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YWCA Ames at ISU Staff



Angela Merrick, Executive Director 


Angela grew up in Iowa City, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2006 and has a background in journalism and nonprofit management. She became the Executive Director of the YWCA Ames-ISU in August 2011. She is married and has three boys - an 11-year-old named Oliver, a 9-year-old named Hudson, and a 5-year-old named Liam. They also have a boxer named Rufus. Angela spends her free time attending her kids' activities, traveling, reading, camping, fishing, swimming and spending time with family.

You can reach Angela at:

Sydney Anderson, Financial/Office Assistant


Sydney is a current senior at Iowa State double majoring in Finance and Management. She moved to the Des Moines area a few years ago after growing up in the small town of New Hampton, Iowa. Sydney loves spending her free time outdoors, playing volleyball, and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeye’s Basketball Team. She is currently a member of the Chi Omega sorority and cannot wait to become more involved in the community of Ames!

You can reach Sydney at:

Isabelle Lein, GIRLS Power Mentoring Coordinator


Isabelle Lein is a junior at Iowa State University studying Biology on the Pre Med track with a minor in Spanish. In her free time, she loves to cook, lift weights, play board games and fish. This will be her third year with Girls Power and says it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her college career. Her favorite part of the program is getting to see the mentees open up to their mentors and witnessing the special bonds they form. 

You can reach Isabelle at:

Molly Boevers, GIRLS Power Mentoring Coordinator

Molly is a pre-dental student majoring in Kinesiology and Health. She is from Cedar Falls, Iowa. She likes being a part of Girls Power because she would have loved to be involved with something like this when she was younger. 


You can reach Molly at:

Elexis Burlage, CollegeBound Mentoring Coordinator


Elexis Burlage is a junior at Iowa State University majoring in Secondary Education, endorsing in Special Education and Reading. She is from Nevada, Iowa, just 15 minutes away from the University! In her free time, Elexis is also a part of the YSS Mentoring Program and has been for close to 4 years! She also babysits/nannies during the weekdays/weekends, loves to read any chance she can, and finds it important to also spend time with her friends and family. This is Elexis’s first year being a part of YWCA College Bound, beginning the year 2023, and she is beyond excited and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this program! What Elexis values most with this program is the chance to form connections/trusting relations with students from Ames High and Iowa State.


You can reach Elexis at:

Halle Nanninga, Global Outreach Coordinator


Halle is a graduate student in Architecture and Business at Iowa State. She is originally from Edmonton Alberta. She is passionate about creating welcoming environments and enjoys experiencing and learning about new cultures and new stories. In her free time, she finds joy in time spent with others, travelling, trying new fitness classes, and exploring creative projects.


You can reach Halle at:


Kristin Wankat, Campus Outreach Coordinator


Kristin is a freshman at Iowa State majoring in criminal justice with an additional minor in psychology. She is from Geneva, Illinois. She loves spending time with her family, friends, and her dogs, experiencing new things and traveling! She is passionate about creating a welcoming and judgement-free place for anyone to discuss real world issues and advocate against them.


You can reach Kristin at:

Zhi En Wong, Intern


Zhi En is a sophomore at Iowa State majoring in Supply Chain Management. She is from Apple Valley, Minnesota. She is passionate about increasing diversity especially in the workforce and getting to know new people. Outside of school she loves reading, playing badminton, and spending time with friends and family.


You can reach Zhi En at:


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