FELPS Fellows 2015

Previous Fellows

2015 Fellows

  • Vedan Anthony-North
    Program Analyst, Vera Institute of Justice

    Vedan Anthony-North is a program analyst at the Vera Institute of Justice’s (Vera) Center on Sentencing and Corrections. Vera is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit center for justice policy and practice that combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety. Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections works with government leaders to advance criminal justice policies that promote fairness, protect public safety, and ensure that resources are used efficiently. As a program analyst, Vedan primarily assists with the Center’s Justice Reinvestment work in Oregon and Delaware as well as with projects related to Prison Rape Elimination Act implementation. She joined Vera in 2013 as center coordinator.


    Vedan became interested in improving justice systems after assisting with the Blackout Arts Collective’s Lyrics on Lockdown tour, a spoken word performance that visited prisons throughout the Northeast. She built on this experience by volunteering with Books through Bars, a collective that works to provide prisoners access to education by matching their requests with donated books.


    Prior to joining Vera, Vedan worked for Progressive Pupil, an organization dedicated to improving access to Africana studies through the use of digital media. She also interned with the International Rescue Committee’s Refugee Youth Summer Academy, helping recently-arrived refugee teenagers adjust to the New York City public school system.


    Vedan received her Bachelor’s degree in English from Barnard College in 2011. While at Barnard, Vedan worked as a resident assistant for three years. She studied abroad in Ghana through the School for International Training, where she completed an independent research project that looked at the intersections of American Black identity and Pan-African movements.


    Upon graduating, Vedan worked for the Experiment in International Living where she traveled back to Ghana to lead a group of U.S. high school students on a five-week summer program that focused on community service and experiential learning.


    In addition to her work, Vedan has a love of travel (even if it’s only exploring new neighborhoods within the five boroughs), books (her favorite book is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez), hockey (her favorite team is the New York Rangers), and vegetarian food.

  • Lydia Bowers
    Operations Director, Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network

    Lydia Bowers helps organizations run better. As the operations director, she builds and maintains the essential systems and procedures for the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, the nation’s largest public policy think tank. She wears many hats in this role but her recent projects included developing and maintaining the Campus Network’s contact management system and designing and leading a comprehensive evaluation of the organization’s program effectiveness. Lydia is also keeper of organizational culture, promoting a fun and collaborative work environment through feedback mechanisms and community building activities. She previously acted as the Campus Network’s deputy policy and program director developing and elevating student generated policy ideas. 


    Before joining the Campus Network as full-time staff member, Lydia was a 2012 graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies and a minor in Organizational Theory. At Mount Holyoke she served as director of the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network chapter which consecutively won Best New Chapter and Best Chapter in a network of over 100 chapters.  She was also a varsity swimmer and team captain, holding five team records, and was named a Mount Holyoke and Seven Sisters Scholar Athlete. As a senior she worked as an outreach associate for the National Priorities Project in Northampton, MA synthesizing complex federal budget data into engaging publications for the general public. She was named Who’s Who Among American University and College Students and was awarded one of Mount Holyoke’s highest student honors, the Student Leadership and Service Award in 2012.


    Lydia has worked on farms in both Italy and the United States and her policy interests include agriculture, food and land conservation, and feminist and women’s policy.  In addition, she is interested in adapting innovative start-up principles to nonprofit management to maximize use of limited resource and invest in the human capital of organizations. When not working Lydia can be found riding her Raleigh road bike around New York, cooking in her small Brooklyn kitchen, or recording and editing her family history podcast.

  • Rebecca Carlson
    Associate Director of Development, Uncommon Schools

    Rebecca Carlson is the associate director of development at Uncommon Schools, an organization that operates high performing charter schools in six regions throughout the Northeast. Rebecca is charged with raising the operating and capital need for 21 schools in New York City and several other regions by creating lasting partnerships with a diverse portfolio of local and national donors. She also works to create unique opportunities for donors to interact with students and staff at Uncommon Schools.


    Prior to working with Uncommon Schools, Rebecca worked as a corps member with Teach for America in a high-need, under-resourced urban environment in Charlotte, NC. In her second year of teaching, she was appointed department chair, and led a 12-person team of educators to increase learning in their classrooms by utilizing best practice classroom strategies. That year, Rebecca won a district award for emphasizing rigorous learning in the classroom. During her time with Teach for America, Rebecca also served as a consultant on “Corps Council” where she met monthly with the region’s executive team to reach solutions to benefit education in the Charlotte community. She was also selected as a “sponsored” corps member to maintain relationships with prominent donors in Charlotte.


    During the summer between her two years of teaching, Rebecca worked for the UN Development Program in the West Bank with a program designed to encourage healthy self-expression in Palestinian youth. Rebecca also conducted home visits to meet families and gain better understanding of educational needs in a refugee camp community.


    Rebecca graduated cum laude from American University with a BA in International Affairs, and a focus on development in the Middle East.  While at American, Rebecca was active in the Arabic Club, and studied abroad in Cairo, Egypt for six months. She considers it the highlight of her college career. During college, Rebecca had internships with several government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Peace Corps.


    In addition to her work, Rebecca is a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC, and a writing coach for the Posse Foundation. She is a voracious traveler, and enjoys learning to ask for directions in different languages. Rebecca is currently training for her first marathon, and can often be found playing soccer or flag football at various fields around NYC and continuing her search for the best beach on the East Coast. 

  • Benjamin (Ben) Cox
    Coordinator of the Microenterprise Project, Volunteers of Legal Service

    Benjamin (Ben) Cox is the coordinator of the Microenterprise Project at Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS), a nonprofit organization that helps low-income business owners’ access pro bono legal services. Through the project, Ben enables local entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses by connecting them with free legal services that they need to overcome legal obstacles. Ben is passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and is experienced at developing projects and partnerships that fulfill this goal.


    Prior to joining VOLS, Ben spent three years working in East and Central Africa, where he served as the founding project director of the Babson­Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center. In this capacity, Ben helped to develop local entrepreneurs in Rwanda and to strengthen the country’s overarching entrepreneurial ecosystem. One of his greatest achievements in Rwanda was leading the inaugural celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, catalyzing over twenty partners to reach over 10,000 participants through a wide array of events held throughout the country.


    Ben later spent a year working as an independent consultant in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he helped a number of private companies, international NGOs, and government agencies launch innovative development programs. Through this work, he gained experience in the fields of democracy and governance, education, agricultural development, and primary health care. In late 2013, Ben brought this perspective to New York City, where he strives to create positive social impact at a domestic level.


    An environmentalist at heart, Ben cemented his interest in public service during his time at Babson College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2010, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. While still a student, Ben participated in several socially motivated organizations and initiatives, including the Ashoka U Changemaker Campus program. He also co­founded the college’s first living/learning community dedicated to environmental sustainability, called The Green Tower.


    Ben is an avid traveler, outdoor enthusiast, and a lifelong soccer fan. His novice hiking abilities have most recently taken him through Colombia’s rain forest and to the top of Morocco’s tallest peak.  He looks forward to the day when he can step back aboard the MV Explorer, the vessel that took him and 800 other students around the world in the Fall 2008 rendition of Semester at Sea. Ben is happy to call Brooklyn home and is thoroughly enjoying his time in one of the world’s greatest cities.

  • Michael D'Agostino
    Events and Outreach Coordinator, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

    Michael D’Agostino is an events and outreach coordinator at the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP). A NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) bureau, the PCIP uses health information technology to improve chronic disease management in underserved neighborhoods. Michael engages the medical community with PCIP’s quality improvement initiatives through webinars, conferences, and open house events. He also has expertise in print and digital media communications.


    Six months after joining the DOHMH, Michael received PCIP’s “Be Passionate; Take Pride in What You Do” award to highlight his commitment to health communications and community engagement at a bureau-wide recognition ceremony. In spring 2013 he received a “Special Achievement Award” during his employment with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an environmental education and Latino outreach intern. Michael worked with diverse children and adults of all ages, teaching them about endangered species and the beauty and benefits of public lands.


    Michael’s public health interest ignited during his sophomore year of college. He volunteered at a medical clinic in Cuzco, Peru and realized rather than becoming a physician who can only treat one patient at a time, he could potentially have a greater impact by influencing policies affecting healthcare quality, services, and availability. Michael served as an environmental health intern the following summer at Nassau County Health Department, educating citizens about rabies prevention.


    Michael is driven by the prospect of improving health for at-risk communities and populations through novel education campaigns. He is also an ardent supporter of environmental sustainability and human rights, including those of LGBTQ individuals.


    Writing is Michael’s true passion. He strives to improve lives by helping others to better understand health topics. He is particularly interested in applying digital media, filmmaking, and written communications to the fields of medicine and public health.


    Michael is a University of Pittsburgh alumnus. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Film and a certificate in Professional Writing. He served for five semesters as an undergraduate teaching assistant and was twice awarded the chancellor’s undergraduate teaching fellowship for his innovative curriculum enrichment. Michael served as President of TriBeta: Biological Honor Society and Events Chairperson for Biology Club. Under his leadership, TriBeta fundraised hundreds of dollars for charities, including cancer research and cleft-lip surgeries abroad. Michael is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa: National Leadership Honor Society, Golden Key International Honour Society, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

  • Jahneille Edwards
    Press Secretary and Legislative Aide, New York City Council Member Donovan Richards

    Jahneille Edwards is the press secretary and legislative aide for New York City Council Member Donovan Richards, who represents the 31st City Council District. As the press secretary, Jahneille drafts correspondence on behalf of the office to news outlets, public and private organizations, city agencies, and other constituents. Her work also requires a comprehensive understanding of the legislative priorities for the council member, particularly as they relate to the Committee on Environmental Protection.


    Working for the New York City Council in legislative and press capacity has not only given Jahneille a unique opportunity to engage the community of Southeast Queens, but also it has allowed her to work with stakeholders on a statewide and national level.


    In 2011 Jahneille graduated from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College with a BA in Political Science. During her years at Hunter she became involved in a number of organizations and programs geared towards advocacy and social justice. Jahneille worked extensively with the Coalition of Concerned Medical Professionals, Welfare Rights Initiative, and the Public Service Scholar Program in conjunction with the Correctional Association of New York. While these organizations all had distinct and diverse focuses, her involvement with them affirmed the interconnectedness of access to health, education and other resources to build and maintain healthy individuals and communities. 


    In addition to being very involved at work, Jahneille is an active member or her faith community and a budding Knicks fan. She also enjoys laughing, baking, and cooking.

  • Kevin Finnegan
    Senior Program Coordinator, iMentor

    Kevin Finnegan is a senior program coordinator for iMentor at Frederick Douglass Academy-II. iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower students from low-income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions. iMentor partners with 16 public schools and engages approximately 3,500 mentor-mentee pairs in New York City while also supporting over 2,400 pairs through its nationwide partnership program.


    Entering his second year at iMentor, Kevin is excited to return to Frederick Douglass Academy-II as a senior program coordinator. In his role Kevin supports approximately 90 pairs of mentees and mentors and works closely with teachers and administrators to align the school’s existing curriculum with the iMentor program, which consists of weekly emails and monthly events. Working with 9th grade students his first year, Kevin looks forward to continue facilitating meaningful relationships between his 10th grade students and their mentors.  Kevin is also a certified college counselor through the Goddard Riverside Community Center Options Institute.


    Kevin has dedicated his professional career to advocating for students underserved by traditional education models.  Prior to iMentor, Kevin served as an AmeriCorps member for College Possible, a national nonprofit that makes college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. As a high school coach, Kevin oversaw students through the college process, from the beginning of students’ junior years to their transitions to college. In his second of two years of service, Kevin led a team of four AmeriCorps members at a high school in St. Paul, Minnesota while also working as an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) tutor, helping to prepare students for college readiness and success. He is proud to watch his former College Possible and AVID students succeed in college as rising sophomores.


    Kevin graduated from Macalester College in Minnesota with a BA in Political Science and Education Studies, and continues to serve as an ambassador for his alma mater. At Macalester he was captain of the football team for three years, studied European Politics in Copenhagen, Denmark, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, among other activities. He has interned for the Urban Education Program at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s College of Education and the Minnesota Internship Center Charter School. A native Chicagoan, in his free time Kevin enjoys exploring all that New York City has to offer, particularly sports, hip-hop, and food trucks.

  • Alana Gibson
    Administrative Coordinator, Food Bank For New York City

    Alana Gibson is the administrative coordinator at Food Bank For New York City (Food Bank), the city’s major hunger-relief organization and one of the country’s largest food banks. As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, Food Bank organizes food, information, and support for community survival and dignity, annually reaching over 1.5 million New Yorkers struggling with food insecurity.


    At Food Bank, Alana supports the programs and member services teams, which includes helping to provide over 900 member agencies with non-traditional anti-poverty resources like capacity support, compliance assurance, access to nutrition education, and of course, food distribution. This gives Alana the privilege of feeding both the bellies and spirits of New Yorkers in need. She also co-facilitates Open Market Backpack, a child nutrition program that provides meals on weekends and holidays to over 250 children.


    Alana holds a BA in English with a minor in Business Management from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.  At Guilford, Alana had the honor of being a Bonner Scholar, working for three years as a tutor and mentor to refugee and immigrant students at Glenhaven Community Center.  At Glenhaven, she developed innovative learning tools to promote inclusion, higher literacy rates, and conflict resolution.  Alana also published several news articles as a staff writer for the Guilfordian newspaper. In the spring of 2008, Alana attended the University of Cape Coast, in Ghana, West Africa where she interned as a broadcast journalist for Ghana Broadcasting Company, the country’s leading news outlet.


    In her free time, Alana enjoys volunteering at the annual New York City Wine and Food Festival, as well as finding new places to travel each year.

  • Reynold Graham
    Workforce Investment Board Coordinator, NYC Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development

    Reynold Graham serves as the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) coordinator within the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (WKDEV). Created in 2014, WKDEV works to ensure the city’s workforce development programs and policies meet the needs of businesses and support job seekers in successfully finding work in a twenty-first century economy. Within WKDEV, Reynold is responsible for all board functions of the WIB, which informs the policies and programs of the workforce investment system. He also supports WKDEV policy and strategy development. He is excited to be involved in the city’s role in tackling income inequality and ensuring every New Yorker has an opportunity to secure dignifying work for themselves and their families.


    Prior to joining the Mayor's Office, Reynold served as a New York City Urban Fellow with the Legal Affairs division of the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS). At DHS, he supported the agency’s response to sheltering displaced residents in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. He also supported the coordination of the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate, or HOPE Count, the city's annual street homeless survey.


    Reynold has also served as a summer associate with the Greenlining Institute, a racial and economic justice policy advocacy organization based in Berkeley, CA. There, he researched water policy and created recommendations to provide clean affordable water to low-income communities of color in California. His previous work experience also includes serving in the office of New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, researching health and education policy, and working as a program manager at Let's Get Ready, which connects low-income, first-generation students to mentoring and college preparation resources.


    Reynold holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Fordham University. While at Fordham, he was actively engaged in student life, holding leadership roles in Asili, Fordham’s Black Student Union, a number of student advisory bodies, and working with the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice. During his senior year, Reynold co-created the End the Silence campaign in response to incidents of racial and homophobic bias. The campaign launched a citywide media campaign which led to the creation of an online bias reporting system. Originally from Englewood, NJ, Reynold enjoys dancing and pretending to be a special guest on Who’s Line Is It Anyway?

  • William Huang
    Fund Development Associate, CSH

    William Huang is a fund development associate at CSH, a nonprofit working to advance housing as a platform for services in order to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people, maximize public resources, and build healthy communities. As part of the development team, William is responsible for foundation, corporate, and government grant writing and funder stewardship for seven national CSH teams. Among his responsibilities, William coordinates the grants management process by pitching, drafting, editing, and submitting letters of inquiry, full proposals, budgets, letters to donors, and reports. William also works closely with the program staff to develop concept papers for new program models, targeted population needs assessments, and evidence-based approaches to better serve the various segments of the homeless population.


    Prior to CSH, William became a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in New York City. The Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs is a graduate-level, experiential leadership development program that immerses twelve aspiring professionals in public affairs through intensive leadership training and full-time consulting placements in  government, labor, business, and nonprofit sectors and in a political campaign. William’s accomplishments during Coro included developing, pitching, and winning a social entrepreneurship business plan competition with three other Fellows at Echoing Green; writing online content for the NYC Department of Education’s Empowering Boys Initiative; and persuading the executive staff team at New York Cares to migrate its existing donor database to Salesforce through a report and presentation.


    William received his BA in International Relations from Tufts University, where he championed the inclusion of Hindi and Urdu into the foreign languages department in response to student interest. William currently serves as the planning committee head of the Tufts Asian American Alumni Association, for which he organizes social events and manages its e-communication platforms. William is an active alumnus of Prep for Prep, an educational leadership program that prepares students of color for success at leading independent and boarding schools throughout the Northeast.


    In his free time, William enjoys filming quirky skit videos, hunting for the perfect ramen shop with his girlfriend, and learning Yiddish idioms.

  • Catherine (Katie) Hurley
    Program Coordinator, Project Sunshine

    Catherine (Katie) Hurley is a program coordinator at Project Sunshine. Project Sunshine empowers a dynamic and dedicated corps of over 10,000 volunteers to bring programming – recreational (arts), educational (tutoring and mentoring), and social service (HIV and nutritional counseling) – to over 60,000 children facing medical challenges and their families in 150 major cities across the United States and in five international satellite sites.


    Katie coordinates volunteer opportunities for Project Sunshine’s 80+ corporate partners across the United States. In 2013, Katie collaborated with Project Sunshine’s corporate program director to engage over 8,000 corporate volunteers nationwide. Katie has been an integral member in launching and maintaining Project Sunshine’s relationship with major companies including UnitedHealth Group, American Express, Estee Lauder, and BNP Paribas.


    Additionally, Katie manages Project Sunshine’s Book Club, a program which brings distinguished children’s book authors, illustrators, and celebrities into medical facilities to provide specialized reading events to pediatric patients.  Book Club enables children to expand their interest in literacy and explore their own creativity and imagination. Through Book Club programming, Katie has facilitated volunteer opportunities for members of the New York Yankees, the cast of Sesame Street, Miss Universe, and others. 


    Katie graduated cum laude from Ithaca College in 2011. Earning a BS in Corporate Communications from the Roy H. Park School of Communications and minoring in Social Work, Katie began to develop a passion for applying corporate communications practices to nonprofit organizations. Katie concentrated her undergraduate internship experiences in the public service sector holding positions at Challenge Workforce Solutions and The United Way of Greater Rochester. As an intern for Challenge Workforce Solutions, a nonprofit dedicated to equipping individuals with disabilities and employment barriers with workplace skills, Katie wrote a grant to fund a service learning initiative between the organization and Ithaca College students.


    A Regional All-American on Ithaca College’s varsity lacrosse team, Katie has combined her love of athletics and passion for youth by serving as a part-time coach for Westchester Elite Lacrosse club.

  • Alice Kamens
    Program Manager, Cities of Service

    Alice Kamens is a program manager at Cities of Service, a national nonprofit coalition of nearly 200 cities whose mayors are committed to using volunteer service to solve pressing local challenges. Alice helps mayors’ offices achieve their agendas through impact volunteering, implementing highly effective social media strategies, and bringing local government and policy expertise to program strategies.


    Since joining the Cities of Service team, one of Alice’s major projects has been to manage a planning grant from the California State Commission on Volunteers. The planning grant has supported the development of a civic corps program that will support three Bay Area mayors’ offices to recruit and manage volunteers for educational programs. In addition to managing this grant, Alice cultivates partnerships between Cities of Service’s coalition cities to allow them to share solutions and best practices learned during impact volunteering initiatives.


    Alice joined Cities of Service after a year as a New York City Urban Fellow spent working at the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. At the Mayor’s Fund, Alice gained critical public-private partnership experience and became increasingly devoted to facilitating innovation in local government. Alice also gained grants management skills through evaluating grant reports, maintaining a Raiser’s Edge database, and coordinating correspondence with donors and constituents.


    Alice holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Barnard College, where she developed a two-year thesis on the history and future of middle-class housing availability in Manhattan. While at Barnard, Alice dedicated her extracurricular time to interning across New York City’s public sector landscape, including stints at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, and Assembly Member Daniel J. O’Donnell’s office. Alice was also one of eight Barnard students selected for the Mumbai Winter Seminar, and studied for a semester at the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain.


    Alice lives in Manhattan and spends her time running on the East River path, solving crossword puzzles, and cooking the vegetables that arrive from her farmshare.

  • Sadyia Khalique
    Director of Operations, Council on American-Islamic Relations- New York

    Sadyia Khalique is currently the director of operations at the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil rights organization. CAIR-NY’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote social justice and mutual understanding.


    At CAIR-NY, Sadyia manages finances, outreach, event planning, media engagement, and focuses heavily on providing programs and services for the New York Muslim community from government engagement to youth conferences. Last year, she launched CAIR-NY's anti-bullying campaign during National Bullying Prevention Month, offering workshops in mosques, Islamic schools, and NY public schools. As CAIR-NY is a civil rights organization, Sadyia directly assists victims of various civil rights discriminatory acts. One case she worked closely on was assisting a college student in receiving religious accommodation for the collegiate sport he participated in.


    Prior to working at CAIR-NY, Sadyia worked for the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the Greenpoint YMCA.  At DYCD, Sadyia worked with the In-School Youth (ISY) Program as a College Aide and Field Supervisor. One of her favorite projects was managing the ISY Specialized Internship Program where she worked with partners at Bloomingdales, the Museum of Natural History, and the Drug Enforcement Agency to provide internships for 40 high school students from all around NYC. At DYCD, she interacted with more than 40 community based organizations throughout NYC to assist with In-School Youth Programming.


    Working with the Teen & Sports Department in Greenpoint YMCA, Sadyia taught two key civic engagement programs: teens take the city, and youth and government. She worked with youth to create mock legislation which was presented in City Council conferences and the State Capitol Annual Youth and Government Conference. She also taught lessons in service learning and art and photography, as well as provided guidance and counseling services to youth.


    Sadyia is a New York native who graduated from Baruch College, majoring in Economics and minoring in English Literature. She enjoys volunteering her time with youth organizations, travelling, and being a photographer.

  • Jahleese Ladson
    Educational Programming Associate, Young Women’s Leadership Network

    Jahleese Ladson works as an educational programming associate at the Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN), an organization that privately supports five sixth through twelfth grade single-sex public schools in NYC.


    Having first started her journey with this organization as a student herself attending the Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem, she considers it her altruistic philanthropic duty to work with students, faculty, and families to ensure that all public school students have access to high-quality educational opportunities both in and out of the classroom. In her role Jahleese has had the opportunity to work directly with principals to brainstorm and implement innovative educational practices at the school level. She has built relationships with outside organizations to bring enriching programs directly to students. She supports the development and execution of student programs to develop students’ leadership, enhance their knowledge of STEM opportunities, raise college and career awareness, and foster the health and wellness of students. 


    Prior to joining YWLN Jahleese worked as a college advisor in the Phipps Community Development Corporation assisting cohorts of 50 high school seniors and adult learners prepare for and complete the college application process. Additionally she worked to help parents undergoing the financial aid process to ensure that their students had the best options and college fits for their academic needs and professional aspirations.


    Jahleese has always been drawn to working with students and it was her direct work with motivated but ill-prepared high school students that sparked her interest in public service. As a native Harlemite, she is an active member of her community through her church’s many community outreach programs. Her love of baking has allowed her the opportunity to perfect her craft through an internship at City Cakes gourmet cake design studio and connect with students through baking classes that she holds whenever she has a captive student audience.

  • Kenya Lee
    External Relations Liaison, NYC Department of Probation

    Kenya Lee is the external relations liaison in the Intergovernmental and Legislative Affairs Unit at the NYC Department of Probation (DOP). At DOP Kenya is responsible for supporting relationships with elected officials, legislators, community organizations, and other city agencies. Her primary focus is on developing a progressive legislative agenda that will improve the lives of people involved in the criminal justice system.  This year Kenya succeeded getting the Department of Probation’s legislative proposal S4664/A4582 signed into law by the Governor. This new law provides judges with the discretion to sentence individuals to lesser terms of probation than the previous mandatory minimum of five years for a felony and three years for a misdemeanor.


    Kenya, a committed public servant who has served her community at the city, state, and federal levels of government, began her public service in government as an intern on Capitol Hill for longtime Harlem Congressman Charles B. Rangel in 2009. During this time she worked on criminal justice issues including legislative proposals to reform crack cocaine sentencing laws and voter disenfranchisement policies. Following this internship Kenya became a Drum Major Institute Scholar and a New Leader at the Center for Progressive Leadership where she developed her socio-political organizing skills in Washington, DC.


    In 2011, Kenya returned to her home in East Harlem to serve the community as the legislative aide in the office of New York State Assembly Member Robert J. Rodriguez. In this capacity she reviewed and introduced legislation to improve the lives of constituents in the 68th Assembly District. She also hosted several forums to engage youth, seniors, and small businesses with programs and opportunities provided by the state and local nonprofits.


    As a graduate of Hamilton College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government, Kenya is a believer in the ability of citizens to elect a government that will improve their quality of life and govern responsibility. To transform this belief into reality, in 2011, she helped found the Arturo Schomburg Democratic Club of East Harlem to get young people and unregistered voters more involved in electoral politics. With an appetite to play a bigger role in advancing the quality of life in her community, she aspires to someday obtain a law degree followed by a continued service as a public defender.

  • Andrew (Drew) Lombardi
    Program Associate, Generation Citizen

    Andrew (Drew) Lombardi is a program associate with Generation Citizen (GC), a national action civics nonprofit organization that places college volunteers in high school classrooms to teach students the political process through praxis. Drew is invested in creating a generation of civic leaders, and constantly pushes for higher program quality by leading the recruitment and development of college volunteers, as well as building lasting partnerships with schools in areas with the highest civic disenfranchisement. By producing robust advocacy trainings and resources for GC Democracy Coach volunteers, Drew has played an integral part in growing the program’s size and quality. Through data evaluation, classroom observations, and qualitative research, Drew continues to build the best possible program that GC can offer, all in order to create a more active citizenry where youths take control of their own destinies.


    Since joining GC in August 2013, Drew founded one new college chapter and managed seven additional chapters as well as 10 school partners each semester. His establishment and implementation of targeted recruitment techniques, rigorous trainings, and a project tracking system have raised the quality of Democracy Coaches significantly, resulting in greater program impact within the classroom. The structures that Drew has developed in order to economize volunteer management has produced stellar young leaders on college campuses, and his genuine nature has helped build robust relationships with several key stakeholders including school administrators, public officials, and advocacy organizations.


    While at New York University, Drew first joined GC as a volunteer Democracy Coach. After teaching the program himself, he became the executive director of the NYU chapter, tripling it in size and forging a tradition of excellence that has since propelled the chapter into GC New York’s strongest. After graduating in 2013, Drew joined GC Boston. While successfully founding an Emerson College chapter and overhauling volunteer talent at three others, Drew established and supported local school partnerships through contract negotiations, teacher trainings, and class observations. Since returning to New York in August 2014, Drew will continue his plan to expand his competencies in the fields of advocacy, data analysis, fundraising, and the local political landscape.


    As GC continues to pursue a fully participatory democracy, Drew continues to pursue professional and personal growth. He approaches every day at work with a light sense of humor, yet remains dedicated to the mission behind public service.

  • Josephine Marescot
    Marketing Associate, DonorsChoose.org

    Josephine Marescot is a marketing associate for engagement and communications at DonorsChoose.org. DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit dedicated to connecting citizen donors with public school classrooms in need. 

    In her role at DonorsChoose.org, Josephine manages content for key social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and a blog. She cultivates and thanks the most generous and engaged individual donors. Josephine provides media outreach support through research and creating a database of national media outlets as well as managing external communication. She is also responsible for scheduling and leading her marketing team in meetings and retreats. Additionally, Josephine supports internal operations in events, organization-wide retreats, and customer support. 


    Before she took on the role of marketing associate, Josephine worked at DonorsChoose.org as a marketing assistant. She worked on continuously tracking all contacts, leads, and donor acquisition opportunities in Salesforce and Box. She managed the video database and hired several freelance videographers and photographers for media content production. Josephine also coordinated with DonorsChoose.org Merchandise Store partner to manage the store’s account.


    Josephine graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s University in 2013 with her BA in English Literature and a minor in the Philosophy of Law. During her time at St. John’s, Josephine got involved in various internships and activities. Josephine was President of Sigma Tau Delta the English Honor Society where she helped build a community for passionate readers of English literature. She was honored to be part of the Phi Eta Sigma, the Freshman Honor Society. Josephine was able to study abroad for a semester in Paris. While there, she interned for a local American webzine and was a resident assistant for the university. When she returned, she became a global student ambassador and secretary for the St. John’s University’s Art and Literary Journal.


    Josephine’s biggest commitment was with the St. John’s University Writing Center. In that role, she managed the hiring process of new writing consultants and consulted students on academic writing projects throughout all stages of the writing process. Through the writing center, she was also able to facilitate collaborative workshops for local high school students and low-income adults, and this work developed her passion for public service.


    Josephine is a proud New York City native and explores the city in her free moments. She is also an avid reader, traveler, and cultural enthusiast. 

  • Michelle Mullenax
    Digital Marketing Associate, American Red Cross

    Michelle Mullenax is a digital marketing associate for the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Michelle is a member of the national Humanitarian Services Marketing Team, which focuses on disaster relief, emergency preparedness, health and safety training, and service to the armed forces.


    Based out of NYC, Michelle works directly with chapters across the country by providing digital strategy and support for local marketing and fundraising needs, including social media planning, content management, and optimization of redcross.org. Michelle also works alongside the national Data and Analytics and Digital Engagement teams to develop marketing strategies and solutions, which are implemented across the entire chapter network.


    In addition to her support of chapters, Michelle serves as the founder and co-chair of the organization’s first Asian American Affinity Group, which aims to provide professional mentorship, advocacy, and visibility to the greater Asian American community at Red Cross.


    Prior to her work at the American Red Cross, Michelle worked in both the private and public sectors, primarily with nonprofits that provide services to homeless and struggling youth.


    Originally from Colorado, Michelle graduated in 2011 from the University of Colorado Denver with a BA in Social Justice and Religious Studies with a minor in Economics. During her time there, Michelle founded the first Asian and Pacific Islander Student Union, served as the Student Body Co-President, and wrote for The Advocate, UCD’s weekly alternative student newspaper. Her passion for social justice and experience volunteering within the Korean American community in Colorado helped to influence her thesis, which examined the history of Asian American identity and the experience of multiracial Asian Americans in the United States.


    In her free time, Michelle enjoys exploring NYC’s diverse food scene, spending time in nature, and will often be seen with her dog, Olivia, a four year old Akita mix. 

  • Elizabeth (Liz) Nellis
    Program Associate, Tiger Foundation

    Elizabeth (Liz) Nellis is a program associate at the Tiger Foundation (Tiger), an organization committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in New York City.  Founded in 1989 by Julian Robertson, Tiger utilizes a rigorous business-like approach to grantmaking that focuses on measurable outcomes in order to maximize the impact of its investments in its four portfolios: education, employment, youth and families, and criminal justice.  At Tiger, Liz supports program staff in their ongoing assessments of existing grants and conducts diligence on prospective grantees. 


    Prior to her current role, Liz served as a development associate for volunteer services at the New York Common Pantry (then Yorkville Common Pantry), where she coordinated opportunities for volunteers to participate in efforts to alleviate hunger in the city, such as grocery distribution programs and nutrition initiatives.


    Liz also volunteers as a certified Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocate and mentors counselors-in-training at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals’ Crime Victims Treatment Center.


    Liz graduated from New York University in 2011, where she majored in Applied Psychology and interned at the Door, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Partnership for the Homeless, and the Relationship Foundation.  She was particularly inspired by the resilient participants of the Door, a community center which provides young people with comprehensive education, health, and social services.


    Originally from Atlanta, Liz enjoys movies, NYC’s burgeoning southern food scene, visiting art galleries, and most recently, exploring the city by bike (carefully).  On her to-do list are banjo classes and travel.

  • Brittany Parisi
    Specialist – National Foundations Partnerships, Teach For America

    Brittany Parisi currently works as a Specialist on Teach For America’s National Foundations Partnership team. Teach For America is a nonprofit organization that aims to strengthen the educational equity movement by providing inspired, diverse leadership through a teaching corps that commits to teaching in low-income schools for at least two years.

    In her current role, Brittany supports a national and multi-regional portfolio of foundations. She leads the team’s prospecting work, works with regional and program teams to craft reports and proposals, and helps guide stewardship and data management strategy. In addition to her portfolio management work, Brittany also helps drive operational efficiency and coordination across the larger National Development team.


    Prior to working at Teach For America, Brittany was the special education manager at Success Academy Charter Network, where she designed professional development and supported ICT, SETSS, and 12:1:1 teachers across the network. Brittany also served as a 2010 Teach For America corps member and taught middle school special education in Philadelphia for two years.


    Brittany graduated summa cum laude from Villanova University in 2010, where she majored in Political Science with honors and minored in Business Administration. While at Villanova, Brittany studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland as a Connelly-Delouvrier Scholar and interned with Defence for Children International. She also served on the Special Olympics planning committee and as President of the Best Buddies chapter. Brittany was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society and awarded the 2010 Falvey Award for the top Liberal Arts thesis.  While a corps members, Brittany attained her MS in Urban Education, focusing on secondary special education within the urban context, from the University of Pennsylvania.


    Originally from Pennsylvania, Brittany now resides in NYC. Outside of work, she privately tutors students with learning disabilities and serves on the National Down Syndrome Society Youth Leadership Board. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

  • Emma Pfohman
    Policy Advisor, NYC Department of Small Business Services

    Emma Pfohman is a policy advisor in the executive office at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). SBS serves small businesses, jobseekers, and neighborhoods to ensure they have the resources to succeed. SBS provides direct assistance to help businesses form, operate, and grow; guides businesses through the city’s regulatory process; promotes minority and women-owned businesses and ensures their participation in the City’s procurement process; supports community-based economic development organizations to build thriving commercial corridors; and connects employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. 


    In her role as policy advisor, Emma prepares the Commissioner and writes remarks for various economic development events, drafts internal agency communications, writes weekly reports to City Hall, and assists with major policy initiatives, press announcements, and the implementation of local legislation.


    Emma came to SBS through the Urban Fellows Program, a nine-month career development program that introduces recent college graduates to local government and public service. Building on the skills and institutional knowledge she developed as an Urban Fellow, Emma joined the executive office as a policy advisor at the end of her fellowship.


    Originally from Portland, Oregon, Emma graduated magna cum laude from Fordham University where she majored in Political Science. She competed for four years on the Fordham Sailing team, and served as captain during her junior and senior year. She sailed on the team of four students who qualified Fordham for the first time for the co-ed national tournament.


    During her semester abroad, Emma studied geography and war studies at King’s College London. While in London, she worked with South London Citizens, a community organizing group that works with civic organizations to advance campaigns for living wage, safer streets, and affordable housing.


    On the weekends, you can find Emma riding her bike, sailing on the Long Island Sound, and eating her way through the city.

  • Sommai Pham
    Associate, Women Moving Millions

    Sommai Pham is an associate at Women Moving Millions (WMM), a nonprofit whose mission is to catalyze unprecedented resources for the advancement of women and girls. WMM is comprised of over 200 members in 11 countries each of whom have donated $1 million or more to women’s initiatives around the world.


    In her role, Sommai is responsible for organizing events including the Women Moving Millions Annual Summit in NYC, the Annual Member Retreat, regional skills building workshops, among other events. She also manages the copywriting, editing, and design of WMM materials, and lends support on special initiatives such as the launch of ALL IN FOR HER: A Call to Action inviting women to step into their donor leadership as funders and champions for gender equality around the world.


    Prior to joining WMM, Sommai focused her energy on her passion for food and wine as the office manager for Governor and Gran Electrica (GE) in Brooklyn, NY. At Governor and GE, Sommai managed day-to-day restaurant operations, website design and management, events and the fundraising for and recovery of Governor, which was sadly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Due to the level of damage incurred by the hurricane, Governor was never able to re-open.


    Beyond women’s philanthropy, food, and wine, Sommai is also interested in creative writing, illustration, and design. In her spare time, Sommai works as a freelance designer, social media, and website manager. In 2012 she started “The South Platte Journal,” a Tumblr blog dedicated to poetry and creative writing with a distinctly feminist, Vietnamese-American perspective.


    Sommai earned her BA in International Relations from Boston University in 2011. Once a month, she gathers her friends together to discuss social justice and feminist politics over wine and cheese. Sommai currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Natasha Rivera
    Professional Advancement Associate, Prep for Prep

    Natasha Rivera is a professional advancement associate at Prep for Prep, the same leadership development program for gifted students of color that she matriculated into at the age of 12. Cognizant of the difference the program made in her life, she returned to Prep for Prep to multiply her impact as an employee, working to develop the professional and interpersonal skills of current Prep for Prep students ranging from rising high school seniors to rising college seniors. This includes, but is not limited to, resumé critiquing and editing, one-on-one development counseling, and evaluating feedback from supervisors from summer internships.


    Interested in increasing engagement between the nonprofit and for-profit spheres, Natasha manages volunteer relationships with major donors, organizing volunteer opportunities between employees and Prep for Prep students. Natasha is passionate about directly engaging with her students’ lives, passions, and problems and teaches the Aspects of Leadership ethics module required of all Prep for Prep students. The thread of social justice, and especially equal access to education, runs through all that she weaves.


    In between stints at Prep for Prep, Natasha studied at Davidson College in Davidson, NC. She graduated with a degree in English with honors. As an incoming freshman she was awarded the Patricia Cornwall Scholarship for promising young writers. She studied and wrote poetry while captaining the award-winning FreeWord spoken word team. Her poetic work frequently intersects with the themes of social justice and race, and culminated at Davidson with an honors thesis project of her own work. Natasha speaks Spanish and French and studied abroad for a semester with the Davidson in India Program at Madras Christian College in Chennai, India. As a sophomore, she conducted her own independent research project to study colorism in her family’s native country of Ecuador through a Dean Rusk and Abernathy grant from Davidson.


    Natasha’s professional experience crosses the worlds of nonprofits, philanthropy, and publishing, with a brief foray at a Wyoming ranch thrown in for good measure. Her position in Time Warner’s Corporate Social Responsibility department taught her the valuable skills needed to cultivate philanthropy and employee engagement. An engagement with a literacy nonprofit reconnected her with Prep for Prep and reignited her desire to ensure that all children and teens have access to a safe, productive, and encouraging educational space.

  • Stina Rosenquist
    Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, CUNY Citizenship Now!

    Stina Rosenquist is the volunteer engagement coordinator at CUNY Citizenship Now!, a nonprofit which provides free immigration law services in NYC. Services are offered at legal centers throughout the city, as well as at bimonthly citizenship events and other related annual events.


    In her position as volunteer engagement coordinator, Stina primarily recruits, trains, and supports the CUNY Citizenship Now! Volunteer Corps, a diverse group of over 400 active volunteers that assist at citizenship events and legal centers.  She communicates regularly with the corps, gathering feedback and working to improve the way in which volunteers are utilized and recognized. She also coordinates interns placed through the CUNY Service Corps program and helps improve citizenship events.


    Previously, Stina worked on social justice issues in Boston, as well as in England and Sweden.  She has provided direct services to underserved communities, as well as support through research and advocacy. In London at the New Horizon Youth Centre, she worked with homeless and vulnerable young adults.  There, she co-authored a social enterprise plan and feasibility study, which sought to provide the young adults with opportunities and training to start their own businesses. In May of 2014, New Horizon used recommendations from her study to launch a new program.


    Stina graduated from Cornell University in 2010 with a BS in Policy Analysis and Management and a minor in Inequality Studies. While at Cornell she volunteered at, and later led, Friends of Farmworkers, a student group focused on teaching English to migrant farmworkers. This experience, along with her coursework and her semester abroad, sparked her interest in a career in public service. In her spare time, Stina enjoys both exploring New York and planning her next getaway.

  • Eric Santiago
    College and Career Success Coordinator, The Opportunity Network

    Eric Santiago is currently the college and career success coordinator at The Opportunity Network, an organization that equips high-achieving, under-resourced NYC public school students with career development, college guidance, and college support. His primary responsibility is managing the College Success and Alumni Programs which includes supporting programming for more than 185 students.


    Eric graduated from Columbia University in 2012 with a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures with a focus on Tokugawa literature. He wrote his thesis on Tokugawa literary perspectives of homosexuality in the samurai and kabuki cultures. At Columbia, Eric also worked frequently with the Double Discovery Center, a nonprofit organization that provides academic and college access resources to low-income Manhattan high school students, as a College Application Mentor and a Residential Teaching Assistant for the Upward Bound Program. His experiences fueled his passion to ensure that first-generation students have access to the same career development opportunities as more affluent students.


    Eric was born, raised, and currently lives in the Bronx. He spends his time mentoring a current high school junior through the iMentor program and serving on the Alumni Council for his high school, Bronx Academy of Letters. During his free time, he enjoys watching documentaries, cooking, engaging in dialogues about social justice, and backpacking.

  • Natasha Scantlebury
    Community Development Associate, Local Initiatives Support Corporation

    Natasha Scantlebury is a community development associate for the NYC office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC NYC), a national nonprofit dedicated to improving low-income neighborhoods across the country. By connecting local organizations, community leaders, and residents to resources, LISC NYC seeks to help revitalize neighborhoods and improve quality of life.  It has a rich history of developing and preserving affordable housing for low income residents throughout NYC.  In addition, its programs are sustainably rebuilding communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy, enhancing livability for vulnerable populations such as seniors, promoting a college-going culture, and improving access to affordable and healthy food choices.


    Natasha is primarily responsible for donor relations, funder cultivation, and stewardship of resources.  In addition to seeking funding, writing proposals, and reporting on new and current program areas, she is also responsible for providing day-to-day technical assistance and support to two key programs: College Within Reach (CWR) and the Bedford Stuyvesant Aging Improvement District (Bed-Stuy AID).  CWR is a college access and success program that leverages the strength of local nonprofits to assist high school students and their parents through the college application process and provide critical college guidance and retention support. The Bed-Stuy AID is a collaborative partnership with the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford Stuyvesant and the New York Academy of Medicine, to enhance the livability of neighborhoods for the benefit of some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, the low-income elderly.


    Natasha graduated from Trinity College with a BA in American Studies with a concentration in community development in May 2012.  She is also an alumna of Prep for Prep, a highly selective leadership development program that offers gifted students of color access to a private school education and other life changing opportunities.


    Prior to joining LISC NYC in August 2013 Natasha served as a NYC Civic Corps member, hosted by Community Service Society (CSS).  NYC Civic Corps is a 10-month AmeriCorps program whose goal is to increase volunteerism throughout NYC.  Natasha's role at CSS was to serve as a volunteer liaison for the mentoring division of their volunteer program, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.


    On the weekends Natasha, who is a Barbadian American, enjoys cooking and learning recipes from her mom. She also enjoys Caribbean music, dancing, road trips, reading, watching Murder, She Wrote and The Golden Girls and watching clothing and jewelry DIY videos on YouTube.

  • Karina Schroeder
    Editorial Assistant, New York City Campaign Finance Board

    Karina Schroeder is the editorial assistant at the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB). The CFB is an independent agency monitoring the finances of local city elections. The board administers a matching funds program for qualifying candidates to enhance the voices of NYC residents in their government.


    Karina is part of the team that produces the NYC Voter Guide, a comprehensive print and web resource available to all New Yorkers. The Guide is produced in five languages and mailed to every registered voter in NYC. It provides candidate profiles as well as pertinent voter information, including poll site locations, voting instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions. The online edition provides additional information, including candidate video statements and social media links, helping voters make informed decisions at the polls. Karina also conducts research and drafts content for the CFB’s Financial Disclosure blog, in addition to chapters of the CFB’s various annual reports.


    Karina graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Journalism and Anthropology and a minor in French. During her sophomore year, she volunteered with Iowa PIRG (Public Interest Research Group). PIRG is a nonpartisan organization aimed at promoting student involvement in political and social issues. Karina worked to engage her fellow students in the 2008 election. She helped with voter registration drives, in-class outreach efforts, and volunteer recruitment campaigns. She was later elevated to media coordinator, where she served as PIRG’s University of Iowa spokesperson. Thanks in part to PIRG’s efforts, more than 90 percent of University of Iowa students were registered to vote on Election Day in 2008.


    Karina has also worked in various other editorial and communications capacities. These include reporting for her local newspaper, blogging for online travel magazines, and volunteering as a photojournalist at the University of Iowa International Programs.


    Karina also lived and studied abroad as an exchange student in France for one year. This experience sparked her passion for traveling abroad and encouraged her to find work with a multicultural or international focus.


    Born and raised in Iowa, Karina moved to NYC shortly after graduation. She spends her free time exploring local art galleries, trying new coffee shops, and plotting her next adventure. 

  • William Smith
    Community Liaison, New York State Assembly Member Keith L.T. Wright

    William Smith serves as the community liaison to New York State Assembly Member Keith L.T. Wright, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Housing. As the community liaison, William is focused on policy analysis for public housing, housing finance, and social service-related issues. In his role, he is responsible for strengthening and expanding Assembly Member Wright’s unique approach to grassroots policy and community engagement.


    William’s love for politics began at an early age. A lifelong resident of East Harlem, William wrote his Congressman, Charles Rangel, from the age of eight. In 2011, William graduated from The City College of New York with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Management Administration.  While in college, William was an administrative analyst at Credit Suisse in NYC. Working within the business administration group, he was responsible for corporate logistics, expense administration, and transaction document management.


    After graduating, William yearned to further his knowledge and experience in public service. He served as an intern staff assistant in Congressman Rangel’s district office. At the conclusion of the internship, he served as the Manhattan Field Organizer for Bill Thompson’s 2013 NYC Mayoral campaign.


    William is a recent graduate of the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute, an initiative designed to generate a pool of dynamic professionals who are certified to conduct public/private sector policy work, political campaigns, and advocacy on a variety of issues.  William is also a duly elected member of the New York County Democratic Committee. In his role as county committee member, he is responsible for representing his election district in endorsing candidates, electing county party officers, and nominating a democratic nominee in special elections within the county for congressional, assembly, and state senate seats. William was also a delegate to the 2014 New York State Young Democrats convention and was named Manhattan Young Democrats Member of the Month in July 2014.


    William dedicates his free time as a public member of Manhattan Community Board 11. He is also a member of the Harlem River Park Task Force supporting the task force’s commitment to enhancing the open space in the evolving Harlem community.  To diversify his knowledge of trade relations and its impact on the economy, he is also a member of the United Nations Association of New York. William views public service as a privilege to prepare communities across the city, state, and nation for the evolving challenges of the twenty-first century by empowering the government to make effective structural transformations.

  • Alli Tamboline
    Administrative Manager, Partnership Fund for New York City

    Alli Tamboline is the administrative manager of the Partnership Fund for New York City, an economic development nonprofit organization that invests exclusively in NYC-based ventures with an overall job creation priority. Alli was drawn to the Partnership Fund’s work based on her interest in urban economics. One of the Partnership Fund’s key objectives is to increase economic opportunity for under-served communities and support minority and women entrepreneurs. As an “evergreen” entity, the Partnership Fund is able to reinvest realized gains to make a social impact. Among her various tasks, Alli works closely with the senior vice president to produce portfolio reports and various marketing materials.


    Prior to joining the Partnership Fund, Alli graduated from New York University with a BA in Economics, and dual minors in Business Studies from NYU Stern and Social and Public Policy from NYU Wagner. During her time at NYU, Alli worked at NYU’s Office of International Students and experienced both small and large-scale nonprofit work through the internships she pursued. During her senior year at NYU, Alli interned with the Clinton Foundation’s marketing department where she helped copyedit the annual report and contributed research and content for a new Clinton Presidential Center exhibit.


    Alli was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and – true to her Canadian roots – is a passionate hockey fan. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn and her ideal Sunday involves exploring Prospect Park. Alli spent years singing and playing the tenor saxophone and wants to take more advantage of the live music NYC has to offer.

  • Amanda Yepez
    Recruitment and Hiring Coordinator, Harlem RBI

    Amanda Yepez serves as the recruitment and hiring coordinator at Harlem RBI, a youth development organization that provides 1,500 East Harlem and South Bronx youth, ages 5-22, with opportunities to play, learn, and grow. In addition to providing a wide range of baseball and softball, wellness, enrichment, and academic programs, Harlem RBI also operates DREAM Charter School, which currently serves 400 students in grades K-7.


    Amanda supports the recruiting and hiring team in staffing all full-time, part-time, and intern roles in East Harlem and the South Bronx. In this role, she has helped to hire over 250 part-time employees across after-school and summer programs through spearheading outreach, screening resumés, conducting phone screens, and leading interviews. Additionally, Amanda coordinates, plans, and executes Harlem RBI’s onboarding process, which helps to successfully transition new staff through high-quality, engaging, and interactive informational sessions that communicate the organization’s mission and vision and build community with team members.


    Amanda holds a BA in Sociology from Tufts University, where she served as a Latino Peer Leader, providing support and offering advice to first-year Latino students to help aid in their transition to college life. In 2012, she was awarded the Multicultural Service Award for her contribution to defining Tufts as a multicultural environment in which race, ethnicity, religion, class, gender, and sexual preferences are not barriers to the full enjoyment of community membership.  In her free time, Amanda enjoys attending dance and yoga classes around the city, solving Rubik’s cubes and playing on Harlem RBI’s intramural softball team.


Career Guides

  • Courtney Harvey
    Director of Operations
    Women Moving Millions

    Courtney Harvey is the director of operations for Women Moving Millions (WMM), a nonprofit focused on activating gifts of at least one million dollars from women to organizations serving women and girls.  Women Moving Millions is comprised of almost 200 members from nine countries who have donated more than $260 million since 2007. Courtney oversees the organization’s finances, day to day operations, events, and development strategies.


    Prior to joining WMM, Courtney was the associate director of strategic partnerships at the Thomson Reuters Foundation. There, Courtney provided operational oversight for the London-based foundation's New York hub. She worked on development efforts, women's rights polling, and, in partnership with the International Herald Tribune, the launch of an international conference, Trust Women, on women's rights.


    Courtney also worked for seven years at a nonprofit focused on youth and young adults in Lancaster, PA, where she co-directed programs on global justice and faith.  


    Courtney has her BA in Cultural Anthropology and Government and Political Science from Millersville University. She also holds an MSc in Gender, Development, and Globalization from the London School of Economics.

  • Jarret Hova
    Deputy Counsel for Policy and Legislation
    NYC Public Advocate Letitia James

    Jarret Hova is the deputy counsel for policy and legislation for New York City Public Advocate Letitia James. In his role, Jarret develops and oversees policy and legislative projects for Ms. James, the first African-American woman elected to citywide office in NYC.  Among other issues, the Public Advocate has been actively involved in issues related to housing, workers' rights, and children's services.


    Prior to joining the Office of Public Advocate, Jarret served as legislative counsel to the New York City Council where he focused on legislation and policy related to sustainability, recycling, and sanitation.


    Before working in government, Jarret was a litigation associate at Herrick, Feinstein in New York. 


    Jarret is a graduate of Skidmore College and received his law degree from Fordham University School of Law.

  • Shelby Kohn
    NYC Department of Finance

    Shelby Kohn is a director at the NYC Department of Finance. She oversees a team of 30 who distribute $1.2 billion in tax benefits to more than 600,000 homeowners each year.


    Prior to this role, Shelby was a senior project manager in the Commissioner's Office at the Department of Finance, where she managed projects with one or more of the following goals: improving customer service, streamlining operations, reducing operating costs, and increasing revenue. Shelby has also served as a policy advisor at the Mayor's Office of Operations, where she played a role in inter-agency and citywide projects, including the development of plan to reduce the city's office real estate portfolio by 10 percent.


    Shelby started her public sector career at the NYC Department of Small Business Services where she re-launched a program to assist industrial businesses and retain jobs.


    She also worked for NYC Outward Bound, leading students in team-building activities, and taught environmental education in Washington.


    Shelby received a Master in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a BA from Haverford College.  She is a graduate of Coro's Leadership New York program.

  • Mark Liu
    Clinical Practice Supervisor
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

    Mark Liu is a clinical practice supervisor at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a world-renowned organization dedicated to the progressive control and cure of cancer. Memorial Sloan Kettering works toward this goal through programs of patient care, scientific research, and community education. In the department of Ambulatory Care, Mark supervises the day-to-day operations of the Breast Medicine and Surgery outpatient services. Mark is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and its local affiliate, Health Leaders of New York.


    Mark graduated from Binghamton University in 2007 with a BS in Psychobiology and Sociology. His thesis explored “Improving Cultural Competency of American Hospitals for Limited English Proficiency Populations.” While at Binghamton, he served as the associate director of a student-led economic think tank, volunteered regularly as an emergency medical technician, and was president of the community student government. One of his major accomplishments was organizing an award-winning program to promote awareness and empower students to increase access to healthcare.


    Mark was a 2008 FELPS fellow, who served on the FELPS Alumni Board for three years, including one year as president and another as vice president of the board. Mark previously served as an alumni guide for three years and this is his second year as a career guide.

  • Rosa A. Ortiz
    Director of Finance and Administration
    REACH Prep

    Rosa A. Ortiz is the first Director of Finance and Administration at REACH Prep, leading the development of strategic initiatives to streamline business operations and to create a framework for more effective fundraising and communication methods.


    Prior to assuming this role, Rosa worked as director of programs, serving more than 165 REACH Prep Scholars each year through academic guidance and advocacy, furthering the mission to provide access for underserved students to succeed at independent schools in New York and Connecticut. 


    As a graduate student, Rosa worked as program manager for the NYC English Language Learner (ELL) Consortium, providing support to over 100 charter schools serving ELLs. She also served as research assistant at NYU Wagner’s Women of Color Policy Network.


    Rosa was a StartingBloc '08 Fellow, Education Pioneers '10 Fellow and participant in the 2014 Zoom Foundation's Leadership Development Roundtable for young leaders in Connecticut. Rosa holds a Master in Public Administration from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a BA in Sociology from Boston College.

  • Rebecca Stauffer
    Assistant Director of Operations
    NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

    Rebecca Stauffer is the assistant director of operations for the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), which is a bureau within the Department of Prevention and Primary Care at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. PCIP facilitates healthcare practices and providers across New York City to deliver quality healthcare through the use of health information technology. This work is accomplished through the federally designated regional extension center for New York City, NYC REACH. NYC REACH works with thousands of providers at small practices, large integrated community health centers, and hospitals to integrate health information technology and electronic health records.


    Rebecca is the principal investigator for the federal and state funded contracts that support NYC REACH’s work and directs the operations and grant management for both contracts. She also oversees the communications and external relations activities for NYC REACH, which develops and maintains the relationship with NYC REACH’s practices and providers.


    Prior to joining PCIP in 2012, Rebecca was a department administrator at the NYU College of Dentistry and senior project manager within the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Rebecca earned her BA in History from Kenyon College and a Master in Public Administration from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Alumni Guides

  • Gael Black
    Public Communications Manager
    The New York Women's Foundation

    Gael Black is the public communications manager at The New York Women’s Foundation (NYWF), where she is responsible for identifying key partnerships for public education opportunities on issues pertaining to women’s economic security, safety, and health. NYWF is a community-based foundation that aims to advance economic security for women and girls in NYC. Gael joined NYWF in January 2012 as the 25th Anniversary Coordinator, working across departments and with multiple constituencies managing special projects, including launching a new website, expanding social media efforts, and producing the 25th Anniversary report and album.


    Gael graduated in December 2011 from the University at Albany (UA), where she received her BA in Political Science and History with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. During her time at UA, she served as the Student Association’s Director of Legislative Affairs, where she trained and supervised lobbying teams to voice student body concerns on issues regarding higher education, and collaborated with student groups and local lawmakers to successfully restore funding to the Albany Crime Victims and Sexual Violence Center. Additionally, Gael served as the event staff supervisor in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, on the Board of Directors of the University Auxiliary Services, and as a resident assistant.


    Gael discovered her passion for public service when she became a United Nations Foundation Global Classrooms Model United Nations delegate in 2006. For six years, she worked closely with UNF as an intern and volunteer conducting research for background guides, training student staff and delegates, and serving as a key leader of ten large-scale, professional Model United Nations Conferences. Gael was in the 2013 class of the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service.

  • Jawad Cipriani
    Assistant Director of Student Life - School of General Studies
    Columbia University

    Jawad Cipriani is currently the assistant director of student life in the School of General Studies (GS). GS is the undergraduate college at Columbia University created specifically for returning and nontraditional students seeking a traditional, Ivy League undergraduate degree. In his role, he advises students groups, and coordinates leadership and diversity programming, among other special events.


    Prior to joining the student life team at GS, Jawad served as a graduate assistant in the Office of First Year & Transfer Programs at Syracuse University for two years. In this role he coordinated the Transfer Mentor Program, collaborated with colleagues to coordinate Syracuse’s orientation programs, and advised “The Story Project,” a student group for first-generation college students. During this time, he also interned in the LGBTQ Resource Center of Syracuse University and Office of Student Involvement and Leadership at SUNY- Environmental Science & Forestry.


    He was able to work in these roles due to the experiences he had while working at Prep for Prep, an educational nonprofit with the objective of identifying and developing leadership in underrepresented groups. For three years he had the opportunity to work with college students who were graduates of the program. Working with Prep for Prep allowed Jawad to explore his commitment to tackling issues of inequity in the public school system and the social barriers that exist for students, which is at the core of the organization’s goals. He credits his undergraduate experience for nurturing his passion for public service and social justice.


    Jawad received a BA in Critical Social Studies with a concentration in Marginalized Populations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in 2008. He earned his MS in Higher Education from Syracuse University in 2013. He graduated from the 2011 class of FELPS and tributes the fellowship with helping him to develop the confidence to attend graduate school.


    Jawad grew up in NYC; he likes to dance, attend live shows, travel, eat spicy food, cheer on Syracuse Basketball, and spend time with friends.

  • Primo Lasana
    Managing Program Coordinator

    Primo Lasana is a managing program coordinator for iMentor at the Academy for Software Engineering. iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower students from low-income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions. iMentor partners with more than 15 public schools in NYC and engages over 4,000 mentor-mentee pairs.


    As a managing program coordinator, Primo directly supports the relationships of 110 pairs of mentors and 11th grade mentees while directly managing another program coordinator at the school site. Primo also works closely with teachers and administrators to provide support for the program schoolwide, ensuring quality programming for more than 350 mentor pairs. Mentoring relationships are built through weekly e-mails that are exchanged in a class that Primo facilitates, as well as at monthly in-person events. Primo works daily with mentors and students to deliver high impact, close relationships that provide positive academic and personal outcomes. Primo also works with corporations to bring internship opportunities to his students. During his time with iMentor, Primo has become a certified college counselor through the Goddard Riverside Community Center Options Institute.


    Primo’s experience in youth development and the power of mentoring began with two years of national service with City Year Chicago. City Year is a national nonprofit that addresses the national dropout crisis by employing 17-24 year old full-time volunteers in high-need public schools. Teams of City Year corps members support students at a school by targeting attendance, behavior and course performance in a select group of off-track students. Primo partnered with an 8th grade reading and writing classroom on the South Side of Chicago during his first year with City Year. During that year he had the opportunity to build strong relationships with students and organize large-scale physical service days to transform schools and communities in Chicago. During his second year of service, Primo became a team leader at a middle school on the West Side of Chicago where he supervised and supported a team of seven diverse young idealists as they brought the joy of City Year to middle school students. During his two years with City Year, Primo accumulated over 1,700 hours of community service.


    After interning at the office of a Manhattan City Council member, Primo attended CUNY Hunter College, where he graduated with his BA in English Language and Literature. During his college years, Primo also interned at Dramatists Play Service.


    Last summer, Primo travelled to Brazil to enjoy the World Cup and pursue his passion for international football. He even met up with his FELPS career guide on the beach in Rio de Janeiro during a US soccer game! Primo was a member of the 2014 FELPS cohort.

  • Annie Lee
    Development and Communications Manager
    Prep for Prep

    Annie Lee is the development and communications manager at Prep for Prep, an educational, leadership development program that prepares and places NYC’s most able students of color into independent schools and provides them with ongoing support and life-changing opportunities. In addition to event management and donor cultivation, Annie oversees the organization’s social media outlets and produces marketing materials. Annie also manages the website and coordinates Chinese language content for its Admissions department.  She was previously the external affairs associate at Prep, where she helped produce and execute the annual report and holiday appeal.   


    Annie graduated cum laude with departmental honors from Barnard College with a BA in Sociology. Annie believes in supporting the communities that have fostered her personal growth. She was named the Metropolitan Life Foundation/Richard R. Shinn Public Service Fellow at Barnard and used the opportunity to intern with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she helped raise funds to advocate for and protect the civil rights of the Asian-American community. In her senior year, Annie was named an Eleanor T. Elliot Education and Public Service Fellow and interned with Legal Information for Families Today, a nonprofit that empowers parents to self-advocate in family court. She also served as president of Barnard’s commuter student organization. 


    Annie enjoys volunteering at races and conducting practice interviews with Prep for Prep’s college students.  In her spare time, you can find her painting, running, or attempting recipes from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything cookbook. Annie was a 2013 FELPS Fellow and currently edits the FELPS alumni classifieds.

  • Diana Petty
    Project Manager
    Public Works Partners

    Diana Petty is a project manager with Public Works Partners, a management consulting firm dedicated to working with public sector clients to streamline operations, launch complex new programs, and ultimately increase impact in the communities they serve. In this capacity, Diana specializes in developing strategic messaging campaigns and project planning for cross-sector, multi-stakeholder initiatives. 


    Prior to joining Public Works Partners in 2014, Diana worked for the City of New York from 2009-2014 in positions at both the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. While there, Diana’s work focused on launching and growing Twitter and Facebook feeds, managing electronic newsletters, producing website content and design, and building a targeted marketing strategy around the use of these tools. Diana’s communications work further includes the research, writing, and production of strategic plans, annual reports, and organizational assessments. At both organizations, Diana also facilitated large-scale partnership efforts, responsible for defining business needs, outlining key metrics, and designing governance structures to create coordinated collaborations between government, philanthropic, and nonprofit groups. Diana also has several years of experience in grantwriting and management, from preparing detailed proposals to analyzing program budgets, overseeing project operations to reporting on outcomes from the grant.


    Diana graduated magna cum laude from Macalester College in 2008, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Media Studies. She got her start in public service and civic issues shortly after graduating while working as a project assistant at Grassroots Solutions in Minneapolis conducting advocacy and issue campaign strategy for nonprofit and community-based organizations. Diana was a 2012 FELPS Fellow and this is her third year serving as a career guide.

  • Anne Tatreau
    Director of Development
    Classroom, Inc.

    Anne Tatreau is the director of development at Classroom, Inc., an education technology nonprofit working to close the achievement gap by using technology and the world of work to engage, teach, inspire, and empower students. In this role, Anne is responsible for raising $3.3 million in funding annually to support the organization's operating budget and growth capital needs.


    Anne previously spent five years as the grants manager at Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School, where she grew the organization's institutional giving portfolio by 93 percent, from $2.8 million to $5.4 million, and secured its first-ever AmeriCorps and national foundation grants.


    Prior to Harlem RBI, Anne worked in public relations and community affairs at the National Football League and served as manager of Columbia University's Division I Men's Basketball Program. Anne has also volunteered her time with several NYC-based sports youth development organizations, including PowerPlay NYC and Game On Brooklyn.


    Anne earned her BA in Political Science from Barnard College and completed the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service at NYU Wagner in 2013.


Fellowship Staff

  • Moschell Coffey
    Fellowship Director

    Moschell (Mo) Coffey is the director of the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service.  She has worked with FELPS since 2008. Mo oversees all outreach, recruitment, and selection; program and curriculum development; alumni engagement; and evaluation.


    As the founder and principal of Challenges and Solutions LLC, Mo works with organizations and individuals benefiting the public good to use her passion for developing the leadership capabilities of both to strengthen mission-driven organizations. Through effective relationship and talent management, organizational review, and strategic planning, she helps public service organizations identify challenges and formulate solutions to achieve organizational efficiency, strengthen board and staff relationships, enable strategic growth, and define program outcomes. She also enjoys helping leaders in public service explore their professional passions, chart career paths, and search for meaningful opportunities.


    From 2011 to 2015, Mo worked as the managing director for The Good Dog Foundation, the national leader in therapy dog training, certification, visit coordination, research, and awareness.  There she used her background in relationship and nonprofit management to help the organization through its growing pains after it rapidly expanded its services to meet growing demand. As managing director, she stewarded the organization toward financial self-sufficiency, and helped turn Good Dog into a high-functioning nonprofit with an engaged Board of Directors and discerning donors. Under her leadership, the organization began its strategic planning process and grew from one paid staff member to a staff of nine, all while refining its best-in-class therapy dog certification and visit programming services. Mo was responsible for the management, program operations, and development activities of the organization, including planning and executing its major events and working with the media to secure different opportunities to promote the organization’s work.


    Previously, Mo served as the program coordinator at the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law (NCPL) at NYU School of Law. There she managed the operations, budget, and activities of the center, which explores a broad range of legal issues affecting the nation's nonprofit sector.  Before joining the NCPL, Mo served as the summer project assistant in the Office of the Dean at NYU Wagner.  There she conducted research regarding student debt and public service education funding.  She also helped NYU Wagner strengthen its commitment to diversity initiatives. 


    A graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, Mo earned an honors BA summa cum laude in International Relations with a minor in Spanish. She holds a Master of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy with an International Policy and Management specialization from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.  Additionally, she serves as a board member of the Rollins College Alumni Association and is a member of the New York City Alumni Chapter of Chi Omega Fraternity.