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
Jenny received her Masters of Educational Psychology with an emphasis in School Counseling in 2010, and pursued helping outside the school systems, full-time, through O-I-See Youth Strategies. She has extended her education through the American School Counselor’s Association, Wisconsin Counselor’s Association, Suicide workshops, and much more. She achieved her 2015 goal of officially incorporating a Non Profit called O-I-See Family Strategies, and her future goals include expansion of helping more youth through O-I-See Family Strategies.
Jenny passion for excellence and compassion for people is dedicated to making sure families and kids receive nothing less than the best. With pressures on youth, families, state systems, and educators more than ever, it is her goal to be the strongest advocate for parents and children while collaborating with the ever changing support systems. 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 creative and safe space for them to try their own ideas.
In her own time, Jenny enjoys spending time with her family that includes a husband, two teenagers and a cat named Skylar. She also loves to tinker in the O-I-See Youth House gardens, traveling with her family, and loves to connect with nature via hiking or kayaking. She remembers one of her favorite work moments to be when a youth once said, “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
Jonathan "John" Schultz
John joined the OISYS team June of 2015 and became the OISYS General Manager in June of 2017. He brings his teaching experience and a Bachelor’s Degree to the team’s list of expertise. After college, he spent two years working with Americorps to facilitate/provide volunteering, tutoring, and mentoring for youth in Western Wisconsin. He learned from this experience that every challenge has a solution, and every obstacle is a growth opportunity.
John has found that his hobbies and perspectives have allowed him to meet children and young adults where they are, and form a quick bond based on shared interests. John is a great lover of board games, video games, as well as competitive card games. He uses this knowledge and passion to interact with kids, and help them to find groups with similar interests. John also enjoys most major sports, including but not limited to: football, soccer, baseball, and basketball. John recognizes that sports are a great way to connect to the community in an active and positive group setting.
When he isn’t out and about exploring his own corner of the world, John can usually be found listening to music from a multitude of genres. John understands that music is a universal language, that everyone can relate to music in some capacity, and generally they enjoy sharing their favorite music with others. John finds that his eclectic musical preferences help him to create a quick connection with most of the kids that he works with.
Youth Coordinating Manager
Marisa joined the OISYS team as a Youth Coordinating Manager in July 2021. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016, and then spent the next four and half years working for a Community Based Services program helping youth and families. Marisa’s heart for youth and family advocacy grew immensely during her time in those programs. She learned that each individual has a unique story that deserves to be heard, and respected, while partnering with them to achieve their recovery goals.
Growing up in a big family, Marisa knew that she wanted a career that involved helping kids and initially thought about being a pediatrician. However, as she took more Psychology courses, she figured out she was more interested in learning about how our brains work and the strategies and therapies that are available to help people achieve their goals. In her experience with mentoring youth, she found that the best approaches were to listen non-judgmentally, allow time for trust, and incorporate humor when starting relationships.
In her free time, Marisa loves to read Sci-Fi novels, binge a good show, watch Marvel or Harry Potter movies, and spend time with her family (especially her three hilarious nephews). Marisa is a big fan of board and card games, getting crafty (thank you Pinterest), and spending time outdoors on a long walk or hike. Although Marisa would not describe herself as sporty, she is always down to try new activities and has found that she likes to recreationally play tennis, go rollerblading, or shoot hoops. Marisa strives to let youth explore and teach her about their interests and hobbies, and finds that is the best way to build a lasting connection.
Youth Support Specialists
O-I-See Youth Support Specialists have 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 Specialist
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 Specialist
Kaitlynn joined the OISYS team at the very end of May 2021. She recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice, with a double minor in Psychology and Family Studies. Kaitlynn came to OISYS from the Eau Claire Police Department where she was a Community Service Officer for the past three years. Her time with the Eau Claire Police Department gave her the opportunity to educate her community, advocate for individuals in need and grew her acceptance she has for others.
Kaitlynn knew from a very young age that she had a passion for helping children. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she often mentioned helping babies in the NICU. As she got older, she had developed a passion for Psychology, but also become intrigued by the work of Police Officers. Once Kaitlynn started college, she soon discovered that she had a big interest in helping children, youth and families in her community. Kaitlynn hopes to offer children, youth, and their family’s proper resources, support and education in order to help them live a deserving and fulfilling life.
When Kaitlynn isn’t at work, she is most likely spending time with her 3-year-old daughter and her mother. They love playing at parks, going to swimming pools, spending time with family and visiting bakeries, candy shops or ice cream parlors. Kaitlynn also has two crazy puppies that she enjoys, a 6-month-old Shih Tzu named Levi and a 3-year-old Boston Terrier named Hemi. Kaitlynn takes great pride in her daughter and is constantly working towards being the best mother she can be. Kaitlynn hopes to inspire, lead and support everyone she encounters in her life.
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.
Kierstin joined the OISYS team July of 2021 as an Administrative Assistant. 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.
While Tricia enjoys teaching adults she is passionate about helping youth reach their full potential. She enjoys getting to know young people and learning about who they are and what they are interested in. It is taking time to develop relationships that fosters success in all of us. She believes everyone can be successful and hopes to help wherever she can.
Her free time is spent with family, reading books, or enjoying the many beautiful state hiking trails at one of our state parks. Tricia is excited to be a part of the positive and supportive atmosphere at O-I-See and to help support the good work in any way she can. We are so happy to have her part of our team!
Conner joined the O-I-See Youth team June of 2018 as he pursues completion of his high school journey. His passion continues to be doing the best he can in all roles of his life: student, sports team leader, sports team member, son, brother, grand-son, and friend. He enjoys all aspects of playing and watching football and basketball, while spending time with friends all year round.
Conner dedicates most of his free time to helping family, spending time with friends, or being outside. Throughout the year, he also enjoys fishing, white tail hunting, and like most teenagers, playing video games. Conner also finds time to volunteer for various church programs, human service projects, and community events.
Conner thinks that no matter the situation, a child should be able to thrive while having the necessities to maintain a healthy lifestyle. He is an excellent example of integrity, work ethic, and empathy. We are very proud not only to have him part of our team, but we are also impressed with his dedication to be an example for all of humanity.
Logan joined the OISYS Team August of 2019 as he pursues completion of his high school degree. He spends his days going to school, playing sports such as football or basketball, and spending time with family and his two brothers.
Logan enjoys being active with various sports, spending time with friends, and going to the beach during the summer months. Like many teens, he also enjoys playing video games. He is known to be a great helper for various fundraisers along with helping in the community as well.
Logan thinks there is always a positive outcome as long as a person is open to encouraging and helpful guidance. He is an excellent example of openness to do what is right, strong work ethic, and curiosity. We are excited for him to be part of our team- not only because of his dedication, but also as an example for other youth at O-I-See Youth Strategies.
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.
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.