Alejandra Villanueva graduated from NYU Tandon with a B.S. in Integrated Digital Media and a minor in Game Engineering. While there, she was involved in her college chapter of Bedsider and helped organize several events including a game jam which she spoke about at the Games For Change Festival. Alejandra interned at Sesame Workshop last summer where she helped with quality assurance and developed a game for their 50th Anniversary. She is excited to get more young girls interested and involved with STEM. She is fluent in Spanish.
Originally from Massachusetts, Amanda Carr taught writing and literature for ten years before switching careers into the educational nonprofit field. She is passionate about the power of mentorship and creating meaningful volunteer opportunities to help support students. Prior to joining Global Kids, she worked with K-12 students experiencing homelessness at School on Wheels, Inc. in Los Angeles. There, she developed an enhanced volunteer training program, activated volunteers through engagement initiatives, and established relationships with nonprofit and corporate partners. Amanda holds a B.A. from Union College and an M.A in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Amira Chambers Ottley received her B.A. from Wesleyan University in American Studies concentrating in Race & Ethnicity, as well as Dance. Coming our of college, her interests have centered around youth engagement and community development. She held a position at Global Glimpse in Panama, an educational non-profit, where she created and facilitated an immersive learning experience designed to activate students to become globally-aware leaders in their community and beyond. A lover of travel and cultural diversity, Amira has traveled to numerous countries including Cuba, Costa Rica, Spain, Barbados, Italy and more. In addition to her passion for international education, Amira is an avid dancer who loves to learn the traditional dances of each location she travels.
Born and raised in the Bronx, André Augustine attended Lawrence University through the Posse Foundation scholarship. He majored in History and minored in Ethnic Studies. Right out of college, he interned at the Get Schooled Foundation, a nonprofit that engaged, empowered, and offered young people the educational tools they need to succeed. André also worked at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (or SEO Scholars), which focused on getting low-income NYC public school students into college. An avid traveler, he visited countries such as France, Italy, England, and New Zealand. He plans to visit many more in the future.
Andrea Canova, originally from Boulder, Colorado moved to Queens, New York in 2015 by way of AmeriCorps VISTA. Andrea attended Colorado State University, where she obtained her B.A. in International Studies with a focus on Latin America and a minor in Spanish. Andrea spent a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Heredia, Costa Rica, where she was able to hone in her Spanish skills. Her passion for working with youth in the nonprofit sector can be seen through her work as an Assistant Site Supervisor for the YMCA of Boulder Valley, an instructional para-educator at Eldorado K-8 School, and through her work at the New York Hall of Science building capacity, leading homework help sessions, and introducing youth to STEM careers as the STEM Program Coordinator.
Anmarie Paul is a youth development professional, educational consultant, and circle keeper. With a passion for social justice and a desire to invest in young people and their families, Anmarie has utilized her love of education, the arts, and community to create a wide variety of successful programming for young people including environmental science fairs, school gardening and nutrition programs, anti-violence community art projects, and she has supervised the development of a social justice curriculum that helps young people explore their inner heroism. Most recently, she developed an intergenerational program for Harlem families who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, where she serves as a program consultant and healthy relationships group coordinator. Currently, Anmarie is a proud member of the Global Kids family, where she serves as Director of Middle School Programs. She received a BA in Anthropology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, studied African Diaspora Studies at the School for International Training in Cape Coast, Ghana and received a certification in Nonprofit Management from Baruch College and P.A.S.E. Anmarie believes that love is the most powerful and important tool for transformation and social change that the world possesses.
Born and raised in New York City, Anthony graduated from Iona College with a bachelors degree in psychology and sociology. He worked at a school for special needs where he saw the mental health needs in his community. Anthony returned to school and graduated in 2013 from Hunter College with a masters in mental health counseling. Being grounded in evidence-based treatment like CBT, Anthony worked at a drug rehabilitation center in Manhattan, an outpatient clinic in Boston and a credit recovery school in Queens. Recently, he became a certified clinical trauma professional from the International Association of Trauma Professionals to better assist the students he works with every day.
In 2012, Ariel Zitrin completed her BA in political science and gender studies from Stony Brook University, with concentrations in the U.S constitution and global feminism. She is currently working on her MA in youth studies from the CUNY School for Professional Studies. Through her graduate work, Ariel is a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success. A native New Yorker, Ariel enjoys photography and finding good slices of pizza.
Carly graduated from Macalester College with majors in International Studies and French. During college, she worked at Macalester’s Civic Engagement Center, volunteered as a literacy tutor with youth, and studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco. After graduation, she spent a year teaching English in Montpellier, France through TAPIF and a year coordinating service learning experiences for high school students in Boston with buildOn.
A graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University, Cindy Similien is a published author, women empowerment advocate, and Haitian cultural ambassador. Her works include “Let’s Speak Haitian Food: Stories from the Haitian Diaspora on Cuisine, Community, and Culture”; and, the children’s book, “Haiti Is.” Before joining Global Kids, Cindy served as a Program Coordinator for 10 years with the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance and helped foster capacity building for Brooklyn-based organizations through grant funding. In 2016, Cindy was invited as a change-maker to the inaugural United States of Women Summit convened by First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House for mentoring the young women in her community through workshops and an annual conference. During her free time, Cindy is actively involved at her church’s The Temple of Restoration Prison Outreach Ministry where she empowers children of incarcerated parents. Cindy has traveled to France, Israel, Cape Verde, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Dominican Republic, and continues to seek ways to positively contribute to the world as a global citizen.
Coco Shin joins the Global Kids-D.C. team after years of world traveling and youth advocacy. A Southern California native, Coco earned her BA in Media Art with an emphasis on film and video from the University of California San Diego. Subsequently, she moved to South Korea where she taught critical thinking and essay writing. Inspired by her mentorship role in those classes, she got an M.S.Ed in Counseling and Mental Health Services and an M.Phil.Ed in Professional Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania. Coco then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Macedonia, where she did community and youth development work. Before joining the Global Kids team, she traveled the world, deepening her practice in yoga and meditation while exposing herself to new cultures. She is excited to open doors for youth to be more involved in global and domestic issues while also helping them develop into strong leaders and self-realized individuals.
Devin Dixon, an award recipient of the Posse Foundation Scholarship, graduated from DePauw University with a B.A. in Communications. While in college, Devin participated on DePauw’s Track and Field team, along with becoming a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. After graduating from DePauw, he worked at the College of Staten Island (CUNY) as the Program Coordinator for the Office of Access and Success Programs. These programs encourage high school students to further their education by attending college. Devin also has extensive experience teaching and mentoring youth in New York City public schools, nonprofits, and community-based organizations.
Diamond Butler is a New York native dedicated to youth and community development. Her interests in international affairs sprouted while interning at the International Rescue Committee. After graduating from Cheyney University with a degree in political science, Diamond worked on various political campaigns while teaching workshops for the 181st Beautification Project. She then became the Director of Youth Programming and Internships at the United Palace in Washington Heights for several years. She also worked with the YMCA of Greater New York Global Teens program where she had the opportunity to lead students on service-learning trips to California and South Africa. Butler served in the Peace Corps as an English teacher in Comoros while working on various community projects. Diamond is a proud Community School Director for Global Kids at Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists (BSSWA).
Elena was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland and has lived in Brooklyn since 2010. She has a background in organizing, event planning, dance, and education. From 2014-2017 she worked at the Tenement Museum as an Educator where she facilitated conversations with the public and school groups about immigration. Inspired by working with youth groups and talking about social issues led her to put her value of social justice into practice through social work. She graduated with an MSW in 2019 from Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work with a focus on Community Organizing, Planning & Development. During her MSW, she had the opportunity to work at Young Invincibles, a policy and advocacy non profit where she elevated young adult voices in the political process. This included conducting qualitative research on the barriers homeless young adults face in higher education. During her time at Hunter, she focused her research on youth organizing and action civics and organized students at Silberman to participate in Social Work Advocacy Day. Before this, she received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Rutgers University. There she was active in organizing students against the war in Iraq, performed modern dance, and organized multi-disciplinary art events. She is fluent in English and French
Emily was born and raised in Chalfont, Pennsylvania and serves as the Community School Director at PS 96 in East Harlem. She attended Old Dominion University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, with a minor in Religious Studies. Emily continued her studies at the University of Pittsburgh. There, she received a Master’s of Social Work, with a concentration in Community Organization and Social Administration. She also received a Master’s of International Development, with a concentration in Human Security. While in graduate school, she studied community development extensively, both internationally and domestically, as well as policy analysis, international law, human security, and non-profit management. Schofield used evidence-based practices to work with families, schools, and communities, in order to change the statistics associated with kindergarten attendance and enrollment in Pittsburgh Public Schools. Emily also worked as the Middle School Assistant Coordinator at The Pittsburgh Project, a community development non-profit, where she was an after-school teacher and managed the summer day camp program. She has traveled to Italy, Mexico, and Jamaica, and has studied abroad in Peru and Colombia.
Evie joined Global Kids in 1996 as Director of Training and served as Deputy Director/Director of Programs for 12 years before her appointment as Executive Director in September 2010. Over the years, Evie has helped oversee the development, supervision, and expansion of GK’s programs in New York City and Washington, DC schools and has designed numerous special projects for youth and educators. She spearheaded the writing of Teen Action, a service learning curriculum grounded in GK methodology, for New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development and has also provided professional development training for youth workers and educators throughout the city and in other parts of the world. Evie has a BS in Journalism from Boston University and an MA in Educational Theater from New York University. Evie was a Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Fellow and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to working at GK, she worked as a Service Leader for ASPIRA of New York and a Master Actor/Teacher for the Creative Arts Team. In addition to her work at Global Kids, Evie is actively involved in community affairs and serves on Community Board One in Queens. She has received the New York City Council’s Pacesetter award for outstanding women and was honored by U.S. Congress Member Carolyn Maloney and NYS Assembly Member Aravella Simotas for her work in her community. She speaks fluent Greek and is proficient in French.
Felix Hilario obtained a bachelor’s degree from CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. In college, he was part of Lehman College’s Seek Helping Hand that focused on community service in the community and city-wide on issues such as, poverty, healthy food options, education, and many more. By participating, Felix was able to work with youth from his high school running small workshops on transitioning from high school to college. He joined the CUNY Service Corps giving him the opportunity to intern for Global Kids which eventually led to a full-time role upon completion of the program.
After graduating from the University of Alabama in 2014, Gifford decided to pursue work related to international development for a year by raising funds to go volunteer for a non-profit organization based in Uganda. During his time there, he realized that he wanted to continue this work for his career and decided to join the Peace Corps upon finishing his time in Uganda. Gifford spent the next two years of his life as a youth in development volunteer in Thailand working with students on developing critical life skills while also working with the local government to create projects for youth in the community. After the last few years working internationally, he is especially passionate about the importance of working with youth to understand different cultures and feel connected to a global community.
As a Global Kids (GK) Alumna and Queens native, Haisu holds a B.A. in Sociology from SUNY Geneseo. She started her career in youth development at GK in 2011 in which she led Power of Citizenry Leadership, College & Career Readiness, and Summer Youth Employment programs. Since then, she taught in Chile and worked for a Museum startup in Germany. Haisu is excited to be back at GK as the Community School Director at William Cullen Bryant High School.
“El camino de un mariachi no es fácil, pero nunca olvides de dónde vienes.” Hernan Hidalgo Treviño is a native New Yorker from Queens and a former alumnus of Global Kids from William Cullen Bryant High School. He participated in the American Youth Leadership Program (AYLP) in the summer of 2013, studying abroad in Bosnia-Herzegovina during his sophomore year. During his college career, he studied abroad in Madrid, Spain in the summer of 2018. He graduated from CUNY Hunter College as a Music and History major, music being his passion and history his interest. At the age of 21, Hernan is New York City’s, as well as the East Coast’s, 1st ever “Youngest Musical Director of a Mariachi Band.” His group, “Mariachi Hidalgo” has performed in some of NYC most exclusive areas such as the U.N. Permanent Mission to India and Fairfield University to name a few. Hernan has even accompanied famous Latin artist Pablo Montero and Leo Dan. Hernan has two goals he wants to achieve with his fields of study. With music he wants to inspire and motivate other youths to keep this beautiful tradition of mariachi alive. His second goal is to educate and empower the youth with knowledge of overcoming obstacles, challenges, discrimination, and to always be humble. For Hernan,“the journey of a mariachi is never an easy one, but never forget where you come from.”
Born and raised in Israel, Ilana Shtivelman has lived in Canada and the US back and forth for most of her life. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2016 with her BAs in Spanish, French & Francophone Studies, and Communications Arts & Sciences, as well as her Masters in International Affairs with a concentration in Dispute Resolution. During her college tenure, she spent a semester studying abroad in Spain. Shortly after graduating, she began her career in the Jewish nonprofit world, first completing a yearlong English teaching fellowship in Israel. Then, she spent two years working with college youth at Hillel Ontario and then at Onward Israel, focusing on student engagement, experiential education, career development, and event planning. Ilana is excited to be joining the Global Kids team as a Senior Trainer for the 2019-2020 year and continuing her work in the nonprofit world, focusing on youth development. She speaks Russian, Hebrew, French, and Spanish.
Isabel Schneck was born and raised in the East Village in Manhattan. She graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in Latin American & Latinx Studies. During college, she tutored emerging bilingual students in Poughkeepsie and grew passionate about immigrants’ rights advocacy. Isabel has worked with young people in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Bolivia, and she has also traveled to Cuba, France, and Mexico. Isabel is fluent in Spanish.
Izamar Capallan has been involved with Global Kids since her sophomore year of high school. As a GK Leader, Izamar participated in programs such as HRAP, Citywide, and various CFR Roundtables. She graduated from John Jay College with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Philosophy. During college, she studied abroad in Castellon, Spain, where she studied Crime Victims in Comparative Context. Izamar returned to Global Kids as a Trainer to give back to the organization that was instrumental in discovering her passion for human rights and the and the related legal philosophy.
Jacqueline Joseph is committed to equity and access work and serves as the Community School Director at Bronxdale High School. Previously, she worked within the education equity and youth development nonprofit sector to engage young people and families around school transitions, focusing on the middle school to high school application and transition process in NYC. She earned a BA from Loyola University New Orleans and has a certificate in Nonprofit Management through Partnership for Afterschool Education and Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College for Emerging Leaders in Nonprofit Management. In addition, Jacqueline volunteers as an officer within her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega overseeing operations within the northeast region, and volunteer her time as an NYS Democratic Fellow and few nonprofit organizations to rebuild homes following natural disasters.
Jatnna Ramirez is a Dominican immigrant and a proud Bronx resident. She is a social justice activist with years of experience in youth leadership development, and human rights education. Jatnna previously worked at Global Kids, as a Trainer, Human Rights Specialist, and a Community School Site Director. During her time at Global Kids, she worked on various programs including HRAP, Young Leaders on the Rise and the CFR Summer Institute. At Global Kids, Jatnna also organized and led international youth trips with a focus on environmental sustainability, and co-authored in Sustainaware’s toolkit for environmental educators. Before returning to GK, Jatnna was the Early College Liaison at Hostos Community College, where she bridged Hostos’ partnership with HERO High School as part of CUNY’s Early College Initiative. She graduated Magma Cum Laude with a degree in Political Science from City College. She was a community leader at the North West Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, and a Fellow at the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Public Service. Jatnna is currently completing her MA in public administration and public policy at Baruch College.
Ralph Germain spent the past 11 years working with underserved youth from inner-city neighborhoods in the education sector. After graduating from Saint Peter’s University with a BA in business, he began working with a transfer high school in Brownsville, Brooklyn. He spent 5 years as an advocate counselor and then promoted to Internship Coordinator. Following his time there, he became the Assistant Director of another transfer school in Red Hook, Brooklyn. After 4 years of service, he delved into the world of NYC Community Schools as the Director for a Middle school in the Bronx, working closely with school leadership on efforts to remove the school off of the NY State Renewal List. Ralph has also spent time working with the Arches Mentoring Program & the NYC Department of Probation to mentor teens on probation and prevent recidivism. He also worked with the Black Male Initiative’s mentoring program and Young Life of New York. His dedication and commitment to youth development and closing the achievement gap for the underserved youth of New York and all over the world is at the core of his professional passion.
Joel Elam comes to Global Kids with over 22 years of general accounting experience in a variety of corporate environments, including more than 15 years in the nonprofit arena working for companies such as United Way of New York City and Collaboration for Restoring Families, Inc. “Although accounting is a back office operation, I have always taken joy in the fact that what I do facilitates the works of program staff and therefore, affects the clientele we strive to help.” Joel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Maryland as well as Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Theology from the United Christian College of New York.
Joseph Chin is an East New York Brooklyn native, born to a Jamaican family, who currently resides in Staten Island. Joe earned his B.S. in Mathematics from the College of Staten Island (CUNY). While attending college, he worked for several mentoring programs including The Liberty Partnerships Program, The Black Male Initiative Program, and The Collegiate Science and Technology Program, all of which encourage high school students to further their education by attending college. Joe has traveled to Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Ivory Coast, Egypt, Amsterdam, and has also lived in Israel.
Justin Hyacinth is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. He graduated from SUNY Binghamton in 2010 with a degree in Human Development. After receiving his bachelors, Justin worked as a Grade Dean at a community school in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Then, he spent a significant amount of time working as a Socio-emotional Counselor at a revered New York non-profit organization for students. In addition to Restorative Justice work with Global Kids at John Adams High School, he’s currently acquiring a Masters in Mental Health Counseling at SUNY Hunter School of Education.
Justine Ouano is a Bay Area native and received her B.A. in Sociology with a Community Change emphasis from San Jose State University. She also minored in Asian-American Studies. During her college years, she was involved in a number of endeavors, including running an after-school tutoring program for at-risk youth, creating and facilitating workshops throughout the South Bay for Filipino-American youth and young adults, and creating service opportunities for San Jose State student-based organizations. Justine relocated to New York in 2009 for her Masters and attained her M.A. in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy from New York University in May of 2011. While at NYU, she interned with Global Kids where she focused on college preparation and career readiness as well as service learning. Additionally, she co-facilitated an Intergroup Dialogue based on race with NYU undergraduates, worked in an early childhood literacy development program with NYU Jumpstart and served as a Graduate Researcher at NYU’s Hip-Hop Education Center, where she is still involved in the Women and Gender Studies Initiative. Justine speaks conversational Visayan.
Kaycia Sailsman started with Global Kids as a reading tutor with ExpandED Schools and after a year she transitioned to part-time staff and began facilitating workshops on food, science, and film. Now full time, she is looking forward to taking all she has learned and will learn in order to strengthen her facilitation skills in order to make broad topics digestible to the young people she serves.
Krystal joins the Washington D.C. team of GK trainers as she pursues her BA in Psychology from the University of the District of Columbia. As a student in Central High School in Capitol Heights, Maryland, Krystal fell in love with fashion and art. After graduating Central High, Krystal began volunteering as a youth mentor, connecting students with career opportunities and preparing them for college. Always channeling her love for art and youth advocacy, Krystal has worked as a counselor for various organizations throughout New York, Atlanta, and the Bahamas, and hopes to continue inspiring youth around the world.
Leticia Lee is a Korean-Brazilian, raised in Sao Paulo, who received a B.S. in Mathematics with Economic Policy emphasis from the University of West Florida. Coming from a developing country, Leticia understands that education is of utmost importance to empower people and reduce social gaps. She is fluent in Portuguese, English, Spanish, and communicates in Korean.
Libby Hill received a BA in International Studies and Political Science from Muhlenberg College and is an MA candidate at the SIT Graduate Institute in Conflict Transformation with a focus on Youth Programming. During college, she volunteered and worked with various youth-serving organizations and schools to provide arts education and globally-focused enrichment. For three years, Libby attended the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and worked with delegates to document the proceedings. Libby moved to New York City after college where she worked with high school youth to provide afterschool and summer programs for elementary students. Following her graduate coursework in conflict and social justice, she facilitated peacebuilding dialogues and activism workshops for youth participating in exchange programs from all over the world. Most recently, before joining Global Kids, she managed a teen center for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, FBR Branch @ THEARC. She has traveled and studied throughout Europe, Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa.
Always taking an interest in the world outside of his own, Logan has worked in educational environments in hopes of promoting equity for youth and families. Logan, a first-generation college student, graduated from Western Oregon University and the New School’s Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs. A firm believer that “together we succeed,” he began working with Grand St. Settlement Beacon Center, SONYC programs, and later with Diversity Scholars at Western Oregon University. In addition to his work in education, Logan is an avid swimmer.
A native New Yorker, Matthew has worked in a variety of educational environments with the common goal of advancing educational and social equity. These organizations include, among others, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, The Children’s Aid Society, Project Reach Youth, Working Playground, NYCHA, and iMentor. Matt graduated from Wesleyan University and Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. In addition to his work in education, Matthew writes fiction and non-fiction.
Nathalie Agudelo was born in Colombia and moved to New York when she was a teenager. She graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A in International Relations and Economics. After graduation, she joined the Peace Corps and moved to Thailand where she worked as a community developer/ foreign language teacher. In Thailand, she had the opportunity to work with children from elementary schools to high schools in many capacities such as: teaching English as a foreign language and facilitated workshops focusing on leadership skills. After her service in Thailand, she came back to New York and obtained an MPA from Wagner School of Public Service at NYU. After graduation, Nathalie worked with the immigrant population in Queens. She is fluent in Spanish and can have a basic conversation in Thai.
Niame Traore is a graduate from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a French and Francophone Studies minor. She loves to engage in new opportunities that will help her to enrich her passion for empowering others, especially the youth. During her college experience, she was a company member of Mosaic New York, a social justice theatre troupe, served as a mentor for the Geneva High School’s Lead, Excel, Achieve, Progress program (L.E.A.P.) and volunteered at the local Boys and Girls of Geneva, New York. Today, Niame continues to be an advocate for championing those who want to create positive change in the world. She wants to help give a voice to a generation of youth of color whose voices are often ignored and silenced in this world and believes change begins when one can live out their authentic truths.
Olympia Wilson has been working in the youth development field for almost 10 years. She has a passion for working with youth in New York City’s underserved communities. Olympia has invested her time over the year into creating quality programming that will give students the opportunities they need to be successful in life. Olympia received her MBA in Financial Management from North Central University, Phoenix, Arizona graduating Magna Cum Laude. She is now serving as the Associate Director for Middle School Programs at Global Kids. It is her belief that the youth we service will be tomorrow’s leaders.
Randy is a New Jersey native who received a B.A in Information Systems from Ramapo College of New Jersey. During his years in college, he was deeply involved with the campus community working as a resident assistant and orientation leader for incoming students. Randy also served as secretary for Brothers Making a Difference, treasurer for Organization of African Unity and member of the Organization of Latin Unity. After college, he worked with an array of students at Kumon North America where he served as a corporate trainer. In 2010, he coordinated programming with NFL players through the Care Africa Program. At Global Kids, he is the Community School Director at Careers in Sports High School in the Bronx.
Born and raised in Queens, NY, Rukeyah Jones majored in English at City College of New York in Harlem. Growing up in New York City, the most diverse place on Earth, expanded her views on different cultures and backgrounds. Since childhood, Rukeyah traveled the world with her mother and, at ten years old, spent a summer in Europe traveling through France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. This experience gave her a love for traveling and world cultures. Now a solo traveler, Rukeyah continues to explore the world; from having seen almost all of the US and the Caribbean, all the way to Australia and Asia.
Saba Sebhatu was born in Italy and raised in Washington DC where she completed a BA in journalism at George Mason University. After graduating she began working in educational and social justice based nonprofits alongside being a community and youth organizer and advocate in the Greater Washington DC Area. She then moved to Eritrea where she began working at a local nongovernmental organization as a peace building practitioner in conflict resolution initiatives in the Horn of Africa; alongside working on Global North and Global South community partnership and international youth-based projects. Saba recently completed an MFA in creative writing at The New School. A previous Callaloo Writing Fellow, her current writing focuses on the African diaspora and their geographies.
Samora Mitchell, a Global Kids alum, graduated the High School for Global Citizenship in 2008. As a GK participant, Samora traveled to seven different countries (Kenya, Eritrea, Egypt, Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Italy) on the Peace Boat Voyage 54 promoting peace around the world. Selected as a “People to People Sports Ambassador” a trip in which he was given the opportunity to go to Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and interact in cultural exchange by using sports as the main focus. He earned a B.S. in Entertainment Management at Bay State College.
Sara Van Eerde holds a Masters degree from the NYU Silver School of Social Work. During her undergraduate career at Muhlenberg College, Sara pursued a Psychology major and a self- designed Gender and Sexuality studies major. This focus quickly took a global perspective when she researched “machismo” while in Costa Rica, youth activism and empowerment while in Germany, and art therapy interventions at an orphanage while living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. These experiences strengthened her drive to advocate for an intersectional lens on social justice issues.
Sarah Caska is a New York native who later moved to Massachusetts where she pursued a B.A. at Clark University in International Development and Social Change, with a specialization in Sub-Saharan African Development. Following college, she spent time in Santa Cruz, Bolivia implementing a TESOL internship and training program with the bi-national center Centro Boliviano-Americano. She then went to serve with City Year New Hampshire as a Service Leader, where she truly discovered her passion for working in youth leadership and development. Most recently, Sarah served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines as a High School English Teacher while working to develop a school library. She has a passion for languages and the world, has lived on five continents and speaks conversational French, Spanish, Tagalog, and Kinaray-a.
Shaneek holds a BA in Mass Communication from Northern Caribbean University. Before joining Global Kids as a Trainer, she worked as a producer and production coordinator developing and producing video content for magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, Allure, Self, W and Bon Appétit. Shaneek believes everyone is a storyteller, “whether it is the baby who cries, telling the story of his hunger, the teenager who rebels, telling the stories of their discontent, or the wife who rushes home to tell the details of her day; the stories of our lives reveal the platform of our identities.” Her passion is to create avenues and platforms for people to tell their stories. At Global Kids, she hopes to help young people develop and tell their stories through the path of global awareness, community, and self-discovery.
Steven Deonarain is a native New Yorker, born and raised in the borough of Queens. He earned an A.A. in Humanities & Social Science from Nassau Community College. Steven previously worked as the Operations Associate at The Hunts Point Alliance for Children, a nonprofit located in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx.
Todd is a Digital Marketer who has worked for non-profits since 2007. He previously managed and developed the social media channels for the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), while growing their online community. Having trained high school and college students at NYSCI makes Todd a leader who can guide and mentor the youth. Plus, his years of public speaking and communication skills make him an excellent ambassador for the community. He is a photography enthusiast, who enjoys helping others by having a strong positive mental attitude. Todd graduated from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in 2016 with a B.B.A in Marketing and minor in Sociology.
Wida Amir is a nonprofit leader working in social justice, youth development, program management, coalition building and public policy fields for over 11 years. Wida was the Immigrant Rights Program Director at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF). She lead NAPAWF’s gender-based national immigration campaign that successfully shifted political narratives to include immigrant women’s issues as a central issue in the latest Congressional legislative proposals. Prior to her public policy work, Wida was the Program Director at South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!) where she played a key leadership role in the organization’s growth from a single-site program to a nationally recognized multiple-site agency serving over 500 immigrant youth and families annually. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and two management certificates from the Institute for Nonprofit Management at Columbia Business School.
Young Sook has been involved in the nonprofit sector since 1996, primary focusing on advocacy & community organizing, civic participation, and social services. Prior to joining Global Kids, she served as the Administrative Director for MinKwon Center for Community Action, Inc., Korean-American community-based organization, overseeing administrative functions as well as facilities to ensure efficient and consistent operations. She started volunteering at the MinKwon Center as a high school student and then became an intern and participated in the DREAM Act campaign to grant amnesty for undocumented students, realizing the importance of community service activities while learning the harsh realities of the immigrant community. Young Sook holds B.B.A. in Accounting from Baruch College.
Yousef joins Global Kids as a trainer at William C. Bryant High School after extensive youth mentoring and public service work. Born in Qatar and raised by Egyptian parents, Yousef received a BA in International Affairs at Qatar University in Doha. He served as a youth advisory board member with Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), empowering youth from all over the world. Yousef also worked at the Qatar National Research Fund, on a grant attempting to criminalize domestic violence in Qatar. After obtaining his degree, he interned with BRAC Tanzania in Dodoma where he mainly worked on the Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA) program. Since moving to the US, Yousef did volunteer youth work at the San Diego Museum of Man – School in the Park Project, where he curated an exhibition on race. In addition to his trainer work, Yousef volunteers with newly immigrated youth in the Bronx from Yemen, Dominican Republic, and West Africa. He is fluent in Arabic.
Yvonne Martínez Brathwaite managed and provided professional development, coaching and capacity building services for nearly 20 years at Partnership for Afterschool Education (PASE). She started her career working directly with youth, running social service and leadership development programs. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University and a Master of Public Administration from New York University. In 2013, Yvonne was honored by the Tanenbaum Center with the Adam Solomon Award for Excellence which recognizes education leaders who are committed to fostering and creating equitable and inclusive learning environments. Brathwaite currently serves as a member of a STEM Education Network and volunteers her time as a member of the Board of Trustees at International School of Brooklyn where her son attends school.
Zack Kennedy is a Bay Area native. He moved to the East Coast for college and has remained out here ever since. Zack has been involved as a volunteer and employee with multiple domestic and foreign non-profits and is excited to join the Global Kids development team.