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Our team is made up of a diverse group of business professionals and child care providers with a wide range of expertise and experiences. Together, we aim to provide responsive programs and services of the highest quality for the communities of Yamhill and Carlton.



As the Executive Director at YCTC, I bring a strong passion for community engagement, personal development, and fostering leadership skills in individuals of all ages. My family and I made the deliberate decision to relocate from Tigard to Yamhill in 2019, driven by our desire to instill the values of hard work and an appreciation for life's simple pleasures in our children.

We actively participate in local athletic programs, dedicating our time to coaching and attending high school and youth events. I firmly believe in the transformative power of extracurricular activities, as they instill a strong work ethic, promote goal achievement, encourage accountability and discipline, and foster a sense of pride in our children. These programs serve as a foundation for shaping future leaders, and I have dedicated countless hours to volunteering in order to support and enhance these initiatives.

At YCTC, I view every project as an opportunity for both our children and the community to learn and grow. I strongly believe that hands-on experiences contribute to personal and collective development. By providing learning opportunities within our organization, we not only nurture the potential of our children but also empower individuals within the community to embrace new challenges and acquire valuable skills.

In my role as the Executive Director, I am committed to fostering a culture of continuous learning, collaboration, and community engagement. I believe that by working together, we can make a positive impact on the lives of individuals and contribute to the overall growth and success of YCTC.




Bekki Jansen has been with YCTC since 2018. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Management at Portland State University in 2005, and brings her 18 years of experience in the accounting field to YCTC.

Ever since moving to Carlton with her husband and 3 kids in 2015, she had a strong desire to be involved in her community. Outside of work, she has also had a very active role with the Yamhill Carlton Elementary School PTO, most recently serving as the President for the past 3 years.

Bekki also has 3 young children who are all involved in YCTC programs, so much of her free time is spent either watching them participate or taking them to support other programs in the YC Community.

Bekki loves living in a small town and having such a close community, and believes that YCTC plays a big and important role in supporting our youth and community as a whole.

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Melanie was a Special Education Assistant for the Douglas County School District in Colorado for 3 years. Her husbands job brought her back to Yamhill County where she has been the Preschool Director as well as lead teacher for the 4 year old classes.  The 2023-24 school year will be her 4th year. 

She graduated from Yamhill-Carlton High School as well as her husband Todd and sons Devin and Cody.

Her hobbies are running, working in her garden, and spending time with her granddaughter Maisie.



Sophia’s passion for working with children started at an early age. During high school, she started working in various early childhood settings and fell in love with childcare. Sophia felt it was meant to be when she stumbled upon YCTC in May of 2021. After being hired Sophia found herself quickly filling into the roles needed in Tiger Academy and Learning for Life Preschool. While working as an assistant, she shortly after became qualified as Director and Teacher Lead. She continues to advance her knowledge in childhood development and is always coming up with new and exciting things for the children to engage in. Sophia knows that all children need a place where they can explore, learn, and feel at home. She believes that making close connections with the children in her care empowers the children to build a sense of belonging in their community. “I believe in cultivating an environment that welcomes children to learn hands-on and grow into the world’s next generation of confident leaders.” 


When she’s not working with our communities children she enjoys going on adventures with her family, partner Aaron and their two children Venna & Lumina. Sophia loves to make art of all kinds, play games, and enjoys being outdoors.


marina nelson

Marina has been a homemaker for the last 11 years. She joined the learning for life preschool team with her knowledge and experiences with her own family and surrounding friends.  The 2023-2024 school year will be Marina’s second year  being a 4 year old preschool assistant.  

My biggest joy in working at the Learning for Life preschool  is listening to the children’s stories as well as watching their faces light up when they have learned something new while they are exploring!


Marina enjoys spending quality time with her Husband Troy and their two kids Jocelyn and Liam. On her spare time she likes to work in the garden and go running.


Lajla Raske

Lajla joined the Learning for Life team and Tiger Academy with having the goal of working with kids and encouraging them in mind. Lajla has worked with preschool ages in the past for over three years. She finds joy in the little things that the preschool ages have to offer. Her favorite thing about working with preschoolers is the light they bring and their unique perspective of the world. 


What Lajla enjoys most about Tiger Academy is the students' love for learning new things and seeing all the ways they can be creative.


The 2023-24 school year will be her second year being a part of the Learning for Life Preschool and Tiger Academy team. 


Lajla graduated from Yamhill Carlton High School. She enjoys sports photography and providing action shots of athletes for the YC sports community in her free time. She also enjoys calligraphy, reading and digital design. 

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