I have been in this industry for the last 12 years. I started as a job developer then became an independent contractor/ PSW. Working for myself proved to be a challenge. I knew I needed to expand if I wanted to continue providing quality services. Bridge City Mentors opened in early spring of 2016! Mentoring and advocacy has always been a passion of mine. To have the opportunity to teach others how to mentor and advocate for individuals and to provide the empowering services we do, is a lifelong dream. I am grateful everyday to be doing what I love, with people that I admire and respect. On my off time, I enjoy exploring the outdoors with my wife and two husky dogs. I love photography, gardening, and mixed media art.
Jodi Barasa – Operations Manager
I have lived in Oregon for over 20 years after moving from Chicago, IL. I graduated from PSU in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Film. My best times are had cooking and sharing a meal with people I love, dancing and singing along to my favorite songs, getting out into nature and full gut laughing on a daily basis. I believe everyone has the power to live their best lives if given the opportunity and am here to assist those who need a little encouragement and guidance.
If you have questions about billing, employment or general questions about our company, please contact Jodi at:
Nikki Harding – Lead Mentor
I live in Portland with my son, two cats, and two dogs. I am into gardening, cooking, and finding all of the secret swimming holes in Oregon. I adore being outside and exploring all nature has to offer. I am passionate about my community and find great fulfillment in empowering those around me.
For questions about Brokerage Services, please contact Nikki at:
Kai Webb – Lead Career Advocate
Job Developer/Job Coach
I have been with Bridge City Mentors since 2016 and it is an accomplishment that I am incredibly proud of. I was born and raised in the great PNW and it is an honor to be serving the community I grew up in! When I’m not looking for the perfect career for my clients; I am usually enjoying nature with my canine companion Lila. Her and I love the great outdoors and sometimes we find ways to bring nature inside with house plants! I am so grateful for the freedom my career has given me to explore communities all over Oregon and build relationships with people near and far. I have truly found my dream career and I want to help people do exactly the same thing. My passion for Job Development comes from the passion of others that I have worked with and watching them grow into the best version of themselves. If you’re looking for a purpose, to accomplish a career goal, or just find your next step in life; we can do that together. If you choose me as your job developer one of the things that I can commit to from the very beginning is that I will never give up until we find something that brings you exactly what you’re looking for.
For questions about Job Development or Job Coaching services, please contact Kai at:
Matt Ballew- Mentor
I have been living in Portland since 2020 (incredible time to move cross country) and have made it my mission to see as many waterfalls as possible. I consider myself a fun loving, good humored, and appropriately sassy individual who loves trying new food and activities. If you’re looking for a hype man, a non-judgmental supporter, or a good laugh you’ve come to the right place!
Christopher Ewing- Mentor
Hi, I’m Christopher. I fell in love with the landscape and climate of the PNW after visiting and moved here in 1989. I’m a tiny bit obsessed with mushrooms and foraging for them is one way i connect with the natural world and observe my environment outdoors. Outside of my work with BCM I am active in the local housing reform community. I don’t believe in putting people in boxes but rather celebrate the independent and diverse experiences that mean being human. I’m passionate about supporting people to break barriers and perform my work with a person centered and trauma informed approach. I absolutely love my role at BCM and if you decide you work with me, we will actively seek what living your best life means for you.
Beckie Knapp – Mentor/Job Coach
I was born and raised in Michigan but have been living in Portland since 2015. I fell in love with Oregon immediately! I love hiking, camping and going to the beach. But, when the weather calls for staying indoors I enjoy baking, reading and arts and crafts projects. I have always wanted to, and have enjoyed, helping people. I am extremely happy to be able to be apart of the BCM family! It is the most fulfilling job I have had and I would love nothing more than to help others achieve the same sense of fulfillment in whatever way that means for them.
Yai Lopez Perez – Job Developer/Job Coach
The biggest thing you should know is I started learning Spanish when I was young and English is my second language. American Sign Language I’ve learned along the way in high school. I’m also very personable and can’t stop but try to connect with anyone. I try to connect emotionally to understand someone, but I seek honesty to build relationships with people. I used to have a family business but slowly went to seek other employment. In every job I’ve had, I went from the bottom as an associate to manager in fast food and retail. With those experiences, it has helped me know what companies are looking for. I enjoy helping others succeed in their dreams and I’m not the type to give up.
Hannah Maple – Mentor/Job Coach
I moved to Portland from Oklahoma in 2019. In my free time, I’m usually snuggling with my cat, cooking meals for my partner and I, or camping in the spectacular PNW. I’m passionate about working in communities with a people-first perspective, and because of this I am proud to be a member of the Bridge City Mentors team!
Kelly Murrin – Mentor/Job Coach
Originally from the Chicagoland area, I graduated with a BA in English and Creative Writing, So I am passionate about words and love to talk. NO topics are off limits with me. Philosophy, spirituality, politics, life, love, or revolution. I enjoy movies and music and can’t get enough of either in my life. I have a dog and keep bees and chickens. I strive to use compassionate communication every day and believe in the full expression of all human beings. I try to be a stand for the best we can achieve in this lifetime and I know that we do that better together than alone. We all are perfect the way we are right now. And we can choose to celebrate that every day. I play Dungeons and Dragons like a champ. I love being a part of the Bridge City Mentor family because of how authentic this work is and how it helps me grow.
Kristina Schaffer – Job Developer/Job Coach
I’ve been an Oregonian since 1993, when I started at U of O studying foreign languages. The daughter of a German immigrant, a love of languages and travel was instilled in me at a young age. I love to immerse myself in other cultures and meet new people. I’m an extrovert to the core, and delight in making new friendships. I have a background in sales and procurement, and speak three languages- German, Spanish and English. In my off-time, my husband and I enjoy walks with our dog and cooking together.