Meet the City Year Seattle staff!
Our staff is passionate, hard-working, and joyful. We are working to build a model anti-racist youth centered organization. We strive to disrupt systemically racist practices, ensure diverse perspectives and experiences inform our decision making, and prioritize the experience of young people as we support them in their development.
Ashlye Allison was born in Burien, Washington but moved to the DMV (D.C/Maryland/Virginia area) when she was very young. She graduated from the University of Virginia in May 2016 majoring in economics and minoring in drama. She has a strong passion for film production and eventually would like to work in that industry. Her love for children and teaching brought her to commit to her year of service with City Year, recommit as a team leader for a year, and again recommit as a program manager. She has an amazing mother and two wonderful sisters whom she adores. Her little sister, Kayla, is her pride and joy. When she is not #makingbetterhappen, she is watching all types of movies, learning about filmmaking, making films, hiking, eating and sleeping.
Lee is a native of Tacoma, Washington, proud father, and graduate of The Evergreen State College. Previously he has served as a history teacher at Destiny Charter Middle School, a substitute teacher with Tacoma Public Schools and community organizer with The People’s Assembly.
Lee believes the relationships he has fostered with students, their families, and community is the driving force behind his work. Lee’s proudest accomplishments have come when seeing his student’s enthusiasm for community service and fighting against racial injustice while encouraging them to be active players in making their neighborhoods a better place through multi-faceted service projects throughout King and Pierce County.
Lee's life is devoted to empowering students by ensuring justice, freedom and equality are realities for them, with particular attention to the rights of people and groups who have historically been disenfranchised. To him, the essence of City Year is grounded in the movement for equity and the knowledge that victory is attained through genuine collaboration with the community to bring about positive change throughout the public school system.
Carol grew up in Minneapolis. She is a high school dropout and a high school re-enrollee, and owes so very much of her academic and professional success to the mentors and teachers who pushed her to return to school. Carol holds a MSc in environmental policy from the University of Auckland, where she discovered the power of research and data for affecting social justice and meaningful change. Carol started her career as an Evaluator in the New Zealand public sector, where she led evaluations of science and innovation, labor force, economic development policy. Since returning to the US, she has consulted with nonprofits and local government agencies. In coming to City Year, Carol works to create an evidence base and culture of data use to best serve students like herself.
Aaron grew up in Detroit, Michigan. As the adopted son of a social worker and an auto factory worker, Aaron experienced the hardships of living in Detroit during the crash of the auto industry. He started his journey in the nonprofit sector at the age of 15, when he was selected to serve in a leadership program designed for inner-city youth. Aaron excelled as a leader and got the opportunity to help build the foundation for a school in Nicaragua at the age of 17. The rest was history. Aaron has served 4 terms as an AmeriCorps member. He’s served in 5+ cities, designed murals in almost every borough of NYC, assisted 100+ Florida residents in keeping their homes, and led thousands of volunteers through service nationwide. Long story short, he gets things done for America.
Stephany hails from the suburbs of Portland, OR where she attended school K-12. As a first-generation college student, she studied at Lane Community College and later the University of Oregon, majoring in political science & international affairs. Following graduation, she packed up and jetted off to Kyrgyzstan for two years where she worked in community development for the Peace Corps. Upon returning to the US, Stephany served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in education management before becoming a certified special education teacher for Chicago Public Schools. Over the course of 3 years, Stephany learned a great deal about the challenges of the classroom but most importantly, she gained perspective on how students can best be supported in a holistic manner. This classroom experience inspired her to obtain a master's of education with a focus on early neural development from Harvard University. Stephany then completed a community engagement fellowship with UNICEF USA before joining City Year to continue her work in education equity.
Born in Seattle, WA and raised by two Filipino immigrant parents (and a large extended family), Sheridel has a passion for social justice and working towards ending the education and opportunity gap in her hometown. She graduated from Western Washington University in 2014. After graduating, she served as an AmeriCorps College Access Coordinator in Bellingham, WA. During this time, she developed a new partnership with Western Washington University's Education Department and Cordata Elementary School supporting tier 3 students and after school programming. After her service year, Sheridel moved to Hawaii to teach 10th grade English at Wai'anae High School located on the beautiful west side of Oahu. While teaching, Sheridel earned her master's of sciences in education at Johns Hopkins University. Two years later, she moved back to her hometown eager to serve the community that molded her into the educator she is today. She is excited to utilize her teaching and past AmeriCorps experience to support corps members in their professional development and motivate students in the Seattle Public Schools to be leaders in their community.
Bryan was born and raised in New York City and received his BA in New Media Arts from Purchase College in Westchester, NY. He first began working with students right after college while teaching digital art classes at the Rye Arts Center. His interest in youth and nonprofit work continued as he decided to move across country to serve with City Year Seattle/King County. His passion for social justice was realized as an AmeriCorps member in a 4th grade bilingual classroom. He is committed to social change for students regardless of their differences and limits in the education system. He served with City Year Seattle / King County at Concord International as an AmeriCorps member, team leader, and as a program manager for two years, and then transitioned to the development team as corporate partnerships manager. In his spare time, he likes exploring the scenic views in Washington, hanging out with his friends, reading and making art.
Christie was born in Watsonville, California and lived there until she was 11 years old. In 2005, Christie and her family moved to Pembroke Pines, Florida where she lived until she moved to Orlando for college. She attended the University of Central Florida (UCF) where she studied elementary education and minored in English language arts education. Christie loves working with young people and has in many settings, such as student teaching in 3rd and 5th grade, substitute teaching, being a basketball coach and camp counselor, and working at Build-a-Bear Workshop. Her journey with City Year started in 2017, and she decided to do City Year because it encompasses two of her favorite things – service and education. Christie served as an AmeriCorps member and a team leader with City Year Seattle/King County. She is currently working as the learning and development coordinator and pursing her master's degree from Concordia University for curriculum and instruction. Some of her hobbies include playing basketball, hiking, traveling, eating good food, listening to music and reading. Christie plans on starting her first year of teaching next year!
Tara Francis grew up in Olympia, WA and is happy to call the evergreen state her home. Her passion for equity and learning about the world led her to graduate from the University of Washington with a BA in anthropology and work abroad several years living in places like Germany and South Korea. During that time, Tara also received her MSc in international development from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and conducted research for the Centre for Social Research in New Delhi, India as part of her studies. On her return to the PNW, Tara worked in the Highline and Seattle Public School Districts serving as a founding AmeriCorps site coordinator for the Puget Sound region with Reading Partners and launching a new after school program with the YMCA Powerful Schools. Tara is passionate about her community and is excited to be in continuing as a senior program manager in South West Seattle.
Beth grew up in Spokane with her loud and loving family. Having attended under-resourced schools for most of her K-12 education, she graduated high school determined to teach in schools like her own, hopeful to expand the opportunities of other marginalized youth and families. Beth taught elementary and middle school in south King County and in Philadelphia for eight years. During this time, she also led professional development, organized family engagement nights and developed curriculum.
After leaving the classroom, Beth worked in corporate learning and development for a public accounting and consulting firm in downtown Seattle. While she enjoyed the change of pace and opportunities to further develop her understanding of adult learning and facilitation, she couldn't ignore the pull back to public education. That pull led her to join City Year in 2017 as the instruction and learning director. In her role, she combines her experiences in the classroom and corporate training with her passions for teaching and learning and race and equity.
Beth lives in south Seattle with her husband and son. They enjoy traveling, good food, most music, time with their close-knit community and being outside.
Marisol was born in Villamar, Michoacan, Mexico and grew up in Salem, Oregon where she attended Willamette University as the first in her family to go to college. Throughout her time at Willamette, she discovered her passion for youth by getting involved with the College Access program that she was a part of for 5 years prior to university. From freshman year to senior year of college, Marisol was an academic mentor for 8th-11th graders and helped demystify the college process and experience through leading workshops and summer programs while learning how to cultivate and maintain positive mentor/mentee relationships. Marisol is constantly in awe by the power that youth have and hopes to continue to see that through her engagement in school. Additionally, she has a deep love for humanity and is passionate about providing resources and access to her communities. Marisol served as an AmeriCorps member and team leader at Denny Middle School before transitioning to the program manager role. Outside of work she enjoys reading magical realism, writing poetry, listening to music, making art and laughter.
Ti'esh is dedicated to the liberation of all people through reflection, connection and direct action. Ti'esh was born in Tacoma, WA and grew up all over Seattle. She attended Scripps College where she studied Africana studies and media studies. In 2012, Ti’esh served as a City Year Seattle AmeriCorps member. She has been passionate about education and youth work ever since! Ti’esh returned to City Year to serve as a program manager, and now, she makes sure City Year Seattle functions and stays committed to equity as our operations manager and race and equity Lead.
As a first-generation college student born to immigrant parents, neither of whom progressed beyond 8th grade, Athena experienced firsthand the breadth of opportunities enabled by a college education. Because of this, Athena has spent the majority of the past decade working to close the education gap in both the US and around the world. Prior to joining City Year, she spent four years as chief of staff to the senior team at Teach For All, and prior to that she was an Education Pioneers Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland. Her passion for education has also taken her abroad, where she spent a year in India at Digital StudyHall, an NGO working to improve the quality of teaching in rural and slum schools. Athena started off her career as a management consultant with the Monitor Group and holds a BA in psychology and an MS in management science and engineering from Stanford University.
Nicole grew up in Salem, OR and graduated from Willamette University with a BA in psychology. After graduation she served two years with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, providing relief and rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast. Her love of history landed her in Washington, DC, where she worked for KaBOOM! (a national non-profit that builds play spaces for children through a participatory community-build model) and met her husband. As much as she loved building playgrounds, her passion for education and national service brought her to City Year Washington, DC, and she transferred to the Seattle site in 2011. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, DIY projects around her new home, crashing high school track meets, walks around Seattle and spending time with her two little boys.
Marcus Ramirez is the regional recruitment manager for City Year in the Pacific Northwest. He was previously at Seattle Art Museum as an education and public programs coordinator. Prior to SAM, Marcus served as an AmeriCorps member with the University of Washington's Pipeline Project. He is a graduate of the University of Washington in art history and economics.
Mary Sanchez was born in El Centro, California, the county seat of the Imperial Valley; a place known for its sprawling fields, extreme weather and high unemployment rates. Growing up in a community that sits at a threshold into Latin America, she developed a globally minded perception of the world that catalyzed her passion for the social sciences and issues regarding social justice. As a first generation college student she attended the University of California, Berkeley where she earned a BA in anthropology, and a BA in international development studies with a concentration in Latin America. Confronted with prevailing educational inequalities both at home and abroad, she decided to become an advocate for education reform and an agent in transformation. The convergence of her life experiences, as a Mexican American woman, and an empathetic activist, she decided to join City Year, Seattle where she proudly served at Concord International Elementary School as an AmeriCorps member and team leader. After two exciting and heartening years working within the Concord community as an AmeriCorps member, she decided to return as a program manager to continue her work in education.
Rachel grew up a third-culture-kid, living half of her school-age life in Northern Virginia and the other half abroad (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel and England). After graduating high school, Rachel earned her BFA in Film Production at RIT and later went to earn a master's in teaching from Seattle University.
Rachel has worked in education both abroad and in the US (teaching English in rural Japan and then working as an elementary school teacher in the Kent School District in Washington State). Rachel's interest in City Year stems from her experiences working in education with disenfranchised youth and complex and sometimes-frustrating school systems.
Rachel lives in Beacon Hill with her two children (Robin & Luka), husband (Kevin), maniacal corgi (Wally) and two diabolical cats (Frank & Trailblazer).
Lauren grew up in the apple capital of the world (East Wenatchee, WA)! She graduated with a BA in psychology, a minor in sociology, and a concentration in women and gender studies from Gonzaga University in 2011. She then served two years in Baton Rouge, LA with City Year as an AmeriCorps member and a team leader at two middle schools and developed a love of Louisiana culture and a passion for work in schools. She then attended Louisiana State University where she received her M.Ed. in school counseling in 2015. She moved back to her home state of Washington and is proud to be a member of the CYSKC team. She served as a program manager at Roxhill Elementary School and Aki Kurose Middle School for two years, two years as the program director for the Southwest schools for CYSKC and now manages the entire impact department. She is hoping to integrate more socioemotional learning within Seattle and across the City Year network as she believes supporting students mentally and emotionally is the key to student success. Lauren enjoys working for City Year where education, student development, innovation, and a network of passionate colleagues combine.
Jessi spent her first 12 years living in sunny southern California and another 12 years living upstate south Carolina. Jessi studied elementary education at the University of South Carolina Upstate, where she first discovered her passion for serving youth. Before joining the City Year Seattle/King County squad as a program manager, Jessi worked with young people in the daycare setting for 3 1/2 years, teaching 4th grade and later 4K, and finally she worked as a program manager for an organization which provided before and after school care for elementary students. When she's not working with little ones, Jessi enjoys spending time in nature with her husband Julius and listening to hip-hop and R&B music.
Nicole Zamora Harvey is the local recruitment manager for City Year Seattle – King County. Originally from Idaho, Nicole grew up in Dutch Harbor, AK, before relocating to Seattle in March of 2013 where she graduated with BA in cultural anthropology with departmental honors from Seattle University.
As a first generation college student, a second-generation Mexican American, and mother of two – Nicole brings a variety of depth and experience that informs her work as City Year Seattle’s local recruitment manager. She is passionate about education equity and how it intersects with identity, politics, and community, informed by her own experience navigating the education systems as non-traditional student with limited means.
With over three years of experience in the field, Nicole is uniquely positioned to advocated for youth in the greater Seattle area as they establish themselves as leaders and champions of social justice in their own community. Prior to working at City Year, she was the University relations manager and USA program director for Global Youth Connect and is deeply connected to our mission and values as a youth leadership development organization.