About Y'all Rock Carbondale

about our organization

Y'all Rock Carbondale was started in 2014 as a way to offer young girls a way to express themselves through songwriting, musicianship, and camaraderie with other women and folks experiencing gender marginalization. Now in our eighth year we offer a one-week summer camp and a hybrid program/fundraiser Rock Roulette for adult women, trans, and gender non conforming folks.


Our summer camp is volunteer staffed by musicians, academics, and artists from the community. Campers experience small group instrument instruction, band practice sessions, workshops in arts, community empowerment, and self esteem, and locally-sourced, homegrown breakfast and lunch. Campers need zero musical experience. We provide instruments, instruction, and fun.


YRC is funded through community monetary and equipment donations and, importantly, tuition fees. Although full tuition is $300 per camper, we offer a sliding scale payment option ranging from $0.00 to $300. We ask that families consider what they can afford and contribute that amount. YRC will not turn any camper away for lack of funds, but we must receive a certain percentage of full tuition payments to cover camp expenses.

Board of Directors


Heather Smith

Heather Smith is a local artists and entrepreneur who has been part of Y'all Rock camp since it's inaugural year. She owns a small screen printing business called MerchOp and teaches a screen printing workshop to campers each year under the same name. 

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Ellen Esling

Ellen has been involved with Y'all Rock Carbondale since 2017, where she joined a Rock Roulette band and played drums for the first time. 

The opportunity was so magical, she has been involved ever since. She is passionate about building a world more inclusive and empowering for youth


Ayla Amadio

Bianca Cashman

Bianca Cashman (she/her) has called Southern Illinois home for over 10 years, and became involved with Y’all Rock Carbondale  four years ago. She loves counseling youth,  finding friends within her campers, and building long-lasting friendships even after camp is over. When she’s not doing Y’all Rock stuff, you’d be likely to find her cuddling one of her four cats, and reading her favorite books for the 1,000th time.


Anna Wonnell

I'm Anna Wonnell (she/her) and I am thrilled to be a part of the YRC Board.

I am a local artist based out of Carbondale and I specialize in painting and drawing. I am currently attending SIU for a degree in Special Education, and I am the Vice President of the SIU Student branch of the Council for Exceptional Children. This is my final year of SIU's Teacher Education Program, and I spend my days student teaching at Carbondale Middle School. I love dogs, and in my free time I enjoy painting, drawing, ceramics, gardening, hiking, and fishing. As a part of the Y'all Rock Carbondale Board, I hope to help with recruitment and inclusion of youth with disabilities. I am ready to learn from all of you and  be of service where I can.


Beth Gruny

Hi! I’m Ayla, my day job is as an anthropologist and research archaeologist at SIU-C. I am a member of several regional historical societies and local organizations. I am a dog person who also loves cats, and most other animals.

In my free time I like making art, hiking around the woods, learning local and biographical tales and folklore, and of course, LIVE music!! I joined the Y’all Rock board in the hopes of helping with marketing, community involvement, and recruitment. I also enjoy helping with grant writing and general fundraising.


Jane Doe

Namaskaram! I am a yoga practitioner and instructor, musician and writer, friend and mom. Exploring nature, feeding fellow humans, and making music are some of my biggest passions. It is with great hope for the future generation that I joined the YRC board and I look forward to serving my community and the young people of Southern Illinois the best way I can; with an open heart and mind.

Hello! My name is Beth. I go by she/her pronouns. I have lived in Carbondale my whole life and am proud to be a part of such a wonderful community. I work as the Admissions Assistant for the SIU School of Medicine PA Program. I am also a local photographer and It is one of my biggest passions.

I am very passionate about mental health and autism advocacy and inclusion as these are things that I have personally experienced in my life. I live with my wonderful fiance and our three pets, I enjoy houseplants, artistic expression, exploring nature, and making lasting friendships. I am looking forward to being a part of the Yall Rock Board and making a difference in our community.


Monica Brennan

Monica here (she/her) - for the past 8ish years I have lived in Brooklyn working in operations and facilities, most notably launching the first ever facility management program for women at my old company. Getting pretty tired of the *grind* I moved back to southern Illinois in July. I love cooking, tiki, powerlifting and going to new places. I am looking forward to getting to know you all and being able to help with the continual growth of this awesome program.

Carson Cates

Carson Cates (they/she) is local artist/organizer who stumbled into building Y’all Rock Carbondale almost 6 years ago. They call Southern Illinois home and have been building community in Carbondale for over a decade through DIY events and projects. They love working with both youth and adults and creating spaces. Their hobbies include loving and supporting their friends.


Lauren Stoelzle

Hi! My name is Lauren. I currently work at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois as the Teen Coordinator. I am beyond excited to join and be a part of the great group of people and the vision of Y’all Rock! 


I got my Masters at SIU in Mass Communications and am a Celia Howard Fellow. I have a passion for empowering both young and old to realize that their lives and stories are important. I believe Y’all Rock is exactly the place I need to be to help expand their vision and goals further within our community and I look forward to the growth of the group as well as the growth within me!


Erica Stearns

Hi everyone, it is lovely to “meet” all of you! My name is Erica (she/her) and I am excited to get to know each of you as we work together on the continued growth of Y’all Rock. I work as the southern Illinois rep for national disability advocacy nonprofit, The Arc, where I help families and people with disabilities find resources, services, and assistance throughout their lifespan. I consider myself a “master dabbler” of the arts; I enjoy just about every creative outlet from ceramics, sewing, fiber, sculpture, and (of course) music! I recently learned that I have a passion for woodworking and carpentry, but that it is all still very new to me.


Dena Huan

Hello! My name is Dena and I am a spiritual human being. I go by she/her pronouns and my passions in life revolve around music, movement, the outdoors, and cooking. I LOVE creating environments where people are able to be happy, let go, and grow. I spend as much time possible in nature: mushroom foraging, paddling, biking, gardening, or seeing live music. I am a Saluki Alumni (GO DAWGS!) with my masters in Recreation. I have spent majority of my professional career organizing events & festivals, leading wilderness expeditions, and managing a wide variety of programming in the community. I love working in a fast paced environment and thrive off of others energies.