Janessa Walters is a native of Iowa. She earned her bachelors degree in Criminology from the University of Northern Iowa and her graduate degree in Criminal Justice from Mount Mercy University. In learning about crime, its affects, and the reason that it takes place Janessa decided that prevention would be the best place for her to focus her efforts and talents. Janessa now holds her certificate in Dropout Prevention. Janessa has worked at both the elementary and high school levels. Janessa has been actively involved in initiatives to increase youth engagement and develop youth voice since college. Janessa has developed a multicultural leadership program that now serves youth at the high school and both middle schools in her school district. Throughout the years, Janessa has presented at youth and state conferences in Oregon, Nevada, Seattle, and Washington D.C. Janessa’s passion is increasing student engagement as early as possible through extra-curricular activities and programs to lessen disparate outcomes among low SES students and would be 1st generation college students.