Tasha felt drawn to stand up for the underdog from a very young age. Alcoholism, neglect, and verbal, mental and emotional abuse was a part of her childhood. Growing up, Tasha attempted to emotionally take care of the adults in her life to reduce chaos, in hopes to maintain an emotionally safe environment.
As she entered high school, feelings of rage started to boil up after years of not being allowed to have or express feelings in her home. By her sophomore year, she was engaging in binge drinking to numb her pain and anger. Talking things out at home was not an option, so many mornings, she drove to school with all of her belongings packed and unsure of where she would sleep that night.
Tasha started meeting with a counselor who genuinely supported her and encouraged her to pursue emancipation. Instead, she was sent by one of her parents to an “emotional growth” wilderness boot camp in Northern Idaho where she was forced to sleep in a teepee in the middle of winter. There, she found herself again surrounded by the same abuse. The camp was later discovered to be an abusive behavior modification program affiliated with the CEDU system that has since collapsed. After Tasha had returned, she struggled with PTSD, severe depression, and suicidal thoughts.
At age 19, after barely graduating from high school and moving out of her house, Tasha became a top realtor. She later received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Development and a Master’s Degree in Education. She has since managed many youth-serving organizations, developed youth-led coalitions, and organized community-wide campaigns. She recently founded a youth-led nonprofit agency in rural Oregon and within 18 months she authored and obtained nearly one million dollars in grant awards to help sustain all programming.
Today, Tasha finds great personal value in being a part of a movement which empowers young people to conquer through their hardships while learning to use their voice for the greater good. She believes that the “underdogs” have the most potential when they realize their inner power, strength, and purpose. She is thrilled to bring new tools and strategies that will help to grow existing programs and expand YMO's reach.
Tasha spends her free time hiking, biking and playing outdoors with her hubby, two kids, and her jolly labradoodle named Romeo.