Mike has been a part of the Riverside family since 2011, coming on staff in 2016. Prior to his call to ministry, Mike was a French and math teacher for eight years. Mike is married to Autumn, and they have one daughter, Eloïse. Mike has a B.A. from Butler University in Middle/Secondary Education and he holds a ministry license in the Evangelical Covenant Church. Mike enjoys writing and recording music, as well as any opportunity to travel and have adventures with his family.
Brooke has worked as a student services professional and educator for over twelve years. In her work she focuses primarily on professional development, with an emphasis on career exploration and self-awareness exercises. She is devoted to helping students, supporting them along the way, and providing them with growth opportunities. She is also a professional writer of children’s and young adult literature!
Wendy and her husband and have two daughters who are actively involved in the youth group. One in the junior high, the other in senior high. They love seeing them grow in their faith and make new friends. Wendy is a registered nurse working part time in an Intensive Care Unit. She also hold a Bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal Communications. Wendy was actively involved in Cru while attending Purdue University from 1994-1999. After graduation, she was on staff with them for one year serving overseas. During that year of full time ministry she learned much about reaching out and working with college aged students. Wendy looks forward to getting to know the students better who are involved in youth group at Riverside.
Michael Lazzarini, Junior High Boys
Michael Lazzarini is an undergraduate student at Purdue University studying Elementary Education. Michael works at Greyhouse Coffee and Supply Co. during the academic year and is a counselor at Camp Tecumseh YMCA during the summer. Outside of his studies and work, Michael is a Wyldlife leader at Battle Ground Middle School with Greater Lafayette Younglife as well as a mentor with the Purdue Chapter of College Mentors for Kids. Michael also is the founder of Laps-for-Learning, an annual jog-a-thon fundraiser in partnership with the Purdue University College of Education Ambassadors which seeks to raise money for the Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club in Lafayette, IN. Excited to serve, Michael is eager to contribute to the culture and mission of Riverside Covenant Church.
Elizabeth Olsen, Junior High Girls
Elizabeth Olsen (sometimes called “Fizz”) hails from Kokomo, IN, but spent four years in Jackson, MS at Belhaven University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies with concentration in Youth and Children’s Ministry. In 2016, she moved four times and worked five different jobs- change is certainly something she has become accustomed to! One of her prayers for the past few years has concerned where she might live and work full-time, and God has directed her to Little Star Center, a center for kids with autism, where she works as an ABA Therapist. Her vocation, however, is as a kingdom builder- specifically through youth ministry. When she was in middle and high school, there were only men leading her church’s youth group, which was not bad, but she remembers wishing that there could be a woman there with whom she could talk and spend time. That being said, she is called to work with youth, and she wants to show up and be a resource, servant, and friend for your kids. Elizabeth enjoys building relationships, painting canvases, baking desserts, watching “Chuck” with her roommate, and drinking Cherry Coke. Something God has been teaching her is to always put her hope in Christ, and to surrender fear of any variety to Him. Elizabeth’s first experience at Riverside was in the summer of 2013 while she was working at Camp Tecumseh. She visited once or twice a summer from 2013 through 2016, and then began regularly attending in August of 2016. She is thankful for the way that the Riverside culture fosters relationships- up, in, and out!
Amanda Braun joined the Riverside community in early 2018, shortly after moving to West Lafayette with her husband, Ross, and their son, Louis. Ross works at Purdue in the Horticulture Department, and Amanda stays at home with just Louis for now, but Baby #2 will join them sometime around December 2. Before family life, Amanda worked with youth vocationally in the church setting (in Colorado) as well as the summer camp setting (in Kansas), and loved it so much she even earned a Master’s degree in Youth and Family Ministries from Denver Seminary. Youth ministry has been her passion for over a decade, so she’s very excited to jump in to volunteering with the Riverside youth. Amanda also enjoys sports (especially cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas Jayhawks!), walking, reading, music, traveling, and family time. You can usually find the Brauns attending first service.