Young Life in Salem, Glenvar &
North Roanoke

Who We Are

at a Glance


Young Life begins in the USA

In a town in Texas, at the request of his pastor, a young associate pastor named Jim Raybrun began showing young people how much God cares about them by showing up in their world and sharing the message of God's love through Jesus in ways and words they could understand and relate to.


Countries with Young Life staff and leaders

Today, Young Life is a global organization with local focus. You'll find Young Life leaders from diverse cultures, nationalities and backgrounds in over 100 countries around the world. ​

Two million

young people reached by Young Life staff and leaders

Whether it's in cities or villages, towns or tower blocks, in countries on every continent, Young Life leaders are working with over two million young people, right in their own neighborhoods.



Since 1941, Young Life leaders have walked with kids and earned the right to be heard in an exhausting and exciting world. In 2018, 348,000 kids were involved every week all around the world.

Meet our staff!

Our area has four full-time staff and two part-time staff.


Jeff Lakin

Area Director II

Jeff and Ashlee Lakin moved to Salem in 2007 to restart Young Life in the Salem and ​ the North Roanoke area. They have three boys; Nash, Kade, and Jett. Jeff has 30 years of ministry experience and also is an adjunct professor of theology. ​ He loves to read and dreams of fishing trips to the Wind River in Wyoming

Alex Puryear

Direct Ministry I

Alex grew up in Botetourt county where she was first introduced to Young Life in high school. Then, she became a YL leader at Roanoke College. At Roanoke, she met her now husband, Matt. Now, Alex is on full-time staff working primarily with Northside High School and middle school students.

Erin Jennings

Roanoke Valley Capernaum Director

​ Erin Jennings is our full-time Capernaum staff person who oversees Capernaum in our valley. Contact her with any questions about Capernaum! Her husband, Jack, teaches special education at Salem High School and they have two adorable kids named Cooper Emerson.

Hannah Hornback

Staff Associate I

Hannah is our full-time staff person at Glenvar High School and helps with leadership development at Roanoke College. She is from Ohio and went to college at Indiana Wesleyan University where she met her now husband, Trey. Hannah was on Young Life student staff while in college.

Trey Foster

Part Time Teacher Staff

Trey serves our community by being on teacher staff at Salem High School. Trey and his wife, Christie, have two young kids named Arlo and Daisy. Trey is an art teacher at Salem and loves being with high school kids every day!

Lindsay Ruch

Part Time Administration Assistant

Lindsay and her husband, Jeremy, moved to the Salem area in 2010. Lindsay helps with all the behind the scenes work in our area. They have two boys, Felix & Ramsey, who LOVE Young Life Leaders and LOVE going to Family Camp.

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