The Board


Vanessa Palestino- PRESIDENT
Originally born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, Vanessa developed a love for movement at a very young age. Deciding to take her first footsteps at 8 months old, playing a variance of sports and taking a particular interest in dance, her love for an active lifestyle was more than apparent. She made it her mission in life to share her passion for cultivating possibilities, goals, and life-happiness with others. She believes that best place to start is with our nation’s youth and that positive opportunities should always remain at their finger tips. "A young person cannot decide if they would like to be a world-renowned violinist, artist, politician, or a major league baseball player if they are robbed of the space to experience these different activities. Our hope in funding extracurriculars is that not only will these programs provide space for development, movement, engagement and positivity, but that doors will open to even greater opportunies like college scholarships and other possibilities."

Jennifer Weinhardt-
Jennifer has been passionate about nutrition and physical fitness since a young age when she was involved in volleyball, basketball, dance and softball. She enjoys inspiring motivated individuals to obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Jennifer strongly believes that a combination of good nutrition and physical fitness is the best way to achieve this lifestyle in her own life as well as in the lives of the people with whom she works. Jennifer also believes that she would not possess the passion today to inspire others if she had not had the opportunity to participate in such a wide variety of extracurricular activities as a child.

Heather has always had a passion for helping kids and adolescents. While growing up, she participated in many sports and extra curricular activities including dance, softball, volleyball, DECA, and FCCLA HERO.  Since then, she has had the opportunity to coach a middle school dance team and currently rides with two Bike MS teams.  Heather strongly believes that involvement in sports and extra curricular activities helps build many important qualities needed in our everyday lives; commitment, teamwork, responsibility, confidence, and a positive attitude, while keeping your mind and body healthy.  While Heather continues her academic career, her love for sports and her passion for working with kids keep her excited to be involved with Above & Beyond Children’s Foundation!

Jonathan Edington-  BOARD DIRECTOR
Jonathan has always been involved in extra- and co-curricular (and now recrational) activities.  While growing up, Jonathan participated in golf, baseball, band, choir and theatre.  Now, he stays active by playing recreational soccer and being an avid golfer and biker.  However, his arts background has motivated his career path.  Jonathan is currently an elementary/middle school vocal music and rock band teacher in Minneapolis.  In addition to teaching, he specializes in music and arts integration
 and continues to perform locally.  Jonathan believes that both arts and athletics help teach children the necessary discipline, teamwork, passion and dedication needed to succeed in life, while stimulating them to be successful academilcally.  Jonathan is excited to begin another journey by sharing his own passions and beliefs with The Above & Beyond Children's Foundation!