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Executive Directors

These renowned and talented professionals are dedicated to advancing the vision and mission of City Year.

John Albright City Year Denver Executive Director
John Albright
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Denver

John Albright, senior vice president and executive director for City Year Denver, is a mission-driven leader with 20 years of experience in public education with a focus on relationship management, organizational and team strategy, partnership cultivation and development, fundraising, communications, policy and board management and development. Prior to joining City Year Denver, he served with DPS since 2012. Prior, he spent 11 years with Adams 14 in Commerce City, serving in various public relations and strategy roles.

As Student Engagement Director, John led the secondary education division’s policy and strategy work on graduation requirements, college and career readiness, student voice and leadership, dropout prevention and intervention and online acceleration and credit recovery. He frequently engaged with civic and business leadership on matters that have an impact on the district’s success in achieving its mission to provide all students the opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing citizens in our society. John was also the project director for the College Ready On Track Network for School Improvement, a Gates Foundation funded effort, which convenes 22 high schools to improve math equity for Black and Latinx students.

In his free time, John thrives on family fun with his two high school teenagers. He enjoys fly fishing, snowboarding, playing drums and experiencing live music, reading and enjoying the beauty of Colorado with friends and family.

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Macey Amissah-McKinney City Year AmeriCorps
Macey Amissah-McKinney
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Sacramento

Macey Amissah-McKinney serves as the senior vice president and executive director of City Year Sacramento. Macey was first introduced to national service in college while serving as a tutor for high school youth in South Central Los Angeles as an AmeriCorps member with the Children, Youth and Family Collaborative. After graduating from the University of Southern California, she relocated to Sacramento, CA, to join City Year Sacramento as a founding corps member in 2012. After serving two years in the corps, Macey transitioned to the staff team as an impact manager, coaching and developing a team of 19 AmeriCorps members to deliver targeted intervention support and whole school initiatives focused on student engagement.

Since then, Macey has taken on several roles including learning & development manager, AmeriCorps compliance manager, impact director and, most recently, managing director of impact. A natural strategist and leader, Macey has led the site's efforts in building an aligned and recursive experience for students, corps members and staff leading to increased engagement, retention and impact. Macey has also been instrumental in supporting other local nonprofits interested in becoming AmeriCorps programs, resulting in more AmeriCorps members being deployed throughout the Greater Sacramento area.

Macey is an extraordinary team builder and leader. Her ability to see her team and create conditions that give them the opportunity to serve in this work from a position of strength has had an extraordinary impact on the success of corps members at the site and our relationships with stakeholders.

In her new role, Macey will assume the responsibility of a $4.6 million budget and lead a team of 13 staff members and 86 AmeriCorps members serving six in schools in partnership with Sacramento Unified School District.

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City Year Buffalo Executive Director, Jacqueline Ashby
Jacqueline Ashby
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Buffalo

Jacqueline Ashby, senior vice president and executive director for City Year Buffalo, is a passionate collaborative leader driven by social justice and educational equity. Having taught in both Canada and the U.S., Jacqueline brings a wealth of diverse classroom-based experience in both the public and private sector to City Year. Jacqueline taught for Buffalo Public Schools as well as in an adult education program in Buffalo. Most recently, she led a talented team of teachers at Journey’s End Refugee Services, where the adult education program served Buffalo’s newest neighbors as they made their new homes in Western New York. Under her tenure, the program expanded opening a new site to serve an underrepresented community, secured multiple new funding streams include one through the New York State Department of Education and advanced its mission to provide culturally responsive educational programming to diverse adult and English Language Learners from all over the world while supporting them to achieve their goals.

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Jacqueline holds a bilingual Bachelor of Arts (French/English) in English literature and gender theory from Collège Glendon as well as a degree in urban adolescent education from York University. She serves on the New York Association of Continuing and Community Education as the President Elect, where she works to increase student access to inclusive and innovative community education programs across New York State. Jacqueline is a committed lifelong learner, who believes in serving her community with creativity and enthusiasm.

In her free time, Jacqueline loves traveling to unique places, camping and biking. She can often be found curled up with a good book, her four cats and dog or sampling the menus at new restaurants in Western New York with her partner.

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Allishia Bauman smiles as she wears her red City Year jacket
Allishia Bauman
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Jacksonville

Allishia Bauman is passionate about people and is experienced in building strong teams, culture, deep collaboration, inclusivity and equity at every level; she has held many positions professionally and as a volunteer where she has deeply contributed to these aspects of work. A SHRM Certified Professional through the Society for Human Resource Management, Allishia most recently served as the managing director of people, operations and strategy at City Year Jacksonville, where she worked for almost eight years. She has been on the Executive Leadership Team where she led Human Potential efforts, leader of the Operations Department and leader of Strategic Planning and Goal Setting. She has also sustained an effective support structure for the director-level leadership team. She leads internal communications, all of which puts people first and results in the advancement of City Year Jacksonville's mission to put students first.

A proud Jacksonville native and product of Duval County Public Schools, Allishia earned her associate's degree from Florida State College of Jacksonville and later earned her Bachelor of Arts in leadership and organizational studies from the American Women's College at Bay Path University. In the past, she has been an engaged community steward supporting organizations and groups such as the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, TEDxJackosnville and the Women's Giving Alliance.

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Darryl Bundrige
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Philadelphia

For Darryl Bundrige, service is a lifestyle. After graduating from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a minor in business, it was service that brought this Pittsburgh native to the City of Brother Love and Sisterly Affection. During the 1997 school year, Darryl enthusiastically served as a National School and Community corps member where he tutored and mentored elementary school students.

Darryl’s work in education later advanced to roles such as dean of students for Belmont Charter School and managing director of City Year Philadelphia’s Impact Department.

Since becoming Executive Director, Darryl has enlarged the education nonprofit’s public and private funding, expanded the staff from 35 to 50 employees and reached an operating budget of $10 million, up from $8 million. Daily, he inspires, challenges and supports staff along with more than 200 AmeriCorps members who serve in schools across Philadelphia.

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Sherisse Butler City Year Detroit Executive Director
Sherisse M. Butler
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Detroit

Sherisse M. Butler, City Year Detroit’s senior vice president and executive director, is a dynamic, collaborative people leader with a deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, while possessing a strategic vision that innovates and engages resources to deepen the organization’s impact on the students of Detroit.

Prior to joining City Year Detroit, Sherisse served as the senior director of government and community affairs with Detroit Public Schools Community District. In that role, she developed and executed the district’s legislative priorities and provided strategic direction, representation and messaging in consultation with Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.
Prior to joining Detroit Public Schools, she made outstanding contributions to support young people and their families, establishing herself as a dedicated advocate in the communities we support and serve. After earning her Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the Barnard College at Columbia University, Sherisse went on to work with the Bank Street School for Children in New York as lead afterschool teacher, concurrently working as a graduate assistant at Barnard College with a focus in diversity, equity and inclusion. Sherisse would later be awarded her Master's of Science, health and behavior studies.

Upon her return to Detroit, she managed middle school initiatives and youth program evaluation for Teen HYPE Youth Development. Today, she continues to support Teen HYPE as vice-chair board of directors, leading their governance, finance and policy committee. If these accomplishments weren’t impressive enough, she was named a Top 40 Under 40 honoree by the Michigan Chronicle this past May and named one of the Top 50 Women Leaders of Michigan for 2022 by The Women We Admire.

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Sandra Cano
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Los Angeles

Dr. Sandra Cano is intimately familiar with the communities served by City Year LA, having been raised in some of the same neighborhoods where our students currently live. She has worked in the field of education for over two decades, starting her career as a kindergarten teacher on an emergency credential with her urgent need to provide for her daughter as a young mother.

Dr. Cano went on to attend the Teacher Education Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received her teaching credential and master’s in education. As an educator, she served as a teacher, staff development specialist, coordinator and principal for 10 years. She received her doctorate in education at the University of California, Los Angeles, where her dissertation focused on culturally and linguistically responsive practices for long term English learners.

Dr. Cano most recently comes to us from the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she serves as a field coordinator for Beyond the Bell, LAUSD’s before and after school program. In this role, she oversees programming in 72 high schools serving 10,000 students. She works with 12 nonprofit organizations that provide the programming and manages $15 million in private, federal and state grants that fund the programs. Dr. Cano also oversees several special projects for the department, such as a partnership with the Air Force Association’s Cyber Patriot National Youth Cyber Education Program and the Take Action Campaign, which provides community service and leadership opportunities to social justice-minded high school students. She partners with the William Morris talent agency to provide internships for students and helped develop a COVID-era E-Sports program with the A.C. Green Youth Foundation.

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Jennifer Cobb Little Rock
Jennifer Cobb
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Little Rock

Jennifer Cobb is an authentic, energetic, data-driven leader with more than 20 years of diverse experience in healthcare and nonprofit communications, fundraising and marketing. A storyteller at heart, Jennifer most recently served as the executive director of donor relations for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). There, she led a multi-faceted team focused on providing individualized, inspiring and intentional donor communications and experiences.

Prior to joining UAMS, Jennifer served as director of content marketing for Arkansas Children’s, leading storytelling efforts for the pediatric health system. She served for five years as director of communications and planning for the Arkansas Children’s Foundation, building capacity for investment-level philanthropy through strategic content development and storytelling.

Jennifer also held leadership roles at Arkansas Business Publishing Group in Little Rock and at various nonprofits in Montgomery, Alabama, including the A+ Education Foundation, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to educational equity in K-12 schools.

Jennifer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rhodes College in Memphis. Jennifer is married to Chris Travis, a partner at Gill Ragon Owen LLC. Between them, they are the proud but exhausted parents of five young adults–one in high school and four in college.

Learn more about Little Rock's leadership

Paul Davis photo
Paul Davis
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Tulsa

Paul is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in fundraising, board and people development and operations. He was attracted to City Year because if its local and national scale, well-researched model and ability to drive impact in education in the Tulsa community.  

In his role at City Year, Paul sees the impact that decisions made at the policy and school leadership levels have on students in the schools on a day-to-day basis. He works closely with leadership in the public school system to better understand their vision and collaborate on how decisions impact students at the school level. Because of his work, Paul has key areas of expertise in systems change and public policy as they impact complex ingrained systems and the people they serve, such as building coalitions of support for school reform. 

Prior to joining City Year Tulsa, Paul spent nine years in progressively senior roles with the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma (MHAOK), a $30M organization with over 190 employees. 

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City Year Orlando Executive Director, Mona Duffus
Mona Duffus
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Orlando

For more than two decades, Mona has led nonprofit and social impact agencies that address our nation’s toughest challenges, including in the education, homelessness, behavioral health, workforce development and child welfare sectors. As a first-generation American, Mona has a passion for supporting youth and communities in leveraging equitable education for advancement.

Prior to joining City Year Orlando, Mona was the associate partner for Stronger Consulting, providing management consulting to national educational and nonprofit agencies. Previously, Mona served as chief executive officer of Dawning Family Services, a more than 40-year-old organization leading housing, educational and workforce development efforts for families. Under her tenure, Dawning Family Services was designated with the One Tampa Award for Nonprofit of the Year.

Mona was previously the chief program officer for the Lord’s Place in West Palm Beach, a social impact agency that serves nearly 2,000 individuals and families, where she led programs to increase affordable housing, youth education and development, workforce development and led the Social Enterprises that provided job training to formerly homeless persons. In addition, she led as the national director of student services for Accelerated Learning Solutions, a charter management organization supporting dropout prevention, retention and recovery high schools throughout the Southeast. Part time, she was an adjunct professor for FAMU.

Mona is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County. She is a licensed clinical social worker, who earned both a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from Florida State University. Additionally, Mona earned a Master of Business Administration from the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida. Mona has been inducted into Forbes' Nonprofit Leaders Council. She also has served on a number of community and advisory boards. She lives in Orlando with her family and dog.

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Tanika Epps
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Columbia

Tanika Epps has served as a youth advocate for more than 15 years. She began her career serving youth in her community as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Columbia. The experience gained at City Year completely changed her mind set and career path. Her passion for educating children and youth grew even stronger, and she was determined to make a difference in the lives of youth in her community. After completing her service year with City Year, Tanika went on to work at John P. Thomas Elementary School as a computer lab manager overseeing the Success Maker Program. She later went on to work at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands in dual roles as an area director and director of curriculum development.

In 2018, Tanika joined Communities In Schools of the Midlands, serving as the program director and later as the CEO. Faced with many unprecedented events in her first year as CEO, she continued to preserve, showing her true strength and resilience, notably strengthening partnerships with school districts, state agencies and local municipalities during the pandemic. She later served as the Midlands regional vice president for Communities In Schools of South Carolina, where she continued to advocate and be a voice for children and families in the Midlands.

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Growing up in the small community of Lake City, SC, Tanika is no stranger to adversity as she experienced her own personal struggles during her adolescent years. However, her determination from an early age led her to accomplish significant milestones, including graduating early from Lake City High School. This was a huge feat in of itself, as many believed she would never make it to graduation. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Columbia College, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix – Columbia Campus, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate for Business Administration at Johnson & Wales University. In uncertain times, she remembers her parents' words, the late Pastor James, Sr., and Karen Epps, encouraging her never to give up or let anyone stop her from achieving her goals. Because of the values instilled in her as a child, she developed the mindset that when someone told her no, she was determined to turn it into a YES. This model still follows her today.

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Robyn Ford
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Memphis

Robyn Ford was born in Columbia, South Carolina, but made Memphis home in 2016. She started her City Year journey as an impact manager with City Year Columbia in 2014 and joined the City Year Memphis startup team in 2016. Robyn is the longest-standing staff member in Memphis, and she served as the operations manager, development manager, development director, and interim executive director.

She has her Bachelor of Arts in English from Spelman College and Master of Arts in public relations and advertising from DePaul University. Prior to City Year, Robyn served as a substitute teacher while running her social media consulting business—Warm Soles Consulting.

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Heather Holland City Year Dallas Executive Director
Heather Holland
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Dallas

Heather is an experienced educator with over a decade of service to the students of the Dallas Independent School District, currently serving as the proud senior vice president and executive director of City Year Dallas. Since joining CY Dallas, Heather has worked with the team to bring Dallas' staff culture to an all time high and has built strong relationships with Dallas ISD leaders and principals to ensure strong outcomes for students.

Prior to beginning her work at City Year, she successfully led two different campuses in Dallas ISD serving as a principal for five years. During that time, Heather significantly changed the culture of her school and took her schools climate from the bottom five to the top five in Dallas ISD, created a 23% increase in teacher retention, and positively impacted student academic achievement.

Heather is a proud Dallas native and graduate of Dallas ISD, making our work with the over 6,000 students daily truly come full circle.

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Luke Hostetter
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year San José/Silicon Valley

Luke Hostetter is a dedicated leader with a proven track record spanning over 15 years in K-12 education. He brings a wealth of experience and a passion for driving educational equity and community engagement. Having served as a City Year corps member, he credits that pivotal year of service with profoundly shaping his career path.

Luke formerly served as the principal of one of the largest and most diverse schools in Philadelphia, C.C.A. Baldi Middle School, from 2015 to 2023. Under his leadership, the school achieved remarkable success. Baldi was recognized as a Title 1 Distinguished School and ranked as the #1 Middle School in Philadelphia due to exceptional student growth, school climate, and achievement. Luke's strategic initiatives and strong partnerships promoted equity and programming that prepared all students for high school and beyond.

In 2020, Baldi was awarded National Banner Recognition from the Special Olympics for its inclusive programming for students with disabilities. In 2021, Luke was the recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Principals for developing a personalized instructional coaching model for teachers. He allocated funds from this award to establish an English Learner Welcome Center for families in the community.

Luke cites his lived experience as a student in public schools in Richmond, Virginia, for sparking his commitment to service, leading him to become a team leader for City Year in 2008. This inspired his role as a high school special education and social studies teacher from 2009 to 2015. Luke holds a master’s degree in Education and anticipates an EdD in Educational Leadership from Temple University in 2024, with his dissertation focusing on "Trust and School Leadership." Luke has also served as an educational consultant and coach for school leaders and school districts.

Luke’s family has deep connections to the San Jose/Silicon Valley area. He lives in the Bay Area and is the proud parent of two young girls. As the Executive Director, Luke envisions building upon City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley’s legacy of impact and is eager to begin work.

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Dr. Rachara “Char” Jefferson
Senior Vice President and Executive Director of City Year San Antonio

With over 20 years of practical business and organizational development experience, Dr. Rachara Jefferson has worked in diverse industries, departments, and functions, including human resources, management, and leadership. Her experience spans higher education, retail, sales, and large pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations.

Dr. Jefferson understands the challenges associated with achieving long-term, sustainable results while building an environment in which employees can thrive. She has walked the path from employee to leader to executive and has successfully led small, large, and global teams. The common thread in her career has been her love of people. She believes that when people are respected, trusted, responsible, and connected, the organization will achieve great outcomes.

In her doctoral research, Intrinsic and Extrinsic Job Motivators Predicting the Likelihood of Employee Intent to Leave, she identified what it really takes to transform an organization through results and culture. Grounded in both work and research experience, she offers real-world solutions to her clients.

Her philosophy - “I see life as a journey and see myself as a lifelong learner. I take every opportunity to improve in areas of personal and professional development.”

She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in English – Professional Communication from Marygrove College, an MBA in Management and Strategy from Western Governors University, and a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in HR Management from Walden University. When she is not working, you will find her reading, volunteering, or cooking.

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City Year Chicago Executive Director Valencia Koker
Valencia Koker
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Chicago

Valencia Koker, senior vice president and executive director for City Year Chicago, takes pride in her role as a transformational leader with over a decade in the field of education. In her former role as the Managing Director of Impact for City Year Chicago, she oversaw the Impact department, which constitutes responsibility for 75% of the local Chicago site, representing the largest site of AmeriCorps members across the national organization.

Her career in education began as a teacher in Wisconsin. After being accepted in the nationally recognized New Leaders principal preparation program, she relocated to Chicago and served as a resident principal at one of the city's selective enrollment high schools in West Englewood. Immediately following, at the age of 27, she was selected as the founding principal to lead the turnaround efforts for McNair School of Excellence in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side. She served as the principal for three years. During her tenure, McNair’s school rating improved dramatically and, on all metrics, including attendance, student growth and student attainment in reading and math (as determined by Chicago Public Schools). After almost two decades of being categorized as one of the lowest performing schools in the district, McNair achieved level 1+ and level 1 status under her leadership. Koker has also served in the capacity of an executive director of a charter school and principal of Dewey School of Excellence on the South Side. She takes pride in leadership development and that of others with experience as a New Principal mentor, Chicago Leadership Collaborative Mentor Resident Principal, Network Lead Principal, a participant in the 2019-2020 Chicago Principals Fellowship offered in partnership by The Fund and Northwestern Kellogg School of Business. Most recently, she participated as a fellow in the Class of 2023 Chicago Urban League IMPACT Fellowship.

Alongside her career in education, she is the Board Chair of GODDESS Mentoring, a longtime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and proud veteran, serving in the United States Air Force Air National Guard for nine years as a recipient of the Air Force Achievement Medal. Above all else, she is the doting mother to her son, Carter, and will always acknowledge it as her greatest accomplishment.

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Nirva R. LaFortune
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Providence

Nirva R. LaFortune has nearly 20 years of experience in education, government relations, public policy and community engagement and service. Her relationship with City Year began almost 30 years ago when she participated in City Year Providence’s Young Heroes Program while a student in Providence Public Schools. Her experience was transformative and set the foundation for her passion for service and equity.

Elected to Providence City Council in 2017, Nirva was the first Haitian American to hold elective office in the state of Rhode Island. She served as the vice chair of the Special Committee on Education and introduced legislation to create the City of Providence COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Task Force. Nirva championed social-emotional support and resources in schools, affordable housing, mental health issues and initiatives that address inequity and racial disparity and promote equity and access.

Nirva is an educator and has worked in various capacities in higher education at Temple University, Drexel University and Brown University, where she received a master’s in urban education policy. Her most recent role was as the assistant director of the Curricular Resource Center for Peer Advising and the inaugural assistant director of Scholars Programs and Diversity Initiatives at Brown University.

Nirva was named one of 21 Who Made a Difference in 2021 by GoLocalProv and a 40 Under 40 honoree by Providence Business News in 2019. She is a parent, an avid runner and a lover of all things related to art and music.

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Stephanie Maney-Hartlaub City Year Milwaukee
Stephanie Maney-Hartlaub
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Milwaukee

Stephanie Maney-Hartlaub, PhD, currently serves as senior vice president and executive director for City Year Milwaukee and is equipped with more than 20 years’ experience as an educational leader. Stephanie views the executive director role as an opportunity to impact the academic outcomes of students through the strategic, organized support and mentorship that corps members provide. The executive director role activates her belief system, knowledge base and commitment to educational equity. Stephanie believes that education is a necessary component in driving communities forward and describes the work of the corps members as enthusiastic, motivating and trustworthy.

As a leader, Stephanie values communication, innovation, transparency and humility. She combines these values with culture building and storytelling to foster successful teams. Integrity, authenticity and trust are key for Stephanie's relationship development style. Stephanie seeks to actively build a culture in which staff feel connected, able to show up as themselves, comfortable to take risks and operate in their fullest potential. Stephanie sees communication as a tool of talent development and works to inform her staff as a means of understanding their own role in organizational vision. Stephanie believes that strong organizational culture and climate are critical components of goal attainment.

Shephanie served as director of school turnaround with Milwaukee Public Schools. Her prior roles included teaching elementary and middle school children, 10 years as assistant principal at the Milwaukee Sign Language School and School of Languages and four years as principal at Jeremiah Curtin Leadership Academy. Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater and a Master of Arts in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. Also, Stephanie holds a Ph.D. in leadership, learning, service and research from Cardinal Stritch University.

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Arielle McConduit
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year New Orleans

Arielle is an experienced nonprofit executive who most recently served as the vice president of education and youth development for the Urban League of Louisiana. In this role, she managed programming, advocacy, policy and fund development in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, including the agency’s Parent Information Center, Project Ready program and the Clarence L. Barney Head Start Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola University and a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law. Her experiences in both sectors inspired her passion for serving students and families holistically.  

"I am joining a talented team of professionals dedicated to advancing equitable outcomes for the youth in my hometown,” she said. “City Year is poised to expand our work in New Orleans, and I look forward to partnering with our community and school district, so together we can support more students on their path to graduation.”

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Tarra Mitchell
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Seattle/King County

Tarra Mitchell has worked in public education in Washington State since 2009, and for the last six years she has served in Seattle Public Schools (SPS). She served for four years as a principal in a City Year partner school and most recently as the director of special education. In her current role, she supports all school based special education services and supports for the largest school district in Washington State. This work includes the oversight of special education support for students, families and school teams, family and community engagement, partnership relationship management, remote and in-person learning during pandemic closures and coordination with the state educational governing body.

While serving as the principal at Totem Middle School, Tarra and her team created a strong partnership with City Year in service of students, adults and the larger community. Her school saw positive outcomes for students and corps members, and her commitment to the ideals of the organization were further expanded as she joined the Board of City Year Seattle/King County (CYSKC), participated in the National Investors Summit, was a presenter at the CYSKC Ripples of Hope and is a frequent panelist for Equity Summits.

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During her time in public education, Tarra has served as a building administrator at Elementary, Middle and High School, as well as a Secondary Math Teacher and Teacher on Special Assignment supporting all Secondary Math instruction in Marysville School District. She also has been an Adjunct Professor at various universities for undergraduate math courses, teacher preparation graduate courses, and principal certification courses. She is currently on staff at Seattle University in the Educational Administration program. Tarra is currently studying at University of Washington pursuing her Doctorate and Superintendent licensure in the Leadership for Learning Program, which is designed to equip equity focused leaders to transform and re-envision educational systems. Prior to 2009, Tarra lived and travelled around the world always connected to the military. She was raised in a Coast Guard family, joined the Army as a Chinese Linguist, and traveled for 20 years as a Navy spouse. She has three adult daughters, one brand new granddaughter, and a grandson on the way.

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Pawn Nitichan
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year New Hampshire

Pawn has served as executive director at City Year New Hampshire for 20 years. With her leadership and commitment to helping students, AmeriCorps members and staff succeed, City Year New Hampshire has more than tripled its service capacity and developed a widely recognized culture of idealism. The organization consistently provides high quality service to students and communities as reflected in numerous awards including 11 Best of City Year Awards, City Year National’s highest recognition, as well as a Corporate Fund’s Dunfey Award.

Among Pawn’s community and professional commitments, she serves on the boards of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Reaching Higher New Hampshire and Manchester Proud. She also serves on the Governor’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council.

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Dr. Luz Randolph
Senior Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Baton Rouge

As Senior Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Baton Rouge, Dr. Luz Randolph leads 11 staff members and approximately 40 AmeriCorps members serving in four partner schools for the 2022-2023 school year. Additionally, she works closely with the advisory board and external stakeholders to continue growing our brand in the community. She will be accountable for a current annual revenue budget of approximately $2.7 million while simultaneously securing the resources necessary to ensure sustainability, growth and scale to achieve City Year’s national long-term impact goals.

Previously, she served as associate vice president for diversity at Louisiana State University. She was responsible for coordination of strategic planning and foundation work for the LSU Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to ensure the development and implementation of programs and services that foster a campus community committed to diversity and inclusion. Prior to her role at LSU, Dr. Randolph served as the executive director of development at St. Petersburg College Foundation where she was responsible for college-wide fundraising efforts. In that position, among other accomplishments, she led the successful effort to secure a grant of $1.3 million to create the Helios-SPC Titan Achievement Program, which led to the creation of the Florida African American Male Experience. Prior to her role at St. Petersburg College, she served in several roles with increasing responsibilities at the University of South Florida Foundation, including as assistant director of development, diversity initiatives. Her primary focus was to assist in cultivating relationships between USF constituents and the Tampa Bay community that would enhance the university’s diverse students’ experiences. She successfully fundraised over $3.5 million for diversity initiatives and assisted in the development and implementation of the Black Leadership Network, which aims to provide financial and mentoring support to African American students at the University of South Florida.

Before her positions at USF, Dr. Randolph served as director of the Candidate Empowerment Center at the College of Education at Florida A&M University. In this role, her team increased the College of Education’s Teacher Certification passage rate by 75%. She also served as assistant director of the Department of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of Miami, where she coordinated services and programs that challenged, motivated and supported ethnically diverse students.

She is a double alum from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in interpersonal and organizational communication and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction, college student affairs. She completed her doctor of education in higher education and leadership administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her dissertation focused on the experience of Latinas in Latina sororities at a predominantly White institution and the impact on their academic persistence. Since then, she has presented on topics relating to Latinas and their college experience, philanthropy and diversity and gender issues and sexual orientation. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Hispanic Services Council, Cetera Florida and Humanities Amped.

Her diverse experiences in team management, her ability to execute to results in the face of challenge, her natural ability to build and leverage relationships and her inspiring enthusiasm for our work make Dr. Randolph an excellent candidate to lead the team at City Year Baton Rouge.

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Monica Roberts City Year Boston
Monica Roberts
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Greater Boston

For the past six years, Monica Roberts has led the Boston Public Schools’ family and community engagement work, most recently as the chief of family and community advancement. 12 of the 20 years she has spent in public urban education have been with Boston Public Schools in various capacities. In her current role, she leads family and community engagement, school assignment, constituent services, translations and interpretations and partnerships. She supports the superintendent in advancing critical efforts including the district’s strategic implementation plan and the historic exam school admissions policy.

Prior to her return to the Boston Public Schools, Ms. Roberts worked for Peace First Boston, serving as the first executive director. She supported the organization’s growth strategy by leading the transition and stabilization of the New York City and Los Angeles offices, all while expanding in her home city of Boston. Monica transitioned from Peace First to Randolph Public Schools as the first director of family and community engagement, partnerships and communications. In this role, she set up a capacity-building model that resulted in robust engagement and partnership with families and the community–all centered around student learning and school improvement. She also helped redesign and implement the district’s secondary alternative education program, leading to the first set of graduates from the program in its then eight-year history.

Monica was born and raised in Boston and is a proud graduate of Boston Public Schools. She serves on the board for the Boston Higher Education Resource Center and the Boston Education Fund. Monica holds two master’s degrees from Boston College, one in political science and the other in business management, a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University, a superintendent’s license and a secondary administrator license.

In her free time, Monica enjoys traveling, cooking, reading fiction, creative writing and spending time with family.

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Adero Robinson Executive Director City Year Columbus
Adero Robinson
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Columbus

Adero Robinson serves as the senior vice president and executive director for City Year Columbus. In his previous role as chief of staff, he oversaw the activities of the executive, human resource and operations departments. Additionally, he collaborated with site leadership to develop and implement long-term strategic plans and operating goals.

Adero has over 25 years of nonprofit experience. He began his journey as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Columbus, serving as a tutor and mentor in a Columbus City School fifth grade classroom. Adero then transitioned to a team/project leader (aka impact manager), where he supervised AmeriCorps members serving at Gladstone Elementary School in the South Linden neighborhood.

As a community development specialist with the Columbus Compact Corporation, Adero worked to improve the quality of life in Columbus' central city neighborhoods through the implementation of high-impact community-based projects, including education, housing, safety and capacity-building initiatives.

During his tenure as senior impact director for the United Way of Central Ohio, he helped facilitate $8 million in education, $5 million in health and wellness and $2 million in housing and safety-related program investments. He also was integral in the planning, development and implementation of United Way’s Community Impact strategic direction. Additionally, he managed the Neighborhood Partnership Center and administered a $2.2 million summer program designed to provide low-income youth with opportunities to attend summer camps in Franklin County.

As the director of education services for the Columbus Urban League, Adero secured over $700,000 in funds for programs related to academic enrichment, victim assistance, higher education, life skill and leadership development, violence intervention, substance abuse prevention and HIV education/testing for youth and adults.

As a project manager with Battelle for Kids, he managed multiple large-scale education-related initiatives designed to improve the effectiveness of educators, building leaders and school districts.

He has received several community awards, including a City Year Comcast Leadership Award. Adero has participated in several local and national leadership programs, including the African American Leadership Academy, Ray Miller Institute for Change and Leadership, Bank of America Emerging Leaders and is a proud alum of the 2017 City Year LEAD program. Adero has also volunteered in different roles on various nonprofit community boards and committees.

Adero holds a B.A. from Denison University and an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management. He is married to Tracy Robinson and is the proud father of four children and three stepchildren. In his spare time, Adero enjoys spending time with family, reading, watching Netflix, listening to 80s and 90s hip-hop and coaching youth basketball. Adero is second-degree black belt through the United Fighting Arts Federation and enjoys practicing and teaching karate and participating in martial arts competitions.

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Jeff Shafer
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Kansas City

Jeff Shafer serves as the executive director of City Year Kansas City. In this role, Jeff maintains strategic relationships with Kansas City public schools, City Year Kansas City’s board, corporate and philanthropic partners and the wider Kansas City community.

Raised in Kansas City, Jeff grew up attending Kansas City Public Schools and is a graduate of Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. He then spent 10 years in Chicago, where he received a B.A. in marketing communications from Columbia College Chicago and first got involved with City Year by serving as an AmeriCorps member from 2010-2012 on the city’s South Side. Jeff then transitioned to the staff team, working as an impact manager where he helped develop and coach 26 AmeriCorps members as they provided targeted support to 200 students across three Chicago Public schools. Jeff went on to utilize his talent for storytelling as the grant writer for City Year Chicago before joining the City Year Kansas City start-up team in 2015.

For the last five years, Jeff has served as development director. In that role, he has been responsible for the cultivation and stewardship of donor relationships and has exceeded fundraising goals each year. In addition to his impact on City Year, Jeff is involved in the community, serving as a committee member for Uncover KC and board member for Brothers Liberating Our Community.

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Michael Stevens
Michael Stevens
Senior Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Washington, D.C.

Michael has been with City Year more than 12 years, having served in several roles at Headquarters and locations across the network. His career in national service began with by serving in the founding corps for City Year Louisiana, followed by a second year of AmeriCorps service with Habitat for Humanity in Jacksonville, FL.

Following his service years, he joined the staff of City Year Washington, D.C. where he served in several positions during his seven-year tenure. Michael later joined the City Year Jacksonville team as the managing director of impact where he managed the full operation of a department that included 120 AmeriCorps members and 17 staff members. After his time in Jacksonville, Michael served as the national student engagement services director with City Year’s National Program Design Team, leading the vision, strategy and pilot opportunities for Student Engagement services supporting 300+ schools across the network. He returned to the field to serve as startup director for City Year Buffalo and is now the executive director of City Year Washington, D.C.

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Karen Velazquez-Vargas
Senior Vice President and Executive Director for City Year Miami

Prior to her Executive Director role, Karen served as the managing director of impact and senior program director at City Year Philadelphia for six years. As an innovator in impact, Karen worked closely with the executive director of City Year Philadelphia to build a coalition of district partners and principals to create the site’s first principal summit. Her contributions and leadership resulted in an improvement in impact, staff engagement and culture and increased funding from the district.

Prior to City Year, Karen worked as a bilingual discipline and truancy liaison to navigate crises and disciplinary procedures with students, families and district personnel covering 44 schools and impacting 16,000 students with the school district of Philadelphia. Earlier in her career, Karen also worked with several consulting and social work agencies, with a focus on performance management improvement and supporting bilingual communities.

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National Strategic Partners
National Partners