Our Staff

Leslie Bendjouya, Executive Director

Start date: Dec 2003

Leslie has a dozen years of social service experience as well as a bachelor's degree in women's studies from Portland State University. Leslie's core values revolve around harm reduction, self-determination, cultural sensitivity, community building, and grassroots organizing. A consummate communicator known for her broad vision and commitment to social justice, Leslie's fierce advocacy skills and people-centered approach help make her an effective and well-regarded worker.

Amber Barton, Assistant Director

Start date: 2004

Amber came on board with over ten years of relevant social service experience in the local community. She spent years assisting teen mothers to successfully get off public assistance. Amber's current passion is job developing. She assists clients in finding meaningful, long-term employment in their local community. Amber has paired her knowledge of EOE practices with innovative individualized techniques to assist clients in becoming capable assets to their employers.

Interesting fact: Amber owns five motorcycles.

Jean Rathfelder, Sign Language Specialist

Start date: December 2004

Jean graduated from Humbolt State University, California in 1982 with a Master's Degree in Psychology. Jean obtained a Certificate of Completion for American Sign Language (ASL) in 1986. Her professional experiences include ASL Interpreter, and Creator/Writer/Editor of a Business Association Newsletter.

Lena Royale, Independent Living Advocate

Lena graduated from Portland State University in 2006 with a BA in Women's Studies. Lena went on to complete a year of service with Americore before joining Bridges.

Interesting fact: Lena does math problems for fun...

Mia Bull, Independent Living Advocate

Start date: Dec 2008

Mia has a background in food service management and vocational training for persons with developmental disabilities. Patient and detail orientated Mia is reliable, persistent, and fun.

Interesting fact: Mia is a tattoo artist and makes her own tattoo guns.

Rachel Cooper, Independent Living Advocate

(coming soon!)