Haley Wilcoxson is the O’Brate Foundation Program Advisor servicing scholars in Central Kansas since 2018. She was born and raised in Scott City. As a first generation student, she began at Garden City Community College, followed by a transfer to Fort Hays State University to complete a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology. Haley is also a proud veteran of the United States Army Reserve, serving from 2008-2016. While attending college, Haley had the opportunity be a work study student in the offices of Admissions and Financial Aid, respectively. By understanding of the inner workings of these two departments, she is able to help guide scholars through some of the intimidating processes on their academic path and provide reminders that ‘we’ve all been there and it will be ok!’. Teaching and encouraging students to have resilience through obstacles is a cardinal objective of hers that she hopes they will carry with them. Haley enjoys time with her family, reading and watching enough movies to be a dangerous opponent at trivia games.
One of Haley’s favorite quotes “You should never forget the power of example.” John Lejeune
Mandi Bunnell is the O’Brate Foundation Program Advisor servicing scholars in Eastern Kansas since 2016. Along with her welcoming presence, Mandi brings so many wonderful attributes to the foundation; some of which include her unparalleled compassion for others, lively sense of humor and her ability to find commonality with everyone. She was born and raised in Hiawatha and from there, she attended Highland Community College. Mandi then transferred to Kansas State University to complete a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Science. While she and her husband expanded their family and established themselves in careers, Mandi decided to peruse the ambitious road to complete a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas. She worked with the state home and community based services at Payroll Plus and then with Boys and Girls Club in Manhattan. She credits each part of her education and employment history to help prepare her with skills and experience to contribute to the position she now has with the O’Brate Foundation. Mandi and her family enjoy quality time together, cheering on the Wildcats each year and are active with a local 4-H Club.
One of Mandi’s favorite Quotes “Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Jayre Zimmerman is the O’Brate Foundation Program Advisor servicing scholars in Western Kansas since 2015. Jayre was born and raised in Elkhart and as a first generation student, she accepted a theater scholarship at Garden City Community College. She then transferred to Kansas State University to complete a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. After completing her degree, Jayre returned to Garden City Community College and worked in the Office of Admissions for 13 years. She has dedicated her entire professional career to assisting youth find their academic and career paths. The personalized mentorship she offers and her ability to help a student see their own potential is what shines about Jayre in her position at the O’Brate Foundation. She has a forward thinking mind that propels the foundation and our scholars to new heights each year. Jayre and her husband enjoy spending time with family, playing with their dog (Bodie) & cat (Percy), planning culinary adventures for their mouths and taking trips to the lake.
One of Jayre’s favorite quotes “You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic.” – Stephen C. Hogan