Why I am passionate about the ANY Mission: Growing up in a working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, I saw firsthand the barriers faced by talented young people, even after they were admitted to college. I believe that the key to unlocking this country’s immense potential is to invest in the next generation of diverse leaders. For more than a decade, I have worked to create pathways for young people who historically have lacked access to mentorship and leadership track positions in the workforce. I’m thrilled to continue to pursue this vital mission at ANY!
Where you can find me outside of work: Chasing my one-year-old twins around our house with my amazing wife, Sam. While they’re asleep, I am deeply involved in educational equity work in Brooklyn, my hometown. And I love movies and the NBA.
Reach out to me with questions about: Educational equity, leadership, training and curriculum design, and strategic partnerships.
More about me: Before joining ANY, I spent 10 years at the Posse Foundation, where I managed national program implementation and evaluation. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master’s in human rights studies from Columbia University. My graduate research focused on activist communities and their stance toward U.S. school desegregation policy reforms.
Hosea H. Harvey is the General Counsel at America Needs You.
He is a member of the Bar of the State of New York. Previously, he served as Associate General Counsel at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., where his practice focused on corporate operations, contracts, intellectual property, and human resources matters. Prior to Planned Parenthood, he was a corporate associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, where he specialized in corporate governance/regulations, mergers and acquisitions, contracts, and securities matters.
Before Cravath, Mr. Harvey served as a law clerk to Judge Ann Claire Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Judge Barrington D. Parker, Jr. on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. While in law school, he served as a law clerk extern to Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. Mr. Harvey currently serves on the Board of Directors of PALS, a New York non-profit focused on enhancing the skills and careers of diverse New York area law students and early career attorneys. Mr. Harvey received his Ph.D. in Political Science and his J.D. degree from Stanford University, and his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.
As Chief External Affairs Officer, I lead ANY’s national revenue generating and external relations activities, as well as serving as part of the senior leadership team.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: I am passionate about education equity and access, and believe that all students can be successful if given the right opportunity – and that’s exactly what ANY does!
Where you can find me outside of work: In my kitchen, getting creative with the limited ingredients in my pantry or watching English crime dramas with my partner, Dean. I also serve on the Board of the Vanderbilt YMCA in New York City and volunteer with New York Road Runners (I am a two-time marathoner and 14 time half-marathoner).
Reach out to me with questions about: Storytelling, fundraising and corporate engagement
More about me: Over my ten-year career in nonprofit management, I have raised millions of dollars in critical funding for numerous community organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City and Community Housing Partners. I earned my Master of Public Administration and Master of International Studies degrees from the North Carolina State University and my bachelor’s in Communications Studies and International Studies from Hollins University.
As Chief Financial Officer, I ensure a strong and collaborative process across departments with regard to budget creation and management, cash-flow management, grants compliance, benefits and administration.
Why I love working at ANY: I love the comfort of being able to bring my authentic self to work each day.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: As a first-generation college graduate, I love the opportunity to support a mission that is aligned with my own life’s experience.
Where you can find me outside of work: Exercising, listening to podcasts or working on personal budgets.
Reach out to me with questions about: ANY’s budget, financial statements, benefits and administration
More about me: Before joining the ANY Program team in 2014, I worked in the accounting profession as a Senior Accountant at Balchem Corporation, where I was responsible for all accounting and financial reporting needs of a $50-million segment. Prior to that, I was a Transaction Services Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. I received my bachelor’s in Accounting from Fordham University and my Master of Business Administration from Mount Saint Mary College, located in the Hudson Valley of New York, where I grew up.
As Chief Operating Officer, I oversee ANY’s work toward realizing our strategic plan and strengthening our culture of high standards, focused execution, strong internal communications and continuous learning.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: As a development economist with over 15 years of experience in human services and anti-poverty initiatives nationwide, I have seen families and communities trapped in the inter-generational cycle of poverty. I have also seen how education can be the most powerful strategy to tackle poverty one family at a time.
My favorite quotation: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service of others” – Mahatma Gandhi
Where you can find me outside of work: Wherever my two sons are! I also enjoy outdoor adventures, traveling, creative writing and ballroom dancing.
Reach out to me with questions about: Career development, socio-economic supports, labor trends, professional mentoring, learning and development, recruitment and case management
More about me: I grew up in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, and trained as a development economist specializing in public administration and economics. Prior to joining ANY, I worked across large-scale private and nonprofit organizations where I led economic development and asset building initiatives advancing economic opportunities in New York and nationwide. I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Economics from Yerevan State University, and my Master of Public Administration from the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.
As National Director of Program Operations, I manage all facets of the delivery of our Fellows program and all of its outcomes from recruitment through graduation.
Why I love working at ANY: I am inspired daily by the drive and hard work of our Fellows and the dedication of our Mentor Coaches.
Where you can find me outside of work: At the theater, at a concert or playing with my dog.
Reach out to me with questions about: Getting involved as a volunteer or joining the New Jersey Young Leadership Board
More about me: I was born and raised in New York City, but live in Jersey City now. After graduating from the University of Vermont, I worked in the music and fashion industries before transitioning into the higher education space. I worked in the Office of Student Affairs at Hunter College for two years before joining ANY in January of 2017.
As Alumni Director, I oversee all aspects of Alumni programming and prioritize delivering outcome-driven support services to our growing Alumni network.
Why I am passionate about ANY: As a proud first-generation graduate and EOF program alumna who benefited from receiving transformative mentorship, I am committed to paying it forward by contributing to ANY’s mission.
More about me: I was born and raised in Hackensack, NJ and am eternally grateful for the sacrifices made by my parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia. I have a master’s degree in Counseling with a concentration in Higher Education/ Student Affairs. Over the past 10 years I have dedicated my career to helping students transform their struggles into success stories. When providing support services, I take pride in my unique ability to form meaningful connections with those I serve. Some of my previous roles include: Senior Academic Advisor, Senior EOF Counselor, and Adjunct Professor.
Favorite Quote: “I can do hard things,” and, “She believed she could, so she did,”- R.S. Grey.
Reach out to me with questions about: improving college student retention, career development, alumni programming, and all things first-gen.
As FirstGenU Director, I am responsible for overseeing ANY’s new virtual career development program, which is designed to help students across the country prepare for career success through completing robust e-learning pathways focused on getting your first job, planning a meaningful career path, and developing leadership skills.
Why I love working at ANY: I’ve witnessed the impact that attaining a meaningful internship or full-time job can have on a student’s personal development and long-term career options, and I want to help all students have access to the resources that will help them pursue these opportunities and close the economic divide.
Where you can find me outside of work: Going for a run, trying out a new recipe, reading a book, or planning my next vacation.
Reach out to me with questions about: How to sign up for FirstGenU! Whether you work with college students or are a student yourself, I’d love to talk about how this program could be helpful for you.
More about me: I graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Organizational Studies, and then moved to Chicago after graduation to complete an AmeriCorps volunteer program. I’ve spent my career working in nonprofits and higher education, including as a Youth Care Worker and Career Services Coordinator at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, a graduate assistant in Student Organizations & Activities at Northwestern University, and as Assistant Director of Employer Relations & Recruiting at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. I earned a M.Ed. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago and consider it a tremendous privilege to be able to work with college students as they prepare for their future careers!
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: As a former classroom teacher, I believe in the power of mentors and advocates and their role in a student’s journey. I’m excited to be part of an organization focused on access and opportunity for first generation college students through the power of mentorship.
Where you can find me outside of work: Exercising, going on hikes and walks with my dog, searching for the best pizza in North Carolina.
Reach out to me with questions about: Becoming a volunteer Mentor Coach with ANY or for single day mentorship opportunities and volunteer partnership opportunities with your organization.
More about me: I have worked in the education and nonprofit space for the past ten years, starting as a middle school teacher and instructional facilitator in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Most recently, I served as Program Director at Heart Math Tutoring, a nonprofit that recruits and trains volunteers to be 1:1 and tutors for elementary students. I led program and tutor operations, helping grow the program from 12 to 23 schools and recruiting over 1,200 volunteers to work with 1,100 students. I received my Bachelors in International Studies from St. Bonaventure University with minors in Spanish and Law & Society. I completed a Nonprofit Essentials Certificate from Wake Forest University and participated in the Management Development Program hosted by the Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte.
Reach out to me with questions about: Volunteer partnership opportunities with your organization, becoming a Mentor Coach with ANY or to participate in any of our Single Day volunteer opportunities.
Reach out to me with questions about: Reach out to me with questions about: Curriculum development, human centered design, facilitation practices, and DEI initiatives.
More about me: Arielle is a curriculum specialist with a background in education policy, community engagement and DEI initiatives. She started her career in the classroom as a high school English teacher, and moved to work on educational policy for the state of California before focusing on nonprofit program development.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: As a first-generation college student myself, I am passionate about fighting for economic mobility for the next generation of ambitious first-generation students.
Where you can find me outside of work: Playing video games, painting, or trying to keep my houseplants alive!
Reach out to me with questions about: Grants, institutional relationships, your impact
More about me: I began my nonprofit career in 2011 with internships at Elsewhere Artist Collaborative and the Mint Museum. Before joining ANY, I led the Advancement team at Charlotte Bilingual Preschool to achieve revenue growth from $963K in 2018 to $2.4M in 2020. In 2019, I received the Association of Fundraising Professionals Diverse Communities Scholarship. In 2020, I was a guest speaker for the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center Nonprofit Essentials course. I received my BFA in Art Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2011.
As External Affairs Manager, I work with internal and external ANY stakeholders, own key communications strategy, and support the execution of a multi-faceted stakeholder engagement plan.
Why I love working at ANY: Working in such an open environment is something I really value. Seeing everyone’s unique talents and personalities come together to support our Fellows’ successes inspires me each and every day! Communication is how we connect to one another as people, and I love finding new ways to share the incredible stories of the ANY community.
Favorite quotation: “Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming.” – Alice Walker
Where you can find me outside of work: Playing with my daughter, baking an elaborate dessert I was introduced to on the Great British Baking Show, doing ballet, or catching a new movie.
Reach out to me with questions about: Communications strategy and branding, digital and print content, social media, or website content.
More about me: I’m based in central Massachusetts (about an hour outside of Boston) and attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design before moving to New York City. I worked in the fashion industry and spent four years working as a Digital Planner for a fine jewelry company that’s leading the industry in sustainability and ethics.
As Finance & Administration Manager, I am responsible for daily internal and external operations at America Needs You.
Why I am passionate about ANY/Why I love working: Supporting other first-generation students allows me to work towards a mission that personally connects to my lived experience.
Where you can find me outside of work: Walking my dog Boba, cooking, cleaning
Reach out to me with questions about: Benefits and administrative support, professional development
More about me: Before joining ANY, I worked as the Finance & Operations Assistant for Marketing for Change where I tracked expenses and budgets and provided administrative support. I earned my B.S. in Finance from Florida State University in 2018 and am currently based out of the city of my alma mater Tallahassee, Florida.
As Special Events and Individual Giving Manager, I oversee gift processing and data management, as well as leading special events across our national network.
Why I love working at ANY: The people! It is incredible to work on such a passionate team, partnering with amazing volunteers and giving organizations, all for the benefit of enabling our ambitious and inspiring Fellows to maximize their potential.
Where you can find me outside of work: Playing Frisbee, checking out the best vegetarian places in NYC, or biking around in Pokémon Sword.
Reach out to me with questions about: Gift processing, data organization, and special events.
More about me: I’m from Manassas, Virginia and attended Hollins University, where I earned degrees in business and economics. I began my time with ANY as an intern, and was excited to have the opportunity to move into a full-time role after graduation.
As the Program Operations Associate, I assist in the management, hygiene, and analysis of programming data, and provide day to day operational support for ANY’s programs.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: Any of my professional and academic success throughout undergrad and beyond would not have been possible without mentorship and an extensive support system facilitated by programming similar to ANY’s.
Where you can find me outside of work: Strength training, baking, reading self help and psychology books, houseplants, and yoga classes.
More about me: I was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area in Texas, and graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 2019. I originally moved to New York City to pursue a career in arts administration and most recently worked in fundraising at Kaufman Music Center for two years.
As Development Coordinator, I support the External Affairs team by processing gifts, conducting research, and making sure our funder data is maintained.
Why I love working at ANY: Every day I’m inspired by how everyone brings their “A game” to support Fellows’ bright futures.
Where you can find me outside of work: Playing video games when its cold, and birdwatching when its nice out!
More about me: I earned my associate’s degree from Union County College and a bachelor’s from Montclair State University, returning to school later for a career change. I studied arts administration at CUNY Baruch and have worked at Kean Stage in NJ and a creative youth development nonprofit in NYC, supporting their development, programming, and marketing efforts.
As California Program Director, I lead curriculum development, network and community building for Scholars and Mentor Coaches, and the overall growth of the ANY-CA program.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: I am the first of my immediate family to graduate from college, and I couldn’t have done it without a network of support. I’m excited to be a part of that support network for our Scholars!
My personal motto: “Stay Motivated. Rise Together.” This reminds me to find my internal drivers for success and to celebrate and support others in their successes as well.
Reach out to me with questions about: networking, navigating the college experience, or just to brainstorm an idea!
More about me: Prior to working at ANY, I worked on campus at the University of Southern California, where I was the Center Supervisor for the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs. I served as an adviser to organizations like the Black Student Assembly and Black Graduate Student Network, while also providing one-on-one informal advising and championing broader diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. My undergraduate degree is in Cinematic Arts, and my doctoral research explored how former foster youth use social media to navigate higher ed spaces. I am a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: I remember how intimidating navigating the world of college as a low-income student was, but I attribute much of my success and perseverance to my strong support system. College was a time of enormous growth for me, so the fact that I can provide that same support and encouragement to other students makes my work with ANY truly meaningful and exciting.
Where you can find me outside of work: Cuddling with my two cats while watching a true-crime series or superhero movie, spending time with family, or reading news about pop culture.
Reach out to me with questions about: The ANY-CA program or general questions about navigating college!
More about me: I am a Southern California native and graduate of the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s in Policy, Planning and Development (Urban Planning) and a minor in Cinematic Arts. I started my professional career in entertainment, working at United Talent Agency and a Netflix-affiliated production company in TV series development. My first exposure to nonprofit organizations was with groups like Global Girl Media and the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, where I met mentors who fostered my passion for social impact and who are still in my life today.
Why I love working at ANY: I like working at ANY because I can help, inspire, and empower students with similar backgrounds and experiences as myself. I also enjoy working with ANY because, as a former community college student, I realized a lot of work has to be done in these spaces, and through ANY, I can better assist and support these students in their transfer journeys.
Where can you find me outside of work: You can find me exploring Southern California outside of work, specifically Los Angeles. I enjoy discovering new coffee shops, restaurants, museums, and beaches.
Reach out to me with questions about: Reach out to me if you have any questions regarding community college, transfer process, navigating a four-year institution, and professional development questions.
More about me: My name is Eduardo Cardos (He/Him), and I am one of the two Career Success Coordinators for the California Team. A brief introduction about myself and my educational journey: I am the first in my family to attend college, therefore, making me a first-generation Latinx college student. I started my academic journey at East Los Angeles College (ELAC), where I obtained my associate in Arts in Sociology for Transfer Degree (AA-T) in 2019. I then transferred to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where I obtained my Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a minor in Education Studies.
In my former roles as a Peer Counselor and Career Guidance Counselor Assistant (CGCA), I quickly realized that a lot of work has to be done in the higher education and workforce fields. Working with a diverse student population has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and better prepare and support students from marginalized communities by providing academic, professional development, and career exploration resources. The social dynamics of underrepresented students and their necessity to navigate the higher education and workforce fields motivates me to continue supporting underrepresented students in any way and form that I can. Through ANY, I will be fully prepared to do so.
Aside from my academic and professional experiences, I like to keep myself active and have recently found a new passion for weight lifting. I like to travel, chase sunsets, and do photography in my free time
Why I love working at ANY: I love working at ANY because I am able to work with students with parallel experiences to mine when I was an undergraduate student. Also, I love working at ANY because I am able to help students navigate community college and the transfer process!
Where you can find me outside of work: You can find me exploring Los Angeles and neighboring cities, coffee shops, and spending time with my loved ones.
Reach out to me with questions about: Reach out me to me if you have questions about community college, transferring to a four-year university, and the ANY Fellows program!
More about me: I was born and raised in the city of Inglewood, CA. I attended El Camino College in Torrance, CA where I received my AA in sociology. In 2019, I transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles where I received my BA in Chicana/o/x and Central American Studies and minored in African American and Education Studies. Prior to working at ANY, I was a student worker for the Bruin Underground Scholars Program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a program that serves formerly incarcerated students. Working for this program, I was exposed to the importance of creating accessibility for all students, especially those who have been underserved. Therefore, I found the importance of working with students at the college level and advocating for them.
As the Illinois Executive Director, I am committed to recruiting first-generation college students, empowering them with the necessary skills and competencies for career development, and ensuring that all programmatic targets are met.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: I have the opportunity to continue breathing life into my passion which is to support youth in their post-secondary pursuits and in career development in order to be competitive, secured, and successful in obtainable sustainable employment in their field of study.
My personal motto and favorite quote: You have to go through it to get to it. “If there is no struggle there is no progress,” by Frederick Douglass.
Reach out to me with a question about: Ask me about how to become an ANY fellow, mentor coach, or employment partner offering internships and employment opportunities.
Where you can find me outside of work: You can find me any evening spending a quiet evening with my husband watching our favorite recorded television shows; or, making my insanely delicious “Nutty Nutty Fudge,” my mouth watering “Butter Bites” butter cookies, and my lip smacking “Lemon Drop” cookies; or, crocheting and playing Scrabble/Words With Friends. Catch me on any Sunday leading a song at church. Talking to my daughter on the phone helps to keep me balanced and grounded.
More about me: I am a first-generation college student and product of Chicago Public Schools. All things education for me has been achieved by Illinois institutions: BS, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign; MA Education, St. Xavier University, MA Education Leadership, Concordia University, and Doctor of Education Leadership, prospective graduate, Loyola University. My four years of experience as a Program Director of Education and Career/Workforce Development programs at a major nonprofit organization and twenty-two years of experience with Chicago Public Schools as an administrator and educator has prepared me to lead the Illinois ANY team. I am a proud and active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Why I Am passionate about the ANY mission: Growing up my parents always saw fit that they provided both myself and siblings educational opportunities in which they didn’t have due to being from another country. We still were a low-income family, but I had the opportunity to be the first one to go away for school. Navigating through college was very difficult due to not knowing how life will go post-graduation. Now that ANY is here, I am able to assist fellows and mentors with plans that will help them succeed in school future career aspirations and provide meaningful resources that can help them along the way.
My favorite quotation: “If you can’t see your way, find your way.” – Quincy D. Thomas
Where you can find me outside of work: Playing the Sims on PC, watching new movies/TV series, or grabbing a bite to eat at new restaurants.
Reach out to me with questions about: Internships, professional development, mentoring, or anything pertaining to ANY-IL.
More about me: I’m a proud Chicago native and Chicago Public School Alumni. I am the son of Jamaican parents and an HBCU graduate. My background is in education as well as social services (Workforce Development). Prior to joining the ANY, I was a workforce developer for a social service agency known as Metropolitan Family Services.
Where you can find me outside of work: Outside of work you can find me watching football, watching one of my favorite television shows and coaching my All-Star Cheerleading team.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: I’m passionate about the ANY vision because many young adults don’t have support for their first couple of years in College, especially first gen students.
Reach out to me with questions about: You can reach out to me about mentoring and both professional and career development.
More about me: I am a proud Chicago native as well as a proud HBCU graduate. I attended Dillard University in New Orleans where I earned a bachelors in Mass Communication with a minor in Psychology. I enjoy helping others to the fullest and going the extra mile to be a support for those who need it. Prior to joining A.N.Y., I worked for a nonprofit agency in a role supporting at risk young adults.
As an Illinois Career Success Coordinator, I’m committed to supporting our first-generation Fellows through their academic, personal, or professional obstacles as they pursue the career of their dreams. I’m also the Fellow Recruitment lead with the IL site, focused on guiding prospective Fellows through the application process.
Why I am passionate about the ANY Mission: I’ll never forget my first year on campus, thousands of miles from home. As a first-generation low-income student, I was no stranger to figuring out stuff on my own, but I underestimated how difficult navigating college would be with no support system. My goal as a coordinator is to make sure our Fellows aren’t put in that same position.
My favorite lyric: “Whose world is this? The world is yours.” – Nas
Where you can find me outside of work: Reading, watching a movie, or playing the newest RPG game that’s out.
Reach out to me with questions about: Fellow Applications, Fellow Leadership Council, or anything else related to ANY-IL.
More about me: I was raised in Indianapolis, IN and graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Public Health and Minor in Political Science. Prior to ANY, I worked in biomedical research, non-profit management, and political advocacy.
Why I love working at ANY: ANY is passionate about lifting up first generation college students while working to make corporate culture more inclusive for all. I am a first generation college graduate and know how difficult that road can be without the right support or networks. Working at ANY allows me the opportunity to empower others in forging a better path.
Where you can find me outside of work: Traveling around the world via planes or my taste buds. I’m happiest exploring new places and sharing a meal with others.
Reach out to me with questions about: Joining the NJ Program as a Fellow, Mentor Coach, Volunteer or by joining our Associate Board! If you have any interest in helping first-gen students I can help you find a great way to do it!
More about me: For over a decade, I have been helping to build more inclusive communities for adults with developmental disabilities. I have a Masters in Public Administration and a B.A. in Anthropology. My education and work experience are a reflection of my natural curiosity and love of celebrating all people and the many cultures they belong to.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: As a first-generation college graduate and native of a low income community I quickly learned the importance of engaging in career readiness opportunities for advancement to obtain upward mobility. ANY’s dedication to providing economic mobility resources and opportunities for first generation college students greatly aligned with my passion to supporting students to build on their strengths, reach their goals and unlock their limitless potential.
My favorite quotation: “We all have battles to fight. And it’s often in those battles that we are most alive: it’s on the frontlines of our lives that we earn wisdom, create joy, forge friendships, discover happiness, find love, and do purposeful work.” ― Eric Greitens, Resilience
Where you can find me outside of work: You can find me cooking, engaging in outdoor activities and traveling. I am always searching for new recipes to try and new places to explore.
Reach out to me with questions about: How to become a Fellow or Mentor Coach, support services and the process of transferring from a community college to a four year university.
More about me: A little bit about my background is that I grew up in New Brunswick, NJ. I am from Mexico and Ecuador. I began my journey at Middlesex College and then transferred to Rutgers University where I obtained my Bachelors and Masters in Social Work-Management and Policy.
Why I am passionate about the ANY Mission: I know firsthand that there are times when college can feel scary or overwhelming, especially when thinking about life afterwards. I love that I am able to work with students in not only a supportive role, but also encouraging as well. I’m grateful to work at ANY because the world needs more first-generation college graduates!
Where you can find me outside of work: Sightseeing, planning for my next trip, or watching anything rom-com related!
Reach out to me with questions about: Internships, professional development, or anything else related to ANY-NJ
More about me: I’m a proud New Jersey native, anda Rutgers New Brunswick graduate, where I studied Linguistics and Spanish. I told myself I was going to be a speech therapist, but that didn’t quite happen. I alsoattended Tiffin University, where I earned my M.Ed., and I’m now working towards my MBA at the University of North Alabama.
Prior to joining ANY, I spent 4 years working in higher education in Kentucky and Alabama, and am thrilled to continue to be able to support college students as one of the NJ Career Success Coordinators!
Why I am passionate about the ANY Mission: As a first-generation American, low-income college graduate, I know firsthand the importance of education towards economic mobility. However, I also personally know the many hurdles our students face in order to attain that education and navigate the career world, especially if you do not have the network and intense mentorship that we provide at ANY. I witnessed firsthand my mother, a single parent, juggle so many responsibilities as she pursued her college degree as an immigrant and raised me. This instilled in me the values of self-discipline, perseverance, and excellence, all of which I hope to instill in our ANY Fellows.
My favorite quotation: “Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable.” – Janelle Monae
Where you can find me outside of work: You may catch me binge-watching my favorite soap opera or the Food Network while cuddling up with my cats. When I do not stay still (which is often!), I am exploring hidden gems in and near New York City with my husband or friends. Otherwise, I am probably planning my next trip as I try to visit all 50 states and 50 countries before turning 50 or blogging about my past travel adventures!
Reach out to me with questions about: Partnership and volunteer opportunities, growth strategy, equity, our amazing Fellows and Mentor Coaches, or anything else related to ANY-NY!
More about me: I am a nationally award-winning educational leader and equity advocate. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, I am extremely proud of my Caribbean roots as a first-generation Haitian American. As an educator for over a decade beginning as a Teach for America corps member, my past work focused on teaching high school sciences, coaching teachers and instructors to maximize students’ academic and socio-emotional growth, as well as advocating and creating spaces for culturally responsive practices that promote anti-racism, equity, and inclusion in schools. I hold a bachelor’s degree in History with a Pre-Medical Concentration from Columbia University and master’s degrees from CUNY Hunter College in Adolescent Special Education and Bank Street Graduate School of Education in Educational Leadership. In 2019, I won the prestigious national Milken Educator Award for my educational impact, and so I hope to continue to extend my impact in my role at ANY.
As the NY Volunteer Engagement and Partnerships Manager, I am responsible for developing strategy, recruiting, engaging and managing all aspects of NY mentor recruitment along with managing and coordinating events with our amazing local Associate Board members.
Why I am passionate about the ANY Mission: As a first generation college graduate, I understand the importance of having mentor support and just an amazing network of professionals who care about helping you succeed.
My favorite quotation: “That’s the thing about magic; you’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.” ― Charles de Lint
Where you can find me outside of work: Planning a trip somewhere new or to visit friends I have met all around the world, trying out new recipes to share with my family or hosting themed dinners at my house.
Reach out to me with questions about: Becoming a NY volunteer Mentor Coach or for single day mentorship opportunities and volunteer partnership opportunities with your organization.
More about me: Adelina Lea (Pr: She, Her) is a Boston-born & raised nonprofit leader who has always been passionate about helping those around her. She is a graduate of St. John’s University with a major in Government and Politics and recently joined the ANY team after working as a Volunteer Recruitment Manager for another nonprofit, Free Arts NYC. Adelina loves to eat, meet new people and offer Soul Card (Tarot card) readings for anyone who is interested!
Why I love working at ANY: As someone who has had to learn and navigate college on their own, ensuring career success and providing fellows with the materials and instruments to ensure a successful future after college brings me joy. ANY ensures that every fellow has the opportunity to grow and learn an incredible amount of information to be ready for life after college.
My favorite quotation: “We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.” – Dr. Henry Link
Where can you find me outside of work: Doing anything outdoors, more specifically hiking or kayaking or exploring new places.
Reach out to me with questions about: You can reach out to me about internship opportunities, fellow support, student development, and more about the ANY program.
More about me: Some more about me is that I graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelors in Political Science, and am a first- generation student. I am also a strong believer in second chances, community and spreading kindness.
Why I Am Passionate About the ANY Mission: I believe strongly in the power of education to create a more equitable, more just society. I taught middle school in the past, and have seen the power of building relationships and creating a large support system to help individuals thrive and achieve their full potential.
My favorite quotation: “Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion.” -Bryan Stevenson
Where can you find me outside of work: I enjoy playing basketball and other pick-up sports, reading books, seeing movies, and going to events around the city.
More about me: I went to the University of Colorado and earned my master’s degree from the Relay Graduate School of Education. While in Boulder attending school, I worked for a food justice nonprofit before graduating and teaching 6th and 7th grade in Denver. After moving to New York, I taught 6th grade in Brooklyn for two years before joining ANY.
Why I Am Passionate About the ANY Mission: As a college student, I struggled with the adjustment to the professional world. There were so many unspoken rules that no one taught me, and due to the fact that I had to be financially independent, I missed out on a lot of professional development opportunities. I am passionate about offering support to first-generation college students to help provide support to bridge this gap.
My favorite quotation: “Attention is the beginning of devotion” – Mary Oliver
Where can you find me outside of work: Spending time outside with my niece and close friends, likely playing some kind of casual sport or reading. I enjoy reading historical fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction historical biographies.
More about me: Family is very important to me and I grew up in Brooklyn with my four siblings. I went to the King’s College in NYC and received a Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture, and the Arts with a minor in Literature. Prior to working at A.N.Y, I was a classroom elementary/middle school teacher in both Texas and Harlem, NY. I love to read, paint, and play music. I also enjoy learning how to better my strategy in the game of chess. I believe in the power of change and hope to make an impact here at A.N.Y.
As New Jersey Program Manager, I support our New Jersey team in creating robust opportunities for Fellows, Mentor Coaches, Career Coaches, and our Associate Board to build together and grow professionally.
Why I love working at ANY: Going to college and starting a career can be intimidating. I love working at ANY because we help students build a network of peers and mentors and a strong foundation for their futures.
Where you can find me outside of work: At the nearest ice cream shop or hiking trail
Reach out to me with questions about: ANY’s New Jersey Program or how to become a Fellow!
More about me: I grew up in Northern New Jersey and got my Bachelor’s from New York University, where I studied Economics and Politics. Before joining ANY I worked in financial services and in politics. I am passionate about creating economic opportunity and mobility for young people.
As New Jersey Executive Director, I oversee all aspects of ANY programming for our New Jersey location.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: We help our Fellows see their full potential and access opportunities they otherwise may not have believed were available to them.
My personal motto: Sometimes you have to be your own hero.
Where you can find me outside of work: At my children’s sporting events or at the gym.
Reach out to me with questions about: Partnerships, growth strategy and volunteering with ANY
More about me: I bring to ANY over 20 years of leadership and management experience in the areas of business development, strategic planning, program design and implementation, partnership building, fundraising and career development. I am passionate about creating and executing organizational vision, strategies and goals while meeting the diverse needs of stakeholders. I grew up in Summit, New Jersey, and hold a bachelor’s in Public Policy from Duke University and a Master of Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University.
As Illinois Executive Director, I oversee all aspects of the ANY-Illinois program.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: It’s incredible to see the power of education to break cycles of poverty.
My favorite quotation: “I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.” – E. B. White
Where you can find me outside of work: I’m a big fan of listening to a podcast, cooking an elaborate dinner and drinking a glass of wine. My stressful days melt away when I get to be creative in the kitchen!
Reach out to me with questions about: Anything relating to the ANY-Illinois program!
More about me: I’m originally from Winthrop, Massachusetts, and I studied economics at a state school in Massachusetts. After graduation, I moved to Seattle and worked in corporate finance. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I needed my days to feel more meaningful and impactful. I shifted to the social service sector, and ten years after earning my bachelor’s, I graduated with my Master of Social Work. It was and continues to be a proud accomplishment for me.
As New York Executive Director, I oversee all aspects of ANY’s flagship Fellows Program in New York.
Why I love working at ANY: I love being a member of a diverse community of individuals from many different backgrounds working together towards a common goal.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: I’m a first-generation college student. When I look at our Fellows, I see myself. I vividly remember my struggles acclimating to college life and figuring out how to navigate the professional world, and I feel that it is my duty to pay it forward.
My personal motto: “Ubuntu” (Zulu, “I am who I am because we all are”)
Where you can find me outside of work: At the gym or at home in my back yard. I’m also a Harry Potter and comic book movie enthusiast, and I enjoy reading good books, riding my bike and boxing.
Reach out to me with questions about: The New York Fellows program, volunteering as a Mentor Coach and partnering with ANY
More about me: I grew up in Houston, Texas, and graduated from Howard University in Washington, DC. After college, I worked in schools for eight years, including as a Dean of Students with both Uncommon Schools and Achievement First. Before joining the ANY staff, I served as both a Mentor Coach and a Young Leadership Board member.
As Curriculum and Training Director, I’m involved in a little bit of everything – from workshop curriculum to recruitment to staff training, I work with all the local sites to help them run the best program possible.
Why I love working at ANY: I love that ANY builds a community of people who care deeply about opening doors for the next generation of diverse leaders.
Where you can find me outside of work: Reading in Prospect Park, hiking or trying new foods.
Reach out to me with questions about: Curriculum, guest speaker opportunities and how to get involved with ANY
More about me: I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from the University of California at San Diego expecting to go into urban planning, but the call to enter nonprofit work was too strong to ignore. Since then, I’ve run mentoring programs for more than 1,000 students and volunteers. I also earned my Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Nonprofit Management.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: I was a non-traditional, first-generation college student with absolutely no support structures in place, and I spent my first semester of college homeless. A program like ANY would have been a total game changer for me. My life’s work is supporting the success of my students so that they can have an easier go at college (and beyond) than I had.
Where you can find me outside of work: Playing with my band, Apollo Sonders, or playing or watching soccer.
Reach out to me with questions about: College admissions, the transfer process, holistic or intrusive advising models, student development and support theories
More about me: I graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s in History and a minor in Education as a Social Science, and I am currently working on a master’s in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies at Hofstra University. Before joining ANY, I spent six years working for Quad Learning, where I implemented and managed a support program for high-achieving students. My work included direct support and advising, managing a portfolio of articulation partners and maintaining partnerships with community colleges across the United States.
As New York Program Director, I manage the New York Fellows Program, where I have the pleasure of supporting our ANY Fellows and leading the team to meet our program goals.
Why I love working at ANY: I love working at ANY because the staff embodies both the mission and core values of ANY, and it drives me to give my all to make a difference for our Fellows.
Where can you find me outside of work: At a music festival, a concert, or walking around the city with my camera.
Reach out to me with questions about: Fellow support and how to volunteer, partner and/or contribute to ANY’s mission.
More about me: I am from Kansas City, Kansas, and have lived in New York for the past eight years. I have been a photographer for 10 years and run my own indie music site. For nearly four years, I worked in higher education at the City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs.
As California Program Manager, I am responsible for managing a cohort of students, recruiting Mentor Coaches, seeking donations for Clothing Day and managing our site’s internal communications.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: As a first-generation college student myself, I understand exactly how difficult college and how confusing professional development and the workforce can be. I was lucky enough to find people along the way who helped guide me on my path to success, and I now want to be that same person for others. My goal is to uplift our students and help them feel confident in themselves throughout college and after.
Where you can find me outside of work: Anyone who has met me knows that I love ice cream! If you are ever looking for me, head to your nearest ice cream shop and there is a high likelihood that I will be there. I also greatly enjoy traveling and try take a trip a few months or so.
Reach out to me with questions about: How to get involved with the ANY-California program!
More about me: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I received my bachelor’s in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and hope to one day return to graduate school to acquire a PhD in Education Policy. Prior to joining ANY, I worked with other education organizations and nonprofits in Los Angeles. Through those positions, I was able to learn more about the education system here in Los Angeles and how it impacts students in this city.
As the Illinois Program Manager I support our Illinois team in creating robust opportunities for Fellows, Mentor Coaches, Career Coaches, and Associate Board to build together and grow professionally.
Why I love working at ANY: I appreciate that the ANY team is dedicated to changing the rules of the hiring game and providing a wrap-around support system for Fellows. The unique focus on mentorship and including current professionals in that change is powerful.
Favorite quote: “I appreciate you in advance”- Crystal Smith
Where you can find me outside of work: Cooking, playing music, trying a new local restaurant, or canvassing for a local candidate.
Reach out to me with questions about: Volunteering as a Mentor or Career Coach, workshop content, contributing to ANY, or all things Chicago.
More about me: I was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from the Residential College at the University of Michigan. I worked in political organizing and youth development in Chicago and across Michigan before joining ANY in February of 2021. I am passionate about youth empowerment, civic engagement, and staying in touch with our imaginations.
Why I love working at ANY: I enjoy working at ANY because I have the privilege to work with a small and passionate team here in Illinois. Also, ANY has a very clear mission and a holistic approach to partnership building which both guide my work every day.
My personal motto: “Nothing that’s worth anything is easy.”
More about me: I grew up in Northern Virginia and received a bachelor’s in Public Policy from the University of Virginia. Before ANY, I worked at a charter school and at a Chicago-based youth development organization as a Program Manager. I am also finishing the final year of my master’s at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. I am passionate about the power of mentorship and its influence on community development here in Chicago.
Why I love working at ANY:
I love helping improve outcomes for fellows and seeing them through their process of fully realizing what is possible for their careers and lives.
My favorite quotation:
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” – Brene Brown
Where can you find me outside of work:
Going to a concert, seeing a play, or enjoying quality time with friends.
Reach out to me with questions about:
Practicing active listening and empathy for relationship building.
More about me:
I am from Tulsa, Oklahoma and moved to Brooklyn about a year ago. I attended the University of Oklahoma, where I received my BFA in Stage Management and Dramaturgy. During my time there, I was afforded many opportunities to see how practicing empathy and equity in all administrative tasks can change someone’s life. I hope to continue using these skills to help bridge the many accessibility gaps people experience in higher education.
As Illinois Career Success Coordinator, I support ambitious, first-generation college students in the Chicagoland area. My vision and passion is to support the progressive growth of our Fellows.
Why I love working at ANY: I love being able to invest in the future success of individuals who are driven to achieve their fullest potential!
My favorite quotation: “How can we make sure that in this rapidly changing world, nobody is left behind, and that all of us are stronger and more prosperous?” –Barack Obama
Where you can find me outside of work: Volunteering for the Children’s Ministry at church, trying to cook new recipes, deep in a good book or at a spin class.
Reach out to me with questions about: Fellow recruitment and relationship-building
More about me: Before joining ANY, I supported non-traditional college students in building resilience and skills for academic success. My passion for creating change goes back to my time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I received my bachelor’s in Human Development & Family Studies. Since then, I have grown more interested in analyzing how we can better serve underrepresented communities, families and individuals. I recently received my master’s in Human Services, with a concentration in Family and Community Service, and I hope to continue advocating for the allocation of comprehensive resources for the benefit of all people.
As New Jersey Career Success Coordinator, I provide support to a cohort of Fellows in the ANY-NJ program. I work to ensure that all students have the tools and skills needed to accomplish their professional, academic and personal goals.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: I am passionate about our mission because I am a first-generation college graduate. Through organizations similar to ANY, I had the opportunity to travel the world, become a better advocate for myself and achieve my dream of working in the human rights and nonprofit field. I want all Fellows to have the same gratifying experience I had throughout college and graduate school.
Where you can find me outside of work: Travelling all over the world, at home binge-watching Netflix shows, exploring NYC, networking at social events or trying out a new restaurant.
Reach out to me with questions about: Travel destinations, self-care tips, ways to get involved in your community, or simply more information about ANY-NJ!
More about me: I was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. I received my bachelor’s in Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University while working as a Match Support Specialist with Big Brothers Big Sisters of EHU. In 2019, I received my Master of Arts in Human Rights and Political Science. I have a deep interest in education equity, especially in low-income communities and developing countries. I believe that education is the most potent tool that can change the world by solving problems like poverty and gender inequality and bringing about economic and social development worldwide.
As a New York Career Success Coordinator, I oversee and provide holistic support to a cohort of driven Fellows. Throughout their program experience, I provide them with the tools they need to succeed both personally and professionally.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: As someone who had to navigate the college experience largely on her own, I believe programs like ANY exist to help bridge the invisible gap when it comes to navigating the college experience. Through community, mentorship support, and networking opportunities, Fellows are immersed into a cohort of peers who have similar life experiences. My work with students is grounded in the idea that a transformative college experience can take many different forms.
Where you can find me outside of work: Engaging with my local community, going to concerts, and trying new cooking recipes.
Reach out to me with questions about: Student development and support theories, college outcomes, the transfer process, and becoming an ANY New York Fellow!
More about me: Prior to joining ANY in 2020, I worked in higher education as a volunteer coordinator and career advisor where my work included working directly with students, leading programming, and working with campus partners. I graduated from Hope College with a bachelor’s in Psychology and Business Management, and I received my master’s in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University.
As Illinois Career Success Coordinator, I provide holistic support to ambitious, first-generation college students and their dedicated Mentor Coaches through professional, personal, and academic development. I am also the transfer lead at the Illinois site, where I assist our Fellows at community colleges in transitioning to a four-year institution.
Why I am passionate about the ANY mission: As a low-income, first-generation college student myself, I understand the hardships our Fellows face in succeeding in college. I am excited to use my personal experiences to help mentor and advise those who come from a background similar to mine.
My Favorite quotation: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” –Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Reach out to me with questions about: Fellow applications, the transfer process, Fellow Leadership Council, or any other aspects of the ANY-IL program
More about me: I was born and raised in Chicago, IL, and received my bachelor’s in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to ANY, I served for two years with a college readiness program, College Possible, supporting students toward college admission and success throughout their academic journey.
Why I am passionate about the ANY Mission: Like our Fellows, I was also a first-generation, low-income, CUNY college student. Unfortunately, I was not aware of opportunities like ANY and had to navigate the professional and academic world on my own. I understand firsthand how nerve wracking and terrifying the process can feel, and I want to ensure that other students who are in my shoes do not have to feel the same way. I believe our Fellows are strong, passionate, and ambitious individuals and I am proud to support them every step of the way.
My favorite quotation: “Am I good enough? Yes I am.” – Michelle Obama
Reach out to me with questions about: Being an ANY New York Fellow!
More about me: I am Indo-Caribbean and have been living in NYC for the past 12 years. I graduated from CUNY Hunter College and am extremely passionate about volunteerism and mutual aid. I have spent my entire professional career in non-profit and nothing has made me happier! In my free time, I love reading, watching the Great British Baking Show, and doing yoga.
As CEO, I oversee ANY’s strategy and direction and work to ensure we always live up to our core values of excellence, accountability, community, integrity, curiosity and data & results. My mission as CEO is to rally all of our stakeholders, staff board members, partners, donors, Fellows and volunteers around a shared north star: results for Fellows.
Why I love working at ANY: This is a beautiful, diverse community of changemakers – I love walking into a workshop and feeling the energy in the air.
My favorite quotation: “It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life — daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct.” – Viktor Frankl
Where you can find me outside of work: Reading on my couch with my dog.
Reach out to me with questions about: ANY’s strategic plan, program model, mission, culture, history and future
More about me: After serving as a Mentor Coach, I joined ANY staff in 2012 and became its CEO in 2018. Previously, I was the New York Executive Director of Peer Health Exchange, a health education nonprofit. Before that, I worked at an international philanthropy consulting firm. I graduated from Harvard College with an English degree and spent time as an undergraduate volunteering for mentoring, education and health-related organizations, including Learning Enterprises (LE) and Pediatric HIV/AIDS Treatment Support (PATS). I am an area committee member for the Harvard Center for Public Interest Careers (CPIC), and I love hosting dinner parties.