We bring hope and opportunity to teens experiencing foster care in Boise, Idaho and the Treasure Valley.

The Inspire Idaho Story

John Mitchell, Inspire Idaho founder and Executive Director

After pastoring for 25 years, God opened my eyes to the plight of foster kids through my daughter, Melissa. Her devotion to this under-served population helped me see how vulnerable they can be. Over time, it became clear to me and my wife, Debbie, that modern-day foster kids are the orphans God calls us to care for (James 1:27).

Our daughter, Jenna, and her husband, David were doing just that by fostering kids in their home. As we entered the foster care world with them, we began to grasp what life can be like for foster kids. Specifically, we saw how trauma and broken promises make many of these kids wonder if they are worthy of love or anything at all. Is it any wonder that so many of these beautiful, image-bearers of God struggle mightily as adults?

This fact broke our hearts and compelled us to act. Inspire Idaho allows us to engage these teens to affirm their value, offer them hope, and equip them to flourish. It provides a way for us to meet young people where they are, discover who they want to be, and help them create a roadmap to get there. We are honored to serve alongside our adult children and all who share our vision to change lives and transform generations, one young person at a time.

Inspire Idaho Values

Relationships

Trust-filled relationships are the flowerbed of life transformation. So, we help young people learn to receive and extend love by reflecting the One who made us for relationship with Him and one another.

Affirmation

We believe every person is God’s one-of-a-kind creation. So, we treat young people with dignity, celebrate their value, and invite them to do the same. 

Hope

We don’t believe a person’s history must define them. So we celebrate each one’s gifts and passions, encourage them to pursue their dreams, and point them to genuine hope in Christ.

Flourishing

We believe God made us to thrive. So, we help young people explore opportunities, develop skills, build relationships, and cultivate depth that help them flourish as God desires.

Meet the team

John Mitchell, Executive Director, Board Member

I am a follower of Jesus who has been happily married to my wife, Debbie, for 39 years. I love hanging out with her, our five daughters, one son, and seven grandkids. I enjoy skiing, golf, Audible books, and Grimaldi’s pepperoni pizza. I am an extrovert, people lover, and rabid Boise State football fan. I find great joy in pointing people to the One in whom we live, move, and have our being.

Annie Higgins, Board Member

I believe that God created all of mankind in His image so we might fill the earth with His glory by flourishing under His lordship. However, because we live in a broken world, many of us do not experience this flourishing as a reality. As a licensed professional counselor, I am passionate about pointing people to the source of all hope and healing in Christ. I’ve been married to my sweet husband, Anthony, for 20 years and in our free time we enjoy leading marriage enrichment retreats, camping, hiking, skiing, and enjoying all of the outdoor adventures Idaho has to offer! 

Andrew Seidlitz, Director of Operations

I grew up in Boise and after college in New Mexico, working in hotel management in Texas for two years, and spending two years doing missions, I was able to return to Idaho in 2021. I enjoy working on administrative tasks, creating systems to enable organizations work more efficiently and to help more people encounter the love of Jesus. I have been married to Anna for six years and we have a one-year-old daughter, Abigail. I am very adventurous and love to travel–I have visited 43 states and eight countries so far! I also enjoy spending time in the great outdoors camping, hiking, and backpacking.

Natalie Harrison, Teen Girls Coordinator

I am a lifelong Idahoan and nature lover, married to Ian, my amazing husband of two years. I enjoy exploring almost any art form, baking, reading, and getting outside for a walk or a run. I am fascinated by all things psychology and neurobiology! My desire for life is to display the love of my Savior to everyone around me, even if that’s just for a few minutes or a few years.

Bill Atkinson, Board Member

I came to Idaho in 1983 with the United States Air Force. After serving 4 years at Mountain Home AFB, I attended Boise State University and graduated in 1991. Presently, I am the owner and CEO of Apex Integrated Security Solutions in Boise. I have a passion to see lives transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I consider myself an apprentice of Jesus. Although I am an empty nester, I have two boys who I dearly love. I enjoy snow skiing, fly fishing, golfing, and mountain biking making Idaho a perfect home

Robert Byars, Board Member

I have lived in Idaho my entire life and am always looking for opportunities to help the community thrive. Although I went to Boise State University for mechanical engineering, I’ve found my passion in entrepreneurship and innovation. I enjoy time with family and friends, reading graphic novels/comics, listening to audiobooks, hiking, eating cookies, and looking wistfully into the distance while hoping I’ll get back into soccer, tennis, and skiing, and maybe pick up some gardening. I claim Jesus Christ as my Savior and trust that God can work through me despite my brokenness.

Jeff Jessee, Board Member, Treasurer

Disclaimer: This is Jeff’s wife, René, writing for Jeff because he abhors talking about himself. That should tell you a lot already about his humble character. Jeff enjoys reading the Bible and non-fiction books — sometimes two or three at any given time. He loves spending time with his family and also loves tacos! We have 5 kids and 1 grand baby. Jeff has a servant’s heart and is grateful to be part of Inspire Idaho.

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