Introduce Yourself! 📣

Hi and welcome to the Youth Power Coalition! We’re eager to hear your story.

Where are you from?
What issue related to young people are you most passionate about?
What would you like to ask of and offer to the Youth Power Coalition community?
And for fun, share a random fact or two. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Haven’t added a profile picture, yet? Add it now.

To welcome the newest people, jump to the last post and say “hi!”

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I was born in Flushing, Queens. and grew up in Southern California. Now I live back in Queens, in Jackson Heights.

I care a lot about education and youth leadership. I don’t think it’s at all possible to transform systems that impact young people, like education, without young people leading the way.

As the founder of #NYCEDU, I am so honored to have you all join me here. My hope is that you feel welcome here, that you feel powerful here, and that you feel connected with fellow advocates for youth-led collective impact here so that together, we can fundamentally transform systems that impact young people.

If any of you want to go rock-climbing, by the way (especially if you’ve never climbed before), let me know because that’s my favorite activity of all time. Other random facts are that I love hamburgers, curry chicken, and lemon bars.


Hello Everyone! I’m Rachel and I’m an #NYCEDU volunteer. I met Deborah back in 2016 when I was in graduate school and attended a Start-Up Weekend Education Event. I signed on to receive #NYCEDU emails and events and never actually went to one - somewhere between finishing graduate school and having my daughter Chloe I lost some time. So, I was incredibly grateful when, last summer Deborah put out a call looking for volunteers to create an Online Forum for this community. With a ten month old at home it was just the sort of project I could get into as I re-entered the world from my having-a-newborn-phase.

Currently, we are using that forum! So that’s exciting! My daughter is walking and talking, so she’s basically a person, and I have two other jobs. I’m an educator and program associate at Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, New York City’s Oldest House! I’m overseeing a project called #ProtestGarden that involves five different local Flatbush artists to do a variety of installation, performance, and workshops to our community! Come join!

I also teach at an after school program called Anthropology Arts where our mission is to teach students about ancient cultures not often taught in schools and have them explore these traditions through art projects! And this past year I was on the board of New York Museum Educators Roundtable (NYCMER) and served as conference co-chair.

I am passionate about equality!

Looking forward to meeting everyone, on the internet or in real life!


Where are you from? Denver Colorado but I have lived in NYC for 11 years!

What issue related to young people are you most passionate about? Youth having power to shape their schools and lives

What would you like to ask of and offer to the #NYCEDU community? I love making spreadsheets and doing graphic design! I would like to ask for anyone who is an amazing event planner to support our events at IntegrateNYC

And for fun, share a random fact or two. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
I have been on MTV 3 times but I can’t sing
I am an amazing cook!


Hi Everyone, I’m Farzana!

I am a rising sophomore in high school and attend The Boerum Hill School For International Studies.

Currently, I am a member of Teens Take Charge, a representative of Student Voice Collaborative, part of the student council and on the working board at #NYCEDU.

I am a student activist who fights against climate change, work to integrate an equity plan in NYC high Schools, and work for students to be college and career ready.

I recognize an issue in NYC school system or the society and take action so a positive change is made!


Hello Everybody! My name is Kevin Celisca

Where are you from? I’m from Irvington NJ near Newark NJ for those who aren’t familiar with NJ.

What issue related to young people are you most passionate about? That youth as unlimited potential and want to help guide them to the best verison of themselfves

What would you like to ask of and offer to the #NYCEDU community? I am the co-founder of Integrate an educational software to make Admins and teachers lives easier. And I would like to ask for connections for Educational leaders to understand their pain points in the Education system. I would offer #NYCEDU Community my experience in entrepreneurship and connection to help build this community up!

And for fun, share a random fact or two.
I lived in Italy
I lived in China


Hi All!

I was born in Ridgewood New Jersey and spent most of my life there, but have recently moved to upper east side Manhattan.

I believe that education is the foundation for everything else, that’s why I am passionate about helping students become the best versions of themselves through the software that I am building. I would like to offer my experience in building software to those who need it!

As a Co-Founder of an education technology startup called Integrate, I would be happy to connect with different educational leaders here interested in testing and using our software.

I lived in Taiwan for a year.


Hi! I’m Julia Cabanas, an Architecture and Urban Design graduate student at the University of Cambridge. I am about to conduct a 10-week fieldwork period in New York to research the city’s public school system and architecture.

Where are you from? London, UK

What issue related to young people are you most passionate about? School segregation, education equity, using creative arts and design as a teaching tool, community integration, giving children ownership over their cities and urban territories.

What would you like to ask of and offer to the #NYCEDU community? I want to make connections with educators, activists, organisations and designers with experience working with schoolchildren. I can offer design and architecture insights into how to design spaces for children. I can draw, make physical architectural models, and I’m quite savvy with Adobe suite programs such as Photoshop!

And for fun, share a random fact or two: I was born in the Philippines!


Hi Farzana, I’ve been in contact with some members of Teen Take Charge recently, and have been looking to meet / open up a conversation. Would you be happy to get connected? - Julia :slight_smile:

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Hey everyone! My name is Sophia James.

Where are you from? True blue New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan. I seem to be a unicorn among many of my colleagues; I’m always happy to share and explore the better side of New York with others.

What issue related to young people are you most passionate about? In recent years, I’m most inspired and impressed by student voices, utilizing it for change in public education and demanding equitable resources and policies, all of which I wish I knew I had the power to do in my youth. Anything I can do to help support and elevate voices of youth to effect change in our school system, I am ready and eager to do.

What would you like to ask of and offer to the #NYCEDU community? I offer the community my knack to connect ideas and people, create partnerships and map strategic plans (how to get from Plan A to Plan B; what and who do we need). If we don’t have a framework in place, we can’t take tangible action and move forward without direction. And as I seek to relaunch my web platform to shape dialogue around innovative ideas and programs in education, I welcome web designers, resources, introductions to dynamic leaders in education, and any tips/tricks of the trade in developing great web platforms.

And for fun, share a random fact or two.
I enjoy random adventures while biking. I’d rather bike than run for miles. I’ve participated in the Five Boro Bike Tour several times and now I’m looking for the next challenge in/outside New York, in addition to other countries.

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I am from… Germany (where I am a citizen) but I have lived in Western Massachusetts since 2010.

I am passionate about… supporting young people (and all other people) to have a voice. I spend most of my time training facilitators and writing about decision making as equals. That’s what I am most passionate about because it offers everyone a chance to be heard. In my view, what it takes is skills to say what you want in a way so it can be heard, and hear what people want and turn it into action. It’s super basic and super important for anything we do together.

What would you like to ask of and offer to the #NYCEDU community? I can offer support in building organizations and running meetings that are fun and inclusive.

And for fun, share a random fact or two When I am all by myself in the car, I listen to Disney songs because I actually really like them. But I would never admit that to my own daughters because I don’t want them to turn into princesses :crown: (Just kidding, they know what music is on my phone because they seem to always be able to hack my phone.)


Hi all! I’m a longtime educator who lived in NYC for 12+ years and have followed design and social impact driven edu work closely. I started the social innovation program at Avenues: The World School in west chelsea, and its student-led startup D4i, which continues to train and facilitate in design in NYC (and now in Sao Paulo).

I’m passionate about new school models and in particular real world problem solving via school/industry/community partnerships. So much so that I went to work in innovation consulting to get a better sense of the biz side of things. I currently work at ?What If! Innovation in London.

It’s awesome to see this community take shape-- I remember years ago when it was just being built :wink:

Hi Everyone. I’m new to NYC and new to teaching math in K-12. I will be starting a full time job in Brooklyn teaching 5th, 6th, and Algebra 1 to 9th/10th graders. I’m originally from the San Francisco area and currently finishing up my thesis (remotely) to complete my MA in Mathematics from SF State University. I previously worked 5+ years at a nonprofit doing bookkeeping for a co-op development center in California:

It’s been a few years since I worked there, but I was excited to see the direction #NYCEDU is headed and would be happy to volunteer my time to further the goal of obtaining and maintaining 501©(3) status.

I love math and have been teaching at the college level for 2 years. I also taught here in NYC last summer for a summer math program, BEAM, for rising 7th graders; as well as virtually this summer through Zoom. I think mathematics (applied and pure) is a wonderful way to get students excited about school and to engage in dialogue about the world around us. I’ve been teaching remotely and studying best practices for creating lessons based on a Formative Assessment model (mainly for my thesis, but it has been a very useful lens to view my Fall curriculum through). I would be happy to share what I’ve learned. I don’t have the experience in teaching that some of the rest of you have, but I’m looking forward to learning as well as contributing where I can.

Fun fact: I am comfortable speaking in 4 different languages (English, Farsi, Dari, Spanish) and want to learn to communicate effectively in ASL next!

Hello Kalim!
Thank you so much for introducing yourself. My name is Carline Boston and I am a junior in high school. I’ve been a member of #NYCEDU since last year. Currently, #NYCEDU is being rebranded into a new organization called the Youth Power Coalition (or YPC for short). Our vision and mission remain the same. The overall goal is to bring youth- led organizations together and to foster conversations between these groups. However, we decided to rebrand because we want to focus on different aspects other than just education. We also wanted our name to reflect the youth aspect of our organization. We would love for you to still get involved (as we need more adult allies) and we plan on releasing a newsletter soon that goes more into depth about who we are : )


Hey everyone!

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Corona, Queens, and have lived here my entire life.

What issue related to young people are you most passionate about?
There are too many things to list because we live in such a messed up world but all issues dealing with Youth having the power to lead and create the lives they want for themselves.

What would you like to ask of and offer to the Youth Power Coalition community?
I love talking to people and getting to know them and their stories! I would like to get more organized and would like to ask if there is anywho who can help me get organized!

And for fun, share a random fact or two.
I took Mandarin for three years but barely remember anything.
I know how to play drums.

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Hi All!
My name is Eric (they/him pronouns, interchangeably, with no particular preference towards one or the other).
I live in Mexico City, Mexico, where I was born and raised. I lived for a couple of years in a small town in Minnesota during highschool, where I became politicized.
What issue related to young people are you most passionate about?
I think there’s mainstream culture and there’s counterculture. Counterculture has almost always been created and promoted by young people, and has been a motor for social change throughout history. I’m passionate about social transformation in general, about youth counterculture and their close relationship. I like to think of “youth” more as a attitude towards life than as an age number. Under that definition, I very much identify as a young person, though I recognize that I am not in my teens anymore. When I was in highschool, my comrades and I founded Young People’s Action Coalition (YPAC) in Minnesota, and ever since then, “youth” has been a central and meaningful part of my political identity and my stance on life more generally. When I was a teenager, I was sick and tired of the adult world patting our heads and telling us the future would be ours. I wanted to own my life in the present. I think organizations like SoFA and YPC can help to make that a reality and not just a slogan.
What would you like to ask of and offer to the Youth Power Coalition community?
I’d like to offer sociocratic knowledge applied and tailored specifically to your organizational and community needs. I am willing and able to support you closely in this as a consultant and collaborate together in refining your governance system so that it empowers all your members and stakeholders. Additionally, I know that I can learn a lot from your organization, your members, your community, your operations, your worldview. At this point I have already learned a lot from you and I am grateful for that.
And for fun, share a random fact or two.
I am tremendously passionate about ultimate frisbee. I love playing it, and I also think it can be a tool for promoting social change. I also love music, of many different sorts, and love connecting with people by sharing music.

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The Disney songs hit me hard. We’re gonna have to make a duet some time.