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.
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.
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).
Dominique R. Jones has dedicated her twenty-four-year-long career to ensuring that all New York City youth have access to opportunities that enable them to chart a path towards future success. Dominique served for over six years as Executive Director of Boys & Girls Club of Harlem. She also held senior leadership roles at Food Bank of New York City and NYC Administration for Children’s Services. Her achievements include the development and opening of the organization’s flagship clubhouse; the expansion of programming into NYC Department of Education schools; and raising over $6 million in government and private funding to support these programs.
In the last year, Dominique has received the National Herman Prescott Award by Harlem Boys and Girls Club and recognized as one of the Women Power 100 by City & State. Ms. Jones received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Spelman College and a Master of Science in Urban Policy & Management from the New School, where she was both a Public Policy/International Affairs and Child Welfare fellow.
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.
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.
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.
With over a decade of experience in youth development, Jatnna Ramirez has dedicated her career to social activism. As Director of Curriculum and Special Projects at Global Kids, Jatnna oversees and leads the development and implementation of youth leadership, civic engagement, human rights and global education curriculum, and supports Global Kids’ capacity building and strategic planning efforts.
Jatnna previously served as a Community School Site Director, Senior Trainer and Human Rights Specialist for Global Kids, and has led various programs throughout her time with the organization, including the Human Rights Activation Project (HRAP), Younger Leaders on the Rise and the CFR Summer Institute. She also organized and led international youth trips in Slovenia and Croatia that focused on environmental sustainability, and co-authored Sustainaware’s toolkit for environmental educators. Additionally, Jatnna previously served as 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.
Jatnna holds a master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College and graduated Magna Cum Laude from The City College of New York with a bachelor’s degree in political science. A Dominican immigrant, she has served as a community leader at the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, and a Fellow at the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Public Service.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sabrina Bodé is a youth educator and community organizer from Ozone Park, Queens. With a B.A. in Political Science and Public Policy from Hunter College, accompanied by a minor study focus in Dance, Sabrina works to bridge the gaps between social justice and political activism with the arts, culture, and community. She worked at her alma mater high school, Dominican Academy, as a Social Justice and Practice of Nonviolence course instructor. Sabrina also serves on the junior board of the Lower Eastside Girls’ Club as a fundraiser and youth mentor. Along with her work at Global Kids as a special programs/internships coordinator, Sabrina has her own dance fitness class and community, hosting movement workshops around the city and state.
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.
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.