and providing unique spaces for youth to explore who they are, what they value, and where they see themselves now and in the future. Susan joined Link’s team in December of 2021 leading in family recruitment and engagement. She is the founder and owner of ItSpeaksArt, an independent company that creates customized print products and donates portions of the proceeds back to the community.
Allison Wagstrom’s values are bravery, honesty, and perseverance. She developed these growing up in poverty and as a first-generation college student. She brings a deep set of operational experiences including financial, operations, human resources, development, and programming. Currently, she is the Director of Finance for Juxtaposition Arts. Previously, she served in leadership positions at Propel Nonprofits and MinnPost. After graduation from DePauw University, she taught fourth grade, in Houston, Texas, as a member of Teach for America. She loves her daughter, Minneapolis, First Avenue, biomimicry, community led solutions, and what we can learn from the oldest organisms on earth.
Deron Carrington is a graduate of St. Paul Public Schools, the University of Minnesota and Valparaiso School of Law. Currently Deron works with the Department of Human Services as a Senior Attorney in the Office of Inspector General in the Background Studies Division. Prior to working at DHS, Deron worked as an attorney at the Ramsey County Public Defender’s Office providing legal representation to those who were indigent and otherwise unable to secure legal services.
Ebyan has multifaceted experience in education, leadership, writing, and relationship building. Originally from Somalia, Ebyan has served as a board member at West Side Summit Charter School and a committee member for the St. Paul Library, Minnesota Home Visiting Coalition, and Council of Crime & Justice about the Somali Victimization Awareness Campaign. She has been a Program Coordinator and Parent Mentoring Manager for the Minnesota Literacy Council and now serves as the Education and Development Director for the Women Organizing Women Network.
Jinah is an accomplished human resources executive with expertise in business organizational culture, change management, talent development, and risk mitigation. Jinah is a strategic leader with strong communication skills and skills in building an engaged workforce. She has served as Chief HR Officer at Goodwill-Easter Seals of Minnesota, VP of HR at The SEED Partners LLC, and led in HR at DaVita and Lutheran Social Service of MN. Jinah has two adolescent children and brings her perspective as a professional and a parent to the board.
Margie Soran brings her organizational experience and passion for working with children and families to her work as an educator and community volunteer. Her education and career history was focused on music education where she was a secondary vocal music teacher and children’s choir director for 25 years. Margie has involved herself as a community volunteer, activist for children and families, and as a nonprofit board member. The current boards are: The Family Partnership, The Minneapolis Foundation, Dougherty Family College, KIPPMN and MNComeback. Margie is focused on strengthening organizations and finding solutions to increase effectiveness.
Mike Baur currently leads efforts within Amazon’s Education Technology team. Prior to this, Mike managed a portfolio of investments with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. His grantees included state, district, CMO, and vendor organizations that empower educators and students through the use of data. Before this, Mike was Managing Director at Academic Partnerships and led efforts to promote the utilization of technology in delivering universal and affordable access to higher education institutes around the world.
Sarah has served as a teacher in Roseville, Minnesota for over 20 years. A specialist in Cognitively Guided Instruction math pedagogy, Sarah now coaches other teachers while also serving as a teacher. Sarah was founder Brad White's cooperating teacher when he was a student teacher in Roseville 13 years ago and has continued to serve as an education mentor to Brad for many years.
Tobias is a graduate of Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of St. Thomas who plans to bring his experience in both settings to the board due to his passion for ending educational inequity and ensuring all students have world-class education opportunities. Tobias served as an intern with Congressman (now Attorney General) Keith Ellison, as well as at Thomson Reuters, JP Morgan Chase, and Stone Arch Capital. After serving as a portfolio manager with U.S. Bank, Tobias now serves as a project manager for 4mativ technologies, an innovative provider of K-12 transportation solutions in MN.
Tyler is a development executive with a deep passion for the education sector and a commitment to improving education opportunities for students in the most challenging circumstances. Experienced in school operations and finance, talent management, non-profit strategy and mergers, and school facility development and financing. Tyler current serves as a director with Level Field Partners and was the CBO for Bright Star Schools in LA. Tyler has also served in CBO roles with Minnesota charter schools and helped with facilities acquisition efforts.
View our schedule of board meetings & minutes here.