Cherise Buikema

Youth Worker, Young Families Program

Cherise is a woman who believes in the life changing power of caring, long-term relationships. With a deep heart for young women, Cherise devotes her time at YU to mentorship, building relationships, and celebrating the moments of success—both great and small—with those she serves. Cherise is inspired by the magnificent achievements of these young women, who through support and dedication, are breaking generational cycles of poverty.

What drew Cherise most to the mission of Youth Unlimited was the organization’s commitment to longevity. She was encouraged by the dedication of the YU staff to sustain and preserve the meaningful relationships developed regardless of age. She found that, unlike other programs, YU offered support and partnership to individuals through many of the milestones of life.

Cherise thrives in the flexible and adaptive nature of YU’s mission and has made it her own. Whether she is driving girls to their appointments, making hospital visits, or simply meeting a friend in the park, Cherise
works hard to truly know the women she serves, to create lasting relationships and meaningful community.

In her free time, Cherise can be found outside; either hiking in the mountains or hanging out by the beach or pool, Cherise is always up for adventure.


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Every dollar makes a difference at YU. Thanks to low overhead and the maximization discounted and gifted vendor relationships, YU stretches each dollar to often double or triple its value.