JENNIFER MITCHELL

Executive Director

I have been working in the field of workforce development for over 20 years and I love it!  Before entering the field, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bluefields, Nicaragua for 2 1/2 years. I have a Masters of Public Administration from Columbia University and a BA in Sociology and Environmental Policy from Binghamton University. I am on the board of the NYCETC and active member of the PTA. I married my high school sweetheart and we have two boys.

Formal Bios for Senior Staff

Development and Evaluation Team

IRENE BRANCHE
Chief Development and Evaluation Officer

I believe in the power of storytelling, so I love working with graduates to share their stories of personal transformation. I’ve been working in Development most of my career and joined the HOPE team in 2011 (ten years!). I have an MPA from Baruch College and a BA in French. I serve as Board Chair for College and Community Fellowship. In the summer, you can catch me walking into the office in my bicycle helmet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LUCY JANOVITZ
Development Associate

I am very excited to be working on the Development team! HOPE’s approach to combating systemic injustices through workforce development is inspiring, and I am honored to be a part of it. I have worked with several nonprofit organizations, conducting ecology research and writing projects. I received a BA in Environmental Studies from Skidmore College. Outside of work I enjoy roller blading, reading short stories, and spending time with friends.

MELANIE BARRETT
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

I am thrilled to be part of the HOPE team and I’m excited to engage with HOPE graduates to share their inspiring stories with our donor community. I’ve worked in both small and large non-profit development teams, with specific expertise executing community fundraising events and growing individual giving programs, and I spent several years planning educational conferences in the life sciences field. I have two Bachelor’s degrees from Susquehanna University in International Studies and in French. In my personal time, I enjoy reading historical fiction, exploring new neighborhoods in NYC and traveling abroad whenever I get the chance!

DEEPTHI KATRAGADDA
Salesforce System Administrator

I was born in a small rural village and grew up seeing my family educating people. Since completing my Master of Technology and starting my career as an IT engineer, I have been searching for a challenging role utilizing my technical skills for a meaningful purpose. Finally, I joined HOPE. I am extremely happy to use my programming and CRM skills to reduce poverty.

Eliana Greenwald
Development and Communications Manager

I believe that workforce development is crucial for creating a high quality of life in marginalized communities, so I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to work on HOPE’s Development team. I have a BA in Political Science from Emory University in Atlanta, where I grew up. When I’m not in the office, you can find me running, enjoying nature, or exploring the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLARA ZAYAS
Development Assistant

I know that I am special and there’s no one else out there that’s like me… so enjoy! I am a HOPE graduate, recent HSE recipient and now employed as the Development Assistant here at The HOPE Program. My goal is to support others from all walks of life to reach their potential. Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to travel to amazing places, continue to meet wonderful people, finish my education and eventually settle down and enjoy the person I have become.

Finance and Operations Team

MANUEL GONZALEZ
Finance Associate

As a New York City native and a product of Mexican immigrant parents, I am grateful to be pursuing a career in Finance that is driven by social justice and community betterment. I have a passion for process and solutions driven work, and a keen interest in ethics and honesty in finance and accounting. I am analytical and meticulous, and am excited to bring these skills to the non profit sector. I graduated from Pace University with a degree in Finance in 2016, and have practiced TaeKwonDo for 15 years.

 

GENTIAN HAXHILLARI
Chief Financial and Operating Officer

A strong back office is crucial to the success of any mission-driven organization. I take great pleasure in helping strengthen and being part of a growing team of professionals who strive to get even more New Yorkers into the path to sustainable careers. Having been connected with the non-profit world for over a decade, I became a part of HOPE in 2018. I have an MBA from Baruch College (CUNY), and a BS in Management Systems Engineering from the Turkish Military Academy. I enjoy running and photography.

Mehedi Rahman
Senior Accounting Manager

Making a positive impact on people’s lives is what excites me the most about working at HOPE. I have been working in the accounting field for quite some time and really enjoy it. I have my Master’s and BBA in Accounting. In my free spare time I like listening to music, watching sports and reading.

ROBERT MORALES
Facilities and Kitchen Coordinator

I am a graduate of HOPE’s CoolRoofs program. HOPE changed my life for the better in so many ways. I’ve experienced my own personal challenges in life and HOPE played an important role in my professional development. I am now employed as the Facilities and Kitchen coordinator and enjoy every part of my job, especially connecting with current students and graduates. When I’m not at work I enjoy trying new restaurants throughout NYC.

Program Team

Ejaz Adams
Digital Literacy Instructor

I have been working technology & support for more than a decade. My special interest is in technology and its effect on academic performance. I am an adjunct professor at CUNY School of Professional Studies, NYC College of Technology, and a Technology Instructor at BMCC. I hold an MS in Information Systems from Pace University and a BA in Statistics & Applied Psychology. If I find free time, I enjoy travel and photography with my family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Bollers
Employment Specialist

I love the holistic approach HOPE offers in environmental sustainability that creates a deeper connection for the local community to the outdoors. I bring a strong project management and design experience from the public sector and in nonprofit management. I obtained my MS in Ecological Design and a BS in Textile Science. I see potential in the great outdoors to ground us, improve our well-being, and increase our awareness of the natural world. In my spare time I like hiking, exploring national parks and public gardens and trying local cuisine and coffee roasters in her international and domestic travels with my family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cammie Crawford
Community Outreach Specialist

What excites me the most about working at HOPE is knowing that I will be helping and empowering individuals who want more for their futures. My career up until now has been a great learning experience especially being able to relate to the population we serve. I have my high school equivalency and some family development credentialing in a college setting. I enjoy singing and doing hair.

Jason Alleyne
Director of Brooklyn Programs

I am most excited about HOPE’s stellar history and deep commitment to helping to facilitate long term change and advancement for individuals and communities that have often been systematically marginalized. My past experience includes Non-Profit Leadership with a focus on Youth Serving organizations.My educational background includes a Bachelors of Arts in History and Africana Studies from Drew University and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy from NYU: Steinhardt. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family, fitness, and DJ’ing.

Ana Chapman
Chief Program Officer

HOPE’s humanistic and motivating approach to workforce development speaks to me on many levels. It is obvious that the intent is to invest in helping our communities overcome barriers, thrive, and grow. I have a BA Liberal Arts from the New School, an MA in Individualized Study from NYU, and seeking to complete an EdD in General Education with an emphasis on the Efficacy of Workforce Development Programs. I love exploring NYC, especially places that are tucked away. I enjoy listening to music, playing the drums, time with my rabbit and dog, word games, and family time. I am proud to be a 1st gen Latina. My mom was an immigrant from the Dominican Republic and instilled in me a strong work ethic, cooking skills, and a love of diversity.

 

 

Alexander Davis
Retention Associate

I am a proud true New Yorker (born and raised). My passion is helping individuals with overcoming their barriers and achieving their goals. I obtained my BA in Communications from Virginia Union University. The HOPE Program allows me to continue my passion and be a part of an amazing team that prepares members of our communities with the skills and development to enter/re-enter the workforce.

Taryn Bettis
Brooklyn Clinical Admissions Coordinator

 The work done at HOPE, helping individuals achieve their goals and living better lives, to be meaningful and beneficial. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and throughout my career have primarily worked with the child and adolescent population in various settings. I completed my studies at Pace University obtaining a combined degree in Psychology (B.A.) and Mental Health Counseling (M.S.). I am actively involved in my community through community organizing and volunteering.

 

 

 

STACEY CLYNE
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE

I am most excited about collaborating and working towards connecting others with employment opportunities. Every day at work is an opportunity I have to contribute to the growth of NYC residents. My past work experience includes administrative work and a variety of community service. My educational background includes a B.A in Humanities & Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In my free time I like to shop online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REGGIE DAWSON
Work Readiness Instructor

I am very pleased and proud when a student lands employment. I am a proud graduate of Howard University. I play and teach chess, a wonderful way to impart strategy, problem solving, and creative thinking in adversarial situations. An avid reader, I average two books a month – one fiction and one non-fiction. I am the product of great parents. I continue to learn from them.

 

JAMAAL EGGLESTON
Work Readiness Instructor

I am a compassionate person by nature, so it is only fitting that I would be drawn to the field of Human Services.  I possess a degree from The Metropolitan College of New York in Human Services and over a decade of experience in the field. I am honored to be a part of the HOPE team. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling to sunny locales with my wife for kayaking and zip lining, reading Sci-Fi and praying for a New York Knicks Championship!

DAVID FLEMMING
Technology Instructor

During a 30 year career in music, I performed and produced albums, singles and television and radio broadcast commercials. I have been HOPE’s Technology Instructor since 2011, providing the technical skills necessary for finding work, applying for work, and for the modern workplace. I have always been an athlete, with a particular focus in my “older years” on the all-consuming game of golf on public courses throughout the region.

ANDREA FOBBS
YouthBuild Coordinator

My passion is to help many succeed. With 15 years of teaching within the college setting and in community based programs, I am inspired by the people that I serve. I have a Masters in Public Administration and a Bachelors in Psychology from The College of New Rochelle. I am currently earning my doctorate in Adult Learning at Grand Canyon University. I have 2 adult children that are my wings and I love volunteering within my community. At Hope, I am able to teach and learn from students with many diverse backgrounds and show them that they have limitless possibilities.   

Nelson R. Gonzalez
Digital Literacy Instructor

After working with 2 world leading corporations, supporting community programs, I reinvented my career in various roles of support to the unemployed and underemployed. I enjoy all the arts, as well as expanding my knowledge of the past and current discoveries. Music has been a part of my life since my early childhood, and I had the privilege of performing Latin music vocals for years.

SANDRA GRAYMAN
Administrative Coordinator

I am a HOPE graduate. I am a lifelong New Yorker and have spent many years raising my three children in the Bronx. I’m really proud to be part of an organization that promotes the preservation of the Bronx and New York City. I have learned a lot about the importance in going green (cleaning products, composting and recycling) for sustainability. Singing is one of my greatest passions.

SHANIQUA GREENE
Retention Associate

I am a HOPE graduate and have been employed with HOPE since 2008. In my new role as a Retention Associate, I can say my most favorite part is hearing grads tell me about their position and what they do on the job. They sound so proud which they should be, they’ve worked hard for this and deserve the fruits of their labor.

FELICIA JONES
Work Readiness Instructor

My mom always knew I’d be a teacher someday. My first teaching job was with out of school youth between the ages of 16 and 22. I have a Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. My favorite things to do are listen to music, dance and try new food dishes.

 

 

 

 

GARY LAMBERT
ASSISTANT CREW SUPERVISOR COOL ROOFS

What is important about HOPE for me is that it is more than just an organization, it’s a family. I have had many jobs and have attended some college. In my free time I like to spend time with my family, play chess and workout. My message to everyone is to never stop chasing your dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHERIEN MOHAMED
Bronx Program Assistant

My loyalty is helping people see the positive side of life. My extensive thirst to become the best in social work has influenced me to connect hospitality, humanity, and professionalism in many different environments. My experience includes customer service management, conflict resolution, adaptability, problem-solving, written and interpersonal communications, and workload management. I’m one semester away from graduating and obtaining my associate degree in Criminal Justice. In my spare time I like to Hike, Watch comedy movies & Read books. The last book I read was how to win friends and influence people. By Dale Carnegie. I came from Egypt, 27 years ago when i was 21 years old and I’m so proud to see how far I have come.

Paulette Peters
Transitional Employment Program Assistant

I am a graduate of The HOPE Program which changed my life, I get to experience meeting new people. I am now employed as the CoolRoofs Transitional Employment Program Assistant, which is located in the Bronx. During my spare time, I love volunteering, cooking and singing also spending time with my family and friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renee Ruhl
Intervine Project Manager

I love the holistic approach HOPE offers in environmental sustainability that creates a deeper connection for the local community to the outdoors. I bring a strong project management and design experience from the public sector and in nonprofit management. I obtained my MS in Ecological Design and a BS in Textile Science. I see potential in the great outdoors to ground us, improve our well-being, and increase our awareness of the natural world. In my spare time I like hiking, exploring national parks and public gardens and trying local cuisine and coffee roasters in her international and domestic travels with my family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Scanlon
Driver

I’m from Brooklyn and I’m a firm believer in self redemption. When I see a person with a renewed self-worth, that gives me goosebumps. I earned a GED during my fifteen years active duty military career. I am a proud graduate of The HOPE Program. I’m currently working on three humorous books which I hope to get published soon.

SHERYL JONES
Administrative Coordinator

I’m a HOPE graduate and I’ve worked at HOPE since 2002. I’m proud to be a mom and a caregiver. I love giving back, particularly watching clients step out with pride and a smile. I have always enjoyed watching my children learn from my grandmother, their great grandmother who lived to be 103 years old. I love cooking with my children.

 

 

CHRISTINA MARROW
BRONX EMPLOYMENT SPECIALIST

What excites me most about working at HOPE is that each day I am coming to give. It is truly a great feeling when you can touch people’s lives and give them hope. I am most dedicated to helping people attain the best quality of life and HOPE  gives me that opportunity. My career in workforce development has just begun and I am excited for what is coming. Before HOPE, I was an instructor at South Bronx Job Corps where I learned to hone my skills and it was my first introduction to workforce development. Currently, I am impacting lives as an employment specialist and it’s truly an honor. In my spare time I love to learn and try new things. I have taken on small projects such as learning new languages and coding. I’m happy to be a part of such a wonderful mission.

 

RACHEL MORALES
Interim Director of Work Wellness and Alumni Relations

I started at HOPE in 2016 as graduate Mental Health Counseling intern! I have always wanted to be in a profession where I can make a positive impact on peoples’ lives. I have a B.S. in Public Health from SUNY Old Westbury and an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University Brooklyn. I love that my education allows me to get the best of both worlds helping people with their physical and mental health. I am thrilled to be part of an amazing staff where everyone strives to improve the lives of so many people though job readiness training. I also enjoy traveling and spending time with my family.

 

 

 

 

BILLY PUMA
Admissions Coordinator

For me, giving individuals the tools for positive advancement within their lives is beyond exciting, and here at HOPE, I am honored to assist our students with those tools from the recruitment perspective. I have previously worked as a College Administrative Assistant, providing young adults in a maximum secure facility the opportunity to complete their post-secondary education via Columbia Greene Community College. I have an A.A from Columbia Greene Community College and am currently completing a Bachelors in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luisana Santana
Community Outreach Associate

The people we service are from all walks of life and can come from sensitive situations that can hinder their social progress. It excites me to be part of such a much needed solution in NYC. Job readiness, training, and career focus can truly change an individual’s life and give their family a better chance to true progress through education. I have utilized my Communications skills to do Outreach in the Astoria and Long Island City area in Queens. Getting involved and working straight with communities is what I like to do. I have an M.S. in Public Relations & Corporate Communications. In my spare time I like to explore the arts & culture in NYC with my daughters, read, and support educational advocacy groups.

 

 

 

NAKITA VANSTORY
Director of Recruitment & Admissions

I am excited to work at HOPE for the opportunity to expand on previous professional relationships and establish new ones that allow me to reach a broader community of New York City job seekers. I am also happy to be a part of a small yet mighty team of brilliant professionals. I have an infectious work ethic and have become a well-respected authority within the fields of workforce development and social justice. I have a Masters of Arts-pending from CUNY Graduate Center, Masters of Science from New York University, and a Bachelors of Arts from Hunter College. I enjoy quiet time with family and friends, traveling, civic engagement, and working on legacy projects that drive my entrepreneurial spirit and lays a strong foundation for my children. I am also a co-author of a recently released anthology, “Still I Thrive.” I enjoy inspiring others! Throughout my 20+ year career in workforce development, I have had the honor of developing and overseeing equitable job readiness and career training initiatives. 

MICHELE KNOX
Interim Venture Director

My passion is helping HOPE trainees achieve their goals, and I love watching them celebrate their successes! I have an MBA in Industrial & Organizational Psychology and a Bachelors of Business Administration, both from Baruch College. I am a former competitive natural bodybuilder, but today my hobby is theater, working as an actor and stage manager whenever I can!

Karen-Michelle Mirko
Director of Employment and Graduate Services

Wes Moore recently defined the goal of workforce development as taking individual success stories and turning them into structural change. I am at HOPE for the hundreds of students that we serve directly and the change we can make on the systems that serve our clients and residents across New York City. Since 2014, I have been working with employers in NYC and across the country to help them launch and grow their business and more recently, to provide quality jobs. I hold a Master of Business Administration from New York University Stern School of Business. Outside the office, I can be found singing in a pick-up choir, reading fiction and walking on the beach.

 

 

 

 

Patience Oluwole
Transitional Employment Operations Manager

“I am because we are” summarizes my passion for the workforce field. I am a native Bronxite and have seen the impact of lack of opportunities in struggling communities. The South Bronx has so much potential for growth, but its inhabitants need the skills to obtain career advancement. I am grateful to be a part of a team committed to impacting individuals within my community. I graduated from Smith College with a double Bachelors Degree in Government and Cultural Anthropology. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Business Management and Leadership at CUNY School of Professional Studies.

 

 

 

 

TREYMICHAEL REID
Assistant Director, Business Services and Strategic Partnerships

The most exciting thing about working at HOPE is giving back to the community that you once were a part of. Continuing to constantly make a difference in someone’s life that would start an everlasting positive chain effect, getting to work with amazing individuals that positively change the lives of people they interact with makes working at HOPE worthwhile. I started my career in B2B sales for over seven years before transitioning into doing business development and recruitment in workforce development. I hold a B.S in Political Science from The University of Scranton. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking and taking cooking classes. I also enjoy traveling and volunteering abroad. On the weekends I am typically trying out new DIY’s or new home improvement projects.  One of my favorite quotes I like to go by is  “Make a difference about something other than yourselves.” —Toni Morrison

ZAKIYAH SAYYED
CoolRoofs Crew Supervisor

I love the holistic approach HOPE offers in environmental sustainability that creates a deeper connection for the local community to the outdoors. I bring a strong project management and design experience from the public sector and in nonprofit management. I obtained my MS in Ecological Design and a BS in Textile Science. I see potential in the great outdoors to ground us, improve our well-being, and increase our awareness of the natural world. In my spare time I like hiking, exploring national parks and public gardens and trying local cuisine and coffee roasters in her international and domestic travels with my family.

 

 

 

 

 

BRYNN WALLACE
Mindfulness Educator

I’ve been working as a Wellness Coach, Therapist, and Educator since 2006 and integrate mindfulness into each of these different roles. I love helping people learn mindfulness tools, to see challenges as opportunities, and to find a place of peace and “okayness” amidst the inevitable stresses of life. I am currently writing and illustrating a children’s book about mindfulness just for fun!

CHARLENE WHITTINGTON
PROGRAM OPERATIONS ASSOCIATE

As someone who enjoys helping others I find it a privilege to be a part of a team that dedicates itself to helping others. As a HOPE graduate, while attending I observed how staff interacted with students and thought to myself that I would one day like to be a part of this team! I’ve worked in various roles at New York University and also a couple of non-profit organizations. I also have a Bachelor of Science from New York University. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, as well as volunteering whenever I can at church.

TIARA WILLIAMS
Bronx Program Director

What I love most about workforce development and social service is seeing the progression and accomplishments of people. As a lifelong New Yorker, I’ve spent a decade providing job and training opportunities to Bronx residents via private, federal and nonprofit programs. I hold a Masters of Public Administration from Metropolitan College of New York and a Bachelors of Arts from Plattsburgh State University. I’m passionate about community organizing, community revitalization and connecting individuals to resources that provide them with access to a sustainable future.