Jennifer Christensen

Program Producer, Utah Cares

Jennifer Steele Christensen produces Utah Cares for Utah Public Radio. A longtime journalist-turned-social-worker, she has written for newspapers and magazines throughout Utah, Las Vegas and Arizona, her work earning seven Utah Press Association awards. Jennifer has a master’s degree in social work from Utah State University and loves helping Utah’s nonprofit voices share their stories. She is the busy mother of five children.


Jan 2, 2013

Putting Families Back Together Again

Placing her daughter, Kim, in residential treatment at LifeLine for Youth was one of the most difficult decisions Chris Beazer has ever had to make as a parent. Today, she credits the program’s family-oriented approach with her daughter’s success in overcoming significant challenges with drugs and other destructive behaviors. Chris now serves as the organization’s Community Relations Director.

Enabling American Latino and Multicultural Youth to Achieve the American Dream and Attain Their Highest Potential

Based in Logan, Youth Discovery Inc. helps Latino, multicultural and low income students reach their full potential, providing mentorship and instruction centered on academic support, college preparation, cultural and identify development, service, leadership and employment. Krista Bustamante serves as the agency’s Director. Fernando Loya, a student body officer at Sky View High School, is a grateful program participant.

The Road Home

Dec 21, 2012

Helping People Step Out of Homelessness and Back Into Our Community

The largest homeless shelter in Utah, The Road Home houses more than 1,100 people a night during Utah’s cold winter months, including men, women, and families with children. Celeste Eggert serves as the agency’s Director of Development and Community Relations.

Utah’s Favorite Public Radio

A statewide service of Utah State University, Utah Public Radio can be heard on five full-power stations and 31 translators from Soda Springs, ID to Beaver Dam, AZ, providing award-winning Utah news and features, along with critically-acclaimed NPR programming. Having devoted his career to public broadcasting, Victor Hogstrom serves as UPR’s General Manager.


Supporting Families. Saving Lives.

The SADS Foundation was established 20 years ago, when a gene was discovered in SLC that causes Long QT, an electrical malfunction of the heart. Every year in the US alone, approximately 4,000 young people lose their lives to SADS-related conditions, all of which can be treated effectively with proper diagnosis and medication. Hoping to education the public about SADS and support families who are affected, Laura Wall serves as the organization’s Vice President of Development and Marketing.

Creating Leaders and Trailblazers from Elementary School through College

Latinos in Action provides Utah’s minority youth with opportunities to prepare for college, develop leadership skills through service and navigate a “system” that far too often leaves them behind. Dr. Jose Enriquez, the organization’s founder and CEO, is passionate about helping the students in his program not only personally succeed, but also mentor others.

Conserving Raptors and Our Shared Environment

HawkWatch International was established in 1986 to conduct scientific research, education and monitoring relative to the preservation of eagles, hawks, falcons and other raptors. Caroline Goldman is the organization’s Executive Director, with Nikki Wayment coordinating Education and Outreach.

Because They Need to Continue to Heal…

In April of the year 2000, Loydene Berg’s husband, Peter, was killed during a violent shooting rampage at a Chevy’s restaurant in Salt Lake City. In September 2012, their family home tragically burned to the ground. Organized by a dear friend, the Berg Home 3000 Club seeks to help Loydene and her children rebuild.

Helping School-aged Kids Grow in Spirit, Mind and Body

Located 14 miles east of Kamas on Mirror Lake Highway, YMCA Camp Roger’s residential summer camp welcomes children and teens from around the world. First a camper, then a camp counselor, Bettina Geise is now an enthusiastic camp parent and board member.

Offering Hope and Healing to Struggling Teens

West Ridge Academy in West Jordan is a residential treatment facility for struggling teens. Brianna, a former client, is grateful for the center’s role in changing her life for the better. Admissions specialist Lynn Smith is the parent of 10 children, one of whom is a West Ridge graduate.

Serving Utah’s Children in Foster Care by Finding, Educating, and Supporting Families to Care for Children of All Ages

After five years of marriage, Maureen Killila and her husband made the decision to become foster parents. Ultimately adopting two children who have enriched their lives immeasurably, they have become strong advocates for the Utah Foster Care Foundation.

Helping Those Who Need It Most and Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Providing critical social services to Middle Eastern refugees who have fled their war-torn countries, Salt Lake American Muslim helps immigrants find new opportunities in the Salt Lake Valley. Program facilitators like Shaymaa Al Dujaili help pave the way, serving as leaders within their respective ethnic communities.

One Wish, Inc.

Sep 25, 2012

Granting Wishes to Cache Valley Adults Who Are Facing Terminal Illness

Modeled after the Make-A-Wish foundation, One Wish, Inc. was established in 2011 to grant wishes to Cache Valley adults facing terminal illness. Cofounders Shellie Pardoe and Robyn Nelson oversee the organization’s  board.

Volunteers Building Hope by Building Homes

Habitat for Humanity of Utah County provides “a hand up” for families in need of affordable housing. Allison Fullmer’s family will move into their new home later this month, greatly benefiting her youngest son, who has chronic medical needs.

Leading the Nation in Addressing Child Abuse...”Where Small Voices Can Be Heard”

The Friends of the Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Center plays a critical role in raising funds to help shepherd child victims of crime through the legal system. Susanne Mitchell is the CJC’s program director.

Supporting Cache Cadets in their Civil Air Patrol Service

The Friends of Cache Cadets supports the Cache Valley Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol in funding leadership programming and training opportunities for youth. Shara Swan is the organization’s chair.

Developing Service-Learning and Leadership Opportunities to Help Faculty and Students Change the World

The Thayne Center for Service & Learning at Salt Lake Community College creates hands-on learning opportunities for faculty and students, with participants contributing over 135,000 community service hours each year. Sean Crossland serves as the center’s Community Partnerships Coordinator.

Empowering Youth through Multimedia

Spy Hop Productions empowers youth through multimedia, helping teenagers in metro Salt Lake City express themselves, find their voices and tell their stories. Instructor Adam Sherlock appreciates how Spy Hop’s “Sending Messages” program benefits incarcerated youth like “K.O.”

Love of Piano in Our World

Fourteen year-old Olivia Tedder is the beneficiary of a piano donated to her family by the Mundi Project. Program founder Hana Janatova is a first generation American whose parents immigrated from the Czech Republic, bringing with them and sharing the gift of music.

Utah’s Voice on Mental Illness

After learning of her son’s diagnosis with a mental illness, Tonya Edvalson found NAMI Utah on a Google search. Having benefited from the organization’s services, Tonya now offers support to others as a NAMI Basics instructor.

Bringing Healing Home

Once Logan Regional Hospital’s new catheter labs are fully operational, patients like Rod Meppen will no longer need to be transported outside of Cache Valley for heart surgery.  As chair of the Logan Regional Hospital Foundation, Pam Allen is working to raise critical project funding.

Logan Regional Hospital Foundation website

Teaching All Nationalities

Established in 1999, the English Language Center of Cache Valley has become a model for ESL programming throughout Northern Utah, serving over 1,000 students annually from 94 countries around the world. Ronda Kingsford is the Center’s co-director.

Resources and Support for Cache Valley’s Autism Community

As an advocate for autism awareness and the parent of an autistic child, Jill Drysdale’s efforts on her son’s behalf have been both difficult and rewarding. Now, Jill reaches out to others, coordinating the Cache Valley Autism Support Group and rallying for essential treatment services.

The Efforts of Many Can Change Everything . . .

The 5 Star Legacy Foundation is a “boots on the ground” organization, changing lives around the world through education, humanitarian service and charitable giving. Mark Comer is the foundation’s hands-on director.