about us: meet our team
Jay Paris, Director
Jay Paris, Director
Jay Paris's career in Human Services has been marked by innovation, including playing a key role in helping North American Family Institute develop cutting-edge programming in prevention and early intervention services. Six years ago he helped evolve the unique Youth & Police Initiative (YPI) into a community-based training that has changed the paradigm between thousands of police officers and inner city youth. Under his leadership, YPI became a corner stone of Youth Link, which continues to emerge as an exceptional and highly successful approach to reducing youth violence and gang involvement.
Dr. Jim Isenberg, Development and Marketing
Jim Isenberg, PhD, author of Police Leadership in a Democracy... A Conversation with America's Police Chiefs and thought-leader in the field of law enforcement whose work with North American Family Institute and Police Corps hatched the original youth and police training from which Youth Link's current programs have emerged. As an innovator and conflict resolution expert, he has played an invaluable role in expanding Youth Link into cities across the United States.
Paul Lewis, Director of Training
Paul Lewis has an extensive background in community development, teaching and training that has strongly shaped Youth Link's evolving work. As a master trainer and co-developer of YPI, he oversees the certification process for all of Youth Link's trainers. Paul has also been a catalyst and innovator of Youth Link's Leadership Academy while also bringing Youth Link to new cities.
Kristen Taylor, MSW, Director of Quality Assurance and Outcomes
Kristen Taylor came to Youth Link as a seasoned expert in evidence-based programming. With her clinical background and rich experience in evaluation and standards, she has helped define Youth Link's possibilities while also playing a key role in its growth throughout Connecticut. Also a master YPI and Youth Leadership Academy trainer, she is currently piloting new developments for Youth Link in public schools.
Matthew Swartz, Vocational Training and Development
Matthew Swartz has been a chef and restaurant owner in Boston whose passion to help teenagers has been instrumental in shaping Youth Link's vocational programs, particularly in the culinary arts. Among Matthew's innovations is Youth Link Catering, a profit-sharing business operated by graduates of Youth Link.
YPI Trainer Team
Youth Link has an expanding body of trainers who are certified to lead Youth & Police Initiative trainings. These part-time staff must pass complete rigorous coaching and internship phases, and then demonstrate an ability to facilitate moving and powerful communication between police officers and youth at-risk.