2014 NLC Fellows: Philadelphia

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Alex Boyar, State Finance Director, Chris Coons for Delaware

 	Alex	Boyar	Alex Boyar serves as the State Finance Director for Senator Chris Coons of Delaware in his re-election campaign. Alex is responsible for all fundraising activities within the home state of the Senator. He duties include donor relations, event planning, direct donation solicitation, and ensuring the success of a million dollar program. Alex thoroughly enjoys his work for Senator Coons and considers it a labor of love.

Alex started his career in political fundraising after the DC based Gay and Lesbian Victory fund recruited him to the position of Finance Director for Andy Staton for State Senate. Alex’s candidate was running to become for the first openly gay state legislator in DelawareÕs history. After nine months Alex raised a historical $180,000 for a legislative race in Delaware which was highlighted in national LGBT publications. Alex’s time on the Andy Staton campaign led to his current position with Senator Coons.

Alex attended Sonoma State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Finance and was awarded with distinction. During his four years there he served in student government which was the birthplace of his interest in politics and public service. During his senior year Alex became the first openly gay student body president in the history of the campus. His greatest achievement was securing $300,000 in new funds from the university to hire full time Director of Diversity and support a diversity center. Alex was also responsible for running the 1.4 million dollar student corporation and regularly met with local state legislators to advocate on behalf of the students of Sonoma State.

Alex is a member of the Executive Board of the Delaware Young Democrats where he serves as the organizations national representative. He also provided pro-bono fundraising consulting for Equality Delaware in their marriage equality campaign. In his free time Alex enjoys theatre, social events, and video games.

Joshua Darfler, Longwood Graduate Fellow, University of Delaware

Joshua Darfler is currently a Longwood Graduate Fellow at the University of Delaware studying to receive his Masters of Science in Public Horticulture. This program is a collaboration between Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA and the University of Delaware, designed to cultivate new leaders in the public horticulture field. Joshua’s primary research focuses on the genetic diversity of ornamental tea plants (Camellia) housed at Longwood Gardens.

Though his research requires a lot of indoor lab work, Joshua is also interested in how environmental nonprofits can work with partners and community members to protect and preserve the natural world around us and to expand our understanding of its intricacies. In the past he has worked on several small-scale sustainable agricultural projects, and recently joined the board of the Delaware Nature Society as an Associate Board Member. Prior to starting his M.S. at the University of Delaware, Joshua received his Bachelors of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Binghamton in the Southern Tier of New York. Upon graduating he moved to Philadelphia to accept the propagation internship at The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania in Chestnut Hill. Joshua grew up in rural upstate New York, outside of Ithaca, and currently resides in West Philadelphia.

Elliot Griffin, Associate, Ceisler Media

 Elliot	 Griffin
Elliot Griffin has worked with Ceisler Media since January 2013. As one of the newest additions to the team, Griffin assists on various client accounts. Among other work she drafts media materials; helps plan and promote media events and monitors local, statewide and national news. Additionally, she maintains a presence at City Council and monitors legislation that could potentially affect clients. Griffin graduated cum laude from Temple UniversityÍs School of Communications and Theater in May 2012. At Temple she served as the Vice President of External Affairs for Temple Student Government as well as the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of State-Related Students (PASS). As the leader of PASS she worked to organize students at PennsylvaniaÍs four state-related universities in a strategic effort to advocate for higher education funding.

Griffin planned rallies and days of action at the state capitol that garnered the attention of numerous media outlets. After months of training students to be grassroots advocates, the state passed a final budget that included zero cuts to state-related institutions. Her love for political organizing has allowed her to speak in front of crowds- many ranging of over 24,000 people- across the state about the importance of voting and being engaged in the democratic process.

Among numerous speaking engagements, GriffinÍs proudest moment came when she was asked to introduce President Barack Obama at a campaign event. Outside of political organizing, as a former Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA, Griffin spends her free time coaching other aspiring pageant queens. She also volunteers as a tutor for Mighty Writers, and serves as a Regional Board Member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern PA.

Miguel Huerta, Coach/Case Manager, Valley Youth House

Miguel Huerta wandered east to Philadelphia from Denver, Colorado where he was born and raised. This Chicano social worker, spoken word artist, and activist is currently working on several projects synthesizing art and social action. Miguel attended the University of Pennsylvania for a social work degree after obtaining an B.A. in Psychology.

In college, Miguel conducted research in a learning and memory lab, advocated for children caught up in the court system, operated a house painting franchise, and fearlessly proclaimed poetry had a place in the world. As a freshly branded social worker he currently works full time for the non-profit Achieving Independence Center where young people get support while preparing to age out of the foster care system. While studying, Miguel helped found Get Lucid!, which is a collective of artists and activists across Philadelphia working to curate quarterly fundraising events featuring multimedia arts.

In his not-so-free time he also works as the Development Coordinator for the Tequila Interchange Project which is a small non-profit pushing back against the damaging pressures of globalization on the fragile agave industry in Mexico. Like all people in their 20s this guy is looking back to understand his presen(t/ce) and trying to decide which direction is forward.

Danielle Mancinelli, Reading Specialist, Mastery Charter School

Danielle Mancinelli is a currently employed as a certified Reading Specialist at Mastery Charter School – Francis D. Pastorius Elementary. As an instructor at a first year turnaround school, Mancinelli is responsible for coordinating small group reading interventions and school-wide literacy initiatives. She also serves as the Outreach Coordinator for Teachers Lead Philly, an organization that promotes teacher leadership.

Mancinelli graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a Masters of Education degree focused on Reading Instruction. While at studying at SJU, she also worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Educational Leadership Department. She’s also a graduate of Temple University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science.

Previously, she taught second grade at Akili Academy of New Orleans as part of Teach for America. Her love of Philadelphia and passion for education equality brought her back to Philadelphia.

Mancinelli is also a member of the International Reading Association and Alpha Upsilon Alpha International Reading Honor Society. She is enthusiastic about empowering students through written word and committed to ensuring strong schools for all students in Philadelphia.

Ashley Marshall, Team Lead, Educator, Mastery Charter Schools

 	Ashley	Marshall	Ashley Marshall serves as a team lead and teacher at Mastery Charter Schools, focusing on literacy planning and instruction to impact the closing of the achievement gap for underserved children in North Philadelphia. Ms. Marshall works to affect significant academic gains that translate to better opportunities for the students and families in her school’s community. She is currently pursuing further higher education and opportunities that will continue preparing her for education policy and reform service on a broader level.

Ms. Marshall’s previous work under the administration of former Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty served as an inspiration for joining the education reform movement as a classroom teacher in schools where students identified as minority and low-income were significantly underperforming their counterparts. Appointed director for the Mayor’s Correspondence Unit in 2010, Ms. Marshall aligned to the administration’s commitment to excellence and urgency in service and led her staff in drastically improving response time to constituent and government agency concerns to serve the District more effectively. Under the administration’s leadership, Ms. Marshall found herself personally and professionally moved to transition into teaching to prepare for credible service to education policy and reform.

Ms. Marshall is a first generation college graduate, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Culture from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a Master of Education with university distinction in Elementary Education from Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. She also holds program specialist certification in teaching English as a Second Language and certification in teaching middle and high school English. Ms. Marshall is a native of the Mid-Ohio Valley including the towns of Parkersburg, WV, and Belpre, OH.

Elijah Moyo, Advisory Associate, KPMG

 	Elijah	Moyo	Elijah Moyo is an IT consultant with KPMG in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He has an Accounting degree from Temple University and has solid experience in finance and accounting working for a number of Fortune 500 companies in the Greater Philadelphia region as well as internationally in the United Kingdom and Germany.

Elijah is currently completing his MBA with a focus on Non Profit organizations at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn, in Germany.

Hoa Pham, Program Manager, Job Opportunity Investment Network

Hoa Pham is the Program Manager for Job Opportunity Investment Network, or JOIN, which serves as an intermediary to bridge the gap between philanthropy, government, industry and social sectors, and increase the number of Greater Philadelphians earning a family-sustaining wage.

Hoa has a deep passion for grassroots efforts and multi-level community engagement. Previously, Hoa worked with LIFT-Philadelphia national movement to recruit and train local volunteers to provide personalized services for underserved community members, where she led their outreach efforts to partner agencies and surrounding communities. She has also worked with university- and community-driven non-profits to build their capacity and expand their strategic partnerships.

Hoa is a native of Philadelphia and earned her BA in Psychology from Swarthmore College. In her free time, Hoa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, discovering new music and food, taking weekend trips, and organizing community events like pop-up art galleries to highlight local artists and chefs.

Jonathan Reid, Managing Director, Blueprint Global Solutions

Jonathan L. Reid is Managing Director of Blueprint Global Solutions, an educational consulting firm based in Philadelphia that provides curriculum and program development, strategic planning, and organizational alignment at the intersection of education, government, and business. Jonathan oversees global partnerships, outcome-based program development initiatives, policy analysis, and assessments.

Prior to his role at Blueprint, Jonathan served as Education Director for Philadelphia City Council. During his tenure, Jonathan was tasked with assembling a joint hearing for the Committee on Global Opportunities and Creative/ Innovative Economy and the Committee on Education to determine the global competitiveness of the School District of Philadelphia when compared to the best school systems around the world. He has also served as Entrepreneurship Instructor for The University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships, Academic Coach at The University of TennesseeÕs Student Success Center, staff member within Knox County (TN) School DistrictÕs Family and Community Engagement department, instructor for Project Grad Knoxville’s Summer Institute (program for 100+ college-bound high school seniors), and countless other initiatives that address educational access and youth development within communities. JonathanÕs scholarship interests focus on university-community partnerships and their impact on the K-16 to workforce pipeline.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Jonathan earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in English (Technical Communication) and M.S. in Higher Education Administration, both from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He currently resides in West Philadelphia and remains active in the community, serving as Education Committee Chair for the Urban League of Philadelphia’s NExT Young Professional affiliate and Young Professional Ambassador for the African American Chamber of Commerce-Philadelphia.

Anne Marie Rhoades, Deputy Communications Director, Rob McCord for Governor

 	Anne Marie	Rhoades	“Anne Marie is a Midwestern transplant to Philadelphia, where she specializes in political communications with a side of policy and the occasional foray into finance. The eldest of three siblings and daughter of a Southern-born university professor and a Yankee non-profit director, her experience with community organizations and advocacy efforts spans two decades and covers public education funding, political campaigns, veterans, sustainable cities, immigration reform, and more.

Before moving to Philadelphia, Anne Marie served as a legislative policy assistant in the Missouri House of Representatives and worked in a Top 40 specialty advertising firm, where her clients included Tyson chicken, Mars Foods, Uncle Ben, and Otis Spunkmeyer.

Anne Marie is currently the deputy communications director on the Rob McCord for Governor campaign. Her personal record for donating blood has never surpassed half a pint, and she likes lobster bisque.

Andrew Sommers, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

Andrew SommersAndrew Sommers, an Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, supports the firm’s Strategy and Organization, Defense market practice. At Booz Allen, he has led several small teams to help Air Force clients carry out their missions through business process improvement, change management and knowledge management efforts. Also at Booz Allen, Sommers serves a key member to several internal teams where he supports marketing, proposal and intellectual capital development efforts. Prior to Booz Allen, Mr. Sommers was a Provider Reimbursement Analyst with Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia and has also worked with the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Leadership Fellowship Program.

In addition to his consulting work, Sommers has also supported a number of non-profit organizations in both the Philadelphia and Washington D.C areas. Currently the Director of Consulting Corps with the DC Social Innovation Project (DCSIP), Sommers has developed a pro-bono consulting program that serves socially innovative non-profits in the District of Columbia. To date, they have deployed 7 projects with an estimated $50,000 in pro-bono consulting services from 25 volunteer consultants.

He has also provided pro-bono support to DC Appleseed’s Working Poor Families project and served as an English Teacher with South Philadelphia’s Literacy Partnership. Mr. Sommers graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Liberal Arts degree focused on Public Policy, Urban Development and Global Studies. He’s also a graduate of Pennsylvania State University (University Park) where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business Administration in 2008.

Stephen St. Vincent, Assistant City Solicitor, Child Welfare Unit, City of Philadelphia Law Department

Stephen grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania. Small meaning one stoplight, horses and buggies, etc. He went to college at Swarthmore in the Philadelphia suburbs, where he had intended to major in astrophysics. Electromagnetism and quantum mechanics convinced him otherwise, fortunately.

Instead, Stephen decided during college that I needed to be a video game programmer, and so that’s what he did for his first job. He worked for a small studio in Iowa City, Iowa, working on several games — most notably Guitar Hero III. Stephen quickly fell out of love with programming as a career. Luckily, he was in Iowa during the latter half of 2007, during which both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates were vigorously jockeying for position in the Iowa Caucuses. Stephen aligned himself with then-Senator Joe Biden’s campaign, volunteering in his spare time. He even served as precinct captain for his local caucus. Although Senator Biden wasn’t very successful in the Caucuses, he did influence Stephen to shift his career towards law, policy, and politics.

Stephen was fortunate to end up at the University of Michigan for law school. Five years later, he’s worked for several government entities and nonprofits. For the time being, he focuses on issues affecting children. Currently, he does child welfare litigation in Philadelphia’s Family Court. Stephen also volunteers for various nonprofits, serving on the boards of directors of three of them, most notably Young Involved Philadelphia.

Sarah Wilson, Senior Program Director, Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA

Sarah Wilson is a Senior Program Director at the Roxborough YMCA – a branch of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA. In this capacity, she oversees a general membership operation exceeding $1.3 million and manages several branch program areas, including Summer Day Camp and Youth & Teens. Sarah continually works to ensure high quality programming is offered to the community, consistent with the YMCAÕs mission and values. She enjoys developing and cultivating community relations to promote the YMCAÕs position as a charitable, not-for-profit organization devoted to Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. Sarah also serves as her branchÕs ambassador for the Anti-Defamation LeagueÕs No Place for Hate Initiative.

In addition to her management role, Sarah supports the YMCAÕs Diversity & Inclusion efforts on the local and national circuit. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCAÕs Diversity, Inclusion & Global Engagement Team, leading efforts in staff development, community outreach, and volunteer engagement. As a part of her involvement with the YMCAÕs Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, Sarah spearheaded the development and implementation of Employee Resource Groups. Sarah is also a member of the planning committee of Y-USAÕs Emerging Multi-Cultural Leadership Experience, a national initiative, where she serves as Co-Chair of the Leadership Experience Committee.

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sarah moved to Philadelphia after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and English: Creative Writing from Loras College, where she also competed as a member of the Women’s Basketball team. In her free time Sarah enjoys reading, running, and watching sports.