After School Leadership

Theseus Roche

Director of After-School Programs

Theseus Roche

Director of After-School Programs

Email

Theseus Roche started with Manhattan Youth in 2001 as the founding director of our middle school after-school program at IS 289, whose original purpose was to provide therapeutic services in a safe space to Downtown teens in the aftermath of the events of September 11. His even-handed leadership and creative vision soon led him to assume the role of the first Director of After-School Programs, overseeing a portfolio of three elementary schools and one middle school, and shifting Manhattan Youth's focus from childcare to informal education. Over the next decade, as the Lower Manhattan community grew, he built comprehensive after-school programs in an additional three elementary schools and two middle schools Downtown. In 2014, the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development’s middle school expansion program provided an opportunity for Manhattan Youth to spread the brand of high quality programming to other parts of New York City. Theseus built relationships with dozens of school principals and developed contracts to serve several thousand children in more than 20 additional school sites, making Manhattan Youth a household name not just in Lower Manhattan, but across the city. Theseus holds a BFA in Theater Arts and Film from SUNY Purchase.

×

Leyna Madison

Operations Director

Leyna Madison

Operations Director

347-846-0934
Email

Leyna has a Master’s in the Art of Education and a Bachelor’s in Political Science. Leyna started working with youth in 2009, teaching English and coaching Softball in Tczew, Poland. She has been with Manhattan Youth since 2010, starting as a softball coach at IS 289 and working her way up to the Operations Director for all Middle School After-School Programming. Leyna has played a key role in the expansion to 24 Manhattan Youth Middle School programs, the establishment of the Middle School Athletic League, and the launch of the popular Summer and School Break Intensive programs: Filmmaking, Circus, Theater, Comedy, Sports, and Robotics. In her spare time, Leyna loves to travel to new countries and explore history.

×

Matt Grant

Education Director

Matt Grant

Education Director

347-448-4031
Email

Matt has been involved in youth development and education at one level or another since he was sixteen years old. Originally from Illinois, Matt studied film in St. Louis before heading east. Since joining Manhattan Youth in 2010, Matt has served as a swim instructor, lifeguard, camp counselor, after-school group leader, and program director before becoming an education director. He was also a curriculum coordinator at Harlem Children’s Zone, where he designed and taught literacy workshops to middle and high school students. He and his wife are now proud Brooklynites, and Matt fills his spare time with writing, reading, and teaching himself guitar.

Programs:
Robert F. Wagner School
The Clinton School
NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies
The Center School

×

Rachel Oakes

Education Director

Rachel Oakes

Education Director

347-448-4477
Email

Rachel has worked in education and youth development for more than a decade and holds a degree in Theater in Educational and Community Context. Prior to coming to Manhattan Youth, Rachel served as an Education Director and Teaching Artist at Jersey City Children's Theatre as well as Director of Improvisation at Florida Studio Theatre. In addition to overseeing four Manhattan Youth after-school sites, Rachel helps coordinate the theater programs across the entire middle school portfolio and chairs the in-house Literacy curriculum committee. Besides working with youth, Rachel enjoys comedy and currently hosts a comedy and music podcast. 

Programs:
Lower Manhattan Community School
NYC Charter School of the Arts
The Computer School
Professional Performing Arts School

×

Matthew McGlennen

Education Director

Matthew McGlennen

Education Director

347-756-5103
Email

Matthew McGlennen is an Education Director at Manhattan Youth. Before joining Manhattan Youth, Matthew was a kindergarten teacher, a documentary filmmaker, and safari tour guide. In his free time, Matthew enjoys photography, traveling and exploring new neighborhoods throughout the city. He lives in Washington Heights with his wife and their books.

Programs:
IS 289 - Hudson River Middle School
IS 276 - Battery Park City School
IS 397 - Spruce Street School
East Side Middle School

×

Brittany Mejia

Education Director

Brittany Mejia

Education Director

347-846-0493
Email

Brittany has been involved in youth development in the Downtown Manhattan community in many different capacities since she was fifteen years old. She grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Battery Park City during middle school. She obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biomedical Engineering. Upon graduating, she began working at Manhattan Youth as a teaching assistant in 2015. Brittany has also been Assistant Director and Program Director before becoming an Education Director. As the Program Director for City Knoll Middle School, her proudest accomplishment was taking her Lego Robotics team to compete at the University of Arkansas against 72 other teams, nine of which were from different countries. Brittany loves to learn new things and would be a full-time student if she could. She recently got married and enjoys traveling, cooking and dancing in her spare time.

Programs:
75 Morton Street School
City Knoll Middle School
West End Secondary School
The Anderson School
 

×

Michael LeeYow

Education Director

Michael LeeYow

Education Director

347-846-2696
Email

Michael LeeYow grew up in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating from Collegiate High School in Manhattan’s upper west side, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a BA in Psychology and African American Studies. With over 20 years experience from kindergarten to college, Mr. LeeYow has been a leading educator in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City. Before becoming an Education Director he was Manhattan Youth's founding Program Director at Judith S. Kaye High School. Michael is a writer, poet, hip-hop junkie and proud father of a 7 year old son.

Programs:
Yorkville East Middle School
Salk School of Science
Judith Kaye HS
Ella Baker Middle School

×

Middle School Program Directors

Ivy Abiona

Program Director
IS 289

Ivy Abiona

Program Director
IS 289

646-306-1205
Email

Ivy has several years of experience in youth development as a teacher, coach, and mentor. In 2018, she was hired to direct Manhattan Youth's flagship middle school program at IS 289, which has been in existence since 2001. Prior to joining Manhattan Youth, Ivy played professional basketball in Australia, Spain, Peru, and Finland. In her spare time, Ivy enjoys playing sports, traveling, and learning about different cultures. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Health & Health Policy as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Speech and Hearing. 

×

Moyo Afolabi

Program Director
City Knoll Middle School

Moyo Afolabi

Program Director
City Knoll Middle School

646-859-9117
Email

Moyo started youth work as a camp counselor and youth sports coach when he was a teenager. As a student at Wheaton College, several of the child development courses he took in addition to his economics major helped him realize that youth development was the best way to give back to his community. At City Knoll, Moyo helped foster an award-winning Lego Robotics team, which competed at the First Lego League Razorback Invitational at the Universtiy of Arkansas in 2018. Moyo also loves sports, which teaches the communication, dedication, and teamwork essential to his current role. 

×

Kim Arango

Program Director
Battery Park City School

Kim Arango

Program Director
Battery Park City School

917-565-7249
Email

Kim has a total of nine years of professional experience working with youth and children. She started out teaching English in South Korea and has been a program director, college counselor, and director of operations for various youth organizations in New York City. She holds a Master's Degree in Psychology from Columbia University and a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from SUNY New Paltz. Kim is also in part-time real eastate and works on passion projects, including motherhood and newborn photography. 

×

Lorisse Bentine

Program Director
NYC Charter School of the Arts

Lorisse Bentine

Program Director
NYC Charter School of the Arts

646-823-3949
Email

Lorisse has worked with youth for 20 years. She started out as a Certified Water Safety Instructor, Lifeguard, Art Instructor, and Camp Counselor at MMCC in 1999, where she grew up as a camper herself. She moved on to education in the after-school sector in 2012, and has been an educational artist and mentor ever since. Before joining Manhattan Youth in 2018, Lorisse worked for six years as a ChapterLeader and Environmental Co-Facilitator in Harlem. At City School of the Arts, Lorisse works hard to provide safe, creative, and inclusive spaces for youth via needs-based programming. Lorisse is also part of the Inbeon Studios core team as an artist and writer, and is in the process of creating a graphic novel based on her 2018 award-nominated play, Broken Dolls and Robotic Hearts. She graduated on the Dean's List from SUNY Purchase College with a major in Theater and a minor in Spanish.

×

Kara Bhatti

Program Director
West End Secondary School

Kara Bhatti

Program Director
West End Secondary School

646-823-4188
Email

Kara is a native New Yorker and proudly hails from Queens. She went to Ithaca College for her undergrad career, where she studied Anthropology and Business Administration and was heavily involved in mentoring and tutoring programs. After graduating, Kara started her career with Manhattan Youth at East Side Middle School as a teaching assistant and later, assistant director. After moving to Simon Baruch as assistant director for the 2016-2017 school year, Kara was asked to inaugurate the Manhattan Youth program at West End. She is proud to have started a new program at such a brand new school.

 

×

Jo Boisseau

After-School Program Director, Ella Baker
Ella Baker

Jo Boisseau

After-School Program Director, Ella Baker
Ella Baker

646-841-3600
Email

×

Adler Bruno

Program Director
The Center School

Adler Bruno

Program Director
The Center School

917-565-7713
Email

Adler was born and raised Brooklyn, New York and is a passionate basketball junkie. A sociology graduate, he has worked with youth development at all levels including elementary and high school. As a former dual sport high school athlete, Adler felt driven to not only lead youth development from an academic standpoint, but at a competitive level athletically. Before becoming director at The Center School, Adler was the Athletic Director and proud championship coach at Simon Baruch middle school. At Center, he strives to foster a healthy and productive relationships between staff and students. His long list of hobbies includes watching movies, working out, and sadly rooting for the New York Knicks. 

×

Mary-Catherine Chambliss

Program Director
Anderson School

Mary-Catherine Chambliss

Program Director
Anderson School

646-859-9124
Email

Mary-Catherine has wanted to teach ever since she was inspired by one of her teachers in seventh grade. With a passion for theater, she has worked in a variety of theater-based camps and programs before coming to Manhattan Youth. At The Anderson School, Mary-Catherine loves coaching her students to move beyond individual competition and work together as a team. She has a Bachelor of Science in Theater Education from Troy University and is currently pursuing her Masters at Columbus State University. In addition to musical theater and travel, Mary-Catherine loves to cook and try new foods. 

×

Cynthia De Leon

Program Director
75 Morton

Cynthia De Leon

Program Director
75 Morton

917-836-3644
Email

Cynthia found a passion working with young people at 15 when she worked at a day camp for underserved communities in Coney Island. She has a degree in business adminsitration as well as an MBA with a minor in Technology Management and Marketing. Cynthia oversaw the program at 75 Morton in their first year in their new school building, and was thrilled to see her cheerleaders win first place at the annual Manhattan Youth Cheer Competition. Cynthia loves sports, reading, and watching cooking shows, especially the Great British Bake-Off. 

×

Nichole Forde

Program Director
The Clinton School

Nichole Forde

Program Director
The Clinton School

917-565-7338
Email

Nichole started her career in youth development while at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, coaching gymnastics to elementary and high school students. She attended Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development. Nichole joined Manhattan Youth in 2014 as a teaching assistant at the Ella Baker school, where she later became Program Director for two years before spearheading the program at The Center School. Each year, Nichole oversees the enormously popular Manhattan Youth Cheer Competition, which brings together cheerleading teams from eleven middle school programs. In her spare time, Nichole is part of Katharine Pettit Creative dance company,  which challenges societal norms using dance as a call to action. 

×

Sean Hopkins

Program Director
Computer School

Sean Hopkins

Program Director
Computer School

646-859-9113
Email

With a degree in Theater Education, Sean directed and oversaw multiple theater productions at Manhattan Youth before becoming a program director in 2016. He is also the Director of Theater Arts at Camp Lohikan, a summer residential camp for 6-15 year olds in the Poconos. During his tenure at Manhattan Youth, Sean has worked to grow the program at The Computer School by listening to the needs of the students and adding classes and activities that cater to the wide variety of interests in the community.

×

Jesse Igbokwe

Program Director
Yorkville East

Jesse Igbokwe

Program Director
Yorkville East

646-306-2126
Email

Passionate about the creative arts, Jesse holds a dual B.A. in Theater Performance and Creative Writing from Seton Hall University. He has worked at all levels of youth development with students from elementary to high school. Prior to Manhattan Youth, Jesse was a 10th Grade Student Advocate at Truce Media & Arts for Harlem Children's Zone and a Program Director for ExpandED at East Side House Settlement. At Yorkville, Jesse works hard to build positive staff and student relationships. 

×

Mike Jones

Program Director
Simon Baruch

Mike Jones

Program Director
Simon Baruch

646-859-9116
Email

Mike has worked in youth developmet for over fifteen years. He was at Good Shepherd Servcies and The Fresh Air Fund before coming to Manhattan Youth in 2015. MIke helped start the Manhattan Youth after-school program at Simon Baruch, where he served as Assistant Director for two years before becoming program director in 2017. As program director, Mike is passionate about building an environment where all students are able to create meaningful experiences and relationships with other students and teachers they might not know. 

×

Tiffany Keitt

Program Director
American Sign Language & English School

Tiffany Keitt

Program Director
American Sign Language & English School

646-992-1024
Email

Tiffany has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Theater and a minor in African and African American Studies. Since she was fifteen years old, she has worked in youth development at all levels, from Counselor-in-Training to Program Director. Prior to coming to Manhattan Youth, Tiffany was Program Director for the YWCA of the City of New York in Coney Island. At American Sign Language School, Tiffany is most proud of the family environment she has cultivated between the staff and families. In her free time, Tiffany loves to watch movies and write screenplays and stageplays.

×

Jane Kehoe

Program Director
Professional Performing Arts School

Jane Kehoe

Program Director
Professional Performing Arts School

646-859-9115
Email

×

Olinda Marin

Site Director
Judith S. Kaye HS

Olinda Marin

Site Director
Judith S. Kaye HS

917-485-4722
Email

Olinda received her BA in Business Administration and Finance from Brooklyn College and served on the Workforce Investment Board for New York City for four years. Prior to joining the Manhattan Youth team in 2018, Olinda worked for Job Corps, the largest federally funded residential, education, and job training program for young adults. Her experience there gave her a deep appreciation for influencing youth in a positive way. Today, Olinda is extremely proud to continue her work in youth development at The Judith S. Kaye High School, a nurturing, supportive, and engaging community. A Peruvian native, Olinda is an avid traveler and a food enthusiast. She fully enjoys living in the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, Queens.

×

Marylyne Myrthil

Program Director
Wagner Middle School

Marylyne Myrthil

Program Director
Wagner Middle School

917-715-0774
Email

Born and raised in Brooklyn by Haitian immigrant parents, Marylyne holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and a minor in English Studies from Iona College. She joined Manhattan Youth in 2016 as a Teaching Assistant at Lab Middle School before being promoted to Assistant Director at Simon Baruch. In 2018, Marylyne was tasked with starting the Manhattan Youth After-School program at Wagner. There, she strives to create a unique after-school experience, combining Manhattan Youth's core beliefs while serving her school's community. Marylyne loves to read, sing, travel, and root for the Yankees. 

×

Nick Lacativa

Program Director
East Side Middle School

Nick Lacativa

Program Director
East Side Middle School

917-565-7472
Email

×

Noelle Safar

Program Director
Spruce Street School

Noelle Safar

Program Director
Spruce Street School

347-846-0532
Email

Noelle holds her Master's Degree in Elementary Education and comes to us with years of experience being the Educational Director of The Barclay Street School in Tribeca and at The Ivy League Early Learning Academy in Chelsea. Before working in education, she co-owned a hair salon with her sister in South Beach, Miami. During her spare time, Noelle enjoys playing sports, traveling, and spending time with her family.

×

Rodney Sanders

Program Director
Lower Manhattan Community Middle School

Rodney Sanders

Program Director
Lower Manhattan Community Middle School

917-565-7196
Email

Rodney attended Middlebury College in Vermont for his undergraduate degree and completed graduate work at Ohio University. While there, he worked in college athletics, and a transition into middle school youth development was a natural transition. As Program Director at LMC, Rodney loves thinking outside the box to bring new activities to his students. He also oversees many collaborative projects within his program, such as when the 3D Printing and Candlemaking classes worked together to print candle molds. Rodney enjoys tutoring students in his spare time, and is also an avid reader, sports enthusiast, and movie lover.  

×

Adam Shea

Program Director
Salk School of Science

Adam Shea

Program Director
Salk School of Science

646-859-9119
Email

Adam grew up in Connecticut and spent his teenage and early adult years working as a counselor at an overnight summer camp, where he eventually became camp director. He later moved to New York City to pursue a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. Adam has worked as a Middle School After-School Director in New York City for over four years. At Salk, Adam strives to provide a well-balanced program that provides students opportunities to explore artistic and creative experiences. Adam also loves to volunteer, watch films, and experience nature on one of the many hiking trails outside of the city. 

×

Leanna Simmons

Program Director
Quest to Learn

Leanna Simmons

Program Director
Quest to Learn

917-565-7804
Email

Leanna comes to Manhattan Youth with over 20 years of experience in youth development and a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership. She started as program director at Quest to Learn in the fall of 2018, and is proud of how hard her students work at everything they do in after-school. In 2019, Leanna was especially thrilled to see her Varsity Boys basketball team make it to the playoffs for the first time in five years. Leanna is passionate about supporting children and families, and loves it when parents pursue a degree or a job that they were previously afraid to try.  

×

Jon Soto

Program Director
NYC Lab Middle School of Collaborative Studies

Jon Soto

Program Director
NYC Lab Middle School of Collaborative Studies

646-859-9114
Email

With a background in Psychology and Statistics, Jon has worked in youth development for many years, including church groups, volunteer groups, and schools. As program director, Jon has built a healthy and supportive relationship between Lab Collaborative Middle School and Manhattan Youth. Jon is also passionate about service, drawing, and martial arts and loves teaching these subjects to young people. 

×

Donnie Martino

Program Director
School of the Future

Donnie Martino

Program Director
School of the Future

(646) 343-7995
Email

Donnie Martino has been working in youth development for over a decade.  A social studies teacher by trade, they left the classroom after four years to dive into the exciting world after-school programming.  They served a year as an assistant director at Baruch for a year before they were given the opportunity to work with the vibrant community of School of the Future.  Their favorite part of their position is that they get to share their passions with students, such as creative writing, anime, and video games.  They strive to create a world that embraces weirdness and kindness in equal amounts.

×
small medium large xlarge