Meet The Team

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Jael KDLV Chambers; Associate Regional Director

Jael Chambers has had the honor and privilege of being the Philadelphia Young Life director for the last two years and has been involved in Young Life for 13 years.  Jael and Elise have been married for the last three years.  YoungLife has played a critical impact in Jael Chambers’ life while growing up in the West Coast.  He loves empowering youth in the city to see themselves in the Gospel story.

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Monica Horvath; Philadelphia YoungLives City Director
Monica Linde Horvath has been serving as the Director of YoungLives Philadelphia since October 2009 and provides leadership for the four clubs in Philadelphia.  A graduate of Covenant College, she holds a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in counseling, business and music. Prior to joining staff full-time Monica, was a mentor with  YoungLives in Philadelphia for four years. She possesses a deep heart for the city of Philadelphia and Jesus and a strong desire to work towards goals as well as lead and guide teen moms, leaders, mentors and committee members.
Mariette and Kevin Chao; City Administrator and Center City Area Director
Kevin and Mariette Chao moved to Philadelphia in the summer of 2017 from Greenwich, Connecticut where he was on staff with Young Life for 6 years. Fondly known as “Chao”, he was born and raised in Greenwich, where he grew up in a  Catholic household and first encountered the love of God. It was through Young Life that he began to see that his purpose in life was to love others the way Jesus did. He spent 6 years in Cincinnati, Ohio where he received a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati and worked for the Cincinnati Circus Company (ask him about it). Chao is passionate about sharing the love of Christ with everyone, listening to people’s stories, and helping people reach their fullest potential. He is excited to work alongside of churches, non-profits, recreation centers and other organizations to best serve and love adolescents in Center City.
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Theron Huff; Regional Trainer and UPenn College Director
I’ve been on staff for over 13 years full-time. Over the years that help start numerous young life club‘s working traditionally with high school students. Most recently in my move to Philadelphia five years ago I got to help start young life at a college level at temple and the university Pennsylvania. My connection with Young Life because I go back to 1986 and my dad started on our camp staff in Northern California. I was a volunteer leader during my time in Virginia. Currently, I thoroughly enjoy getting to engage college students who are skeptical about Christianity, Jesus, and religious institutions in general.
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Shanay Scott; Staff Associate III, Temple University
In my spiritual formation I had not been introduced to young life. My introduction to Young Life happened via my work with young life in the fall of 2016.  Over these two years I have gotten to learn the heart of the mission. I am very excited to work for an organization that allows me to be a vehicle  of radical grace and hospitality to college students at Temple university.
Maura Briscoe; YoungLives Administrator
Maura loves YoungLife and has been a part of the YoungLife community since she was a high school student growing up in Montgomery County. Maura briefly served as a leader in Montgomery County while attending Temple University. Maura graduated in May of 2018 with a Social Work degree and is currently enrolled at Villanova University pursuing a Masters in Counseling. Maura is excited to continue to her relationship with YoungLife as she is now working as an Area Office Assistant for YoungLives Philadelphia​.
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Drew Smith; West Philadelphia Part-time Staff
Andrew Smith is a native of Philadelphia, Pa and was educated in the Philadelphia Public School system. Andrew aka Drew gave his life to Jesus at the age of 16 and started serving as a youth leader in his local church, in addition to beginning his career/ministry as a recording artist, which led to many opportunities to present the gospel in a creative context. For the past 14yrs Drew has been invited to many churches, universities, and schools in and out of the city to perform music grounded in faith. Drew has also had the privilege of speaking in the Philadelphia and Delaware County School system to share his personal story; having been a teenage father himself; to encourage teen parents. In March of 2018 after performing in a concert called the bridge, an initiative/movement created by Drew and a few friends of his to help encourage cross-cultural worship and introduce the school to faith based hip hop and other styles of music created to offer hope, he met a young women, exchanging information after agreeing to perform for her students. It was this encounter that lead Andrew to serve for a month doing ministry with Young Life Camp at Lake Timberwolf in Michigan. During this time Drew learned of the ministry in Philadelphia and had the chance to meet with Jael Chambers after which the discussion began about how to involve Andrew with the team doing ministry in Philly. Upon completing his time at camp Drew reconnected with Jael and learned about a position opening in West Philadelphia. The position seemed like an answer to a prayer, offering the opportunity to pursue his passion to impact the youth of Philadelphia through gospel centered ministry. Drew continued to pray throughout the summer while building with Jael, meeting with the committee and learning more about the vision for Young Life in West Philadelphia. In the month of August Drew was officially offered the staff position in West Philadelphia and after praying accepted the role with excitement for the new journey and opportunity to impact the youth of this community. It is Drew’s hope to see the youth in this world, but, more specifically in the communities embedded in the city of Philadelphia, know Jesus in a real and tangible way. During his free time Drew loves spending time with his daughters, playing ball, paint-balling, channeling his inner foodie, creating music, and exploring museums.​
Iran Lopez; North Philadelphia Student Staff
"My name is Iran Lopez, I came from a different country with no idea or purpose but I started going to YoungLife club in my high school. Which was led by an Amazing person who’s name is Jael chambers and he told me about this glorious man name Jesus Christ. I gave my life to him and now years after graduating from high school I am back in the school leading the clubs and trying to do for the kids and what Jael did for me many years ago.​" -Iran Lopez
Zeek Matos; North Philadelphia Student Staff
​"I’ve been on staff for almost a year now. I am the head leader at Esperanza H.S located in North Philadelphia. I have been a part of YoungLife since Freshman year of high school 2012. It has been an amazing journey growing up in the city I love and giving back to the people in my neighborhood. YoungLife is allowing me to grow as an individual and as a mentor for the youth. I wouldn’t change this grand opportunity to serve the lord for anything!" - Zeek Matos
Erika Velez; YoungLives Student Staff
"I have been involved with YoungLives for about five years now and have been on staff for a little over two years. I am a product of YoungLives; I first became involved as teen mom and later had training to become a leader. I have a five year daughter. I've grown up in Philadelphia. Being from the inner city and a teen mom; I am happy to be able to connect with young moms on many levels. I am currently in college studying to be a Nurse Practitioner with the hopes of working with pregnant women. I am proud to be apart of the movement of introducing Christ to young moms and whom ever I encounter​." -Erika Velez

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