YouthBuild’s staff is composed of committed educators, administrators, counselors, vocational instructors and AmeriCorps members. We are a diverse team of professionals, united in our high standards and commitment to serving the best interests of the students.

No matter their role at the school, every employee at YouthBuild plays a part in creating a safe and positive educational environment where amazing transformations can take place.

Got a question for us? Fill out our contact form and we’ll direct your inquiry to the right person.

CONTACT US

Right to Know Officer

School Psychologist, Compliance Coordinator

Dr. Bader is both a School Psychologist and a Licensed Psychologist. He has been the School Psychologist at YouthBuild Philadelphia since he first came to the school in 1998. Dr. Bader is now also the Director of Specialized Services and in that role oversees the Special-Education, Counseling, and English-Learners programs. He believes that it is critical that we identify and support young people who face internal barriers to their success in life, especially at this critical juncture in their lives.

fbader@youthbuildphilly.org

Administration

Executive Director

Scott Emerick is the Executive Director of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. He oversees YouthBuild Philly’s programming, operations, fundraising, and relationship and capacity building.

Before coming to YouthBuild Philly in 2017 Scott served as the Senior Vice President for Education, Career, and Service Pathways at YouthBuild USA. In this role he oversaw a portfolio of education program initiatives related to improving postsecondary access and success; implementing quality secondary school programming at community based organizations, charter schools, and alternative high schools; increasing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) teaching and career development capacity; and helping educators and schools respond to learning differences and learner variability.

Scott has received several awards recognizing his commitment to the YouthBuild movement and his advocacy for young adult learners, including the YouthBuild USA Impact on the Field Award (2015), YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School Legacy Award (2012), Brockton Visionary Service for Community Impact Award (2011), and YouthBuild USA Staff Member of the Year Award (2010).

Previously, Scott has provided technical assistance for rural and urban school districts on a range of issues related to teaching quality and teacher retention. He also has professional experience as an educator, as an advocate for improved teaching and learning conditions, and as a management consultant for corporate and private foundation clients investing in education.

Scott has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

semerick@youthbuildphilly.org

Operations

Chief Financial and Operating Officer

Adesanya is an energetic, results-oriented, and mission driven Senior Management Professional with more than 20 years’ progressive experience leading finance and operations, global projects, and grants administration for large domestic and international non-profit organizations. She has a proven track record in reorganizing, streamlining, and strengthening operations to maximize performance. She is a collaborative, creative problem solver that enjoys working with a forward thinking mission-driven team in a fun fast-paced environment.

Adesanya is a world traveler and has worked in many countries, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Peru, Haiti, and Thailand.

In her spare time, Adesanya enjoys relaxing at the beach, studying positive psychology, and hanging out with her dogs.

akarade@youthbuildphilly.org

Human Resources Specialist

Business Adminstrator

Help Desk Specialist

Josh is the IT Help Desk Specialist at Youthbuild Philadelphia. He began his career at Youthbuild in 2017 as an intern and has worked his way up to an official Help Desk position. He stresses the importance of Customer Service and has made it his goal to ensure his staff, customers, and clients feel comfortable and confident in his ability to troubleshoot. As an African-American in the STEM field, Josh hopes that students will see him as an example and use him as a blueprint, wanting them to be able to look in the mirror and see themselves as someone capable. Josh is currently working towards Cyber Security certifications and has a passion for keeping information safe and educating people on the practices of safe technology usage.

jneilson@youthbuildphilly.org

Finance

Controller

Allison is an accounting professional and Certified Public Accountant with eight years of experience in the Non-for-Profit industry. She began her career in public accounting, managing the audits of a variety of organizations. She is currently the Controller at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School and is dedicated to supporting young people in the City of Philadelphia to become leaders in their communities.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and dog. She loves to travel and is always looking for the next place to visit!

She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Accounting from the Pennsylvania State University.

apredjulek@youthbuildphilly.org

Senior Accountant

Brian is the Senior Accountant in the Youthbuild Finance Department. He’s earned his Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, and Management of Information Systems from Drexel University. Brian spent three years working in Public Accounting at Grant Thornton before joining Youthbuild in January, 2021. Brian was inspired by the mission of Youthbuild and decided he wanted to utilize his abilities for an organization that is benefitting the community. He was drawn towards Youthbuild when he learned that all staff, including those in administration, are able to partake in mentoring and community building.

bsullivan@youthbuildphilly.org

Junior Accountant

Jackie joined YouthBuild Philadelphia as the Junior Accountant in November 2020. Before coming to YouthBuild, Jackie was working toward completing her Master’s in Art History while working as the Finance and Human Resources Coordinator at Public Art Fund in New York City. These days Jackie is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University. In her free time, Jackie enjoys reading, baking, crocheting, volunteering to coach young people in volleyball, and spending time with her husband, two cats, and dog.

jcline@youthbuildphilly.org

Program General

Chief Program Officer

Le’Yondo Dunn is the Chief Program Officer (CPO) at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. His passion for working in education stemmed from his own experiences, which mirror many students attending Youth Build. He firmly believes that all students should have access to a high-quality education and educators who believe endlessly in their potential regardless of their zip codes.

Before becoming CPO at YouthBuild, Le’Yondo served as the principal at Simon Gratz High School, a comprehensive 9-12 high school with 1100 students in North Philadelphia. Prior, he worked as a school administrator in several other large, high-performing charter management organizations. He started his career in education advocacy in his hometown of New Orleans.

Mr. Dunn attended the University of New Orleans and St. Joseph’s University. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling and keeping up with the latest music trends through his students, and he is a self-proclaimed amateur chef.

ldunn@youthbuildphilly.org

Program Operations

Principal

Ebony Hatter is the Principal at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. Her passion and zeal for becoming and serving as an educator are driven by being faced with similar obstacles and barriers as an inner city youth as the students that she has committed her life’s work to. Ebony believes that education is her calling and assignment, and she takes this call very seriously. It is her personal goal to be a champion for every student she has the opportunity to impact.

Prior to becoming the Principal at YouthBuild, Ebony served as an assistant principal, instructional coach, and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Specialist at Olney Charter High School; a comprehensive 9-12 high school with more than 1800 students in the Olney section of Philadelphia. Before working at Olney Charter High School she worked as a School to Career Consultant in multiple comprehensive high schools. Her career as an educator and advocate began in her hometown of Camden, New Jersey.

Ebony has attended and graduated from both Rowan and Wilmington University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership and Learning, and completing her dissertation entitled, The Impact of Post Secondary Preparation on Academic Achievement and Employment Sustainability for Low-Income High School Students. Her idea of self-care is going to the beach, and eating chocolate cake.

Ehatter@youthbuildphilly.org

Associate Director of Admissions and Enrollment

dhouse@youthbuildphilly.org

Development

Chief Development Officer

Meredith has been the Chief Development Officer at YouthBuild Philly since 2004. She has worked in the non-profit industry for more than two decades and has had a lifelong commitment to giving back to the community through volunteering and community service. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mary Washington College and professional certificate in fundraising and development from California State Northridge. Meredith comes from a family of educators who helped shape and inspire her interest in equitable education and writing – which makes YouthBuild the perfect blend of experience, skill and passion.

mmolloy@youthbuildphilly.org

Individual Giving Manager

Theo Molloy is YouthBuild Philly’s Individual Giving Manager, introducing new individuals, foundations and partners to the organization, as well as working with current donors and Trustees to enhance YouthBuild’s programming and innovation. Theo enjoys representing YouthBuild at local professional events and fundraisers, and also loves interacting with students and helping share their stories.

While earning his Bachelor’s in Political Science from Syracuse University, Theo volunteered as a tutor in a 1st grade classroom, sparking his interest in youth service and education that led to his first position as a 3rd grade special education teacher. He switched to the non-profit world in 2010, where he started in Development and eventually served as the Vice President of Operations for an organization raising awareness of and acquiring services for victims of pediatric brain injuries – he helped the organization open a school for this population in New York City in 2013.

Originally from the Los Angeles area, Theo returned to his parents’ hometown of Philadelphia in 2014 and began working at YouthBuild in April 2015. He enjoys traveling and exploring Philadelphia’s vibrant food and live music scenes, and is acclimating himself to life as a Sixers and Eagles fan.

tmolloy@youthbuildphilly.org

Public Relations & Communication Specialist

Khalil Bullock is a passionate and driven communications professional from West Philadelphia and a proud Temple University alum (B.A. Strategic Communications, Public Relations Track, 2018).

Since graduating, Khalil’s professional experience spans corporate, government, agency, and nonprofit sectors including a stint with Tierney Agency as well as the Urban League of Philadelphia. In his current role as the public relations and communications specialist at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, he manages the school’s marketing and communications efforts. A background in public relations and a love for storytelling has allowed Khalil to serve as a positive voice for his clients on a local and national scale.

Khalil is also a proud brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Zeta Omicron Lambda Chapter, who is always looking for good vibes, volunteer opportunities, and ways to give back to his community.

kbullock@youthbuildphilly.org

Compliance

Grants and Data Manager

Paul Luong is the Grants and Data Manager at YouthBuild Philadelphia. He received his MS in Information Systems from Drexel University and previously worked as a data specialist at A.C. Nielsen in Hong Kong. Before coming to YouthBuild, Paul spent seven years accumulating data collection and analytical experience at The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium first as their Computer Systems Administrator and then as their Director of Planning and Information Systems where he was also in charge of reporting to state government.

Paul has lived on a few different continents and speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish and French. In his spare time, he volunteers to teach the elderly to use the internet and other relevant computer programs. He also enjoys cooking; he has won a few cooking titles and he currently hosts an extracurricular club where he teaches students how to cook for themselves.

pluong@youthbuildphilly.org

WIOA Grants Coordinator

Chloe is the WIOA Grant Coordinator at YouthBuild Philly. She received her MPIA in Human Security with a concentration in public and social policy from the University of Pittsburgh. Before moving to Philadelphia, she interned as a Content Strategist with the Mayor’s Initiative for Reentry Affairs (MIRA), a Connecticut- based initiative that provides linkage to community resources and pertinent information for the empowerment of convicted persons. Through interning with MIRA, she began creating social media campaigns for Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (CONECT)- a collective of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and civic organizations that have joined together to take action on social and economic justice issues of concern such as gun violence, health insurance rates, and police reform. Additionally, she was a Graduate Student Researcher for the Center of Analytical Approaches and Social Innovation at the University of Pittsburgh; collecting data aiming to promote the visibility of Black owned businesses in the Pittsburgh area. Chloe believes in the strength of empowering young adults and is excited to be welcomed into the YouthBuild community.

charvey@youthbuildphilly.org

Academics

Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Sarah is passionate about education and has been working in the field for the past sixteen years, the last ten at YouthBuild. She is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction and works to ensure that YouthBuild’s academic offerings are engaging, meaningful and relevant for students’ postsecondary success. She has taught in New Orleans and Philadelphia, and is committed to pushing for equity for all students across the city. In the spirit of lifelong learning, she loves to read, write, and ask a lot of questions to people she meets.

sburgess@youthbuildphilly.org

Language Arts Teacher

Jody has a PhD in Education. Before coming to YB, she taught reading and writing with college students and with people who were incarcerated. She is a qualitative researcher and education activist who has worked with urban school communities for education equity. Jody is going into her sixth year of teaching and learning Language Arts with the brilliant students and staff of YouthBuild Philly.

jcohen@youthbuildphilly.org

Literacy Specialist
Frank Rocchi earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a concentration in Writing from Temple University in 2009. After working in publishing and customer service, Frank began his teaching career in 2011 – earning an alternative certification and then building a pilot program named “Bridge 2 Success” for the Center for Literacy in an effort to support students in alternative high schools who needed help with reading. After moving to Brooklyn, New York to be with his wife he spent 4 years working at Achievement First as a Pre-AP Literature teacher and helped build curriculum, pilot discourse programs, and re-think and reform the preparation cycles for state-mandated testing (The Regents). Now that Frank is back in his hometown he is thrilled to be working directly with students and teachers to make all classrooms a space where strong reading, writing, and speaking are the cornerstones of instruction!
Mathematics Teacher
Erika Starr Celley has been teaching math in Philadelphia since 2008. Her interest in the education field was sparked as an undergraduate at Barnard College during an amazing seminar on educational equity. Because of her strong belief that education should be a path to social mobility combined with her frustration over the inequity in the status quo, she decided to join the 2008 Teach For America Corps and pursued her Master’s degree at Penn in Urban Education. As a self-proclaimed nerd, school has always been one of Erika’s favorite places. Teaching gives her the opportunity to stay in school as an adult and help others leverage their education as a path to fulfillment and self-sufficiency. When she isn’t teaching math to students, she’s teaching “roll over” and “sit” to either her labradoodle or new baby.
Social Studies Teacher
Anthony is a former Community Projects Coordinator and current Social Studies Teacher at YouthBuild Philadelphia.

A lover of music, art, and conversation, Anthony studied Communication and Graphic Design at Arcadia University and engaged in the world of community work and the arts in his community. This led him to working in schools where he would eventually find an impressive and refreshing YouthBuild program.

West Philadelphia born son of the West Indian African diaspora, Anthony inherited family values that centers community, faith, love and advocacy. He has dedicated his life to developing advocacy for both himself and the people around him and challenging political and social indifference and apathy.

Mathematics Teacher

Born and raised in Philadelphia by parents who migrated from the Caribbean, Christina was instilled with the importance and power of love, faith, humility, knowledge, and community. It is with these core values that she adopted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of education: “Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.” Christina completed her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at Haverford College before enrolling in UPenn’s Teacher Education Program where she earned her master’s degree in Secondary Education. She has served as a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia and Camden School System as well as an Academic Coordinator at The Community College of Philadelphia’s Gateway to College Program. At YouthBuild, Christina has the unique opportunity of not just being a math teacher, but being a mentor, a community member, and so much more. While Christina counts it a blessing to serve as an educator, what she finds most invaluable is the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with students, to learn and to grow together.

cneilson@youthbuildphilly.org

College and Career Partnership

Associate Director of Partnerships and Alumni Success

Zurrell has been a longtime supporter of YouthBuild prior to joining the organization in 2018. He graduated from YouthBuild in 2009 and has since gone on to earn his Associate’s degree from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and Bachelor’s degree from Temple University.

For years Zurrell has made an impact on youth and the community. He has served a year of service through AmeriCorps VISTA for the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia helping bring free youth programs to inner-city youth. He has also operated as a Sports Coordinator and Youth Program Director for the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA coordinating and developing youth programs for families and youth in the North Philadelphia community.

In 2017, Zurrell decided to make a change and focus more on supporting the next generation of young adults. Zurrell was presented with an opportunity to become a temporary Career Coach at YouthBuild. Success as a Career Coach has provided him a greater opportunity to serve as a Career Coordinator, Success Coordinator and now the Associate Director of Partnerships and Alumni Success working in the Student and Alumni Success Department. Zurrell hopes to use his story to inspire students and alumni to become the next generation of leaders.

ztoney@youthbuildphilly.org

Specialized Services

Special Education Teacher

Mr. Rich has been teaching at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School since 2016. He specializes in collaborating with teachers to ensure that instructional materials are suitable for all learners. Mr. Rich supports students both inside and outside of the classroom to ensure that they are moving towards their goals. In his free time, he enjoys photography, traveling, eating, bike riding, and sports.

rchalme@youthbuildphilly.org

School Psychologist, Compliance Coordinator

Dr. Bader is both a School Psychologist and a Licensed Psychologist. He has been the School Psychologist at YouthBuild Philadelphia since he first came to the school in 1998. Dr. Bader is now also the Director of Specialized Services and in that role oversees the Special-Education, Counseling, and English-Learners programs. He believes that it is critical that we identify and support young people who face internal barriers to their success in life, especially at this critical juncture in their lives.

fbader@youthbuildphilly.org

Special Education Teacher

Erin Young is both a Special Education Teacher and a licensed Reading Specialist. She has worked in the Special Education field for over 10 years. She graduated with her Bachelors in Special Education from East Carolina University and later got her Masters in Education and Reading Specialist from Cabrini University.

eyoung@youthbuildphilly.org

Special Education Teacher

Shannon is a Special Education Teacher at YouthBuild Philadelphia. She attended undergrad at West Chester University and graduate school at St. Joe’s University. Prior to joining YB in 2020, Shannon spent 10 years teaching students with language-based learning difficulties and 3 years as a 9th grade Dean of Students. Shannon is very passionate about being an advocate for young people and supporting them in achieving their goals. When she’s not working, Shannon enjoys spending time in nature with her dog Clyde.

scaldwell@youthbuildphilly.org

English Language Teacher/Coordinator

Rebecca joined YouthBuild as an AmeriCorps member in 2002, as a new college grad with a Sociology degree. The students at YB inspired her to become a teacher. She returned to school to earn a Master’s of Education in Reading/Writing/Literacy and went on to work as a high school literacy specialist. She returned to YouthBuild in 2017 as English Language Teacher/Coordinator, collaborating with colleagues to support multilingual students and ensuring the school is in compliance with state and federal guidance for educating English learners. Rebecca holds PA teacher certificates for secondary English, Reading Specialist, and ESL Program Specialist and a graduate certificate in Restorative Practices. When not at school, Rebecca enjoys being outdoors, baking, scrolling TikTok and Twitter, and organizing park clean ups and fun events for kids in Mifflin Square Park.

Counseling

Counselor, Consultant

Aletta Jones-Sterling joined the Youth Build Family in 2018. As a member of the Behavioral Health Consultant/Counseling Services team reporting to Dr. Bader. Aletta holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology with a specialty in Marriage and Family Therapy and is also a Licensed Master’s Social Worker. Aletta also holds certifications in CBT, Trauma Therapy, and Art Psychotherapy. Love of family, Love of friends, and helping others see and achieve their maximum potential are Aletta’s passions. Aletta believes that “ignoring a problem doesn’t make it heal and ignoring the truth doesn’t make the pain subside.

ajones-sterling@youthbuildphilly.org

Counselor, Consultant

Cheryl Thomas has been a part of the Youthbuild family since 2018. She offers confidential counseling for students, is part of the Student Assistance Program and Safety Committee and teaches Life Skills classes. She also facilitates professional development presentations for Staff on various topics.

Cheryl has a BS in Secondary Education – Social Studies from the University of Scranton, and a MS in Counseling Psychology from Chestnut Hill College. She is also a PA Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. She has worked with students from K through 12 in Philadelphia Public, Charter and Private schools for the past 30 years and specializes in trauma informed care.

In addition to her work at YouthBuild, Cheryl has a therapy private practice in Media, PA where she offers individual, group and family therapy. In her free time, Cheryl enjoys going to the beach, bike riding, reading and getting together with her two sons.

cthomas@youthbuildphilly.org

Counselor, Consultant

George Ford is a licensed behavior health clinician who was born and raised in North Philadelphia and has worked in the field of mental health for over 20 years in various roles throughout the city of Philadelphia. He came to Youth build in 2019 with aspirations of helping the students to reach their educational goals. In addition to his work, George Ford is an adjunct professor at Harcum College where he teaches human services courses. In his spare time he trains as a boxer and plays semi pro basketball. One of George’s favorite quote is “You can’t make a different meal with the same recipe.”

gford@youthbuildphilly.org

Student Life

Dean of Culture & Equity

dboone@youthbuildphilly.org

AmeriCorps Community Projects Coordinators

Healthcare Community Projects Coordinator

Erica Smith is a Community Projects Coordinator at YouthBuild Philly. Erica recently joined the YouthBuild Philly team after graduating from The College of Social Work at Temple University. YouthBuild Philly’s mission statement and organizational practices relate to Erica’s personal belief in the necessity of education to provide or ensure a better quality of life and advancement of human dignity for individuals and communities.

Before YouthBuild, as a stay at home mother of three children, Erica learned that you may think that you are teaching them but they are really teaching you. She believes that saying “I don’t know” can often be the smartest thing to say; as it can give others the chance to teach you what they know and also encourage others to have the security to ask questions when they are unsure of the answer. The value of education as an instrument of opportunity to realize one’s own goals is determined by one’s vulnerability to learn. YouthBuild provides the same environment of challenging what it means to be an agent of change. She is a proud member of the encouraging YouthBuild Philly community.

esmith@youthbuildphilly.org

Community Projects Coordinator

Thomas Hagen serves as a Community Projects Coordinator on YouthBuild´s Student Life team, where he organizes community events, facilitates student workshops, supports academic classes and runs the chess club. He grew up in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania and attended Lower Merion High School and Yale University where he studied music and media. In the past, he has held positions at Play On Philly, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Yale Sustainable Food Program, and American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. Thomas is also a contributing writer for WXPN, covering new music and performing arts in Philadelphia.

thagen@youthbuildphilly.org

Community Projects Coordinator

bgoodge@youthbuildphilly.org

Community Projects Coordinator

felliot@youthbuildphilly.org

AmeriCorps VISTAs

Community Projects Coordinator
n-employee@youthbuildphilly.org

Community Projects Coordinator
n-employee@youthbuildphilly.org

Student and Alumni Success

Director of Student and Alumni Success

Ana is the Director of Student and Alumni Success Department that provides services for our young people in addressing barriers, goal planning, crisis management, coaching, and career development. She has been in this position with Youthbuild since Sept of 2018. Her degree is in Psychology and she has been in the Social Services/Criminal Justice field for more than 17 years. She has been able to gain experience in the field in three different states from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Her career was mostly based in New York working with court involved youth and adults in alternative to detention and incarcerations programs which also included programs with Probation. In this work, she was able to provide opportunities for youth and adults to not face incarceration and get the services they need to avoid recidivism. Her passion has always been to help those that have not always had the easiest access to opportunities to succeed and this is what has led her to the educational field. She saw the need in providing more support to our young people while they are in school and how much of an impact it can have in their lives past graduation so when she was given the opportunity to work in a school that was doing this work she jumped at the opportunity to move to Philadelphia and expand her skills.

adopazo@youthbuildphilly.org

Student and Alumni Success Coordinator

Sam is the Success Coordinator for the Child and Youth Care track at YouthBuild. Her primary duties include addressing barriers to attendance and success, connecting students and alumni to resources, and working with students and alumni to prepare for their next steps after YouthBuild. She received her MSW from West Chester University and is a licensed social worker in Pennsylvania. Before coming to YouthBuild, Sam worked as a social worker for individuals involved in the criminal legal system. She is passionate about providing holistic support for young adults as they move through this unique developmental period. In her free time, Sam enjoys going on adventures with her dog, Sully!

scranford@youthbuildphilly.org

Student and Alumni Success Coordinator

lmorris@youthbuildphilly.org

Student and Alumni Success Coordinator

Kali Thomas’s (she/her) favorite demographic to work with is young adults because she enjoys supporting them through the transition process to adulthood. She has been doing case management since 2016 and has been a Success Coordinator at YouthBuild since 2021. Her best days at work are the ones when she helps students make significant steps towards their goals and when she is able to be silly with them. Even if you don’t see her, you will hear her laugh through the hallways. She graduated from The Evergreen State College, a non-traditional college, with a B.A. in Social Sciences. Kali loves to talk about her unique educational journey so feel free to ask her questions about it! Outside of work you will find her reading or writing at a cafe, walking around the Schuylkill River, or at Trader Joe’s buying the ingredients to meal prep for the week.

kthomas@youthbuildphilly.org

Student and Alumni Success Coordinator

sboozer@youthbuildphilly.org

Workforce Development

Director of Workforce Development

Melissa Jackson-Schmidt is the Director of Workforce Development at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter High School. She received her BS in Computer Science at Chestnut Hill College, completed her Secondary Education certification training at Drexel University and a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership and Management at Peirce College.

Melissa started her teaching career as a Teach for America AmeriCorps member. She taught middle school and high school mathematics in the Philadelphia School District for six years then accepted a math teacher position at YouthBuild Charter High School in 2004. She taught Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Consumer Math and College Prep Mathematics. In 2012, Melissa was awarded by the House of Representatives “Teacher of the Year.”

After eight years of teaching math she transitioned into the Information Technology Business Administration Program Coordinator. She taught Computer Hardware/Software, Business Writing, Professional Skills, Consumer Finance, Customer Service and Word-processing. After two years of running a successful program she transition into the Business Admin. Scholars Coordinator/Manager. Her college prep/customer service program is thriving. She belongs to the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics, chapter sponsor of the Future Business Leaders of America Phi Beta Lambda INC, a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a member of the Graduate Studies Advisory Board at Peirce College.

mjackson@youthbuildphilly.org

Building Trades

Building Trades Instructor

gjenkins@youthbuildphilly.org

Youth Development Specialist

Ronald Payton leads the Advanced Construction training track at YouthBuild. He is a 40+ year veteran in building trades and has serviced projects of all sizes during his career. He is a licensed general contractor whose personal skill sets are carpentry, roofing, journeyman plumbing, administration, blue print reading, masonry / concrete, and electrical knowledge. Ronald is a certified OSHA 10 & 30 trainer.

Ronald has written and articulated over sixteen training programs including three community development programs for the Model Cities Program, five Advanced Construction training programs, and a Youth Development Training (Young Professionals) for YouthBuild Philly. Ron describes himself as a passionate clergyman, dedicated to the continuous development and training of those in transition as well as those that have been categorized as “at risk.”

Ronald is a fisherman, a dancer and soon to be author. He loves and cherishes his family of five daughters, thirteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

rpayton@youthbuildphilly.org

Business Administration Scholars (BAS)

Stomping Grounds Cafe Manager/Instructor

Kim has always been a barista at heart. Her degree in Psychology and years in social work were just a phase. She is proud to help young people turn their passions into skills and their skills into entrepreneurial endeavors at Stomping Grounds Social Justice Café; a student-centered coffee shop and community space built on the belief that everyone deserves a place at the table. She works diligently with YouthBuild and neighborhood partners to advance what really matters: Coffee, Community, Equity.

Healthcare

Healthcare Coordinator/Instructor

Harry Salmond is the Healthcare Coordinator at Youthbuild Philly. He received his Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from the Community College of Philadelphia in 2006. He later went to Temple University and graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting and Mass Media 2010. He has been working in the Healthcare and Mental Health system in various jobs over his past 13 year career. He enjoys teaching, motivating, and helping the students of Youthbuild pursue their Healthcare dreams whatever they may be. When not teaching at YB he enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

hsalmond@youthbuildphilly.org

Child and Youth Care (CYC)

Child and Youth Care Coordinator/Instructor

mdeptola@youthbuildphilly,org

YouthBuild Philly has been named a Top Workplace in Philadelphia for six years running. Interested in working with us?

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