Upon graduation from Bryn Mawr College, Lucy and her husband spent two years in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. She then earned her PhD in social psychology from Columbia and headed research at the Vera Institute of Justice. But Lucy was more interested in designing programs than evaluating them, so she helped found Victim Services (now known as Safe Horizon). With support from Open Society Foundations, Lucy launched TASC (now known as ExpandED Schools) in 1998. Although her four children all attended some after-school programs, none of them were enthusiastic about a longer school day. She hopes to be more successful with her three granddaughters.
The biggest educational influences on Jen’s life happened long before she got her masters in public administration and doctorate in education leadership at NYU. She was editor of her high school yearbook, which fostered her love of grammar. And she spent summers working at a 4-H camp, where she first learned about youth development and living in the great outdoors. At ExpandED Schools, Jen works across the organization with a focus on strategy, managing resources and supporting our team. She is also a member of the American Education Research Association and the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women.
Fluent in both Spanish and English, Rebeca earned a bachelor’s degree in Translation from APEC University in the Dominican Republic and a master’s in Human Resources Management from Fordham University. She’s a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and holds a PHR certification. Rebeca serves the community of East Elmhurst where she counsels young families and youth and provides one-on-one coaching. She’s married with two young adult sons, as well as a stepdaughter with three beautiful children of her own, and loves music, singing, and gaining new insights on human behavior through reading.
Chris got a BA in religion from Middlebury College, but it was playing the role of Marco the Magnificent in the musical Carnival at summer camp that formed his extroverted nature. He has run a halfway house for ex-offenders in East Harlem, designed mediation programs, and worked for Lucy, our president, for over 30 years. His wife works in the field of education, as well, and both of his grown children share his passion for playing and watching sports. (As proof of that passion, Chris ran the NYC marathon in under three hours and played ice hockey in Central Park every winter Sunday morning for 12 years.)
Monica earned her Masters in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University. Her work at Global Kids and The Posse Foundation launched her career in helping young people improve their skills and chances for success. Before coming to ExpandED Schools, Monica lived in Hong Kong and worked with Summerbridge, a youth organization where college and high school students teach middle school children. Despite an entire career working with youth, it’s her adolescent son who has taught her the most about the value of access to expanded learning opportunities. That is why she loves her work at ExpandED Schools, coaching school teams to offer similar opportunities to all kids.
Sabrina credits her career trajectory to her early experiences of working alongside her mother in California, advocating for increased opportunities to help Latinos achieve greater gains in education. After receiving a BA in History and a Minor in Spanish from UCLA, she volunteered at a rural school in Honduras and taught English in Argentina. She has taught Middle School Humanities in the South Bronx and served as a Teacher Development Coach for The New Teacher Project where she mentored pre-service teachers in New York City. She holds a MA in International Education Development from New York University and a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Hunter College. In her expanded learning time, Sabrina enjoys reading non-fiction (especially social commentary), practicing yoga, and exploring the world.
Rashida’s trajectory into the youth services profession began early on as a freshman in high school when she served as a peer leader working on a range of public health issues. She has a BA from NYU and is an alumna of the Partnership for After School Education/Baruch College School of Public Affairs’ Emerging Leaders in Nonprofit Management Program. Rashida is a trained vocalist (having graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts) and a firm believer that the arts build confidence and self-esteem in young people while helping them to succeed academically.
Laura received her BA from Colby College, a Masters in Sociology of Religion from the Graduate Theological Union, and a start in her career in education through Teach For America. She has taught elementary, middle and high school aged children and coached educators in several cities. But she truly learned what it takes to work towards a goal through her experience in high school and college cross-country and track. When she’s not overseeing programs at ExpandED Schools or chasing after her young son, she can be found learning and honing professional culinary techniques at the Natural Gourmet Institute.
Policy & Research
Prior to leading policy and research efforts at ExpandED Schools, Saskia worked to build state systems for early care and education. She has authored and co-authored articles for peer-reviewed journals, policy briefs, reports on a range of issues, and an essay on voter registration in a book about civic service (which included being recorded on a CD with Al Gore). Saskia earned a BA from Columbia University and a PhD in research psychology from Stanford University, and credits winning the Baltimore Science Fair in middle school with bolstering her love of science. She currently enjoys passing along that love of science to her pre-school twins.
Katie has spent her career conducting social science research with at-risk populations. With a BA in Neuroscience from Connecticut College and a PhD in Psychology from Tufts focused on the neuroimaging of psychiatric disease, she is always looking for ways to blend her interest in brain sciences to her current passion: the education of students in large urban districts. When not crunching numbers or preaching the value of good data-driven decision making, she can be found exploring the city’s best museums, parks and playgrounds with her husband, young son and dog.
After earning her MSW at Boston University, Jama spent years as a social worker before transitioning to fundraising on behalf of K-12 public education. She credits her own experiences in chorus, sports, yearbook, student government and 4-H as having an impact on who she is today. Jama taught Sunday school in New Jersey and English in Jakarta. She lives with her family in Washington Heights.
After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Deb began her career in some of NYC’s top ad agencies. She is now happily applying her creative director/copywriter skills to improving opportunities for underserved kids. She has shot commercials in Paris, blogged about children with special needs, and gone on a book tour for the biography she wrote and published about a Holocaust survivor. When she’s not feeding her three sons or schlepping them to various sports, she clears her mind through hip-hop dance.
Finance & Administration
Prior to joining ExpandED Schools, Charles worked for International Executive Service Corps (IESC) for more than 15 years, and at other agencies in various finance roles. He holds an MA in accounting from the University of Baroda in India, and has completed 60% of the credits for the graduate coursework in finance at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. He grew up in India and moved to the United States more than 25 years ago, spending most of those years in Connecticut with his wife Sonal. During his free time, Charles enjoys traveling, and watching Bollywood movies/shows and international cricket matches.
ExpandED Schools Staff
Benitez, Rebeca Director, HR & Administration
Curry, Jennifer Chief Operating Officer
Donner, Jessica Executive Director, Every Hour Counts
Friedman, Lucy President
Nino, Kenneth Finance & Office Assistant
Pratts, Jo-Ann Executive Assistant to the President
Santos, Melissa HR & Administration Coordinator
Banay, Emma Program Manager, Design2Learn
Brazier-Thurman, Candace Program Director, ExpandED Options
Chase, Rachel Program Director, Hunter FUSE 21st CCLC Program
Colón, Natalie Program Manager
Cruz, Domingo Program Manager
Forbes, Rebecca Administrative Assistant
Gage, Alexa Data Programs Assistant
Gomez, Sabrina Director, Expanded STEM Opportunities
Ingkavet, Monica Vice President, Expanded Learning Schools
Kang, Iris Manager, Data Program Management
Ladner-Seward, Rashida Senior Director, Program Support
Lantz, Elam Program Manager
Levitt, Daniel Program Manager
Noisette, Jacques Program Manager
Nuñez, Joel Literacy Program Director
Richardson, Taejha Training Manager
Roberts, Steve STEM Manager
Scheck, Laura Senior Director, Capacity Building
Taylor, Deborah Middle & High School Program Manager
Temple, Denise Program Manager
Whipple, Chris Vice President, Programs
Policy & Research
Badgley, Marissa Programs & Policy Manager
Brohawn, Katie Senior Director, Research
Murchison, Lizzie Senior Research Associate
Samuels, Erika Research Associate
Sherry, Samantha Research & Data Programs Specialist
Stagman, Shannon Senior Program Director, Evaluation Services
Tesman, Jackie Policy Intern
Traill, Saskia Senior Vice President, Policy & Research
Christodoulou, Maria Development Associate
Joseph, Steven Development Associate
Larimer, Laura Senior Development Officer
Levy, Deb Director of Marketing and Communications
Phillips, Erin Development Officer
Sellam, Devick Advancement Data Specialist
Toung, Jama Chief Development Officer
Workman, Therese Senior Manager, Digital Content Strategies
Finance & Administration
Alexandrova, Stela Accounting Coordinator
Colon, Jose Grants Manager
Dai, Shanshan Accounting Specialist
Farrar, Tianay Payroll Coordinator
Shah, Charles Chief Financial Officer
Spinelli, Vanessa Grants and Contracts Assistant
Williams, Kathy Accounting Manager
Xie, Cathy (Chang) Staff Accountant