Meet the People who give their heart to this cause
Youth Driven Space
Executive Director and Founder
My name is Courtney Osterfelt and I am the director of The Launch Pad. I have a bachelor’s degree in Education, a Master of Arts degree in Social Change and Community Development, and I have been working with teens for the past 13 years. I founded Women’s Empowerment Breakthrough, a non-profit educational organization for teenage girls in Yavapai County in 2003 and started working on developing The Launch Pad in 2011. I love working with teens because I remember my teenage years being particularly challenging and I want to support teens in becoming who they want to be. I also believe teens are powerful people who can inspire and create great change in our community and it is an honor to support them in realizing their own potential.
Deputy Director and Community Outreach Coordinator
My name is Laura Tully and I am the Deputy Director and Community Outreach Coordinator at The Launch Pad. I have a bachelor’s degree in Critical Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Social Justice and Human Rights with a focus on community organizing. I’ve been involved with The Launch Pad in many different capacities since its inception. I am originally from Iowa where I have a gaggle of nieces and nephews I adore. I am honored to serve the youth in Prescott through The Launch Pad Teen Center!
My name is Rachelle Newton. I was born and raised in Idaho and have lived in Prescott for the past 12 years. I am a graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. I come to The Launch Pad with a background in small business ownership and service with the Yavapai County Government. I am really excited to be part of The Launch Pad. I believe all things begin with our youth. I am incredibly excited to be working with the Prescott community to help advocate and provide a voice for our teens.
Project Launch Director
Hi, I’m Denise Herst and I have been the Director/Instructor for Project Launch (a workforce readiness and summer intern program) since 2017. I’m a native of Arizona and so is my husband. I earned my Executive MBA from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, and my Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix. My husband and I retired from Intel Corporation in 2016, and we have been enjoying Prescott full time ever since! I’m grateful to have found The Launch Pad Teen Center where I can help teens discover the secret sauce to success, from my 35-year work experience at Intel. I believe that each new day brings a new opportunity to “begin again”…..and achieve!
Program Coordinator, Teen Advisory Council
Hi, I’m McKenzie. I am from Northern Wisconsin. I’m a student at Prescott College. I’m currently studying Human Development with an emphasis in Adolescent Development along with a minor in Outdoor Programming and Administration. I love working with teens and being apart of The Launch Pad!
Howdy, my name is James Malek! I crawled out of a black box theater in Santa Rosa, California, newborn at the age of 19. Then, somehow, I managed to find myself attending Prescott College, with a cat and motorcycle, working at the Launch Pad only a few years later! I learned about the Launch Pad through a class offered by PC, and wanted to be as involved as possible as soon as I first entered the space! Day to day, I’m typically found trying to convince the Launch Pad teens to talk to me about Godzilla, or working diligently to teach them the all-important life-lesson that is juggling.
Also: my cat’s name is Reggie… In case you were wondering.
I grew up in Prescott and recently moved back with my wife (Brittany, also a Prescott native) and two girls, Noe and Daisy. I received my degree in Civil Engineering from Arizona State and now work locally here in Prescott. In my free time I enjoy playing with my kids, hiking with my wife, coaching youth sports, and playing any outdoor sport that my now 34 year old body will allow me to play, which let’s face it, is now horse shoes.
Co-Vice President, Prescott High School Student
Hello, my name is Annie Wilkinson. I have lived in Prescott, AZ for around 14 years, which is as far back as I can remember. I am currently a student at Prescott High School and part of the graduating class of 2021. Apart from The Launch Pad, I also love horseback, hanging out with friends, and wake surfing on Lake Powell. Being involved in The Launch Pad has not only been a catalyst for my growth as a person, it has also allowed me to help my peers and be part of strengthening my hometown.
I grew up in Prescott and moved back to the area in 2007 after college and beginning my career in Phoenix and Milwaukee. I currently reside here with my wife, Christen, and two girls. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University and an MBA from the University of Florida. I’m currently a commercial banker with Foothills Bank. In my free time I enjoy camping, four wheeling in my Jeep, watching sports, and spending time with my family.
Prescott has been my home for the past 11 years, and it is such a great place to call home! I have been working in the public schools here in Prescott for 10+ years as a counselor, and also just recently opened my private practice for counseling. My wonderful husband of 21 years and I have raised two amazing young adults. Jake is going to ASU this fall and Cassie will be a Senior at NAU. I look forward to being involved with the community’s youth as a board member of The Launch Pad. The empowering aspect of the programs is definitely aligned with my philosophy, especially to be proactive and ahead of the curve. I enjoy kayaking in the local lakes, golfing, hiking with our dog Indiana Jones (“Indy”), and hanging out with my family and friends.
I have lived in Arizona for over 20 years with Prescott being home for the last 5 years. My wife Wendy and two boys, Zakary and Marcus love Prescott. I received a Bachelors in Computer Information Systems from Devry University and a Masters in Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management. I held various leadership roles in the Information Technology industry for 15 years and then made a shift to more meaningful work. I now get to help people every day as a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. I spent 12 years as a Big Brother and over 8 years (and counting) coaching youth sports. I’m passionate about what The Launch Pad offers to youth in our community and excited for the planned growth to serve even more teens.
Co-Secretary, Prescott High School Student
Prescott High School Student
I’m Indy Dimaano-Simmons and I’m currently a student at Prescott High School. I have lived in Prescott all of my life and enjoy helping my community and school as much as possible. Being apart of The Launch Pad is a very exciting opportunity and I hope to plan and participate in many events an deactivates that change our city for the better. I know I will learn a lot these next few years and hope to bring more happiness in teens lives.
Tri City Prep Student
My name is Cassidy Leo and I am a high school student at Tri City Prep. My motto in life is “Plan for the future, live for the present.”, and I can confidently say that The Launch Pad does exactly that. I’ve seen how The Launch Pad provides a home for teens in the community while giving them access to resources for a fruitful future. I’m so grateful to be part of an organization that offers such a service, and I’m confident my experience with The Launch Pad will only help me grow as I progress in my own passions, those passions being Japanese language and business for all those who were curious.