Meet the YWCA of Lincoln Staff
Karen Bell-Dancy, Executive Director
Karen Bell-Dancy serves as the Executive Director of the YWCA of Lincoln. This is a position she took after serving on the Board and Co-Chair of the Financial Development Committee. Bell-Dancy holds an Executive MBA in Management Degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Bloch School of Business and a Bachelor's in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University.
She has over 30 years of experience that consist mainly of higher education and all levels of work in public schools from elementary to high school. This includes 13 years working with UMKC's TRIO programs and six years as Director of Distance Education for UNL. She briefly left the public education sector to work for two years as Vice President of Diversity and Strategic Initiatives with a private female-owned consulting firm, LGC.
Bell-Dancy is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and has a passion for working and advocating for women, youth, and social justice issues. She is a firm believer of "lest we forget," which serves as a personal testimony and platform for her work.
Samantha Fankhauser, Finance Manager
Samantha Fankhauser serves as the Finance Manager of the YWCA Lincoln. She took this position in February 2018 after she was encouraged to apply Angela, the Program Director, after working together at a different agency.
She attended the College of St. Mary's and Southeast Community College to receive a Business Administration degree.
Samantha is originally from Kearney, NE, but moved to lincoln in 2005. Samantha has a super blended family and has always told her kids that they could be whatever they want to be. This, as well as working at the YWCA, puts her in the position to be a part of a society that will allow them to be whatever they want to be, no matter their color or sex.
Samantha is a firm believer in the quote, "Be the change that you want to see," meaning that we cannot expect the world to grow and change if we ourselves are not willing to grow and change.
Andrea RaGene Evans, Program Director of Youth Development
Andrea RaGene Evans has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Nebraska Wesleyan University and is an active alumnus. She is a single mother of 7 children; 4 boys & 3 girls. She is immersed in community action. She sees her community as a village. Andrea was raised that it takes a village to raise our children.
She has over 40 years of experience working with youth and families. She has worked as a Parent Connector with University Of Nebraska Lincoln, and
Nebraska Family Support. She has worked as a Youth Specialist with the Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster County, Lincoln in Park Middle School with the youth of all ages and grade levels. She has developed and adapted an Anti-Bullying Restorative Circle with 5th and 6th graders.
Miss Evans is highly respected as a community leader who continues to bring the community together with her Annual Mother’s Day Potluck Barbeque with a free raffle for all Mother’s (9 years strong). She has a speaker’s bio that is extensive. She has been asked to speak on various subjects that she is passionate about. Andrea’s passions are restorative practices, anti-bullying support, countering all forms of oppression of people of color, suicide prevention, foster parenting, and various types of circle keeping. Andrea is a community advocate and a member of the Women’s March Committee.
During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Andrea has teamed up with the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s Innovation Campus and distributed hundreds of N94 masks
and shields to essential workers in our village. She loves our village!
Angela Washington, TAB coordinator and Program Advocate for Project Restore
Angela Washington serves as the Program Director of the YWCA of Lincoln. This is a position she took after serving as the Take-A-Break Coordinator. Angela Washington holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a certificate completion of Leadership program from Union College, in Lincoln, NE. Three months after graduating, Angela was awarded the Governor’s award for the contributions she made towards helping raise awareness and implementing a food drive to help address homelessness in Lincoln, NE.
She has over ten years of experience working in Health and Human Service agencies. This includes working at a substance abuse agency, child-welfare, free medical clinic, and a homeless shelter. Angela is a certified facilitator in several evidence-based curriculums.
Angela Washington is a native of Denver, Colorado, and has a passion for educating and advocating for women, youth, and social justice issues. Angela is a firm believer of “ “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”- James Baldwin.
Barb Marion, AmeriCorps VISTA
Barb Marion serves as an AmeriCorps-VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) member to bring passion and perseverance to organizations that help eradicate poverty.
Barb graduated from Benson High School in Omaha, NE in 1990. She was part of the drama club, played soccer, and was in the 4-H club. Barb worked at the People's City Mission here in lincoln as a Family Shelter Supervisor. She also volunteered at the People City Medical Clinic as a dental assistant.
Barb is a firm believer in the quote, "Patience is a key element of success."- Bill Gates
Shelby Bingham, AmeriCorps-VISTA
Shelby serves as an AmeriCorps-VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) member at the YWCA Lincoln.
She graduated from Cherokee Washington High School in Cherokee, IA in 2012, and attended Iowa State University for Exercise Science. She then went to Kansas City Kansas Community College in Kansas City, Kansas for Exercise Science/Athletic Training. She is currently finishing up in the Nutrition and Health Sciences program on the Community Health and Wellness Track at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Shelby has worked with various non-profits since graduating high school mostly in the aquatics world. She developed numerous programs for people of many backgrounds as well as studied program development and evaluation at UNL to help improve communities and sustainability.
She is from Cherokee Iowa, a little town in northwest Iowa, and is passionate about improving family outcomes and eliminating disparities in society. Shelby believes everyone should be given equal opportunities to be great at whatever they want to be great at.
Shelby is s a firm believer in the quote, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” by Eleanor Roosevelt or Joe from the Princess Diaries.