Meet the Milwaukee staff
At City Year Milwaukee, we believe that “it takes a village to raise a child.” To nourish positive impact, we focus on our personal responsibility, curiosity and gratitude. We're proud of our staff and those who support Milwaukee's students all day, everyday.
Amanda is the learning and development manager, overseeing the programming and professional development of City Year Milwaukee's returning AmeriCorps members. She focuses on leading AmeriCorps-led events throughout the year and ensures that the AmeriCorps member experience is at the forefront of City Year Milwaukee's programming. Prior to serving as City Year Milwaukee's Learning and Development Manager, Amanda served as an impact manager, senior impact manager and interim impact director for City Year Milwaukee in her first three years on staff. She also served as a City Year AmeriCorps member ('18) and a Team Leader ('19) at Hopkins Lloyd Community School and has a Bachelor of Arts in classical history from Monmouth College. She enjoys checking out Milwaukee's farmers markets, visiting Wisconsin breweries and spending time playing local co-ed volleyball.
Teresa is so excited to serve as the senior impact manager at Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education. She has lived in Milwaukee since she was one, and it is home for her. Teresa attended two private schools for her K-12 education. Her college journey took her through MATC where she earned her associate degree in the Cooperative Urban Education Teacher Program and followed that with her Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Arts in creative and professional writing at Mount Mary College. Teresa then attended Cardinal Stritch to earn her postbaccalaureate teaching certification in secondary education and is currently attending Wisconsin Lutheran College working on her Master of Arts in innovation and leadership as part of the leadership program through the Center for Urban Teachers. Prior to joining City Year Milwaukee, Teresa taught at several schools, both public and private, in Milwaukee. She has two children and two grandsons and enjoys spending time with them. When she has her own time, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting and watching way too much TV.
Paola Gonzalez (she/her) serves as the impact manager at Alexander Mitchell Integrated Arts School where she oversees the professional development of a team of AmeriCorps members and works with school leaders to continue to forge a strong partnership that benefits students. Prior to this role, Paola served as a first year AmeriCorps member for City Year Boston before going on to serve a second year as a member of City Year New York’s Civic Engagement Team. In New York, Paola was able to use her creativity and love for art to design mural projects and organize volunteer events with the goal of beautifying the schools in the community. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison Alum with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies and art history with a certificate in gender and women’s studies. Her experience working with a pre-college enrichment program while getting her degree inspired her to pursue her passion for education and equity-based work. Paola is a proud child of immigrants who instilled in her the value of education and helping others—values that have led her to seek opportunities to uplift and empower young people, including those who come into City Year!
Anthony serves as the impact manager for Bayview High School. Prior to working with City Year, he worked as a freelance media specialist and community organizer through his business YMD Media and Consultations. He is an alum of American University in Washington, D.C., where he studied public relations and strategic communications with a minor in audio technology and production. In addition to his work at City Year, he enjoys creating music, photography work and connecting creative entrepreneurs to resources to expand their reach.
Jessica Mirkes serves as the proud Senior Impact Manager at Harold S. Vincent High School (HSVHS). Prior to joining City Year, Jessica was a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and served as the children's program manager at Sojourner Family Peace Center. Jessica holds a Master of Art in African and African Diaspora studies with a certificate in Women's Studies and a Bachelor of Science in secondary education and history with a minor in Africology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is passionate about supporting the development of young people in Milwaukee and working towards educational equity. In her free time, she's an avid reader (especially history and memoirs), a coffee shop aficionado, and is learning a second language to support her daughter who attends an MPS language immersion school.
Yaphet Morales serves as the service and learning director. Prior to this role, he was an impact manager on the Julia A. Uihlein Team at Alexander Mitchell Integrated Arts School. Before joining City Year Milwaukee's staff, he was a bilingual special education teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools and served six years in the U.S. Coast Guard. He is an alum of the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin with a bachelor's degree in sociology.
Ysel Nicholson proudly serves as our Community Partnerships Manager. In this role, Ysel creates and maintains partnerships with all 25 College and Career Centers in our Milwaukee Public Schools, community colleges such as, MATC, Wisconsin Lutheran, Carroll University, and Concordia, and multiple community-based organizations to generate a strong pipeline of prospective City Year AmeriCorps members to serve at our site. Prior to joining City Year, Ysel graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and served as a Public Ally with Public Allies Wisconsin.
Laura G. Perez (she/her/ella) serves as the senior community partnerships director, leading the Service Team and ensuring alignment in the AmeriCorps member experience from recruitment to training and into their post-service plans. Prior to returning to City Year Milwaukee, she was a sixth and seventh grade math teacher at Milwaukee College Prep. Laura also brings experience in the areas of talent development, local recruitment and campaign management for school board races. She is a proud mamá, partner, City Year Milwaukee alumna and Milwaukee local.
Mendoza Perez is the impact manager on the Rockwell Automation Team at Rogers Street Academy. They have a strong background in youth development, education and community engagement. They're a proud graduate of both City Year Baton Rouge '14 and City Year Milwaukee '18. Mendoza is humbled to get to do this work in the city they love.
Mina is the Senior Communications Manager. She is from Elmira, New York, and graduated from SUNY Geneseo, where she studied psychology and dance. She served as an AmeriCorps member ('19) and Team Leader ('20) at Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts.
As the Managing Director of Impact (MDI), Adriana manages the overall deployment of AmeriCorps members and service delivery in 8 Milwaukee Public Schools. Prior to serving as MDI, Adriana was an Impact Director. In a former life, she served as Club Manager at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and served as a Regional Recruitment Manager, Team Leader and AmeriCorps member at City Year Milwaukee. Adriana earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from UW-Madison and a Master of Arts in Social Impact from Claremont Lincoln University.
Angela Steffens serves as the impact manager at Clarke Street School. She served as a City Year AmeriCorps member ('20) at Vincent High School and a Team Leader ('21) at South Division High School. Prior to City Year, Angela received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and minors in Spanish and ethnic and racial studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Kayla Stephan is the impact director, supporting K-8 schools and their leaders. Kayla started her journey with City Year Milwaukee in 2014 as an AmeriCorps member and continued to serve as a Team Leader and impact manager at Alexander Mitchell Integrated Arts School. She has a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Minnesota and loves all things Packers!
Dia Vang serves as the impact manager on the Chavez Cardinal team at South Division High School. She served as an AmeriCorps member ('19) at Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts and as a Team Leader ('20) at James Madison High School. From the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Dia earned a Bachelor of Science in human services and minor in African American studies. During her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes, crafting and hanging out with her nieces and nephews.
Isaiah Weatherall proudly serves as impact director, supporting high school teams and their leaders. Prior to this role, he served as Impact Manager on the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County Team at James Madison Academic Campus. He earned his Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2013.
Rose Wegner, a Milwaukee native, proudly serves as the Senior Operations Manager, overseeing both site and development operations programming. After graduating from Milwaukee High School of the Arts with a focus in Creative Writing, she completed two years of service with City Year Milwaukee as an AmeriCorps member ('17) at Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education and a Team Leader ('18) at Clarke Street School. She has obtained a certificate in Excellence in Leadership and Change Management, a Technical Diploma in Organizational Leadership, as well as an Associates of Applied Science in Leadership Development at Waukesha County Technical College.
Commodore serves as the data analytics manager after completing two years of service with City Year Milwaukee as an AmeriCorps member ('20) and Team Leader ('21). Originally from Plum, Pennsylvania, he received a Bachelor of Arts in African studies and a Bachelor of Science in international development with minors in French and city and regional planning from The Ohio State University. He intended to join the Peace Corps upon graduating from college, but his path instead led to domestic service. Working in analytics, he hopes to build transparency around data and deepen teams' impact with students by developing systems to promote data analysis and fluency within the organization.