MEET THE AMAZING
POWER UP TEAM
Kerri Isham, Founder
Hi, I’m Kerri Isham and I am a CHILD SAFETY CHAMPION! I believe that childhood should be a magical time in someone’s life…free of abuse and exploitation. For many children this has never been a reality. I’ve committed my life to changing that. How? By writing books, by offering workshops, and by teaching in public/private schools and in Indigenous communities.
I have always loved working with children and youth. In fact, I have been working with children since I was 11 years old. All of the jobs I have ever had focused solely on children: babysitting, special needs support worker, lifeguard/swimming instructor, day camp leader, teacher and now a certified sexual health educator. Throughout this time, I heard disclosures from children and youth. In my teens and early adult years, I had no idea where my career would take me. These experiences helped me to understand my life’s calling… to do whatever I could to keep children safer in this world. In 2009, I decided to leave a full-time teaching job, my pension and 100 sick days to show up in the best possible way for all children.
Today, I train social workers, early childhood educators, teachers, educational assistants, foster parents, parents, and grandparents raising grandchildren in three main areas: creating a culture of child protection, sexual health education for children & youth with special needs, and information regarding the long-term impacts of pornography. Why? It will take an entire community’s focus to create this change for our most precious resource - our children. Will you take this journey with me?
2021 Nanaimo Business Awards
Lee Kneisz, Business Manager
Hi, I’m Lee Kneisz and I’ve been an educator for more than 25 years. Over the years that Kerri and I have been together, I have witnessed her passion for helping children and families begin healthy conversations about bodies and safety. As a father of two young men, one with special needs, I recognize the importance of sexual health and consent education, especially for vulnerable young people. As we have worked together, I realized that I have a complementary skillset that can extend the reach of Kerri’s mission.
My love of technology, photography and the creative aspects of the business enables Kerri to share her outstanding content. I’m excited to partner with Kerri to manage web and video content, and juggle the behind-the-scenes logistics that help keep every business humming. My role allows me to help educate the world about a critical social topic, and I am thrilled to play a key role in our mission as Power Up Education.
Chelsea Oaten, Educator
Chelsea Oaten graduated from the Social Services program at Vancouver Island University in 2016. After graduation, Chelsea worked with adults who had sustained traumatic brain injuries, while continuing her work with Kerri as a personal assistant. She completed her Sexual Health Educator Certification in 2018. Chelsea continues to work with adults and youth with diverse abilities.
Chelsea is passionate about supporting individuals empowering themselves and others through ongoing education and advocacy. As a sexual health educator, Chelsea promotes and supports the right for all people to access comprehensive education and the ability to engage in healthy relationships with others and, most importantly, themselves
At Power Up Education we focus on collaboration and community. Any long-term, impactful change must involve “the village”, led by knowledgeable guides. Our decades of experience, coupled with evidence-based research, allows us to deliver cutting edge education to kids, parents, caregivers, teachers, and professionals. I’ve dedicated my entire life to the safety and empowerment of children, youth and adults.
I am fuelled by every small success and positive interaction. I am engaged with my local community and with the wider community of sexual health professionals.
When I’m not working, I’m reading about sexual health, taking a course, talking with other professionals and advocating for the delivery of quality sexual health education every step of the way.
Schedule an initial consultation.
Kerri has been an incredible resource for my family, our school district and local community. She has provided endless amounts of knowledge and support. Kerri is a passionate and knowledgeable facilitator. I feel better prepared as a parent and in my work with post-secondary students because of her teachings and support.
— Kelly Muir, Parent of 4 and VIU Employee