Marysol Fernández Harvey

Associate Consultant - Integrated Initiatives, TCC Group

Marysol Fernández Harvey (she/her/ella) is an associate consultant at TCC Group, a social impact consulting firm that partners with foundations, nonprofits, and companies to innovate around complex social problems. In her role, Marysol works primarily in partnership with a national HIV-focused funder, helping manage a $30 million grantmaking portfolio to community-based organizations along with the implementation of relevant culture and service programming in community. As program lead for the AMP Grant initiative, Marysol leads the strategy and implementation of an intermediary funding model resourcing community-based organizations to provide micro-grants, capacity strengthening, and network building to grassroots organizations and individuals serving communities most impacted by HIV.

Marysol is committed to building stronger, collaborative movements for social change led by and for the communities with which she works. Prior to joining TCC, Marysol interned at the Brooklyn Community Foundation and the Catalogue for Philanthropy where she supported the design, implementation, and evaluation of key programming for local stakeholders including grants administration, nonprofit capacity strengthening, research, and partnerships. Marysol also spent the summer of 2020 in residence in San Juan, Puerto Rico conducting research alongside community organizers and advocacy organizations on the possibilities and limitations of a constitutional process for the self-determination of Puerto Rico. This research catalyzed Marysol’s application and eventual selection as the 2020 Truman Scholar from Puerto Rico. 

Marysol graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University with a double concentration in Comparative Literature and Economics. As an undergraduate, Marysol wrote for the Brown Daily Herald as the only staff columnist dedicated to issues relevant to Puerto Rico, Latin America, and the Latine diaspora. She also served as a student coordinator for the Community Dialogue Project, where she was trained in emergent strategy facilitation and worked to engage students in community building, conflict resolution, and principled dialogue. 

Marysol was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and currently resides in New York City. In addition to, and often in conversation with her work in public service, Marysol enjoys scouring the city for the hottest salsa dance floors, sharing great meals with loved ones, and creative writing. 

Jack Frésquez

Program and Research Assistant, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Jack Frésquez (he/him/él) is a program and research assistant in the office of the president at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Mellon is the largest funder of the arts and humanities in the country and makes grants in four core program areas: higher learning, arts and culture, public knowledge, and humanities in place.

At Mellon, Jack provides strategic planning, administrative, and programmatic support to grantmaking across two of the three presidential initiatives. The Puerto Rico initiative strengthens the archipelago’s vibrant artistic, cultural knowledge, and memory ecosystems as well as the individuals who work within them — both on the island and in the diaspora. Imagining Freedom, launched publicly in 2023, is a $125 million commitment to support artists, creatives, and thinkers whose work challenges the carceral state and collectively builds new, more just worlds. For both initiatives, he guides grantees throughout the grantmaking process, in addition to conducting research related to areas of potential interest. 

Prior to joining Mellon, Jack was a research assistant at The Appeal, where he supported senior leadership with policy briefings, project management, and development strategy. 

Jack holds a BA in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration with distinction from Yale University. As an undergraduate, he was an Education Studies Fellow and President’s Public Service Fellow at the Yale Prison Education Initiative. Jack also worked as a peer liaison at La Casa Cultural de Julia de Burgos and held positions at The Justice Collaborative and Chicanos Por La Causa.

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Jack now lives in Harlem. He enjoys visiting the latest museum exhibitions, film and analogue photography, and traveling.

Stephanie Garcia

Government Innovation Program Associate, Bloomberg Philanthropies

Stephanie Garcia (she/her) has a passion for developing avenues for socioeconomic mobility and is currently the program associate on the government innovation team at Bloomberg Philanthropies. She works on the Mayors Challenge, where she supports cities across the globe driving forth innovative solutions to address pressing urban challenges. 

Stephanie previously worked in corporate reputation and public affairs at one of the nation’s largest democratic polling firms and worked as a financial compliance consultant at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

A first-generation Mexican American hailing from Los Angeles, Stephanie earned her BA in Political Science from Brown University. Between classes, Stephanie worked with the Rhode Island State Senate policy office on STEM education policy and with the Immigrant Defenders Law Center where she supported undocumented immigrants with receiving legal support and social services. She now serves as a regional representative for the Brown Undergraduate Latino Alumni Council and an affinity group officer on Brown Alumni Association’s Board of Governors, actively fostering connections and opportunities for the Latino alumni community.

Lucia Geng

Civil Rights Paralegal, Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, LLP

Lucia Geng (she/her) is a paralegal at Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, LLP (NSB). NSB is a civil rights law firm that litigates wrongful conviction and police accountability cases around the country. In her role, Lucia supports the firm's attorneys and social workers by analyzing and organizing documents that strengthen clients' cases, creating work product in preparation for depositions, and corresponding with clients.

Prior to joining NSB, Lucia interned at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, where she supported a class action lawsuit to improve prison conditions within Arizona's prison system and created advocacy materials for a campaign to end solitary confinement.

Lucia is passionate about the power of the written word to effect social change, and has previously reported and written pieces about social justice issues for outlets such as the South Side Weekly, Dissent, and Shadowproof. In addition, while in college, Lucia facilitated creative writing workshops for incarcerated youths through the Bridge Writing Workshop at IYC-St. Charles, as well as voting rights workshops for incarcerated people at Cook County Jail. 

Lucia graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minors in Human Rights and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. In her free time, Lucia enjoys going to the theater, attending spin and yoga classes, and exploring trivia venues around New York City.

Camila Gomez

Policy and Planning Associate, God's Love We Deliver

Camila Gomez (she/her) is the policy and planning associate at God’s Love We Deliver, a New York City-based nonprofit that provides nutrition therapy, and cooks and home-delivers medically tailored meals for people living with severe illness provided free to clients and full of love. Founded in 1985 as a response to the AIDS pandemic, God’s Love We Deliver now serves over 3.6 million meals a year to over 13,000 individuals living with a wide range of diagnoses. 

In her role, Camila leads and develops advocacy and policy measures at the city, state, and federal levels with the hope of including medically tailored meals as a covered benefit through Medicare and Medicaid. Through her work, Camila has testified about the impact of medically tailored meals in New York City and beyond to the New York City Council Committees on General Welfare, Aging, and Senior Centers and Food Insecurity. She also is responsible for the coordination of government grants that supports the agency’s funding goals. 

Camila is a graduate of Fordham University, where she received her Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Theology with dual minors in American Studies and Bioethics. In 2023, she earned her Master's degree in Ethics and Society through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Fordham University. Her focus throughout the program was on health equity, justice, and the social determinants of health. She is also a member of the inaugural cohort of John Lewis Scholars and Fellows through the Faith and Politics Institute. Her research from this fellowship consisted of an oral history project on community engagement in her home borough of Queens, New York with nonprofit organizations. Camila has worked on campaigns for New York City Mayor and City Council, and has worked on constituent services in the Bronx. 

Camila is the child of Colombian immigrants and a first-generation college graduate. Outside of work, Camila enjoys playing tennis and going to the movies.

Sonia Groeneveld

Business Account Manager, Center for Employment Opportunities

Sonia Groeneveld (she/her) is a business account manager at the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). CEO is a national reentry nonprofit providing immediate and effective employment services to people recently released from incarceration. Operating in 30 cities, CEO is dedicated to opening doors for justice-impacted job seekers to achieve socioeconomic mobility. 

In her role, Sonia works on the frontlines of the NYC vocational team, serving as a job developer for a caseload of formerly incarcerated clients. She works directly with job seekers everyday to provide training for societal reentry via job applications, interview prep, career planning, and goal setting while surmounting barriers to success. Sonia also builds relationships with employers throughout NYC willing to hire CEO’s clients and who share second-chance hiring values; these employers range from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. Sonia advocates to companies on behalf of the people she works with to secure positions that offer benefits, security, and growth opportunities. 

Prior to joining CEO, Sonia worked as a strategy intern at The Bail Project, a national nonprofit that is combating mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system. In this role she worked closely with organizational leaders to develop program advancements for the revolving bail fund model, including training guidelines, process improvements, and future organizational plans. Sonia also previously worked as a client services associate at AlphaSights, a consulting firm in Manhattan.

Sonia graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University in 2021 with a double major in Economics and Sociology. At Tufts, she supported the Tufts Education Reentry Network, a program for continued higher education for formerly incarcerated students in the Boston area. 

Sonia grew up in Narberth, Pennsylvania and now lives in Brooklyn. She enjoys running, reading, riding Citi Bikes, and spending time with friends and family.

Brianna Guerrero

Associate Consultant, The Bridgespan Group

Brianna Guerrero (she/her) is an associate consultant with The Bridgespan Group, a global nonprofit organization that works with nonprofit, philanthropy, and impact investor clients to make the world more equitable and just. Bridgespan engages with clients on strategy development and organizational planning in an effort to unlock more capital for social change and generate positive, measurable impact.

In her role, Brianna works across all three of Bridgespan’s practice areas, most recently contributing to the development of an innovative impact measurement and management tool for AfricInvest, an African-based private equity investor.

Prior to Bridgespan, Brianna was a housing policy intern with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities where she supported a report that illuminated the significant unmet need for housing vouchers. Brianna was also a housing policy fellow with the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley where she worked with Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law, on remedies to housing segregation. She worked as a legislative fellow for Congresswoman Norma J. Torres and as an assistant paralegal for an international business immigration law firm in Washington, DC.

Brianna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Cal Poly Pomona. As a student, she participated in the university’s student managed investment fund that won a real-money portfolio. Brianna also served as a JusticeCorps member and volunteer instructor with the Prison Education Project where she, respectively, helped litigants through evictions and helped incarcerated persons understand their education options.

Brianna grew up in Chino, California and currently resides in New York City. In her free time, Brianna takes salsa classes in Brooklyn and enjoys exploring the city with friends.

Madison Hernandez

Intergovernmental Coordinator, NYC Fire Department

Madison Hernandez (she/her/ella) is an intergovernmental coordinator for the intergovernmental and legislative affairs team at the New York City Fire Department (NYFD). Her office is responsible for a wide range of intergovernmental, legislative, and policy matters, with a focus on conducting strategic outreach to high-level external stakeholders that can help the NYFD meaningfully serve the city’s communities. In her role, she analyzes legislation at the municipal, state, and federal levels, determining impact on the NYFD and tracks bill progress to inform agency positioning and negotiate strategy. Additionally, she produces large scale events and collaborates with elected officials and agency partners on issues relating to New York City life and fire safety.

Madison graduated from SUNY Binghamton with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Sociology with a concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Area studies. During her time on campus, Madison pursued multiple internships at different governmental bodies, nonprofits, and labor organizations. These experiences fueled her commitment to finding fusion between local governance and community advocacy to create resilient communities.  As a post-graduate, Madison joined the Urban Fellows program which aims at providing college graduates the opportunity to work at an array of agencies citywide to learn about public policy through a hands-on approach, where she was placed with the NYFD.

Madison is a native New Yorker and proud Lower East Sider, where she currently resides. In her free time, she enjoys going on long walks in the city, spending time with friends and family, and watching reality television. 

Arsela Mallick

Associate National Bank Examiner, Office of Comptroller of Currency - U.S. Department of the Treasury

Arsela Mallick (she/her) is a bank regulator at the Office of Comptroller of Currency (OCC), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury. The OCC ensures national banks and federal savings associations operate in a safe and sound manner, provide fair access to financial services and equal treatment to customers, and comply with applicable laws and regulations. 

In her role, Arsela reviews safety and soundness areas of a bank assessing eight categories of risk, engages directly with bank management, analyzes bank information, identifies issues in bank processes to inform risk assessments, and assigns applicable ratings. Her efforts ensure consumers are protected, and banks provide fair access and equal treatment to customers. She also performed macroeconomic and political research and analysis on international risks for multiple countries for the international risk supervision group. 

Arsela is passionate about global issues, poverty alleviation, and international and economic development. She loves to work on creative and collaborative projects. She volunteers for Charity Week, a fully volunteer led campaign of Islamic Relief (IR) to fundraise for orphans and needy children across the world. Her work throughout the years has contributed to fundraising over $1 million for projects for disaster relief, education access, malnutrition, refugees, and orphan sponsorship. 

Arsela graduated from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business and Finance. During college, her professional experiences spanned across nonprofits, the state senate, the federal government, accounting firms, and an education company. She was an INROADS Scholar and served on the CUNY student government.

Arsela is a native New Yorker and Indian-Pakistani American. She admires learning different cultures, languages, and environments (she has visited 4 continents, 6 countries, and 11 cities in the past year)! She is an aspiring photographer on the side, and loves fashion, biking, and exploring NYC.

Katherine (Kathy) Martinez

Recruiting Manager, COOP Careers

Katherine (Kathy) Martinez (she/her) supports fellow first-generation college graduates to break into the tech industry through her work as a recruiting manager at COOP Careers. She is a driven and compassionate first-generation Latina student committed to helping bridge the gap between education and employment opportunities for underrepresented students, as nearly 500,000 college graduates find themselves jobless each year.

Coming from the same background and situation as many of the students she now supports, Kathy possesses a deep understanding of the challenges and barriers they face. This empathy fuels her commitment to providing an equitable and inclusive process for all. Her own experiences have shaped her into a resilient advocate, and she seeks to empower others with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed.

As Kathy’s career continues to progress, she remains dedicated to making a lasting impact in the public sector. Whether it's through education, health care or mental health, she is determined to create a more equitable world where everyone, regardless of their background and income, has a fair shot.

Kathy received her BA in Human Biology from Hunter College. 

Ricardo Ortiz

Senior Analyst, NYC Mayor's Office of Management and Budget

Ricardo Ortiz (he/him) is a senior analyst for the New York City Office of Management and Budget (OMB), specifically within the Health Task Force. In his current role, Ricardo oversees the NYC Department of Health’s Division of Disease Control budget and operations. He collaborates with a dedicated team to assess and allocate resources for various health initiatives in NYC by dissecting complex financial data, formulating budgets, and making informed recommendations to ensure that critical healthcare services receive the funding they need to serve the city’s diverse population. 

Prior to joining OMB, Ricardo served as a human capital intern for the NYC Department of Buildings, where he worked to enhance talent recruitment and employee engagement to ensure safe and quality construction practices in the city. Ricardo also worked with Northwell Health, understanding the complexities of healthcare administration and ways healthcare systems can enhance the delivery of services to improve community health. 

Ricardo graduated from St. John’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Risk Management and Insurance. During his time at St. John’s, Ricardo participated in the organizations review and academic affairs committee, actively shaping the university’s educational policies and improving the campus experience. 

Ricardo was born and raised in Long Island, New York to Colombian and Salvadoran parents. He currently resides in Brooklyn, and loves spending time with his dog, exploring new restaurants, and watching Below Deck.

Jorwell Perez

Director of Communications and Outreach, The New York Foundling

Jorwell Perez (he/him) is the director of communication and outreach at The New York Foundling's Strong Families and Communities Training Center (SFC Center). The SFC Center provides workforce development to the peer and social service workforce and builds borough-based coalitions to mobilize community members and community-based organizations on advocacy initiatives to benefit their neighborhoods. In his role, Jorwell manages all internal and external communications, including newsletters, social media, brand development, and website management. 

Prior to joining The New York Foundling, Jorwell worked as a program manager at Bridge Builders Community Partnership, a community initiative in partnership with NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services to connect families in NYC's most marginalized communities to resources and services available to them. In this role he managed a team of case managers, developed an outreach strategy to increase community engagement, and organized multiple community events to improve the quality of life of New Yorkers in the Highbridge area of the Bronx. 

Jorwell graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and a Bachedlor of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. During his academic years, Jorwell was very involved on campus through various political and multicultural organizations including the Student Association, Latin American Student Union, Generation Vote, and Quimbamba Latin Dance Team. He received the Michael V Boyd Award and Louis Del Valle Latinx Award for his contributions in uplifting Latinx students' voices on-campus and increasing civic engagement amongst multicultural students. He later received a Master's degree in Media and Strategic Communications from Fordham University.

Jorwell is a native New Yorker from the Bronx, and now lives in Harlem. In his free time, Jorwell enjoys biking around the city, trying new restaurants, and hosting game nights with friends.

Tran Minh Thu (Minty) Pham

Global ESG Communications Manager, Indeed

Tran Minh Thu (Minty) Pham (she/her) is a global environmental, social, and governance communications manager at Indeed. In her role, she supports the diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB+); environmental sustainability; and responsible artifical intelligence teams with internal, executive, and corporate communications and drives awareness and engagement around Indeed’s efforts to build a more equitable and inclusive future of work. She played a key role in the development of Indeed’s 2023 DEIB+ report, which includes the company’s most recent workforce demographics, along with updates on its DEIB+ strategy, approach, and programs.

Prior to joining Indeed, Minty worked as a consultant at APCO Impact, an advisory that partners with nonprofits, foundations, brands, and governments to drive sustainability and weave positive social impact into decision-making at all levels. While at APCO Impact, she led the establishment of the firm’s first AAPI Employee Resource Group. 

Minty graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a BA in International Relations. During and immediately following her college years, she completed internships at nonprofits of various sizes across global health, refugee resettlement, and international affairs. 

Minty grew up in Vietnam and England, but her British accent has since faded. She now resides in uptown Manhattan with her two dogs Shakira and Danny DeVito. In her free time, Minty enjoys taking beginner dance classes, exploring the hiking trails behind her apartment, and trying out new recipes.

Josephine (Jo) Rivera

Senior Digital Marketing Associate, DonorsChoose

Josephine (Jo) Rivera (she/her) is the senior digital marketing associate at DonorsChoose, an educational nonprofit with a mission to support public school teachers and ensure that every student has the tools and experiences necessary for a great education. Since 2000, DonorsChoose has raised over $1.5 billion dollars for classrooms. It has an equity focus mission centered on combating racial and socioeconomic inequity in school funding, which supports teachers of color and schools that serve low-income communities and Black, Latino, and Native American students. 

In her role, Jo creates and implements digital marketing strategies for DonorsChoose’s major campaigns, which drives thousands of  teachers to post projects to fund their classrooms and encourages donors who are passionate about equitable education to support them. She first joined DonorsChoose when she was accepted into DonorsChoose’s Fellowship Program, a rotational program where she gained experience on the marketing team and content operations team.

Born and raised in the Bronx, NY and a product of NYC’s public school system, Jo learned early on through her academic studies and lived experiences about the vast systemic issues that persist within education. This fueled her to fight for an equitable education system through nonprofit work. She’s held various positions at organizations such as The Boys’ Club of New York and The Opportunity Network, where she worked with students across all ages from marginalized communities to enhance their academic and career experiences. She continues to volunteer with The Opportunity Network, having served on their Alumni Council, served as a college essay writing coach, and spoken on multiple panels. 

Jo graduated from Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and minors in Educational Studies and Peace & Justice Studies in 2020, with much of her research centering on education inequity and intersectionality. During her time at Gettysburg College, Jo worked in admissions and residence life. 

In her free time, she enjoys attending Broadway shows and concerts, dancing, and creative crafts. 

Thomas (Tommy) Saylor

Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis, NEO Philanthropy

Thomas (Tommy) Saylor (he/they) is the manager of financial planning and analysis at NEO Philanthropy (NEO). NEO is a philanthropic intermediary that nurtures social justice movements by connecting funders with grassroot organizations accelerating change across the country. These organizations are often under-resourced sectors of philanthropy as a result of systemic inequities that have historically prevented them from accessing institutional donors. NEO uses a fiscal sponsorship and grantmaking model to ensure these resources are spread throughout many different but intersecting issues such a racial justice, democracy reform, and reproductive rights. 

Tommy’s role is to oversee the financial reporting and the budgeting processes for NEO’s two collaborative funds, 90 fiscally sponsored and donor-led projects, and NEO’s 11 internal departments. Tommy also serves on NEO’s Equity Leadership Group (ELG) as the liaison for the finance department. Serving on the ELG has reenergized Tommy’s commitment to learning how to deconstruct the various “professional” norms that lead to burnout within the public service space, thus draining the energy needed to sustain strong movements. 

Prior to joining NEO, Tommy was a financial analyst at New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH). At NYPH, Tommy supported the hospital throughout the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The most important experience they had at NYPH was the opportunity to secure hotel and parking accommodations for frontline workers to minimize the impact of their travel on vulnerable communities.

Tommy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Ohio State University. During their studies, Tommy also worked part-time as a student mentor in the financial aid and admissions office. As a first-generation college student, Tommy found immense joy in helping prospective and incoming students understand what financial barriers exist and how they can overcome to make their educational dreams a reality. 

Tommy grew up in rural Ohio and currently resides in Harlem, New York. In their free time, Tommy enjoys studying astrology, listening to Beyoncé, and traveling as much as possible.

Ashley Tsegai

Program Manager, NYC Department of Small Business Services

Ashley Tsegai (she/her) is a program manager at the New York City Department of Small Business Services, an agency dedicated to unlocking economic potential and creating economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building thriving neighborhoods across the five boroughs. 

In her role, Ashley oversees organizational development grants and cohort-based capacity building initiatives aimed at empowering nonprofits operating in low-to-moderate communities. She designs and executes programs for organizations specializing in neighborhood development and commercial revitalization.

Prior to this role, Ashley worked with a number of community-focused organizations, including Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia; the Gambian Consulate to Nagoya, Japan; and the 79th District Assemblymember’s office. She graduated from Wheaton College with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics. During her academic tenure, she served as president of the Black Student Association, founding member of the Queer and Trans People of Color Collective, and interned at various nonprofits. 

Ashley prides herself in being a Bronx native, where she enjoys spending time with friends, patronizing local small businesses, and studying Tigrinya.

Maya Tierney

Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act Paralegal, Appellate Advocates

Maya Tierney (she/her) is a domestic violence survivors justice act paralegal at Appellate Advocates, a criminal appeals public defender organization serving indigent clients, most of whom are incarcerated. The Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act was passed in 2019 and allows judges to resentence individuals in instances where domestic violence was a significant contributing factor to their crimes. In this role, she coordinates the intake process and serves as clients’ point of contact until an attorney is assigned to their case. 

Maya graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Spanish as well as a Bachelor of Science in Human Development with a minor in Immigration Studies. She was a refugee family reunion intern at Sheffield Hallam University’s Refugee Rights Hub, a legal intern at the New York County District Attorney’s Office in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, and a summer law clerk at the NYC Department of Education’s Administrative Trials Unit. During her time at Binghamton, she served as the forwards captain of the Women’s Rugby Team, the chief justice of the Student Association’s Judicial Board, and a peer consultant at the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development. She continues to be involved in the Binghamton University community as the president of the Women’s Rugby Alumni Board and the events chair of the Bearcats of the Last Decade Leadership Council.

Maya is proud to be a native New Yorker. In her free time she enjoys running, reading, and watching rugby and the Gaelic Athletic Association.

Cassandra (Cassie) T-Pederson

Technical Research Assistant II, MDRC

Cassandra (Cassie) T-Pederson (she/her) is a technical research assistant at MDRC, a nonprofit education and social policy research organization. MDRC’s mission is to support and improve the lives of marginalized and low-income communities by evaluating public policy and interventions through rigorous research methods. 

In her role, Cassie uses quantitative data analysis skills to contribute to research evaluations of projects within the youth development, criminal justice, and employment policy areas. Her responsibilities include processing data, running statistical models, and producing figures and tables for reports. She has worked on projects related to evaluating the impacts of child support programs, employment interventions, and pretrial service policies. 

Cassie graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience. As a student, she worked on research projects related to child development and public health. Her senior thesis studied the impact of early life adversity on cognitive development. Additionally, she facilitated campus social justice workshops as a minority peer counselor. She also served as a facilitator for the pre-orientation Third World Transition Program.

Cassie was born in North Dakota, grew up in Connecticut, and currently lives in Brooklyn. In her spare time, Cassie enjoys walking through Prospect Park, fostering cats, playing Nintendo Switch, and spending time with friends and family.

Alexandra Ubalijoro

Research Assistant II, MDRC

Alexandra Ubalijoro (she/her) is a research assistant at MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization seeking to improve the impacts of public service programs and find solutions to social issues across the nation. In her role, Alexandra provides technical assistance and conducts qualitative research in the economic, mobility, housing, and communities policy areas. She works on projects dedicated to improving public housing policy and assisting nonprofits that provide job training and development services. 

Prior to joining MDRC, Alexandra worked as a research assistant for Julie Battilana, a Professor of Business Administration in the organizational behavior unit at Harvard Business School. In that role, she contributed to the development of content around the question of how actors – whether they be individuals, corporations, or governments – with entrenched beliefs diverge from deeply-seated norms and develop new ones for the betterment of society. She most enjoyed working on the publication of Professor Battilana’s book Power, For All: How It Really Works and Why It’s Everyone’s Business. Alexandra conducted research on negative conceptions surrounding power and the ways in which historically marginalized communities can better harness resources for their own benefit.

Alexandra graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy. While in college she worked in a lab studying the effects of stereotypes on the development of intergroup relations and hierarchies in the workplace. 

Alexandra was born in Atlanta, but has lived in Amsterdam, Reunion Island, Boston, and New York.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing, and taking pictures of interesting clouds.

Christina Valeros

Program Manager, NYC Department of Small Business Services

Christina Valeros (she/her) is a program manager in policy and planning at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), a city agency that seeks to unlock the economic potential of all New Yorkers. Through research and project management, she helps streamline the Small Business Advisory Commission and helps manage multi-stakeholder projects to advance the commission’s recommendations. 

Before joining SBS, Christina was an Urban Fellow working on mental health and accessibility programs at the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. She previously worked in education and youth advocacy and was a 2022 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Spain. Christina is committed to supporting solutions that close the gap between policy resources and complex needs across communities of color. 

As a Filipino American, Christina is invested in learning more about issues impacting the Asian American community. At the Chinese American Family Alliance for Mental Health, she is currently helping develop youth programming for a conference on decolonizing mental health. She also assists with program research on Chinese caregivers of adults with mental illness. 

Christina was raised in Queens. She is a proud CUNY graduate and studied Human Biology and Public Policy at Hunter College. In her free time, Christina enjoys singing, exchanging recipes with loved ones, and searching for new snacks to share. 

Michelle Veliz

NYCHA Health Corps Associate, NYC Mayor's Office - NYC Service

Michelle  Veliz (she/her) is a program associate at NYC Service, a division of the NYC Mayor’s Office which provides meaningful access, opportunity, and resources for communities to come together and answer the call to serve NYC.  Michelle works with the national service program seam managing member and host site relationships for the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) Health Corps Program. This Public Health AmeriCorps program administered by NYC Service, in which NYCHA residents are recruited to serve full-time at community-based nonprofits and public agencies for 10 months, with the purpose of supporting health and community partners in expanding their focus in interventions that advance equitable health outcomes across public housing developments. Michelle oversees member recruitment and conducts outreach to raise awareness of the NYCHA Health Corps Program. 

Prior to her role at NYC Service, Michelle was a community affairs associate for the NYC Service Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) working in the external affairs unit. At DCWP Michelle developed and maintained external relationships with elected officials, government agencies, industry and community stakeholders, and members of the public to address consumer and worker concerns. She worked closely with the director of community affairs to improve outreach efforts and to introduce new initiatives to increase the public’s awareness on city laws, including licensing, workplace regulations, and consumer protections. 

Michelle is a first-generation college graduate from Franklin & Marshall College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. As part of her undergraduate studies, she conducted a group research project investigating the relationship between parental news consumption, political attitudes, and children's racial attitudes. Modeled after the Clack Doll Studies, Michelle was inspired to study the influence of mass media on one’s political attitudes and how these influences can impact the racial attitudes of their children. 

Michelle is a public health fanatic and is passionate about supporting underserved communities. She played an important role during the COVID-19 pandemic conducting community outreach on the Covid-19 vaccine and working as a flow monitor in the vaccination hubs. She aspires to be as important and influential as Dr. Anthony Fauci one day to transform the American healthcare system and to promote health equity. In her personal time, Michelle enjoys going to the gym, writing poems, traveling, eating carne asada tacos and bike riding into the sunset.

Thomas (Tom) Walker

Senior Associate, Bennett Midland

Thomas (Tom) Walker (he/him) is a senior associate at Bennett Midland, a civic sector consulting firm that works with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and foundations to develop and implement new programs and initiatives, solve operational problems, and execute effective management strategies. At Bennett Midland, Tom provides strategic planning and organizational design support to various organizations.

In his current role, Tom is working with Children’s Aid to conduct an assessment of South Bronx Rising Together, a collective impact initiative aimed at bettering cradle-to-career outcomes in the South Bronx. He is also supporting Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation’s work to empower and train public servants with essential innovation skills by developing an innovation playbook that guides the organization from problem investigation to solution delivery. 

Prior to Bennett Midland, Tom worked at the United States Institute of Peace, a federal institution charged with promoting conflict resolution and prevention, in the office of congressional relations where he engaged U.S. policymakers on key foreign policy issues. Tom has also facilitated organizational transformation and capacity building as a consultant to the Departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and Commerce.

Tom holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a concentration in Comparative Politics from the University of Maryland, where he researched the behavioral and cultural patterns that emerge from working in politics. Tom is a proud New Orleaenian, who would trade almost anything for a good Po’ Boy, and in his free time enjoys reading and training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Angela Yang

Development Manager, James Beard Foundation

Angela Yang (she/her) is a development manager at the James Beard Foundation (JBF), a nonprofit organization with a mission is to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and to champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity, and sustainability. 

At JBF, Angela’s responsibilities include curating and managing membership events, assisting with auctions, serving as the first point of contact for membership inquiries, and supporting other aspects of development and fundraising. In this role, she has also discovered and nurtured a passion for storytelling through food and ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table. 

Prior to joining JBF, Angela worked at a cultural heritage museum in Los Angeles as the administrative and donor relations associate. In this role, she assisted with major giving activities, event planning, exhibition curation, and grants writing and management. 

Angela earned her BA from UC San Diego, where she studied Political Science with a concentration in American Politics as well as Anthropology with a concentration in Climate Change and Human Solutions. As a student, she was a resident advisor, orientation leader, and career center and alumni assistant. She was also active in student government and studied abroad in Prague. Angela participated in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Advancement Internship, a program designed to diversify the educational advancement field. 

Angela was born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles, and now resides in New York. In her free time, she can be found exploring NYC’s museums, trying new recipes and restaurants, curling up with a good book, and snapping pictures on film.


Jawad Cipriani

Associate Director – School of General Studies, Columbia University 

Jawad Cipriani (he/him) is currently the associate director of student engagement and transition in the School of General Studies (GS), the undergraduate college at Columbia University created specifically for returning and nontraditional students seeking a traditional, Ivy League undergraduate degree. In his role, he oversees and collaborates on GS transition programming, and is an instructor for the first-year transition seminar, “University Studies”. He also oversees student group centralized advising, and leadership development programs. In 2017, he received the “Commitment to the LGBTQ Community” Staff Award at Columbia University’s Lavender Graduation.  

Prior to joining the student life team at GS, Jawad served as a graduate assistant in the office of first year and transfer programs at Syracuse University for two years. Jawad 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 the office of student involvement and leadership at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.    

Jawad 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 students of color through educational and professional experiences. 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 Bachelor of Arts in critical social studies from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in 2008. He earned his Master of Science in higher education from Syracuse University in 2013. He is currently studying toward a Master of Arts in social-organizational psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. He was a member of the 2011 Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service (FELPS) cohort and credits the fellowship with helping him to develop the confidence to attend graduate school. This is Jawad’s seventh year serving as a FELPS career guide.

 Jawad grew up in New York City. He likes to dance, attend live shows, cheer on Syracuse basketball, and spend time with friends. 

Leticia Escobar

Attorney Advisor, U.S. Department of Justice 

Leticia Escobar (she/her) is an attorney advisor with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. As an attorney advisor, Leticia is responsible for drafting decisions and orders for numerous Immigration Judges on a wide range of applications, such as asylum, cancellation of removal and adjustment of status. 

Leticia earned her Juris Doctor in 2021 from CUNY School of Law. During law school, Leticia interned in Tulsa, Oklahoma with Still She Rises and the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. She also volunteered at the South Texas Family Residential Center, assisting detained women and children with their asylum applications. Leticia earned a Bachelor of Arts in Feminist Studies in 2013 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her undergraduate career, Leticia participated in the UC Field Research Program where she conducted research in Mexico City and Oaxaca, Mexico while volunteering at a renowned immigrant shelter.  

Prior to law school, Leticia worked as a paralegal in San Diego for Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, and in New York City for Sanctuary for Families’ Immigration Intervention Project. At Sanctuary for Families, Leticia engaged extensively with immigrant survivors of gender violence. 

Leticia is originally from San Diego, California and was a fellow in the 2018 cohort of the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service. She is a member of the New York State Bar.

Annie Lee

Senior Manager of Content Marketing, Student Leadership Network

Annie Lee (she/her) is a native New Yorker with nearly two decades of nonprofit communications, development, and alumni relations experience. She is the senior manager of content marketing at Student Leadership Network, a nonprofit with a mission to advance educational equity through girls’ education and comprehensive college access programs. Her role amplifies the organization’s impact through storytelling, relationship-building, and enrollment initiatives. 

An alumna of New York City public schools and a women’s college, Annie is passionate about dedicating her career to the educational equity space. She started her path in development at legal nonprofits, then spent nearly a dozen years at Prep for Prep, an education and leadership development program for students of color. She launched its communications department, helping evolve the organization’s voice in social justice issues and broadening its coverage and definitions of alumni success. Other previous roles include digital communications strategist for former Connecticut State Representative Stephanie Thomas’ 2020 election campaign and communications director for arts access nonprofit Cool Culture. 

Annie earned her BA in sociology from Barnard College. She was a 2013 FELPS fellow and has edited its semimonthly newsletter since 2014. This is her third year serving as a career guide. An avid reader and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast, she also loves watching reruns of the Barefoot Contessa cooking shows and exploring Brooklyn with her husband, who is also a FELPS alum.

Gloria Medina

Associate, Rivkin Radler LLP

Gloria Jane Medina (she/her) is a second-year commercial litigation associate at Rivkin Radler LLP, where she focuses on contract-based commercial disputes in both state and federal court. She also practices in the areas of employment, real estate, professional malpractice, and products/general liability law. Although she is now in the private sector, Gloria continues to try to find ways to give back to the community; she has done pro bono work most recently in the Nassau County Housing Court and volunteers with City Harvest. 

Prior to her current position, Gloria graduated from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in May 2022, earning both a JD and an Advanced Certificate in Dispute Resolution. While in law school, Gloria served as the editor-in-chief of the ADR Competition Honor Society, an analogue of moot court focusing on the disciplines of arbitration, mediation, and negotiation. In the fall of her third year of law school, Gloria was selected to be an Alexander Fellow, serving as a full-time judicial intern for Magistrate Judge Sarah Cave in the Southern District of New York. She was also a student mediator in Cardozo’s Divorce Mediation Clinic, a member of the Innocence Project Clinic, the alumni chair for Cardozo’s chapter of the Latin American Law Students Association, and a volunteer with Sanctuary for Families’ Uncontested Divorce Project, a program that assists survivors of domestic abuse.

Prior to attending law school, Gloria spent most of her career in public service, working at such places as the China-based nonprofit Teach for China, The Open Society Foundations, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and local nonprofit NYC Kids RISE. 

Gloria, a Bronx native, speaks Spanish natively and Mandarin Chinese at a basic level after studying the language at Wellesley College, from which she holds a BA in Philosophy. Gloria was a 2017 FELPS fellow. In her free time, Gloria enjoys playing with her golden retriever Leo, exploring new parts of New York City, experimenting with the best techniques for brewing espresso, and apartment-gardening.

Natasha Rivera

Corporate and Foundation Relations Officer, Prep for Prep

Natasha Daniella Rivera (she/her) is a queer, Latinx, born-and-raised New Yorker. Her background and expertise in educational equity, social justice, youth development, and community organizing stems from her familial background as the daughter and granddaughter of Ecuadorian immigrants. Their lived experience and encouragement pointed Natasha to Prep for Prep, of which she is a proud alumna. 

Natasha is currently the corporate and foundation relations officer at Prep for Prep, where she is responsible for managing the organization’s foundation and corporate funding relationships, seeking out new funding opportunities, and liaising across departments for their reporting needs. She is also a former alumni trustee and alumni council member for Prep for Prep.

Her career has spanned the education sector — with a bit of hospitality work at a luxury dude ranch in Wyoming thrown in for good measure. Prior to her current role at Prep for Prep, she acted as an anti-oppression facilitator with various consulting firms, as associate director of civic engagement and social justice at The New School’s Eugene Lang College, and as program manager at iMentor.

Natasha received a Bachelor's degree in English with honors from Davidson College and a Master's degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, where she received the Intellectual Contribution Award for her program. Outside of work, Natasha enjoys collecting seaglass, tending to her garden, and spending time with her four pets and partner.

Santa Soriano-Vasquez

Director of the Intergovernmental Affairs Division, New York City Council

Santa Soriano-Vasquez (she/her) is an energetic visionary who enjoys focusing on how the political landscape and various public policies and programs are linked together to create a big picture and develop effective initiatives to tackle social problems.

Santa is currently the director of the intergovernmental affairs division at the New York City Council. The intergovernmental affairs division represents and advocates on behalf of Speaker Adrianne Adams and 50 Council Members on issues affecting New York City at the local, state, and federal levels. Additionally, the division coordinates the Council's interaction with other elected officials and governmental entities.

Previously, Santa was the director of government relations at the Community Service Society of New York (CSS), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes economic advancement and full civic participation for low-income New Yorkers. Santa promoted and advanced CSS's legislative agenda and programmatic work at various levels of government. In addition, she was responsible for ensuring compliance with lobbying laws and regulations. She was a member of CSS’s technology leadership team which supported the organization’s planning and implementation of a cohesive approach to technology. She also served as a spokesperson for the Hispanic media. Santa held various positions at CSS in which she co-authored publications, performed research, worked on strategic planning, conducted training geared toward human service professionals, recruited and trained volunteers, and developed partnerships with community-based organizations citywide.

Santa has served on various nonprofit boards and advisory councils and is an alumna of several leadership programs. Santa earned a Master of Public Administration from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the City College of New York. 

Santa was a 2006 FELPS fellow, the inaugural year of the fellowship. This is her third year serving as a career guide.

Rebecca Stauffer

Manager – Healthcare Industry Practice, CohnReznick

Rebecca Stauffer (she/her) is a manager of the Healthcare Industry practice at CohnReznick. With over 15 years of experience within healthcare organizations ranging from academic hospital-based medical centers, the New York City public health department, and a federally qualified health center (FQHC), Rebecca provides services to clients such as program development, strategic planning, developing and writing grant proposals, and grant management. 

Prior to joining CohnReznick, Rebecca was the director of healthcare operations, policy, and planning for Project Renewal, a nonprofit organization with a mission to end the cycle of homelessness by empowering individuals and families to renew their lives with health, homes, and jobs. There she oversaw and led the healthcare services, including primary care and behavioral health services within clinics and mobile vans, developed and implemented new services, and managed the finances and budget. Rebecca also has expertise in strategic and operational planning to ensure compliance.

Previously, Rebecca was the director of program operations for the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), which was a bureau within the Department of Prevention and Primary Care at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She also was a department administrator at the New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry and senior project manager within the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. 

Rebecca earned her Master of Public Administration degree from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Kenyon College. This is Rebecca’s tenth year as a FELPS career guide.  

Steve Vassor

Senior Manager – Restoration Retreats, Fund II Foundation

Steve Vassor (he/him) is a husband, proud girl-Dad, mentor, and advisor. He enjoys travelling and is also a professional DJ. Steve’s life mission is to mobilize and liberate people. When he and his wife are not running road races, Steve is supporting leaders, creating coalitions, strengthening organizations, and developing strategies that improve life chances and conditions for young people. 

Steve serves as the senior manager for Fund II Foundation’s Restoration Retreats. The Restoration Retreats provide urban youth ages 14-17 living in high-poverty areas exposure to nature-based coaching, mentoring, health and wellness. Steve supports the delivery and expansion of the program design, which connects urban youth to outdoor activities, while providing tools that enhance their leadership, reduce their stress, and help them manage their self-care. 

Prior to Fund II Foundation, Steve served at local, regional, and national nonprofits and municipal organizations. He has trained people, coached leaders, developed strategies, raised money, and continues to build communities and coalitions. He is an advisor to WeThrive, a platform helping youth create real companies that make real impact as well as Weight of the World, a film series based on the narratives of emancipated African Americans. Steve also serves as board co-chair at the Youth Mentoring Action Network, a nationally recognized mentoring organization based in California. 

Steve earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mental Health Technology from Morgan State University, and a Master’s degree in Social Service Administration from Case Western Reserve University. He and his wife live in New York City with their two dogs. This is Steve’s fourth year as a career guide. 


Moschell (Mo) Coffey

Director, Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service

Moschell (Mo) Coffey (she/her) is passionate about developing the capacities of the public service sector. Furthering her commitment to leadership and professional development, Mo has supported the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service since 2008. As the director of the program, she oversees all outreach, recruitment, and selection; program and curriculum development and evaluation; and alumni engagement.

As the founder and principal of Challenges and Solutions LLC, Mo uses a culturally competent, anti-racist, and strengths-based approach to help mission-driven 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 emerging and established leaders in public service explore their professional passions, chart career paths, and search for meaningful opportunities.

Mo’s consulting clients have included private foundations; the Institute for Child Success funded by the Obama White House Social Innovation Fund; Blue Meridian Partners; the Center for Employment Opportunities; the Center for Justice Innovation; INCLUDEnyc; the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center funded by the New York State Health Foundation; Mission: Cure; the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College of the Law; and the Office of the President at New York University (NYU).

She currently serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where she teaches the year-long Master of Public Administration capstone class on Social Impact, Innovation, and Investment. She also teaches two classes for Master of Science in Public Policy students: Public Management and The Practice of Work. Mo co-founded NYU’s Presidential Internship Program for undergraduate juniors and seniors, and she currently manages the program and oversees students’ professional development.

Previously, Mo worked as the managing director for The Good Dog Foundation, the national leader in therapy dog training, certification, visit coordination, research, and awareness. She was also the coordinator at the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law at NYU School of Law.

Mo earned her Master of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from NYU Wagner. She is a former Trustee of Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, where she earned an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude in International Relations with a minor in Spanish.