ElysiaElysia Kiyija
Program Director

“Of all the voices in the world telling kids they can’t, I am committed to finding the voice of a mentor to tell kids they CAN!”

Elysia started with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon in 2015 as an Enrollment and Match Specialist.  She is dedicated to bringing together adult volunteers (Bigs) and kids (Littles) in matches that will encourage the child to flourish and achieve.

Elysia is a graduate from Western Oregon University with a B.S. in Public Policy and Administration. When she isn’t in the office, she can often be found cross country skiing, camping, trying to get some sun or eating sushi whenever she can.

Jenna RandsJenna
Community Based Program Coordinator

Jenna started with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon in 2011 as the Match Support Specialist. She has built strong relationships with our matches, guiding them through many difficult and rewarding challenges.

Jenna has been matched with her Little since 2012. She is a graduate of Oregon State University with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Science. She can often be found enjoying the outdoors, playing with her new puppy Augustus, and spending quality time with loved ones.

rosie scarf (3)

Rosie Laurie
Site Based Program Coordinator 

Rosie attained her BA degree in American Studies and Social Sciences from Oregon State University-Cascades. Rosie developed a passion for contributing to her community and being an advocate for those who struggle to find their voice in her years serving as a student government leader for her University. While attending OSU-Cascades Rosie developed a profound relationship with her advisor and eventual Mentor. Due to her positive experience she works hard every day in the office to connect our youth with a mentor who is just right for them.

When Rosie is not trying to find the perfect mentor for every person who comes into our office she spends her time with her 7 year old daughter, her husband and family. Rosie spent her childhood growing up on the beaches of Puerto Rico where she learned to speak Spanish and found a love for the Latino Cultures.

Bridget Branson Albert

Bridget Branson Albert
Community Outreach Coordinator 

Bridget Branson Albert moved to beautiful Bend, Oregon from San Francisco in 2001 after receiving her undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University and her teaching credential from University of San Francisco.

She began working for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon in 2002 as the Office Manager/Volunteer Recruiter/ Event Coordinator. She greatly enjoyed her work with the organization but left in 2006 to be a stay-at-home mom to her two wonderful boys.

After relocating to Reno, Nevada for six years, she returned to Bend in 2016 and was ecstatic to rejoin the BBBSCO team as the Redmond Program Coordinator.

Although being a mother to her boys is her greatest passion, she greatly enjoys traveling, horseback riding, volunteering and Pilates. She has lived in Austria and Japan and also volunteered her time in a school for disabled children in Zambia, Africa.

Bridget was a Big Sister in the school-based program to a Little Brother and firmly believes in the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters. She feels all children should have the opportunity to have a mentor who will assist them to reach their ultimate potential.

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” – Steven Spielberg

Alex Penaloza

Alex Penaloza
Jefferson County Program Coordinator

My folks decided in 2005 to move up to Central Oregon with little to no expectation of what would come about. Once we settled in and began to see the beauty of Central Oregon, we fell in love with the diversity and opportunity for growth this community had. I attended Elementary, Middle and High school in Madras, Oregon; and easily found myself intrigued with the people that made our community shine. I became obsessed with volunteering my time to grow our community to its greatest potential. My senior year of high school, I was awarded both youth attorney and youth advocate of the year through the Jefferson County Prevention Task Force and Jefferson County Juvenile Peer Court. My life has forever been changed by the talented and gifted people we have here. They believed in me and called out gifts that I didn’t even know I had. I attended a private college in Portland, Oregon called Portland Bible College which helped shaped the person I am today. My time in Portland was an amazing experience, but coming back home has been one of the best decisions I’ve made; because my hearts greatest desire is to give back to the community that has given so much to me. I am beyond honored to fulfil this role and partner with you to help better the lives of our children and youth of Central Oregon.

Cora Ives

Cora Ives
Jesuit Volunteer

Cora grew up in Chicago and studied math and philosophy in Boston. In that time she studied Buddhism in Nepal, led meditation sessions, led a biweekly jam group, hosted a late- night radio show, and led a Kairos retreat. She is excited to swap coasts for a while and hopes to find a new home in Bend!

Cora Ives

Clarissa Hinshaw
AmeriCorp Volunteer

“Change is best made from the ground up. Our communities must work together first to give every child a chance at success.”

Clarissa Hinshaw is this year’s Americorps VISTA intern. She is coordinating with Jenna Rands for the the community-based program. Hinshaw hopes to make an impact on the program through making it a more welcoming environment for minority youth.

Hinshaw is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Psychology, including a minor in LGBT Studies. When not at work, she can be seen reading, traveling, or attending community events.