Meet the Team
We are passionate about helping youth succeed.
We are driven to help young people find their passion.
We are motivated by their success.
We are EMDC YouthForce.
Denise Smith, Youth Initiatives Program Manager
College and major: Saint Joseph's College, Bachelor of the Arts in English, Minor in Psychology, Communications. Concentration in Secondary Education
First Job/experience: Dunkin Donuts in Old Town. I was a terrible employee. My friends would come in and hang out in the booth at the end of the counter. I would hang out with them and provide them with free coffee and donuts.
Favorite Movie(s): Oh definitely Dirty Dancing. I went on to quasi-live out that movie when I worked at Point Sebago Golf & Beach RV Resort in Casco, ME in college. I waitressed and at night hung out on "staff hill." They had a weekly "Staff Show" that performed for the guests over the course of the summer. My future husband and I were in that show. We met there and have been married 17 years!
Favorite book(s): Favorite classic- Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte. Favorite mainstream novel, The Stand, by Stephen King
Favorite Band(s): Zach Brown Band, Sara Barellies
Favorite quote: "As you let your own light shine, you unconsciously allow others to do the same." Nelson Mandela
What you are most proud of/accomplishment: I have been married for 19 years and have 2 kids. My daughter, McKenna is 16 and my son, Kobe is 11. As I have gotten older I appreciate my happy marriage and my happy kids more and more. (Well, most of the time.) I also LOVE my job and I am very fortunate to be able to say that.
Any other interesting information about yourself: I have a small online art business. I love it! It is a great way for me to get my creative side out and the online community I work with is amazing. Selling my work has become so much more than a financial transaction--and art is very personal to people. I have been able to create relationships with the buyers and sellers, which is something I never expected from an online business.
Learn more about Denise's role at EMDC here.
Joyce Santerre, Career Advisor
College and major: Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Husson College
First Job/experience: Receptionist at H & R Block
Favorite Movie(s): Forrest Gump
Favorite book(s): The Bible
Favorite quote: From Winnie the Pooh - “A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.”
― A.A. Milne
What you are most proud of/accomplishment: Obtaining my college degree
Any other interesting information about yourself: I am so proud about having 4 children and 4 grandchildren. And I am so proud to be working with my Youth. Keep up the great work.
Tim Shaw, Youth Career Advisor
College and major: Boise State University, Bachelor of Arts in Education.
First Job/ experiences: Taco Bell in Defiance Ohio. I worked a lot of late nights and early mornings but the thought of eating a soft taco with nacho cheese still puts a smile on my face!
Favorite movie (s): Green Street Hooligans, Lord of the Rings (trilogy) Halloween, The Jerk, Full metal jacket, Twister, Frozen.
Favorite Books: Where the Red Fern grows and Misery.
Favorite band (s): Radiohead, Bad Religion, Vanna, A loss for Words, Thrice, Taking Back Sunday, Alexisonfire.
What are you most proud of/ accomplishments? I’m most proud of my family; I have a 4 yr old son Jaxon Fynn and I have been married for 7 years to my wife Melissa. We are also proud owners of Fringe Hair salon in Orono.
Any other interesting information about yourself? If you’re looking for a board game partner that requires a lot of useless knowledge than I’m your guy! From songs, to movies and strange American history I would make a great game partner.
Favorite quote: “Don’t tickle the lion when your head is in its mouth.”
Sam Giasson, Youth Career Advisor
College and Major: University of Maine at Farmington, Bachelor of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Services, concentration in human/social services and minor in Psychology.
First Job/experience: I was out raking blueberries at 12 years-old to help pay for my school clothes. It was hot and miserable but my parents told me it would “build character”. Years later, I can look back at that experience and think that it really did set the stage for my work ethic.
Favorite Movie(s): National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and anything directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Favorite Book(s): Game of Thrones series, The Lord of the Rings.
Favorite Band(s): I love anything from Paul Simon to Tool.
Most Proud of/accomplishment: Earning my degree and having a career in a field that I truly have a passion for – helping others.
Other interesting information: I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies.