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Harlem RBI’s staff works diligently to improve the lives of the youth and families of East Harlem. Harlem RBI employees strive to demonstrate our organizational values of: teamwork, respect, diversity, promise, effort, integrity and, of course, fun!
In April 2011, Harlem RBI was named as one of the top 50 non-profit organizations to work for in the nation by The NonProfit Times. This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in the nonprofit industry, benefiting the industry's economy, its workforce and businesses.
FULL-TIME STAFF BIOS
Mr. Berlin holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and attended a Master's Program in Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science in London, England. Additionally, he has completed certificate programs at Columbia University's Institute for Not-for-Profit Management in both Non-Profit Management and Leadership Development. Mr. Berlin has also been a Leadership Fellow at the Citizens' Committee for the Children of New York City.
Mr. Berlin, who frequently speaks on topics related to non-profit management, governance, and sustainability, has served as an adjunct faculty member at The New School University's Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Policy. He also serves as the vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the National Summer Learning Association.
Sara Alvarado, Controller, is responsible for supporting the delivery of timely and reliable financial information for the organization. Prior to Harlem RBI, Sara served as the Controller for the Northeastern Conference in Jamaica, New York where she analyzed and presented financial statements to the organization's senior management. Sara has also previously worked as an Accountant with the Greater New York Corporation. Sara holds a Master's in Business Administration from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Iona College.
Hannah Baek, Communications Associate, supports the Director of Communications with the management of the organization's public and private grants portfolio and development of external communications and marketing materials. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Hannah worked in Public Relations and Communications for Habitat for Humanity. Hannah also has done extensive volunteer work including volunteering for Reach Out and Read where she read books to underprivileged children in pediatrics waiting rooms to promote higher literacy rates. Hannah received her Bachelor's in Political Science from the University of Michigan. Hannah is also a fluent speaker of Korean and enjoys ceramics.
Robin Baldwin, AmeriCorps Program Manager, plays a key role in collaborating with Harlem RBI program staff to support and recruit AmeriCorps service members. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Robin served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she assisted in course development, instruction and grading for undergraduate courses covering race and gender. Robin has also previously worked at the Huntington Learning Center in Land O'Lakes, Florida as Center Director, where she hired and trained teachers and developed individual student curriculum plans and at St. Paul’s Community Development Corporation where she served as an AmeriCorps Director. Robin is also a former Teach for America member, having served as an elementary school teacher in Newark, New Jersey. Robin holds a Master's Degree in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the University of Florida.
Jasmin Berrios, Program Coordinator, delivers a range of social services and supports that respond to the needs of Harlem RBI's teenage participants, particularly in the area of sexual health. Jasmin received her Bachelor's in Psychology from the State University of New York at Oswego. Jasmin is currently a Masters of Social Work candidate at Hunter College School of Social Work. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Jasmin worked as an Assistant Coordinator of Prevention, Education & Outreach for Ryan-NENA Community Health Center in New York, where along with other responsibilities Jasmin supervised Ryan-NENA's HIV counseling, testing & referral programs. Jasmin is also a member of the Manhattan HIV Care Network. Jasmin is certified in CPR and is a fluent speaker of Spanish.
Steven Blitzer, Baseball/Softball Program Manager, supervises staff and volunteers to ensure the quality design and delivery of Harlem RBI's baseball and softball activities. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Steven served as the Assistant Baseball Coach at the City College of New York. Previously, Steven spent over a decade at the Bronx House Community Center, most recently serving in the capacity of Director of Bronx House Athletics/Tween and Teen Programming and Teen Day Camp. Steven holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Lehman College where he was a member of the East Coast Athletic Conference Championship Baseball Team in 1996.
Jessica Brenner, Special Events Manager, is responsible for the fundraising, marketing and execution of our 5 annual large-scale development events, while serving as a key member of our development team. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Jessica served as a Development Program Officer for the National September 11th Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation where she helped raise funds for a $350 million capital campaign and coordinated all of the organization's annual fundraising events. Jessica holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Florida in Family, Youth and Community Science.
Julian Chance, Staff Accountant, is responsible for Harlem RBI's accounts payable functions. Prior to Harlem RBI, Julian worked in various capacities in the financial departments of the Fairfield Greenwich Group, Mount Hope Housing Co. Inc. and the Synergos Institute, Inc. Julian holds a certificate in computerized bookkeeping.
Jen Chau, Director of Talent Development, is responsible for all strategic talent efforts, including recruitment and hiring, workforce planning, coaching and professional development and the building of cultural competency in Harlem RBI's staff. Before joining Harlem RBI full-time, Jen served as a consultant for Harlem RBI and DREAM on talent initiative work. Prior to joining Harlem RBI, Jen was at New Leaders for six years, the education reform organization that focuses on training high quality school leaders. For five of those years, she served as the National Director of People Development and Human Resources, where she helped to grow the organization from 60 staff to 200 in four years. She also founded Swirl in 2000, a multiracial community organization that is committed to initiating and sustaining cross-racial, cross-cultural dialogue. Jen's perspectives on race and racism have been featured in such media outlets as The New York Times, USA Today, and NPR. Jen holds a Bachelor's Degree in Women's Studies from Wellesley College, and a Master's Degree in Organizational Change Management from New School University.
Felicia Crump, Chief of Staff, provides the Management Team with external support as well as the coordination of internal management projects. Prior to her current role, Felicia worked as the Academic Counselor to the Men's Basketball Team at the University of Connecticut, where she was responsible for the academic support and performance of the programs’ student-athletes. She has also previously held positions in the Community Affairs Departments at Major League Baseball and the Community and Player Programs Department at the National Basketball Association. Felicia is rejoining the organization, having originally served as Harlem RBI's first Development Assistant. Felicia holds a Bachelor's Degree in Art History from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a Master's Degree in Sports Management and Sociology from the University of Connecticut.
Elz Cuya Jones, Director of Communications, co-leads the development department in partnership with the Director of Individual and Corporate Giving, to execute all of Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School's fundraising efforts. Additionally, Elz is responsible for the communications and marketing functions of Harlem RBI and DREAM. Elz has worked in the non-profit sector since 2003, holding development and marketing positions at Youth Speaks, Hip-Hop Theater Festival and Women's Project. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Translation Project, a literary organization celebrating the Iranian diaspora, and Global Action Project, a New York City organization that works with young people most affected by injustice to build the knowledge, tools, and relationships needed to create media for political change. She is currently studying documentary filmmaking at Maysles Institute in Harlem and loves going to the theater. Born to immigrant Filipino parents, Elz earned her BA in Mass Communications at University of California, Berkeley. Prior to working in the non-profit world, she spent a decade in the broadcasting industry (KNBR Sports, KCBS News). Elz is passionate about young people and communities of color which makes Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School a natural and inspiring place for her to be!
Betsy Dupuis, REAL Kids Campus Assistant Fellow, is responsible for daily operations of the REAL Kids after-school program at Mosaic Prep Academy and the Summer Robinson League. Prior to becoming Campus Assistant, Betsy was a REAL Kids Learning Coach. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Betsy attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she played softball and received a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts. She is also fluent in Spanish.
Elizabeth Durastanti, Director of Corporate and Community Partnerships, leads the day-to-day relationship management of key organizational partners and work in conjunction with the development team to ensure the smooth operation of all fundraising and special events. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Elizabeth served as a Manager in the Global Mobility Advisory Services of KPMG where she specialized in providing strategic advisory consulting to assist companies in managing their international workforce. Elizabeth has also previously served at the Welfare to Work Partnership where she sought career opportunities for at-risk youth. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Richmond in Leadership Studies and a Master's of Science in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics.
Yamilee Duroseau, TeamBuilders Coaching Fellow, supports the positive development of youth and helps deliver core program components to our middle school youth. Yamilee started at Harlem RBI as a Summer REAL Kids Learning Coach. Prior to Harlem RBI, Yamilee served as a teacher's aide in the Elmont School District and as a waiver service provider with Bridges to Health on Long Island. Yamilee holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Brandeis University and is fluent in Haitian Creole.
Allison Farer, Grants Assistant, supports the Grants Team with generating funding for Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Allison served as an Office Manager and Research Associate at Praxis Insights, a higher education and government consulting firm, where she oversaw daily operations and assisted clients with federal grant proposals. Allison holds a Bachelor's Degree in American Studies from Barnard College, where she served as a Head Writing Fellow for the Barnard College Higher Education Opportunity Program.
Neil Andrew Francisco, Communications Assistant, plays a key role maintaining the organization's websites and social media as well as supporting the Communications Team. Prior to Harlem RBI, Neil served as the Webmaster for Sing for Hope, a New York City non-profit organization that transforms underserved communities by mobilizing professional artists in volunteer service programs. Neil also previously served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Serve Rhode Island. Neil holds a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy from Providence College.
Diego Gallardo, REAL Kids Campus Assistant Fellow, worked in a part-time capacity as a Campus Assistant and a Culture Coordinator with the REAL Kids Program for two years prior to becoming a full time employee. Before joining Harlem RBI, Diego served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County, working to document special events and helping with various administrative and fundraising duties. Diego also worked with the Oswego County BOCES as an English tutor for migrant workers throughout Oswego County. Diego holds a degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at Oswego.
Yesenia García-Fortuna, TeamWorks Program Coordinator, is responsible for delivering Harlem RBI's programs to our high-school youth. Prior to joining Harlem RBI, Yesenia served as a High School/College Coach and as Social Work support at the Children's Aid Society, where she provided ongoing case management and family and group counseling for high-school youth. Previously, Yesenia was an Advocate Advisor to high-school students at the High School for Excellence and Innovation and a Health Educator at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. Yesenia holds a Bachelor's Degree in Hispanic Language & Literature from Stony Brook University and a Master's Degree in Social Work from Hunter College. Yesenia is certified in CPR and is a fluent speaker of Spanish.
Tracey Goldner, Volunteer Coordinator, will support the day-to-day administration of Harlem RBI’s volunteer program. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Tracey served as a Community Health Educator in Turkmenistan with the United States Peace Corps where she taught health principles to young people and adults including yoga and aerobics courses. Tracey has also held various positions, including in development and website content with Medical Teams International, a global health organization, helping people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty in 72 countries. Tracey holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University.
Caroline Gonzalez, REAL Kids Campus Assistant Fellow, manages parent communication, finances, enrollment and attendance for the program. Caroline is currently working towards a Bachelor's Degree at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Prior to this position, Caroline worked as a REAL Kids coach. Caroline is also a proud Harlem RBI alumna.
Liza Gray, Capital Projects Manager, is responsible for delivering the Capital Project on schedule and on budget by collaborating with Civic Builders, a school developer and Jonathan Rose Companies, an affordable housing developer. The Capital Project includes the new home for DREAM Charter School which will serve grades K-8, Harlem RBI's office headquarters, 89 units of affordable housing and the renovation of a public park. Prior to joining Harlem RBI, Liza worked for a project management firm and spent four years working for a real estate developer on mixed-use multi-family projects. Liza holds a BA in Communications from Georgia State University and an MBA in Global Business for Georgia Tech.
Brett Gurwitz, TeamBuilders Program Manager, is responsible for leading staff to implement the TeamBuilders program curriculum and to ensure smooth program operations. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Brett served as the Senior Program Director at Roads to Success in Brooklyn where he oversaw all after-school programming serving over 700 children. Brett has also spent time as a clinical social worker at JBFCS Southern Brooklyn Counseling Center. Brett holds a Bachelors Degree from the University at Buffalo and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.
Jeffry Gutierrez, Family Engagement Coordinator, organizes parents to become involved in sexual health education and other activities that lead to positive youth outcomes. Prior to joining Harlem RBI, Jeffry served as a Waiver Service Provider at Graham-Windham Family Services in Brooklyn where he worked with foster youth and families to allow them to have an in-depth understanding of effective approaches in family engagement and the milestones of foster care. He has also worked as an Adoption Specialist and an Intake Investigator at the Division of Youth and Family Services of Secaucus and the Family Resource Center - Catholic Charities in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jeffry holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from William Paterson University and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Social Work from NYU. Jeffry is also fluent in Spanish.
Prospero Herrera, Volunteer Coordinator, will support the day-to-day administration of Harlem RBI’s volunteer program. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Prospero served as a Head Coach/Volunteer Coordinator at Soccer Without Borders where he planned and ran soccer practice sessions and games for immigrant and refugee youth teams and recruited other volunteer coaches. Prospero also worked at Bolton, Perez & Associates as a Florida Department of Transportation Consultant and at Columbia University/Millennium Villages as a Climate Analyst. Prospero holds a Master's Degree in City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor's Degree in Earth and Environmental Engineering from Columbia University. Prospero has also volunteered serving youth with both Oakland Based Urban Gardens and the Special Needs Aquatic Program.
Amanda Holder, Human Resources Coordinator, is responsible for all aspects of Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School's day-to-day human resources needs. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI and DREAM, Amanda served as a Human Resources Manager at Advise Technologies, an international financial applications software company, where she established and managed all human resources functions. Amanda has also worked in the human resources department at several other for-profit and non-profit organizations. Amanda holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration - with a specialty in Human Resources Management, a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication/Journalism from Virginia Union University and a Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certificate.
Bill Holmes, Senior Financial Analyst, is responsible for providing support and aiding in the execution of Harlem RBI’s financial strategies. Before joining Harlem RBI, Bill worked at the Nonprofit Finance Fund, as a Senior Associate in Advisory Services, where he assisted various non-profits with financial strategy. Bill has also previously worked as a personal financial advisor with Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, and has for-profit finance and operations experience with MaxCustom Media and Brown & Company Securities. Bill also spent 5 years volunteering at Harlem RBI as a baseball coach. Bill holds a Master's Degree in Nonprofit Management from the Milano New School for Management and Urban Policy and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maine.
Jarrell Hughes, TeamWorks Program Coordinator, supports the delivery of Harlem RBI's Team Enrichment curriculum for high school participants. Prior to joining Harlem RBI, Jarrell was the Guidance Director at the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx where he was responsible for moderating three character and leadership programs for teenage youth. He has also previously served as an Academic Counselor for middle-school youth at the C.H.A.R.L.E.S. Project in Harlem. Jarrell holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a Master's Degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from St. Bonaventure University.
Ondrae Jackson, TeamWorks Coaching Fellow, supports the positive development of youth and helps deliver core program components to our high-school youth. Prior to returning to Harlem RBI, Ondrae held various medical internships in Washington, DC including sports and spinal physical therapy and orthopedic medicine and also has experience working in various retail settings. Ondrae holds a Bachelor's Degree in Health Sciences from Howard University and is also a proud Harlem RBI alumna.
Angela Jefferson, Director of Social Services, received her Bachelor's in Business Administration from Baruch College and her Masters of Social Work and a LCSW from New York University. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Angela worked as a Social Work Supervisor for New York Methodist Hospital, in Brooklyn, New York, where Angela managed a staff of over 20 individuals and helped ensure the smooth day-to-day operations of the hospital's social work department. Angela has previously worked for Planned Parenthood of New York City, Bronx Community Initiatives Program, Queens Child Guidance Center and The REACH Community School. Angela is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers and has co-authored a journal article on sleep deprivation and motivation.
Loanky De Jesus, TeamBuilders Program Coordinator, supports the delivery of Harlem RBI's programs to middle-school youth. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Loanky spent 7 years with the Boys' Club of New York in various positions. Most recently, he served as a Director for the Middle School Department, where he oversaw the academic and social progress of over 100 middle school youth. Loanky holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Hunter College and is certified in First Aid and CPR. He is also a fluent speaker of Spanish.
Taneshia Johnson-Ervin, TeamBuilders Coaching Fellow, supports the positive development of youth and helps deliver core program components to our middle-school youth. Taneshia started at Harlem RBI as a Summer REAL Kids Learning Coach. Prior to Harlem RBI, Taneshia was the Operations Manager at Johnson & Johnson Variety Store and has served as a Women's Basketball Coach at the Charlie Ward Basketball Camp, where she worked with middle-school youth. Taneshia holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University, where she was the team manager of the Women's Basketball squad.
Maiesha Josephs, Senior TeamBuilders Program Coordinator, delivers Harlem RBI's TeamBuilders Program for youth ages 13-14, providing youth with academic support and opportunities for community service. Prior to working at Harlem RBI, Maiesha was the Assistant Center Director and Program Coordinator for the Police Athletic League. Maiesha earned her a BA in Political Science from Southampton College of Long Island University.
Joseph Luesse, Evaluation and Assessment Manager, is responsible for managing activities related to evaluation and assessment throughout Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School. Before coming to Harlem RBI and DREAM, Joe served as a Research Consultant on the Building Knowledge for Social Justice Project through the Ford Foundation and as a Research Analyst for the Research Alliance for New York City Schools. Joe has also served as an English Teacher in Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit - his hometown. Joe is a huge sports fan and has served as an assistant high school basketball coach and has spent over 10 years as a volunteer in the Best Buddies Program.
Rob Maitra, Director of Programs, oversees Harlem RBI's programs serving students from 6th grade through college graduation. For 16 years prior to Harlem RBI, Rob has worked as public school teacher, teacher education professor, education and program director and education researcher. He spent many years at The Boys' Club of New York where he was Director of Educational Advancement, responsible for the organization's flagship education programs administered at the organization's four sites. Most recently, Rob was the Managing Director of Programs at Groundwork, in which he oversaw five campuses in East New York, Brooklyn, serving over 500 students in grades K-12. Additionally, he has presented and published numerous papers on education, with a specific focus on boys education and masculinity. Rob earned his Bachelors in Arts in English and History from the University of Scranton and his Masters in Arts in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he has also completed all of the coursework for his doctorate. Over the past decade, he has taught numerous teacher-education courses at Bryn Mawr College, Teachers College, Columbia University and Hunter College.
Jennifer Martin, Social Worker, provides social services to Harlem RBI's teenage participants and works with the Play It Safe program around sexual health education. Prior to working at Harlem RBI, Jennifer practiced social work with children and families at the Bedford-Stuyvesant Family Center in Brooklyn, New York and adolescents and families at Hillside Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Jennifer completed her Bachelor in Science in Family Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park and her Master in Science/Master in Social Work in Human and Community Development and Social Work with a concentration in Marriage and Family Service. Jennifer has continued her Social Work training with the Ackerman Institute for the Family.
Dane Martinez, Director of REAL Kids, is responsible for leading staff and youth workers to implement the REAL Kids program curriculum and to ensure smooth program operations. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Dane served as a Director in the Teacher Effectiveness Group and Office of School Leadership with the New York City Department of Education where he lead content development, training and design enhancements of Performance Management systems and leadership programs to support teachers and school leaders. Prior to his work at the New York City Department of Education, Dane was the founding Dean of Students for Achievement First Bushwick Middle School in Brooklyn. Dane has also previously served as a Program Director with Teach for America and taught middle school science, math and english in the Bronx. Dane holds a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University and a Master's Degree in Teaching from Pace University.
Juliet Mercado, Program Data Specialist, assists the programing team in data management and reporting. Juliet is currently working towards a Bachelor's Degree at the City College of New York and has previously worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center. Juliet is also a proud Harlem RBI alumna.
Greg Mateo, TeamWorks Program Coordinator, delivers Harlem RBI's TeamWorks Program for youth in grades 9-10, managing service learning projects and offering youth opportunities to develop leadership and job readiness skills. Before joining Harlem RBI, Greg was a Program Coordinator for the Children’s Aid Society at Manhattan Center for Science & Mathematics in East Harlem. He has also served as a Youth Program Coordinator for the Geriatric Career Development Program at Jewish Home Lifecare, and was a Children & Youth Counselor at the Violence Intervention Program, a nationally recognized Latina organization helping survivors of domestic violence. Prior to that, Greg spent four years as a case worker at Bellevue Hospital providing emergency care through crisis intervention, clinical and supportive services. Greg received his BA in Psychology from Lehman College and completed the Hispanic Federation Leadership Institute Non-Profit Management Program at Baruch College.
Robert Montanez, ReServe Human Resources Assistant, supports the Director of Human Resources and Legal Affairs in the day-to-day administration of Harlem RBI's benefit plans and other logistical human resources needs. Robert brings more than 20 years of Human Resources experience to the team, having worked for such organizations as the NYC Department for the Aging, the Council for Human Services and the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. Robert grew up in New York City and has resided in East Harlem for the past 58 years.
Marissa Munn, REAL Kids Campus Manager, manages a site of Harlem RBI’s REAL Kids program at Mosaic Preparatory Academy, which provides youth in 2nd – 5th grades with a unique inclusive learning environment and focuses on building interest and enthusiasm for reading and math while improving critical thinking and team skills through hands-on learning and enrichment activities. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Marissa served as an After-School Coordinator at Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center. Marissa also has experience as an After-School Instructor at Girls Inc. in Sarasota, FL and The Point, CDC in the Bronx. She has developed after-school curriculum for Channel Thirteen and the National Council of La Raza. Marissa also conducted research and evaluation of various educational programs at the Research for Action and The Netter Center for Community Partnerships. Marissa holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in education, culture and society from The University of Pennsylvania.
Natasha Pallan, Chief Financial Officer, oversees the financial operations and management of Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School. Prior to Harlem RBI, Natasha served as the Director of Subsidiary Finance with New York's Empire State Development where she was responsible for the day-to-day financial management of eight subsidiary corporations and three corporate projects with a combined capital cost of more than $1.5 billion in public funds. Natasha has also previously worked in various financial capacities with Prudential, Deutsche Bank and RBS Greenwich. Natasha holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Washington University.
Judy Padilla, Administration Coordinator, oversees Harlem RBI's program office and provides administrative support to various programs. Prior to joining Harlem RBI, Judy worked at Mamiye Sales as a Credit Administrator where she coordinated the day-to-day operations of various accounts while providing administrative support. Judy also held various positions as a Bookkeeper. Judy is a long-time Harlem RBI parent volunteer and is currently taking courses in Business and Professional Writing at Hostos Community College.
Mike Perez, Information Technology Manager, assists the Director of Information Technology with the organization's technology function. Mike is currently working towards a degree in Computer Science & Computer Information Systems at CUNY Lehman College and has previously worked as an Information Technology consultant for various commercial businesses. Mike is also a proud Harlem RBI alumni.
Ricardo Perez, TeamBuilders Coaching Fellow, supports the positive development of youth and helps deliver core program components to our middle-school youth. Ricardo has worked part-time at Harlem RBI with the REAL Kids, TeamWorks and DreamWorks programs since 2008. Additionally, Ricardo has worked in various capacities at the Boys' Club of New York, including as a Physical Education Monitor where he worked to support participants' emotional and physical development. Ricardo is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is a proud Harlem RBI alum.
Yeison Pimentel, Baseball/Softball Operations Coordinator, manages Harlem RBI's Field of Dreams, as well as equipment for all of Harlem RBI's baseball and softball teams. Yeison also ensures smooth and safe transportation for our youth and instructs participants on healthy behavior and physical fitness during after-school programming. Yeison attended Alfred State College before obtaining his Associates Degree in Applied Sciences in Electrical Engineering at Bronx Community College. Yeison has worked for Harlem RBI since 2004 in several part-time positions in programs including Coaches-in-Training, REAL Kids and TeamBuilders. Prior to working at Harlem RBI, Yeison worked with IBM and World Vision. Yeison is also a proud Harlem RBI Alumni and Volunteer coach.
Johnny C. Rivera, Director of Community and Government Affairs, is a proud product of East Harlem who has spent his professional life serving the community. In his role, Johnny engages key constituents to build and strengthen relationships between Harlem RBI and the East Harlem community. Prior to Harlem RBI, Johnny was the Senior Director of Programs at Mount Sinai Medical Center's Department of Community and Government Affairs and Congressman Charles B. Rangel's representative in East Harlem, where he was the Director of Operations for four years. Johnny also partnered with philanthropist Eugene Lang to create the "I Have a Dream" Program, which provided graduates of PS 121 with college tuition and enrichment programming. Johnny also developed the intervention model to prevent high school dropouts and increase college access that is used throughout the nation and abroad. Johnny has served as the Chairman of the School Board and Chairman of the Land-Use Committee for Community Board 11, as well as serving on the Professional Advisory Committee to the Little Sisters of the Assumption, the Board of Directors for the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, the Youth Action Program and the East Harlem Block School Nurseries. Johnny graduated with BA degree in Political Science from Hunter College and a MPA in Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Carol Román, Manager of Administration, provides leadership capacity on the Administration Team, centralizes a variety of core administrative functions and is responsible for day-to-day management of our facilities staff. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Carol worked at Creative Alternatives of New York as an Executive Assistant/Operations Manager where she provided support to the Executive Director and conducted all business operations. Carol has previously served in an administrative capacity with Violence Intervention Program, Inc. and St. Nicks Alliance among other organizations. Carol is also a Junior Board Member with Urban Pathways, a non-profit organization that provides needed services to homeless New Yorkers. Carol holds a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Baruch College and is fluent in Spanish.
Carolina Romero, TeamBuilders Program Coordinator, is responsible for developing workshops and team meetings with middle school teams to facilitate the development of strong team dynamics, positive self identity, good decision making and the necessary competencies to transition effectively into high school. Before serving as a Program Coordinator, Carolina was with Harlem RBI's TeamBuilders program in a part-time role for over two years. Carolina also has previous experience in retail and banking. Carolina holds a Bachelors Degree in Human Development from Cornell University and is a fluent speaker of Spanish.
John Rosenberger, Baseball and Softball Administrator, provides logistical support for Harlem RBI's 69 baseball and softball teams as well as, volunteer training and appreciation events. He attended the University of Arizona where he studied Political Science. Prior to working coming aboard as a full-time employee of Harlem RBI, he volunteered at the organization for six years while working as a Vocational Rehabilitator and Case Cousnelor at Weston United Community Renewal.
Vinson Sanders, TeamWorks Coaching Fellow, supports the positive development of youth and helps deliver core program components to our high-school participants. Prior to Harlem RBI, Vinson served at Corbin’s Crusaders/Phoenix Basketball League where he served as the Head Coach of the 5th grade boy’s basketball team and the Assistant Coach for the 7th grade boy's team. Vinson has also previously served as a Substitute Teacher with the New York City Department of Education and as the Sports Director at the After School Center in Brooklyn, New York. Vinson holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications/Media Studies from Queens College.
Yvette Santos, Site Manager at Harlem RBI, assures efficient management of Harlem RBI's program space and offices at 1948 1st Avenue. She is responsible for answering and routing phone calls, performing program related data entry, assisting with various projects and greeting visitors. Prior to Harlem RBI, Yvette was the Youth Development Program Assistant at the East Harlem Tutorial Program. Yvette graduated in Marketing from Norman Thomas High School.
Adam Schuster, Director of Administration and Legal Affairs, is responsible for the strategic planning and day-to-day administration of Harlem RBI's human resources and legal operations. Prior to his work at Harlem RBI, Adam served as an executive compensation and employee benefits attorney for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York City. He began at Harlem RBI as a volunteer legal associate handling Harlem RBI's long-term legal projects. Mr. Schuster has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Cornell University, and a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law, where he was an Editor of the Syracuse Law Review.
Idalia Soto, Special Events Associate, supports the Development Department in all external fundraising and development events and campaigns. Prior to Harlem RBI, Idalia worked at Pace University, most recently as the Assistant Director of Special Events - New York Campus, where she oversaw the organization's signature events including the President's Scholarship Dinner and Annual Planned Giving Luncheon. Idalia holds a Masters of Public Administration from Pace University with a concentration in Non-Profit Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Pace University.
Xavier Stewart, Talent Development Manager, is responsible for managing recruitment and hiring for Harlem RBI and DREAM, coordinating annual performance reviews and assisting with other areas of talent management. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Xavier worked at the New York City Department of Small Business Services as an Avenue NYC Program Manager where he helped provide funding to over 200 community revitalization projects. Xavier also previously served as the Manhattan Headquarters Volunteer Director for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2009 re-election campaign where he manged over 1,750 volunteers. Xavier holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science and History from Vanderbilt University.
Josh Van Kirk, DreamWorks Program Coordinator, received his Bachelor's in English from the University of Vermont and his Masters of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Josh served as Executive Director for the Bristol Family Center, a non-profit early care and education facility dedicated to offering high quality programming for young children and families in Bristol, Vermont. Prior to his work at the Bristol Family Center, Josh served as an Education Coordinator for Spectrum Youth and Family Services in Burlington, Vermont. Josh has also previously served as a Classroom Teacher in Brooklyn, New York and Baltimore, Maryland and is a former participant in Teach for America.
Taylor Vecchio, REAL Kids Campus Manager, manages a site of Harlem RBI's REAL Kids program at DREAM Charter School, which provides youth in 2nd – 5th grades with a unique inclusive learning environment and focuses on building interest and enthusiasm for reading while improving critical thinking and team skills through hands-on learning and enrichment activities. Prior to arriving at Harlem RBI, Taylor served as an After School Campus Director at Groundwork Inc. in East New York, Brooklyn. Taylor has also worked with middle school students in the Bronx through the GEAR UP program where she ran an after-school enrichment program as well as developed and taught classes on college and career awareness. Taylor also has experience in the early childhood field where she worked in preschools as a teacher and an AmeriCorps program VISTA for Jumpstart. Taylor holds a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from The University of Massachusetts-Boston and is pursuing a MA in Social Studies Education at City College.
Andrew Waters, REAL Kids Manager of Curriculum and Professional Development, will lead curriculum development and implementation for Harlem RBI's elementary school program. Andrew was involved with Harlem RBI and the REAL Kids Program as a part-time employee, training staff with teaching strategies and workshop development. Prior to Harlem RBI, Andrew worked in a variety of teaching and administrative roles at Pope John Paul II Family Academy in Brooklyn, where he worked with the Committee on Special Education, allowing students with special needs to receive proper support. Andrew also served as a Program Leader at a non-profit serving elementary students in South Los Angeles. Andrew holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Fordham University
Nahliah Webber, Curriculum and Instruction Manager, will lead curriculum implementation for our teen enrichment programs and support program staff in its delivery. Prior to arriving Harlem RBI, Nahliah served as the Director of Youth Programs for Phipps Community Development Corporation in New York, a multi-service non-profit that provides a comprehensive network of educational, vocational and community development programs for residents of communities across the Bronx and Manhattan. Nahliah also has previously worked at The Urban Alliance in Washington D.C. and the Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice in Brooklyn along with serving as an English Teacher in China. Nahliah holds a Master of Arts in Sociology and Education from Columbia University and a Bachelor's Degree in Modern Languages and Religion from Sweet Briar College.
Amanda Yepez, Talent Development Assistant, supports the organization's hiring process and on-boarding of new employees. Prior to returning to Harlem RBI, Amanda interned in the Human Resources Departments of Morgan Stanley, Hill & Knowlton, Robeco Investment Management and the Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center. Amanda holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Tufts University and is also a proud Harlem RBI alumna.
“The staff will always try to help you. Be it coach, programmer or manager, they always have open ears and suggest something in your best interest.”
— Millicent Soto,
Harlem RBI Senior
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