Abdulrazakh Abdirahman is a current MPA student at the Wagner School of Public Service where he specializes in Social Impact, Innovation, and Investment. Prior to attending NYU, he was in the Peace Corps living in the Comoros Islands as a community development volunteer focusing on teacher training, student English improvement, and small-business development. In his spare time, he spent freediving and spearfishing with local Comorian fishers, a sport he hopes to continue in New York. Abdulrazakh hails from Somalia and Ethiopian. His family moved to Seattle through the Refugee Resettlement program, where he earned a B.A. in International Affairs at Seattle Pacific University. Abdulrazakh is passionate about immigrant and refugee rights as well as criminal justice reform and GBV. Domestically, he hopes to work towards reducing rates of recidivism and sentencing time through second chance legislation. Internationally, he strives to work in refugee crisis response and increasing economic inclusion for migrants and internally displaced persons. Abdulrazakh believes equitable and sustainable community development mixed with fair political representation is the key to positive progress in the U.S. He currently works at the UNFPA where he’s helped launch and moderate their first Innovation Lab designed to improve workplace efficiency and communication.
Areas of Interest: Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Criminal Justice Reform
Abe is a clinical social worker and current consultant with seven years of experience in healthcare direct care practice, clinical integration, population health, and behavioral health. In Abe’s current role as a consultant at NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity), which is the first municipal innovation lab analyzing existing anti-poverty approaches, developing new interventions, facilitating the sharing of data across City agencies, and rigorously assessing the impact of key initiatives, Abe supports portfolios of workforce development evaluations, adolescent health program, NYC Thrive initiatives within the programs & evaluations unit, generating summary reports, developing written products on program operations, evaluations and related topics, responding to rapid research agendas, designing evaluation and translating external evaluators technical evaluation information to policymakers and other stakeholders in the forms of high-level summaries, blurbs, and memos.
Abe’s motivation for earning an MPA in Health Policy & Management with a focus in Health Finance (Public Finance specialization) is to further develop his breadth of knowledge and insight into health care systems. After his degree, Abe plans to return back to state and local levels to tackle health disparities in low-income communities and provide sustainability practices across disparate areas.
Areas of Interest: Equitable healthcare
Alban Boucher earned his B.S. degree in Social Work at Nyack College and a M.S. degree in Non-Profit Management, with a focus on Social Policy, at Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy.
His professional experience includes internships in administration at Cabrini Medical Center and Haiti Corps International, a job agency in Haiti that connects Haitian professionals with jobs working for nonprofit organizations and NGO`S located in Haiti, tutoring and counseling at Generation Xcel After School (a holistic youth outreach program based in the housing projects of Manhattan's Lower East Side) and social work at Bronx Lebanon Hospital and Graham Windham Foster Care Services.
Alban has also worked with various non-profit organizations such as the Haitian American Caucus, Urban Neighborhood Services and the French speaking Baptist Church of the Redeemer. He has also served as a teaching assistant at City University of New York College Now Program (Introduction to Sociology) and at Nyack College (Theology of Poverty).
Alban Boucher is the Program Manager of the Haitian Policy Initiative; a policy center within the Haitian American Caucus that seeks to provide quality, empirical research to produce feasible practices that advance the Haitian community in New York City. Alban is also the former Dean of Students/Dean Manager for New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math and Science and the former Community School Director of Brooklyn Gardens Elementary School. Alban is currently the Associate Dean of Students at Uncommon Schools and is currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership program at NYU Steinhardt.
Areas of Interest: Educational Leadership, Educational Policy & Advocacy
Alexis is pursuing her Master’s of Social Work at NYU Silver. She completed her B.A. in Urban Studies at Columbia University. As a senior undergraduate student, Alexis wrote her thesis on reentry obstacles for formerly incarcerated individuals. She was also a 2012 Kenneth Cole Civic Engagement Fellow. Prior to studying at NYU, Alexis worked full-time at Rikers Island as a Discharge Planner, connecting currently incarcerated clients to housing, substance abuse treatment, and other reentry services. While working within the women’s facility, Alexis facilitated groups such as Anger Management, Relapse Prevention, and Seeking Safety. She organized events and invited guest speakers to increase detainees’ awareness on domestic violence, and invited former clients back to the correctional facility to show detainees that change is possible. She has also volunteered with People’s Education Initiative and Petey Greene Program, within Rikers’ adolescent and female facilities, and with The Fortune Society as a mentor for formerly incarcerated individuals. Alexis currently interns at Mobilization For Justice, assisting clients to access services in order to avoid eviction. She is passionate about increasing social services within correctional facilities, and working with criminal justice-involved individuals to reduce recidivism.
Areas of Interest: Reentry, social work with currently and formerly incarcerated clients, domestic violence, trauma, and criminal justice reform.
Anita is pursuing a joint Master's degree in Social Work and Global Public Health. After graduating from the University of Vermont, Anita moved to the Mad River Valley and lived on a farm specializing in blueberries and Icelandic sheep. There she worked in operations at a retreat center focused on social justice and the environment. Time on the farm prompted her interest in sustainability and food access. These interests brought her to Colorado to learn more at the Nutrition Therapy Institute. She graduated as a certified Natural Foods Chef a week before starting her two-year Peace Corps adventure. During her time in Paraguay, Anita taught sex education and worked on a number of initiatives for youth and women. The Secretaria de la Mujer and Secretario del Medio Ambiente worked with Anita to organize camps for students, classes for incarcerated women, and projects promoting sexual health and environmental consciousness. Currently, Anita is a Child's Advocate at an agency that stands for the legal rights of unaccompanied migrant children held in detention centers.
Areas of interest: Trauma and mental health in vulnerable populations
Aria is an MBA Candidate in NYU Stern’s Class of 2019. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a Biochemistry concentration from Claremont McKenna College, where she served as the President of Claremont Students for Peace & Justice and launched a fundraising campaign for survivors of the Darfur Genocide, grossing $750,000.
After undergrad, she lived abroad in the Middle East and South Asia, researching culturally-specific manifestations of post-traumatic stress within survivors of war and natural disaster. During her time abroad, she also worked on improving educational, clean water, and health access among rural populations.
Upon returning to the US, she worked with Cover the Homeless in Los Angeles and eventually pivoted into a career in food and beverage. After managing a number of chef-driven restaurants, she began her MBA at Stern, intending to merge her dual interests in social impact and food by ultimately working on issues of food insecurity within underserved communities. Also passionate about education and immigrant rights, she volunteered with Minds Matter Los Angeles for the past four years, serving as the Director of College Applications and Scholarship. At Stern, she serves on the boards of Stern Government, the Management Consulting Association, and the Social Impact and Sustainability Association.
Areas of Interest: Food Access/Security, Education and Education Policy, Sustainable Economic Development, Immigrant Rights, Diversity & Inclusion, Leadership Developmen
Aurora-Marie Bamba Terrazas is currently working towards an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Before Wagner, Aurora demonstrated her deep commitment to her community by working in direct services as a Confidential Victim Advocate which supported the safety and empowerment of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Aurora also served youth experiencing homelessness and aided their self-sufficiency as a Direct Care Counselor. Aurora, a Colorado Springs native, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College with a degree in Sociology and minor in Race and Ethnic Studies. She currently serves as a Co-Chair for the CC Student and Alumni of Color Association with the goal of building a strong alumni network to support students of color.
Aurora is passionate about improving the economic, health, and educational attainment for underserved individuals through social programs and advocacy. She believes in the power of collective action to shape local and state programs. Aurora is also interested in creating strategic partnerships at a local level so resources are used more efficiently to serve vulnerable populations. Aurora will always aspire to serve in positions where empowerment and equity are at the forefront.
Areas of Interest: Strategic Diversity and Equity Initiatives, Advocacy for Underserved Populations, Educational and Economic Empowerment
Brittany is currently pursuing a master’s degree in School Guidance Counseling at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 2014, studying Family and Consumer Sciences with a minor in Addictive Behaviors, from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. There, she also became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. After graduating, she worked for three years as a Mental Health Specialist, mentoring children in their homes and schools, before deciding to return to school herself. Brittany always knew she was destined to be a helper, but both her own experience as a first-generation college student and talking to her clients about their futures helped her discover that guidance counseling was her calling. Brittany is passionate about helping students of color and first-generation students set a plan to chase their dreams. Post-graduation, Brittany aspires to work as a high school counselor and eventually move up to higher education.
Brittany is from a small, minority community in Kenner, Louisiana. She understands the importance of a strong, supportive community with proper resources and wants to do her part bringing resources to those communities.
Areas of Interest: Advocating for students of color, Community building
Carol Đinh (she & they pronouns) is a queer Vietnamese-American low-income/working-class first-generation from Orange County, California. She currently works at the LGBTQ Student Center where she is focusing on creating affirming spaces for queer and trans students of color, LGBTQ and Asian/Asian American students, and intersectionality across groups and identities with a LGBTQ lens. Before NYU, she worked at the Multicultural Center at the University of California Santa Barbara where she sought work that cultivates awareness, advocacy, resistance, and community building as well as social justice marketing and design. She is also a certified conflict resolution facilitator and has done work with youth on probation. She is interested in college access, persistence, and success of students of color (with a focus on Southeast Asian-American students), social mobility, student development, and social justice movements and education. Carol is pursuing a Masters in Higher Education & Student Affairs in Steinhardt and received a B.A. in International Relations and English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Areas of Interest: Social justice, college pipeline, equity and inclusion, social mobility, marginalized communities, public policy, history
Clarence is current first year law student at NYU. Prior to joining the law school, Clarence worked as a research assistant at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) on their Youth Policy Team. While at CLASP, Clarence played an active role in developing the team’s Realizing Youth Justice advocacy framework that views strengthened public investments in workforce, education, and healthcare as an anti-incarceration strategy that supports youth across the spectrum of justice involvement, including diversion and successful re-entry. Prior to CLASP Clarence served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Impact Alabama, where he worked in low-income communities and communities of color throughout the South designing and leading service projects that filled in gaps in financial, educational and health related services. At the law school Clarence serves as a student advocate for the Suspension Representation Project, as a case manager for the Washington Square Legal Services Bail Fund, and as a current Root Tilden Kern public interest scholar. Clarence received his undergraduate degree in political science with a minor in human rights from the University of Chicago.
Areas of Interest: Civil rights legal advocacy for low-income people, people of color and other marginalized communities
Daniela Gilbert has spent over eight years working to reduce gun violence and incarceration and improve police-community relations. As Deputy Director of the California Partnership for Safe Communities, Daniela partnered with community, civic, and criminal justice leaders to reduce shootings by 30-40% in ten cities across California. Daniela has also developed trainings for police on how to build the public’s trust, and received a certificate of recognition from former California Attorney General and current Senator Kamala Harris for this work.
An Oakland native, Daniela graduated from Harvard College in 2009 with a B.A. cum laude in Sociology and a Spanish Language Citation. Daniela was a Harvard College Women’s Leadership Award Honoree, and received a Lamont Public Service Fellowship, and an Americorps Scholarship for Service. Daniela is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Policy and Management at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Daniela is also the Community Coordinator for the New York City Police Department’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Collaborative Policing. She is managing the social service support and community outreach components of NYPD's partnership-based gun violence reduction strategy in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Areas of Interest: Reducing gun violence, Preventing incarceration, Community organizing
Emmily De Los Santos is a 3rd year part-time Urban Planning Master’s candidate at NYU Wagner School of Public Service specializing in Economic and Housing Development. As a Project Manager on Community Solutions' Real Estate Development team, known as Inspiring Places, Emmily manages and oversees a $6.4 million development budget for Brooklyn, NY real estate projects. In this role, Emmily aims to create a seamless collaboration of local and best practice knowledge to advance community development goals and import options and outcomes for the Brownsville neighborhood.
Previously, she worked as the Assistant Project Manager on the Real Estate Development team where she worked closely with the project management team and provided support on real estate conversion and development projects. In her first position as a Family Coach for the Homelessness Intervention Program at the Brownsville Partnership, a neighborhood based initiative of Community Solutions, she worked intensively with families and individuals in Brownsville at risk of becoming homeless.
Emmily is a graduate of Skidmore College. She is currently the board secretary of SoHarlem, a Harlem based non-profit organization serving social entrepreneurs in the fashion industry.
Areas of Interest: Real Estate Development, Real Estate Finance, Economic Development, Community Development, Leadership Development
Enrique is a Brooklyn native, educator, poet, and amateur photographer. Born to immigrant parents, they instilled in him the value of education, hard work, and leadership. He obtained his Bachelors of Art in Communications from the State University of New York at Albany. While at the University, Enrique got involved in event planning and worked in a team to coordinate events involving Barbara Walters and former President Bill Clinton. Currently, he is a first-year Masters student at the College of Global Public Health with a concentration in Global Public Health. His primary areas of focus are program analysis/evaluation and infectious disease burden. Additionally, he is pursuing his RN license through the Borough of Manhattan Community College with the hopes of merging the two degrees to aid marginalized communities. Enrique is very passionate about incarceration practices and poor health outcomes in marginalized communities domestically as well as WaSH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) and neglected tropical diseases in low and middle-income countries.
Enrique is also a certified disability awareness trainer and applies this knowledge in the realm of public safety. The pursuit of knowledge has led him to certifications in Infrastructure Security and Resilience as well as Disaster response and mitigation which he hopes to apply in humanitarian efforts such as the aftermath of natural disasters.
Areas of interest: Poor Incarceration Practices, Health Equity Across Communities, Neglected Tropical Diseases, WaSH, Humanitarian Response to Disasters.
Erika Flores is a first year graduate student at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Services with a concentration in Social Impact, Innovation and Investment. Upon receiving her Bachelors degree at Binghamton University in Political Science and Sociology, she returned home and began working with City Year, Inc. to improve underserved schools in Brooklyn, New York. After three years she went on to join NYC Service, an agency of the Mayor’s Office, as a Compliance Officer working on the Community Schools initiative. Helping to develop and implement the AmeriCorps portion of Community Schools, Erika ensured that the program ran smoothly in order to support students in 130 public schools. While serving in this role she created a Summer Youth Opportunity program to allow inner city youth to earn funds for higher education while performing community service. As a native New Yorker who attended public schools throughout her entire educational career, giving back and reshaping the education system has been a major personal gosal. She currently studies at Wagner in effort to begin her dream of establishing a social enterprise which helps immigrant and English language learning students in the NYC public school system receive the resources they need to tap into their full potential.
Areas of Interest: Education Reform, Immigrant rights, Civic Engagement and Community Organizing.
Hongye is pursuing a Master's degree in Public Administration at the Robert F. Wagner School of Social Service with a concentration in public finance and financial management. Having grown up in China, Hongye is fascinated by development in emerging economies. Her prior work experience in various non-profits, as well as her involvement with activism during college, has shaped her commitment to breaking down systemic barriers faced by marginalized communities around the world. She is interested in exploring innovative technology and financial services as tools to empower sustainable development.
Areas of interest: Social impact investment, Impact evaluation, Inclusive economy, International development
Imani J. Wallace is a Masters candidate at the Steinhardt School of Education, Culture & Human Development pursuing a degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs with an area of interest in Social Justice. She holds a Bachelors degree in Public Relations and Sociology from Syracuse University. Hailing from the Bronx, she is a proud New York native.
She is an active leader in her community as a member of the New York Urban League Young Professionals, the North Manhattan Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the co-founder of a spoken word showcase for young adults in Harlem. On campus, she intends to enhance the trajectories of students of color through a lens of social justice pedagogy with both her personal research and her work at the NYU Center for Multicultural Education and Programs.
Her research consists of ways to advance and empower students of color at PWI's while informing and supporting student affairs professionals through creative methods of social justice. Furthermore, she holds several student leadership positions as a Graduate Welcome Week Ambassador and the Vice Chair of Administration for the Graduate Activities Board.
Areas of Interest: Social Justice Pedagogy, Access and Equity in Higher Education, Activism through the Arts
Jálynn Larry is a first-year MPA student in the Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy program with a concentration in Public Policy Analysis at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Throughout her career, Jálynn has committed herself to increasing access to high-quality educational experiences for all students, regardless of background or zip code. She currently serves as the Founding Senior Program Associate at Matriculate, a start-up college access organization that supports high-achieving, low-income students on their path to college by providing them with free college counseling. Her prior experience includes worked alongside educators empowering students to break the cycle of poverty through education at the Young Women’s Leadership Network and designing and implementing programming to recruit students of color, low-income, and first-generation students at her alma mater.
As a public service professional, Jálynn emphatically believes education is one of the most powerful levers we have as a society to change the trajectory of someone’s life, especially for members of our most vulnerable populations.
Jálynn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in French from Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Areas of Interest: Education access, Youth development, Poverty reduction
Jasmine is a NYU Stern School of Business MBA Candidate, Class of 2019. She is originally from the Bay Area and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in Accounting and Human Resource Management. Prior to Stern, Jasmine was a consultant at PwC in its Public Sector Advisory practice, where she analyzed commercial payment and FinTech trends in order to support missions across federal agencies/organizations.
She has corporate social responsibility experience through facilitating financial literacy sessions, hosting college preparation and professional development workshops, and contributing diversity & inclusion initiatives. At Stern, Jasmine is a Consortium Fellow, serves on the Community Service Committee within Stern Government, and is the AVP of Admissions for the Stern Social Impact and Sustainability Association. She is passionate about providing access to capital for marginalized groups and underbanked communities by leveraging FinTech technologies.
Areas of Interest: Advocating for Diversity & Inclusion Across Industries and Sectors, Supporting Underbanked Communities, Economic Development for Marginalized Groups
Jason Spear has a Bachelor's degree from Tuskegee University and is a current MPA student at Wagner, where he is a recipient of the Dean's Scholarship. Jason was raised by his hardworking mother, Agnes Spear in Piedmont, Alabama, who taught him the difference between right and wrong, the importance of setting goals, integrity, and the value of hard work. The morals she instilled in him paved the way for his future career and success. Jason moved to Washington D.C. in 2010 after being awarded an internship in the Obama White House. After a brief stint working in the White House, Jason joined the staff of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), spending more than 5 years as her Legislative Associate and Deputy Communication Director, where he managed a portfolio of issues, including healthcare, education, and foreign affairs. Jason also served as senior adviser and event specialist for the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys. Currently, Jason is a Special Assistant/Fellow for the NYC Young Men's initiative. He is also a co-founder of the Hustlers Guild, a non- profit that seeks to empower youth in the D.C area from underrepresented communities to drive innovation that will impact the future.
Areas of Interest: Corporate Social Responsibility, Civic Engagement, Corporate Philanthropy, Fundraising
Jennifer is a JD candidate at NYU Law. As a dual Root Tilden Kern Public Interest/ Anbryce Scholar, she is interested in the intersection of human rights, law, and international development.
Prior to law school, Jennifer worked at Human Rights Watch as a Senior Associate, assisting in research and advocacy efforts focusing on human rights abuses related to health and human rights and disability rights. A child of Haitian immigrants, Jennifer also worked in Haiti designing and facilitating seminars that emphasized civic duty, community development, and social change. While there, she created a women’s empowerment program, where participants received mentoring from women professionals and attended workshops focused on leadership development.
Jennifer graduated cum laude from Bryn Mawr College in 2011 with a degree in Political Science.
Areas of interest: human rights, law, and international development.
John Prothro is a graduate student at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. His areas of focus are the intersectionality of Human Rights, Community Development and Arts in Activism. Before embarking on graduate studies, John served in the Peace Corps Burkina Faso as a community economic development volunteer. During his tour, he lived within an isolated rural village, immersed in the Burkinabe’ culture. In his role, he collaborated with community members on an environmental stewardship project, as well as, administering business classes and life skills training. This experience proved vital as it not only illuminated the similarities of many social injustices visible in the U.S. context, but also the inventive and impactful ways in which they are being addressed through the arts. John observed the impact of the arts in community development and how it has been and can be used to illuminate, as well as, mitigate human rights issues. As a musician, John is both inspired by and impacted by the arts. Having been afforded the opportunity to observing the impact of artistic expression on a larger scale, and towards issues of paramount importance proved a major impetus of John’s enrollment at NYU. In addition, John has also started a local Open Mic event as an opportunity for both artist and viewers of the arts, to have a place where artistic expression is cultivated.
Areas of interest: human rights, community organizing, arts and music
Jon Chin is an educator, poet, software engineer, 2nd dan blackbelt, and social entrepreneur. He is the founder of Share Meals, an organization dedicated to ending hunger and isolation among students. His greatest concern is how to leverage breakthrough technology to address the human condition in new, disarming ways. His classrooms are often attended by laughter, sometimes so much that they're asked to pipe down. He is currently researching the intersection of English Education, natural language processing, and machine learning to support better language learning in the classroom.
Areas of interest: Language education, Social entrepreneurship, Software design
Julio Rivera is currently pursuing an MPA at NYU's Wagner School of Public Service, specializing in Advocacy and Political Action. He is a recipient of the David Bohnett Public Service Fellowship. Before relocating to New York for grad school, he worked in local politics in San Diego. Julio served in the district office of a California state assemblywoman and spent five years in city hall with the offices of two councilmembers. During his career in public service, he had the opportunity to work on addressing inequities in underserved communities of color. To that end, he worked on projects and policies such as the development of new parks, a foreclosure registry program, and an earned sick leave ordinance.
Julio also previously interned with Feeding America San Diego where he helped individuals access Calfresh benefits. He was chosen for The Center on Policy Initiatives' Students for Economic Justice fellowship, gaining valuable experience in community organizing. He later worked on several issue-based and political campaigns, including as the field director for a city council race.
A first-generation college student, Julio attended San Diego State University where he earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Latin American Studies.
Areas of Interest: Social and Economic Justice, Immigrant Rights, Local and State Government, Politics
María is a Colombian human rights lawyer interested in working with discriminated communities towards empowerment and education. Currently she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Politics and Advocacy at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Prior to this, María worked with the Ministry of Justice and the Pan-American Development Foundation in issues related to the implementation of the Peace Agreement in Colombia. She has also participated in multiple research project with populations such as people with disabilities, sexual workers and people deprived of their liberty. She is particularly interested in community organizing, Participatory Action Research and advocacy with diverse communities.
Areas of interest: Empowerment and political participation of discriminated communities, Participatory Action Research and human rights.
Marjan Riazi is a journalism graduate student from Minneapolis, Minnesota studying News and Documentary at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, Educational Studies, and Applied Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Marjan has worked in primary, secondary, and higher education teaching environmental science, diversity and inclusion, leadership development, bystander intervention and community responsibility, and alcohol and drug prevention. She believes multimedia and documentaries have transformed the landscape of education and related social change and hopes to elevate marginalized voices and underreported cases of injustice. At the intersection of storytelling and education, Marjan views documentary journalism as a tool to encourage critical thought while inviting viewers to perceive identity, privilege, and inequality through a new lens.
Areas of interest: Documentary Filmmaking, Photojournalism, Diversity Education, Alcohol and Drug Safety, Mental Health, Criminal Justice Reform, Gun Control, Interpersonal Violence Prevention, Racial and Socioeconomic Equity, Environmental Sustainability, Leadership Development
Michael Sanders is a native of the South Bronx. He is also a recent honorably discharged veteran and social advocate. Improving social welfare for all, as well as, criminal justice reform are his passions. He served in the U.S Army on active duty from 2010 to 2014. Upon transitioning back into society, He attended the University of Massachusetts where he received a bachelor's' degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. Although he started graduate education in the law field, he has found a new path and is now a graduate student pursuing a masters' degree from the Silver School of Social Work. After receiving his graduate degree, Michael plan to use his expertise in the social sector as a leader within the criminal justice system.
Areas of Interest: Criminal Justice Reform, Social Welfare
Michelle Hughes is a Master of Food Studies candidate at NYU Steinhardt, focusing on food and agricultural economics and policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Italian from Haverford College, where she also studied Pre-Veterinary Science. After completing her undergraduate degree, Michelle served as a Farm Technician at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, where she managed the husbandry, veterinary care and research of 800 pigs. Because of its proximity to the meat industry, this position shifted Michelle's interest from veterinary medicine to the food system.
Since beginning her graduate degree at NYU, Michelle has worked with several organizations with the shared mission of creating a more just and equitable food system including Slow Food USA, the National Young Farmers Coalition and NYU. At NYFC, Michelle organized a series of congressional roundtables centered on policy reform for the 2018 Farm Bill.
She currently serves as a research assistant on behalf of the NYU Food Studies Department and the New York City Mayor's Office of Food Policy, assisting with the evaluation of nutrition incentive programs in low-income communities in NYC. Michelle is passionate about creating functional advancements in policy reform, sustainable development and social entrepreneurship that will result in a more sustainable food economy and system overall.
Areas of interest: Food/Agricultural Economics and Policy, Sustainable Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Animal Welfare
Michelle Jones is a first-year doctoral student in the American Studies program New York University, and a Research Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. After being granted a Bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, Michelle completed a four-year seminary ministerial diploma from the University of the South. Her interest in history, women, race, and prisons led her to participate in a scholarly project challenging the narratives of the history of women’s prison with a group of incarcerated scholars. Even while incarcerated, Michelle published and presented her research findings to dispel notions of about the reach and intellectual capacity of justice-involved women. Michelle’s advocacy extends beyond the classroom. While incarcerated, she presented legislative testimony on a reentry alternative she created for long-term incarcerated people that was approved by the Indiana State Interim Committee on the Criminal Code. She is currently on the board of Constructing Our Future, a reentry alternative for women created by incarcerated women in Indiana, which provides women leaving prison with access to rehabilitative programming, carpentry job skills and the means to earn their own home, and serves as Entrepreneurship Development Director for The Ladies of Hope Ministries as well as a 2017 Beyond the Bars fellow. As an artist, further, Michelle is interested in finding ways to funnel her research pursuits into theater and dance. Her original play, “The Duchess of Stringtown,” was produced in December 2017 in Indianapolis and New York City.
Areas of Interest: Criminal justice
Mili Chapado is a first-year student pursuing an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, with a specialization in Public Policy Analysis.
Mili was first introduced to student activism through the Palm Beach State College chapter of Students Working for Equal Rights, where she served as Core-Leader and advocated for the DREAM Act. Mili then transferred to Florida State University on a Jack Kent Cooke scholarship, and continued social justice work as a Young People For fellow and as Policy Chair of Advocates for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. As an undergraduate, she also participated in the successful Florida Tuition Equity Campaign, the movement to grant in-state tuition to undocumented students in Florida. She further explored this issue by focusing her senior thesis on tuition equity policies across U.S. states.
Upon graduation, Mili served as a Community Fellow for Immigrant Justice Corps, where she screened over 300 immigrant New Yorkers for pathways to immigration relief, and legally represented over 100 in immigration applications.
Mili’s experiences as a first-generation college/graduate student and DACA recipient inspire her to continue working for underserved communities.
Areas of Interest: Immigrant Rights, Economic Mobility, Education, College Accessibility
Nelia Y. Escobar is a master’s candidate at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. Before changing careers into social work, she graduated from Long Island University – Post Campus with her B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Criminal Justice. There, she became a member of Omega Phi Beta, Sorority Inc. in the spring of 2008, where she continues to give back to her community through educational and community services geared towards raising awareness of violence against women. Her passion for working in the criminal justice field started at the age of six. Over the last 10 years, she has continued to give back to her community by working for organizations that assist marginalized populations, particularity those that deal with the stigma of recidivism. Through doing this work in Brooklyn Criminal Court, her passion grew for preventing such recidivism in young adults. In working with this population, Nelia has seen patterns of behaviors surrounding their crimes and felt that action around crime prevention at an earlier age was the key to having a deeper impact within the criminal justice system. Nelia is currently a Dean at a charter high school in Brooklyn where she engages in this type of work.
Areas of interest: alternative policies for incarcerated people, prevention of incarceration, assistance for formerly incarcerated and incarcerated people, social justice, and counseling in areas of transformation
Nonhlakanipho (Nipho) Msibi is a African Women in Public Service Fellow (Oprah Winfrey Scholar) currently pursuing a Masters at NYU Wagner with a specialization in Social Impact, Innovation, and Investment. Nipho is a qualified Chartered Accountant with five years industry experience as an Investment analyst at a global investment bank. Her work experience spans across various sectors and multiple countries. Nipho was born and raised in a township in South Africa (Soweto), her upbringing instilled in her a passion for social development and a desire to empower the youth in her community.
During her undergraduate studies, Nipho started her non-profit organization, Keynetics, to equip the youth in disadvantaged communities in South Africa with entrepreneurial and life skills. Through Keynetics she was honored with the Abe Bailey Travel Award to England, for her exceptional leadership qualities and strong service ethic. She has travelled regularly to Europe representing South Africa as a change agent. She represented South Africa in Belgium at the European parliament addressing 300 global leaders on issues affecting the youth in South Africa. Nipho weaves her background and personal story of success into her service of empowering others. She brings a unique perspective to the social development space, combining her experience and skillset of working in the private sector with that of running her own nonprofit organization. Nipho currently serves on the Wagner Management and Leadership board as well as on the Social Innovation and Investment Alliance board.
Omar Escamilla is currently pursuing an M.A. in International Education from New York University. He graduated in Spring 2018 from DePaul University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and a double minor in Education Studies and Intercultural Communication. He currently serves as the President of NYU Steinhardt’s International Education Student Board.
Through his involvement as a tutor and mentor for under-resourced grade-school students in the City of Chicago, he found his passion for empowering people to thrive academically, secure economic stability, live healthy lives, and build communities. He furthered this passion through his work with the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships in Washington, D.C. on a national level by diligently working to increase access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students through leadership-based programs. Before starting at NYU, he worked for with Foreign Fulbright student in the Institute of International Education and efforts of fostering mutual understanding and connections with students from across the world.
His goal is to develop sustainable models of education for underserved, developing communities across the world that are culturally appropriate, promote social change, and are accessible to all. In graduate school and his career, his mission is to improve inclusive and equitable education programs, foster youth leadership, and encourage community development within and between nations.
Upon his completion of his masters, he aims to work on projects that empower youth to promote their inherent human dignity, particularly those who are marginalized, by educating and immersing youth to foster relationships rooted in service and leadership through community development.
Escamilla has been named a Jack Kent Cook Graduate Scholar, McNair Scholar, Gilman Scholar, and a Fulbright Commission Grantee.
Areas of interest: Education access for underserved communities, equitable and inclusive education programs, youth development
Born and raised in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Quamid Francis moved to Kissimmee, Florida, where he completed high school. In 2008, he enlisted into the United States Marine Corps where he served for more than seven years. During his service in the Marines, he deployed to several different countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region in support of multilateral training operations. He is also a combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, the War in Afghanistan. For his exemplary performance, President Obama awarded him the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. After fulfilling his service as a Marine, with aspirations to pursue higher education, Quamid moved to New York City and graduated from Baruch College with a Bachelors in Public Affairs. Subsequently, he matriculated at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service in the Fall of 2017, where he is specializing in International Policy and Management. While attending school full-time, Quamid has also held positions as Legislative Aide and Special Assistant at New York City Council and New York State Senate, respectively. Following graduation from NYU, Quamid plans to become a U.S. Diplomat at the U.S. State Department due to his strong interest in diplomacy and conflict negotiation.
Areas of interest: Diplomacy, international relations, conflict negotiation
Rashida Clarke is currently pursuing her Master's Degree at NYU's Silver School for Social Work. Rashida is also the Admissions and Events Officer at Oliver Scholars. Oliver Scholars is a non-profit organization, which prepares under-resourced Black & Latino adolescents for private middle and high schools. She has over nine years’ experience working with children and youth within communities of color. Before joining Oliver, she worked at Power of Two as a Parent Coach, supporting children and families within their homes in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Rashida is certified in Mental Health First Aid and the Attachment Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) parenting model for infants and toddlers. Rashida believes that when we educate, support, and provide the necessary resources to children, we can cultivate a society where people of color can obtain equal access to the world’s vast opportunities.
Areas of Interest: Education, Education Policy, Community Engagement, Advocacy, Poverty Alleviation, Women Empowerment
Rentsenkhand Enkh-Amgalan (Handaa) is currently pursuing an MPA degree with a concentration in Public Finance at NYU Wagner. While at Wagner, Handaa interns at the UN Office for South-South Cooperation and assists in teaching a graduate course at NYU Stern School of Business. Prior to Wagner, she worked as an Urban Fellow at New York City Department of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Financial Empowerment. Handaa assisted in managing the network of 25 Financial Empowerment Centers which help New Yorkers build assets by receiving free financial counseling. She conducted research and data analysis for strategic planning and program evaluation and supported the implementation of innovative prototypes for effective service design.
Handaa graduated from East Tennessee State University where she studied Marketing Management and Business Economics. During her undergraduate career, she founded a student-led nonprofit organization “Student United Way” which mobilized her peers to volunteer with youth at the community-level in Johnson City, Tennessee. While in college, she completed multiple internships in the social sector and led cross-cultural youth mentorship projects in Mongolia, Bulgaria, and Poland. Growing up in a post-communist, developing country, Mongolia, in which young people are systematically deprived of educational opportunities, developed a passion in Handaa to serve youth and empower marginalized communities at the local level on a global scale. Leveraging social entrepreneurship, Handaa aims to create innovative solutions to poverty and advocate for socio-economic advancement among vulnerable women starting from her hometown in Mongolia.
Areas of interest: Youth development, women’s empowerment, financial inclusion, social entrepreneurship, international development
Ronald “Rey” Lynch, Jr. is a first-year graduate student at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, pursuing an M.A. in Sociology of Education with a specialization in Social and Cultural Studies of Education. His research and professional interests revolve around the liberation of Black and Brown students via holistic and culturally affirming educational practices and pedagogy. Before his time at NYU, Rey taught high school English on the Northside of Houston, Texas. His time as an educator, in his childhood neighborhood, deeply drives his passion for ensuring that poor, Black and Brown students have an opportunity to learn in a way that capitalizes on the brilliance native to their cultural and ethnic communities.
Rey is an alumnus of the illustrious Morehouse College where he studied Spanish and Cinema, Television, & Emerging Media Studies. He is, also, a co-founder of The Black Teacher Association, a local teacher-help group based in Houston, Texas, and currently, the Director of Adult Literacy Program at Community League of the Heights (CLOTH).
Areas of Interest: Decolonized curriculum development, advocacy and community engagement, training and development, and Black liberation.
Riley Jones is a first-year student at New York University School of Law. Riley has a background in social entrepreneurship; in 2015 he co-founded an organization, Bloc, to increase education and career access for students of color across the United States. Riley was also a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow who did research under tenured sociology and American Studies faculty. He’s currently a research assistant of the Grunin Center of Law and Social Entrepreneurship. Riley graduated from Columbia University in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science and American Studies.
Areas of interest: Social entrepreneurship, education and career access for communities of color
Shamire Juste is a graduate student at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, pursuing a Masters in Social Work. She began her undergraduate studies at Binghamton University and completed her bachelor’s degree at St. Joseph’s College – Brooklyn. Prior to attending NYU, Shamire spent 6 years working within educational and youth development nonprofits including Girl’s Inc. of New York City, Uncommon Schools, and Achievement First. In addition, she is an alumna of AmeriCorps – serving as a corps member with City Year Washington, DC from 2011-2012, and an AmeriCorps VISTA community outreach volunteer in Brooklyn, NY from 2013-2014.
Shamire is a proud native of East New York, Brooklyn and committed to communities much like her own. Although her work has largely been with adolescents, she has always been passionate about mental health care, reproductive rights, and birth equity; primarily for disenfranchised women with limited access to care. She is currently in the process of being trained as a birth doula with Carriage House Birth. She plans to focus her career on addressing the racial disparities in childbirth and birth outcomes by providing support to mothers as both a doula and clinical social worker.
Areas of Interest: Children and Families, Reproductive Justice/Birth Equity, Mental Health
Stephanie “Stevie” Paige Chambers is a graduate student in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP, c/o 2019) at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a large heart for feeding the curiosities of children of color. Her personal and professional interests exist at an intersection of education, technology, art, creative writing, and youth development and accessibility. She hopes to use her emerging proficiency in coding and interactive design, along with her established skills and education, towards the advancement of the well-roundedness of underprivileged students of color in her hometown of Newark, NJ and surrounding areas. A people-loving, God-fearing, passion-driven, super wordy altruist, Stevie’s greatest goal is to motivate people to motivate others. In this spirit, she hopes to one day be able to share her aspiration of building lower-income communities globally. Stevie graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing (2013), is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and an AmeriCorps Alum.
Areas of Interest: Youth Leadership & Development, Interactive Technology & Design, STEAM Education, Physical & Mental Health, Community Organizing
Stephanie Liu is pursuing her Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She currently works as a part time advisor for NYU’s College of Arts and Science Academic Advising Office. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Education from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2015. In 2017, she obtained her Master of Science in Elementary Education from John Hopkins University. Stephanie was an educator on the Big Island of Hawai’i for 2 years, prior to coming back to school. These experiences in the classroom shaped her interests on issues of access to higher education for low-income/ marginalized communities. Her experiences as a second generation Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) has shaped her outlook on life. She wants to continue to act with intentionality as she develops a working theory of how to unpack the AANHPI umbrella category, desegregate the data within this category, and work with marginalized communities on issues of access, equity, and social justice.
Areas of interest: Higher education access for low-income and marginalized communities, social justice
Terrick describes himself as an “artivist,” which merges his two passions: art and activism. Terrick is interested in exploring how both platforms together can tackle social justice issues. Previously, the mediums that Terrick has chosen to create with are drawing, painting and photography. Terrick is pursuing his Master’s in Interactive Telecommunications at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Overall, he hopes to use his knowledge to bring light to the many stories and experience of people who come from marginalized backgrounds. Terrick is in the process of examining their experiences and retelling them through new forms of digital media such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Terrick received his Bachelor of Arts in psychology with minor in art at Morehouse College.
Areas of interest: Arts activism, storytelling, digital media, social justice