O-I-See Youth’s Motto: “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -A.A. Milne
O-I-See Youth Strategies was established in 2011 driven by a need outside our school and supportive systems for children, families, and professionals. We offer support, guidance, and tutoring for youth (ages 4-18) and families in a safe and confidential setting. Our services are only offered in a one-to-one setting in order to truly discover the strengths, abilities, and gifts of every unique person. On occasion, we offer youth group settings and parent workshops on various K-12 emotional, social, and educational topics.
We believe ALL children can succeed in life. We also believe in evaluating how the history of a child’s journey has affected him/her verses viewing something as being “wrong” with the child. We do this by providing children with tools of awareness, positive choice, and options for building confidence. Families and professionals are able to celebrate the common goal with youth: children succeeding at home, at school, and in the surrounding community.
O-I-See Youth Management
O-I-See Youth Support Managers are the senior members of our staff that have a strong commitment to working with staff, families, and professionals in the community. This team-centered approach allows us to support, guide, and empower each other in a “doing” atmosphere. The end result: Team Members, families, and youth experience personal, emotional, and professional success.
Jennifer "Jenny" Nilssen
Guidance Counselor, Creator, Owner
Jennifer was inspired to create O-I-See Youth Strategies, in 2011, after a great deal of purposeful experience within the school systems. This experience included observing youth in various WI and MN school systems for a Master’s in School Counseling degree. Additionally, Jennifer also substituted in 5 different local school districts for a very clear purpose- how can she best help everyone, help a child, outside the school systems. Her desire to learn, and understand, now includes suicide workshops, various trauma workshops, a “mastery” in Reiki, Healing Touch Level 1, and simply being a mom to two teenagers. Jennifer wholeheartedly believes that one can acquire all the education in the world, but to be a true example for others, she believes she has to do the work on herself too. This list of personal experience is extensive for Jennifer as well.
Jennifer’s passion for excellence, and compassion for people, is dedicated to making sure O-I-See Youth provides the best support and guidance for youth to be successful. With pressures on youth, families, and educators more than ever, her goal remains the same as everyone’s- for every child to achieve his or her highest potential. She believes in abilities verses disabilities, and she is also very certain that children are the true experts on what will work best for them. Sometimes all we need to do is ask, allow space/time to listen, and a safe space for them to try their own ideas.
In her own time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband, two teenagers, a cat named Skylar, and dog named Boone. When time allows, she also loves to tinker in her flower gardens, being in nature, or read about the lives of various Rock Stars. Jennifer will easily share with you her favorite moments working with youth, through the O-I-See Youth lens. Her goal continues to turn every experience into a “gift”- even the hardest ones. A very special youth once told her, “Ms. Jenny is strict, but fair…and she cares.” Makes sense since she does everything from her heart, and it shows to every single person that comes to O-I-See Youth Strategies.
Jenny: “We must be the change we wish to see in the world. We are the leaders the world has been waiting for.” –Mahatma Gandhi
Kierstin joined the O-I-See Youth team in 2021 and graciously accepted the Assistant Manager position in 2022. She recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin- River Falls, with a Bachelors Degree of Science in Sociology. Before settling on this degree, she also considered becoming a teacher, or a Social Worker. She knew she wanted to help people, and she is eager to start her professional career helping youth and their families through O-I-See Youth Strategies.
Kierstin believes in the saying “it takes a village”. We as human beings are not meant to go about things on our own; we all need a support system to help us tackle life. Kierstin thinks that there is no one right way of doing things, and that there is something beneficial we can all take from any situation. She is open minded when it comes to the ways in which things are done and is willing to take whatever life brings to her.
Kierstin’s favorite thing in the world is taking naps on a pontoon out on the lake. If she had to describe the perfect day, it would be swimming and boating out on the lake on a mild summer day. She also enjoys reading and sitting around a bonfire. Kierstin is excited to meet and support all of the youth and their family members that she gets the pleasure of assisting by being part of this amazing organization.
Youth Support Professionals
O-I-See Youth Support Professionals have a genuine interest in working with youth, families, and the community. Our YSS team collaborates closely with parents while working with youth individually 4-10 times per month. Youth empowerment is nurtured through support, guidance, and teaching while much of the one-to-one is in a “doing” atmosphere.
Youth Support Manager
Sean joined the OISYS team March 2021 with many years of working with youth from a wide variety of backgrounds. Before joining the OISYS team, Sean worked with international high school students for a global education company out of Matteson, IL. His love of the outdoors shines through his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Northland College in Ashland, WI.
Sean’s passion is to make a positive impact in the lives of youth. He enjoys building relationships along with watching and facilitating growth. Sean believes that all youth have an amazing amount of potential and his goal is to tap into that potential for maximum success!
Sean is a lover of all things outdoors. He especially loves viewing wildlife, camping, and hiking. Sean is a Wisconsin sports fan with his favorite team being the Milwaukee Bucks. Sean also loves exploring and taking road trips. When it’s a rainy day, Sean loves to read and occasionally write.
Youth Support Professional
Devin joined the OISYS team in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Youth Development and a minor in English. He has experience with youth of all ages in churches, non-profits, and diverse poverty households. His experience not only extends from working with youth in these living arrangements, but he also has worked with youth classified as homeless.
Growing up brought unique challenges that have taught him to find joy in times of hardship, peace in times of chaos, and to be the strength for others who struggle to find strength in themselves. He shares how these challenges have made him a stronger individual, and helped him develop a heart for working with youth. This passion fueled his desire to pursue a Youth Development Degree and also being the first one in his family to complete a 4-year college degree.
Devin believes everyone has a passion for creating something. This could be anything from crocheting, building Legos, paper machete, or even computer programs. His desire to create resides in the culinary arts, sports, writing, video gaming, and learning how to fix things. The greatest thing he looks forward to at OISYS is watching youth grow while hoping to teach them something new as well.
Youth Support Professional
Dazzle joined the OISYS team February 2022 with a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Work. Dazzle has worked with youth in many different settings – working with youth in the church, training teens at the Nickelodeon Universe in Mall of America, working with youth as a Volunteer Coordinator through The Salvation Army, and helping out in their Childhood Development Center as well.
Dazzle’s passion to help kids thrive in their life comes from a place of lived experience. This experience has taken a great amount of effort to help her inner child, which was a victim, become the adult she is today, an overcomer of obstacles. She believes that kids can teach us a lot about ourselves and that they help us to see the wonder and magic they see in the world; the light in any darkness.
Dazzle enjoys video games as a way to bond with family, friends, and to meet different kinds of people all over the world. She also loves to read, make crochet dolls, play piano, play board games, sing, and spend time with her husband playing games, eating lots of food, and dissecting films. The greatest thing that Dazzle looks forward to at OISYS, is allowing space for kids to be kids and imparting them with skills and thoughts that they will take with them well into their years ahead.
Youth Support Professional
Ethan joined the OISYS team August 2022, with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Before that, he attended Sandhills Community College in Southern Pines, North Carolina and earned his Associates in Arts degree. Ethan has a love for volunteering, and believes that working in your community teaches you things about people that you can’t learn anywhere else.
Growing up around various non-profit organizations, Ethan saw that everybody has low points and high points in their lives, and that everyone has the ability to be the best version of themselves. After going through therapy himself, Ethan became interested in the process of helping other people achieve their goals, and this has led him to O-I-See Youth Strategies. Ethan plans to apply what he has learned to help each and every person realize that their goals are within reach.
Ethan enjoys the outdoors, reading, and playing video games. In his free time, Ethan plays French Horn or Bass Guitar to unwind. Ethan is a huge history “nerd”, and enjoys studying ancient Mediterranean civilizations, inspired by books of his childhood. He also enjoys cheering on various sports teams, such as the New Orleans Saints and the Durham Bulls, and performing arts organizations such as the Phantom Regiment.
O-I-See Youth Strategies’ “Helpers” make a vital contribution to our team’s work, families, and youth. Their duties range from maintaining the offices, organizing schedules, and saving the day by being hands on when someone needs something done right away. They are the team’s consistent grounding point for our #1 priority: Youth Success.
Lauren joined the O-I-See Youth Strategies’ Team, August of 2020, as she strives hard in a COVID pandemic world to finish High School. Her passion continues to grow with her maturity, but it continues to evolve and focus on one theme as a future career- helping others. “That is my passion in life at the current moment, though the type of career tends to change every now and then”.
In the midst of a world pandemic, and even during “normal times”, Lauren loves to spend her free time giving to her creative passions as well. She explores this through writing, drawing, finishing digital art, and reading/researching. Like many teenagers she likes to play video games, spend time with friends, and also quality time with her dog Boone and cat Skylar. Her future goals include volunteering at local pet shelters along within hospitals.
“I believe that, no matter what, people should have a chance at a healthy lifestyle, and be able to thrive in a happy and more optimistic environment. They should have a chance to express themselves and be truly happy, and feel like they should be able to be emotionally free from anything that might be weighing them down.” We are very proud to have Lauren join our team with her strong equality values and passions for all living things. She is a great example for many as she grows into her future career of helping in some way.
Levi joined the OISYS Team March of 2022 as he pursues completion of his high school diploma. He spends his life going to school, for the moment, playing sports and hanging out with friends and family.
Levi enjoys playing sports (like football and basketball), spending time with friends and family, and going camping whenever possible. Like many of his friends and people his age, he plays video games. But he is also known for being helpful when needed and asking to help if not asked.
Levi thinks that kids who need it, should get the positive help they deserve to help them grow and develop through their teenage and adult lives. That will take a lot of hard work and dedication from both parties to help the student succeed in their future life.
Levi’s Motto: Quote: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford
Have more questions? Call 715.441.4214 to schedule a FREE 30 minute consult with an OISYS professional today.
This will help determine whether OISYS is the best fit to help the individual youth reach the next level of knowledge. Maybe not a fit? We have a list of referral professionals that might be a better fit within your community.