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DeJesus Solutions’ mission is to improve programs and services for youth and young adults. For the past twenty years, DeJesus Solutions has engaged a wide variety of youth service stakeholders with impactful training and technical assistance. We provide innovative research, training, and assistance to policy organizations, employers, advocacy groups, foundations, community-based organizations, and educational institutions in three ways:


Research: DeJesus Solutions researches effective practices and policies associated with the provision of services for at-risk youth. Through qualitative and quantitative methods, we identify and disseminate information on how to best provide young adults with viable education, employment, and developmental opportunities.


Staff Training & Program Development: DeJesus Solutions provides youth organization with a program-specific analysis of strengths, weaknesses, needs, and limiting factors of development. We go beyond the standard by combining this assessment with impact-focused, results-driven, and strategic training programs. In this way, we not only offer youth organizations concrete and proven methods for improving on existing practices, but also provide the empowering mechanisms necessary for viable and lasting change.


Youth Engagement: At DeJesus Solutions, we have developed dynamic and impactful solutions to increase youth engagement and success, particularly in education and workforce development. Through training, seminars, and technical assistance, we provide key stakeholders, including the young people themselves, with culturally competent seminars designed to increase the efficacy and impact of any youth service engagement effort. DeJesus Solutions seminars have been described as both eye-opening and life-changing.

Some of our clients include:

The Annie E. Casey Foundation


U.S. Department of Labor

Mission Service Alliance

Catholic Charities

Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.

Santa Barbara Workforce Development Board

Compass Youth Collaborative

Seattle Housing Authority

The Work Group

Crispus Attucks

YouthBuild USA

National Association of Service and Conservation Corps

California Workforce Association

Baltimore Mayor's Office of Employment Development

DC Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services

San Diego Workforce Partnership

Southside Virginia Community College

-and many others



President and Chief Opportunity Officer


President and Chief Opportunity Officer



Trauma Informed Care Expert


Charles Dotson

Community Engagement Expert


Nikita Andester

Education Engagement Expert

Edward DeJesus

Edward DeJesus is the President of DeJesus Solutions. DeJesus and his team create policy and programmatic solutions to build future economic opportunities for the most marginalized youth and young adults. DeJesus is a W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Fellow and holds a M.S. in Management and Urban Policy Analysis from the New School for Social Research. He is the author of Making Connections Work and several other titles on youth success. His work has been featured on NPR and in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and The Miami Herald.

He has blended his love for reaching youth with a special ability to impact policy by conducting his research on effective programs that help youth acquire and maintain jobs. DeJesus served as a youth policy expert for the Sar Levitan Center for Youth Policy at Johns Hopkins University and served on the Taskforce on Employment Opportunities for young offenders for the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. He has also served as a consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the National Education Association.

Elizabeth Speck

Elizabeth Speck is the founder and principal of MindOpen Learning Strategies, a training, consulting, and coaching firm that helps people and organizations learn new ways to work in order to achieve social justice goals. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University and an M.A. in Drama Therapy from New York University. She uses her unique background to create transformative adult learning experiences that translate to measurable business results and social impact. Prior to founding MindOpen, Elizabeth led large-scale organizational and systemic change efforts as the Chief Learning Officer for the Workforce Professionals Training Institute in New York City, and as Senior Training Director for Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest victim assistance organization. Elizabeth’s doctoral research focused on the workforce entry and career advancement experiences of formerly incarcerated professionals.

Charles Dotson

Charles Dotson is a senior consultant with DeJesus Solutions. Charles combines his expertise as a former Federal Law Enforcement Officer, MST therapist, and director of programs for youth in minimum and maximum security juvenile detention facilities to provide youth service organizations with the skills and information to effectively transition all youth to achieve personal growth and improved chances of workforce success.

For the past decade, Charles has specialized in building Credible Messenger initiatives for a wide variety of youth justice systems and nonprofit organizations. Charles uses his experience in restorative justice, trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing, and his vast managerial experience to help youth service organizations build more effective systems to serve high-risk youth and young adults. Charles is a graduate from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a B.A. in African American Studies, and a Masters of Public Administration from Maris College. 

Nikita Andester

Nikita Andester combines her social work experience and curriculum development expertise to build inclusive approaches to engaging with students across diverse backgrounds, ages, and native languages. Nikita specializes in creating culturally competent educational programs based on movement, humor and group learning. With an M.A. in Professional Writing and a concentration in creative nonfiction, Nikita translates that love for making education engaging into activities and exercises that work for students of all learning styles and abilities. 

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The Official Thought Catalog from DeJesus Solutions

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