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
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
Brandi joined the O-I-See Team September 2021 with an Associate’s Degree in Human Services while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work completion December 2021. Her most recent therapeutic career position allowed her to gain experience with communicating with all different ages. This position also helped her connect patients with various mental health resources. She is looking forward to her role as a Youth Support Specialist in order to support children’s mental and emotional health.
Brandi has always had a passion for working with children. She believes it is one of the most rewarding feelings to be part of why a child is able to smile. Her professional experience has allowed her to be witness to various stages of a child’s life, all while helping create a positive pathway for his or her future. She believes that everything happens for a reason and that her life purpose is to make a difference in children’s lives.
Outside of work, Brandi enjoys going to state parks, clothes shopping, spending time with friends and family, and sometimes just relaxing watching TV shows. We are so excited for Brandi to join our team- her smile can warm any heart and we hope it does yours too!
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.
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.
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.
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.