11 Dec YOC Welcomes New Staff Members

The Youth Opportunity Center recently hired two new staff members: Elizabeth Kester as Director of Customers Relations, and Paul Ward as Spiritual Life Coordinator.

Elizabeth Kester, of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, joins the YOC team with several years of experience in customer relations.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University in 2004. Upon graduation, she began her career as Donor Relations Manager at Christ’s Haven for Children and quickly climbed the ladder to become Director of Public Relations & Marketing for the company.

At the YOC, Elizabeth will be responsible for meeting with clients across Indiana in order to deepen relationships while also representing the YOC at various industry events.

“Elizabeth emerged from a very talented group of candidates as the best choice to represent the YOC and work with our clients. She brings experience and energy that will enhance our overall client service approach,” stated YOC Director of Alternative Programs, David Dickerson.


Paul Ward, of New Castle, Indiana joins the YOC with over ten years of experience in ministry. Paul graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Religion and Philosophy. Apart from school and his work in ministry, Paul was a medic in the United States Air Force Reserves from 2003 to 2015, where he was responsible for the training of over 1,000 individuals. During this time, Paul received many awards including, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, The National Defense Service Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the 932 ASTS Non-Commissioned Officer of the Quarter.

Upon entering this new role, Paul will be responsible for coordinating spiritual life activities for YOC residents. This would include setting the vision for the spiritual life department and planning events, such as bible studies and worship services, in concurrence with this vision.

“We’re excited to bring Paul on board. His passion for serving our kids is showing already; while he’s still in orientation he’s planning and sharing ideas for future events and growing our volunteer pool,” added Nathan Taylor, YOC Wellness Coordinator.