Gratitude, compassion, and a sense of community drive Jenifer Gursky’s personal and professional life. Inspired by the work and dedication of YWCA Helena, Jenifer became its Executive Director in March of 2019.
A daughter of two middle school teachers, Jen always knew she’d be working with people – no matter where her career path took her. She’s been a nanny, missionary, outdoor program director, policy advocate, policy maker, and a professional fundraiser among others. She graduated from The University of Montana with a B.A. degree in Political Science and a minor in International Development.
Jen deeply believes YWCA Helena’s advocacy-based and results-driven mission and seeks to lead, learn and focus energy on serving the community of Helena with a keen eye to restoring hope, building self-sufficiency, and encouraging happy, healthy lives. She and her husband enjoy political banter, road trips on backroads of Montana, and being parents to a lively toddler.
Erin originally began working with YWCA Helena as a volunteer in 2010. She was inspired by the positive opportunities and encouragement YWCA Helena was offering to women and children in the community and joined the staff as a case manager in January of 2011. She helped to pioneer the WINGS transitional housing program and provided support for the residents during the YWCA Helena building renovation.
In March 2016, she left YWCA Helena to pursue her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. Erin recently returned to the YWCA as the Counselor Intern and Licensed Eligible Addiction Counselor. She is thrilled to be a part of this amazing program once again!
MOLLY SEVERTSON, CFRE
Development & Communications Director
Molly Severtson has been a professional fundraiser for more than a decade for some of Montana’s most critical and successful nonprofits and she earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive credential in 2019. She is thrilled to have the chance to put her skills to work for the amazing work and mission of YWCA Helena.
She and her husband have three amazing daughters and two sassy cats.As a family, they enjoy spending time together, whether exploring our beautiful state, camping in state and national parks, lounging on their back patio, watching movies at home, taking ridiculously long road trips, or eating food from every type of cuisine they can find. Molly does her best to live in gratitude for all she has been blessed with, one day at a time.
Caterpillars Parenting Center Director
Jessie joined the YWCA team after an almost 10 year stretch in the field of Early Intervention, supporting the families of children with developmental disabilities and delays. She graduated from Montana State University-Northern with Bachelor's degrees in Communication and Community Service. She then received her Early Childhood Education certification through the University of Cincinnati.
Parents are their child's first and best teacher. Jessie's ambition has always been to support parents as they achieve their full potential in the role of teacher and caregiver. The Caterpillars Parenting Program, which she directs, provides a safe fun place for parents and their children to spend time together, exchange per parenting agreements, and learn new parenting strategies through the Circle of Security Parenting Curriculum. Caterpillars services are available to the women served through the YWCA Helena and are also available at no cost to the general public.
Jessie was born and raised in Havre, MT but is happy to call Helena her new home. She and her husband, Dick, have 2 beautiful children that keep them extremely busy. She loves watching baseball, playing with her dogs, swimming, reading, and sitting next to a good campfire with family and friends.
WINGS Case Manager/Residential Director
Salina is a Native Montanan. She has two beautiful teenage daughters and a husband. She graduated with honors from UM Helena with an Associates of Arts in Psychology in 2014 and a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from Carroll College in 2018.
Salina has worked many years in the human services field with her most recent case management work at Florence Crittenton and Lewis and Clark County Jail. Salina joined the YWCA as the Caterpillars Administrator in 2018 then transitioned to the WINGS Case Manager/HOME Unit Manager. She has a passion for helping individuals reach their highest potential and loves to spend time with her family, especially in the sunshine!
Peer Support/Case Manager
Rachel Deveraux serves as a peer support and case manager for the WINGS program at YWCA Helena.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Addictions Counselor
Cathryn English-Straub is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Addiction Counselor. Cathryn began her career in 1991 by attending a year long chemical dependency counselor training program with Serenity Lane in Eugene, OR. In 1996 Cathryn graduated from Smith College with a MSW and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has had a private practice in Helena, MT for the last 16 years. Cathryn has specific training in Circle of Security, Attachment/Bonding, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, dealing with chronic illness and addictions.
She is excited to be a part of YWCA Helena, having a passion for working with women and children. Specifically supporting women and children to find strength, resiliency and hope in their lives.
Cathryn enjoys spending time with family and friends. Beside helping others, Cathryn loves traveling, being in the outdoors, hiking, laughing and her awesome three-legged dog Copper.
Sharon has extensive financial experience in most aspects of the Non-Profit/Human Services Field.
Her background includes working for a large service oriented organization for 15 years, Casey Family for a short period, Director of Finance for Florence Crittenton for four years; returning to Intermountain for nine years. She has a degree in Business Education from Mankato State University. At one point in time she worked for a for-profit which brought her to the realization that the Human Services world is where she belongs.
Not only is it a pleasure to work among the people who serve our clients, but building relationships with both clients and providers has opened her eyes to so many needs. Sharon will most likely be the person who answers the phone when you call us, and the first person you see when knocking at our door.
Katie joined the YWCA Helena staff as a Parenting Advocate after six months as an intern. She graduated from Carroll College with Bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Sociology in May 2019.
Katie is passionate about helping others achieve stability and happiness and has always been particularly interested in programs that work to help women gain equality and success. The mission of YWCA Helena is something that Katie strongly identifies with, and she is stoked to be part of a program that is helping so many women from all over Montana.
Katie was born and raised in Corvallis, Montana, and loves to spend time in the outdoors. Her favorite activity is backpacking, and she loves strong coffee, making pottery, and her new dog Sam!
Sierra Hammond was born and raised in Helena. She completed her associate's degree at Helena College, and then graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Social Work and Addiction Studies.
Sierra has a passion for leadership and organizing in all aspects of life. She plans to attend graduate school to receive an MSW in order to continue helping those who need it most. Before joining YWCA Helena, Sierra was a Community Organizer with Montana Women Vote, a dance teacher, social media specialist, and a YAM (Youth Aware of Mental Health) assistant.
Outside of the office Sierra enjoys coffee, being a dog mom, and traveling.
Hannah serves as Program Support for the WINGS and Caterpillar Programs at YWCA Helena. Hannah graduated from the University of Mary in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, with minors in Psychology and Cultural Studies. She has experience working with children, teens, young adults, those in the prison system, and those experiencing homelessness. She loves being in the mountains and spending time with friends and family.
Hannah started with YWCA Helena as a Senior Intern under Erin McMahon in January 2020. Her time with YWCA Helena continued as she was hired to support the women in the WINGS and Caterpillar programs during the COVID-19 crisis. Her favorite thing about YWCA Helena is how much the staff and residents care for each other and support one another in their recovery.