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Jacksonville alumni board

Our alumni support our work and drive change in their local communities long after serving with City Year.

Katy Ward, board chair
City Year Jacksonville ‘16, ‘17

Katy served with City Year Jacksonville in 2015-16 and 2016-17. As a corps member she served at Jean Ribault Middle School in a 7th grade math class, then served as the team leader at Jean Ribault High School in an algebra class. She loved JRHS so much that she stayed and became the varying exceptionalities teacher. Originally from Parker, Colorado, Katy graduated from Wofford College with a degree in art history. Her twin sister, Emily, brought her to City Year and Jacksonville – she sparked Katy’s passion for education and service.

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Kira Gawlak
City Year Miami ‘13

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Kira served with City Year Miami during the 2012-13 school year. Currently she works as a GIS analyst for CSX in Jacksonville. Fun fact – her three legged dog is also an avid City Year supporter, she is known to lend an ear and paw to students as they practice reading aloud.

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V. Christiansen
City Year Miami ‘10, ‘11

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Ben Cummins
City Year Jacksonville ‘18

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Ben Marcus
Alumni Engagement Chair, City Year Washington, D.C. ‘04

Ben grew up just outside of Chicago in Evanston, Illinois. He served with City Year Washington, D.C. in 2003-04 on the civic engagement team and now works as a nonprofit and political consultant. He plays drums, home-brews and loves hanging out with his young family!

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Elexus Murray
Communications Point

Elexus is from Jacksonville, Florida and served with City Year Jacksonville during the 2017-18 school year. She now works as an applicant specialist with Duval County Public Schools. In addition, she is a first-year graduate student studying educational leadership and policy at American University. Elexus is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and mom to two beautiful children.

Ben Nasrallah
City Year Jacksonville ‘13, ‘14

Originally from Jacksonville, FL, Ben served at Andrew Jackson High School in 2012-2013 as a founding corps member as well as 2013-2014 as team leader at William M Raines High School. After founding the Jacksonville alumni board in 2015, Ben took a small break from City Year while pursuing his master's degree in education to be a school counselor and is excited to reconnect with the idealism and energy of City Year Jacksonville and their alumni. Ben currently is the coordinator for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program at Stanton College Preparatory School in Jacksonville.

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Valerie Ortiz
City Year Jacksonville ‘18

Dykisha Potter
Recruitment and Admissions Point, City Year Jacksonville ‘16

Dykisha is orginally from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands and served with City Year Jacksonville during the 2015-16 school year. She is currently doing research with District 4 School Board member Darryl Willie and working toward influencing local education policy. Dykisha loves to dance and was the winner of Dancing with the UMiami Stars competition during her senior year of college.

Connor Racine
Training Point, City Year Jacksonville ‘18

Connor is from Concord, Massachusetts. He served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Los Angeles in 2016-17 and City Year Jacksonville in 2017-18. He now works as Jacksonville's regional organizer and community health educator for Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida.

Chelsea Sanders
Corps Support Chair, City Year Jacksonville ‘16

Chelsea is from Jacksonville, Florida and served as an AmeriCorps member at Jean Ribault Middle School. She now works as a civics teacher for Duval County Public Schools.

LaCandia Sellers
City Year Jacksonville ‘15

Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, LaCandia served as an AmeriCorps member at Andrew Jackson High School during the 2014-15 school year. Currently, she works as a social worker for various dialysis clinics in Jacksonville. LaCandia is now pursuing licensure to become a licensed clinical social worker.

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Morgan Snodgress
City Year Jacksonville ‘19

Emily Wasek
City Year Jacksonville ‘18

Emily is originally from Fuquay-Farina, North Carolina and served at Jean Ribault Middle School during the 2017-18 school year. She currently serves as a nonprofit fellow at the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center, a local nonprofit that provides compassionate care to all individuals in the city with speech, language and hearing disorders – regardless of ability to pay. Emily assists in writing grants for the center, manages volunteers and coordinates their social media presence. Outside of work, Emily sings as a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus.

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