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.

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Administration

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Le’Yondo Dunn is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. His passion for working in education stemmed from his own experiences, which mirror many students attending YouthBuild. 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.

His excitement about leading YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School arises from its inspiring mission and the opportunities it provides young adults. The school’s commitment to fostering an environment of love, support, and respect for the whole person deeply resonates with him. By empowering students with vital skills and connecting them to opportunities, YouthBuild equips them to graduate high school successfully and transition to college and career paths as critically conscious leaders devoted to positive change for themselves and their communities.

Before assuming the role of CEO at YouthBuild, Le’Yondo made significant contributions to the field of education during his time as the principal at Simon Gratz High School in North Philadelphia. There, he spearheaded an impactful anti-gun violence initiative, leading to its subsequent adoption by the entire Mastery Charter system, implemented across all secondary schools. For the first time since 2012, Le’Yondo successfully united Gratz as a comprehensive 9-12 high school under one leadership team, bringing improved educational opportunities. He also launched Career and Technical Education programming to ensure students have multiple pathway options when transitioning to their postsecondary paths. Prior, he worked as a school administrator in several other large, high-performing charter management organizations.

Le’Yondo’s dedication to education advocacy began in Southeast Louisiana, his home state, where he first recognized the power of education to create positive change. He also played a crucial role in supporting the founding of one of the first charter schools in the state of Washington, where he witnessed the transformative potential of alternative education models. Mr. Dunn attended the University of New Orleans and St. Joseph’s University. Le’Yondo resides in Germantown with his wife, who is also an educator, and son.

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.

Principal

Kazmir Davis joined YouthBuild Philly Charter School in June 2023 as Principal, overseeing the organization’s program team. A Philadelphia native and Temple University graduate, Kazmir earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Kazmir began her teaching career in Prince George’s County, Maryland in 2005. Kazmir continued graduate studies at the University of Maryland concentrating on Teacher Leadership in School & Minority and Urban Education. Over the course of her twenty years in the urban education space, Kazmir has passionately served the students and families of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, the School District of Philadelphia, KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools and Mastery Charter Schools as both a teacher and school leader. Kazmir possesses a relentless desire for her students to succeed as she guides them on a journey to self-discovery, development and academic achievement. She consistently demonstrates her commitment to do whatever it takes to ensure every moment matters for every young person. In her role, Kazmir provides a clear vision for learning for all students; ensures a safe, secure, and orderly learning environment; and cultivates strong relationships with and acts in service to diverse stakeholders, including families and communities. Kazmir enjoys family time with her husband, Terrence, and their precious sons, Zion Isaiah and Zamir Elijah.

Chief of Staff and Strategy

Taylor Uyehara is the Chief of Staff and Strategy at YouthBuild Philadelphia, working with the leadership team to implement our ambitious 5-year strategic plan. He is a passionate educator who is committed to ensuring that all students have equitable access to high-quality educational supports that empower them to achieve their postsecondary goals.

Prior to joining the YouthBuild team, Taylor served as assistant principal of instruction at Simon Gratz High School for 6 years, supporting the math, science, foreign language, postsecondary, and career & technical education departments. Before that, he served as a math teacher, teacher coach, and assistant principal at Olney High School for 7 years.

Taylor was born and raised in California and has a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University. Outside of work he loves to travel, spend time outdoors with his wife and two children, and follow Golden State Warriors basketball.

Operations

Operations and Facilities Coordinator

IT Support 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.

Executive Assistant to CEO

Kianna Cooper is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. With a Bachelor of Art in Art Therapy and a minor in Education, Kianna has a diverse background in non-profit service coordination and delivery for diverse populations, and has worked with a number of organizations ranging from educational to art institutions. Prior to YouthBuild, Kianna worked as a Violence Prevention Counselor for K-12 students in West/South West Philadelphia.

Kianna is passionate about the development and implementation of educational and civic engagement programming. She aims to promote physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being among today’s youth for a successful secondary transition process, as well as the cultivation of change, growth, and self-actualization so that they may become active members in their community.

Kianna is also a practicing Ceramic Artist, whose work primarily focuses on the intrinsic identity of black women in spaces void of whiteness. In her free time, you can find Kianna teaching ceramic workshops at The Clay Studio, or in one of Philadelphia’s many parks with her nose and a good book.

Human Resources

Senior Director of Human Resources

Megan Gundogdu is the Senior Director of Human Resources at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. She is a passionate, progressive educator who has served Public and Charter School Students and families in New York City and Philadelphia for over 20 years. She believes that all students should have highly-qualified, engaging adults guiding them to be critical citizens of their community and believes that a people-centered workplace environment can provide all members of the community the opportunity to learn and thrive.

Megan loves to stay active in both fitness and travel, adventuring near and far with her four children and partner. She spends a lot of time in her partner’s home country of Turkey and encourages anyone she can to visit!

Megan has a Bachelor’s degree from Sweet Briar College and Masters degrees from Fordham University and Mercy College.

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.

Accounting Manager

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.

Program General

Program Operations

Director of Operations

Program Operations Specialist

Development

Director of Development

Theo Molloy is YouthBuild Philly’s Director of Development, 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.

Director of Communications

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 Director of Communications 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.

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.

WIOA Grants Coordinator

Jen is the WIOA Grants Coordinator at YouthBuild Philly. Jen has over a decade of experience in education in various settings (charter schools, public schools, and adult education centers) in roles including instruction, program design, and program management. She has her MSW in macro social work and is passionate about rethinking education and the systems that support and inhibit it. Outside of work, she enjoys attempting to garden, trying new recipes, and painting/crafting.

Academics

Assistant Principal

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 Assistant Principal 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.

Lead 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.

Hybrid Math Teacher and College Access 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.

Language Arts Teacher

Emma is a literacy educator and writer originally from the Boston area. She studied English and Linguistics as an undergraduate at Carleton College, and received a master’s degree in Literacy Education from the University of Pennsylvania. As an educator, she has worked with K-8 students on phonics skills and publishing projects, started a Writing Center for high school students, and taught first-year composition at a community college. She loves seeing students of all ages gain a deeper understanding of literacy and become more comfortable with new ways of using language. Additional interests include ballroom dancing, listening to podcasts while exploring the city, and bothering her two cats.

Social Justice Teacher

Jill is a Social Studies teacher at YouthBuild Philadelphia. Within her courses, students learn the foundations of advocacy and create their own advocacy projects with a special focus on social justice issues and movements of Philadelphia. Before coming to YouthBuild, Jill worked in a variety of roles in educational spaces. A highlight includes her time working with City Year Philadelphia & Boston. With an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Temple University and an M.Ed from Arcadia University, Jill brings a wealth of knowledge to her role. When not teaching, Jill loves to go camping, practice yoga, and cook vegan recipes.

Science Teacher

Mr. Jeremy is a Biology teacher at YouthBuild Philly Charter School and a 20 year veteran teacher. He is passionate about supporting students and seeing their full potential, igniting positive change and fostering curiosity and respect for the natural world.

Jeremy earned his Environmental Geography Degree from San Diego State University and earned 2 teaching credentials in both science and social studies. He is proud of being the Co-Founder of a refugee tutoring organization in San Diego. Over the years, he has supported many teachers as a mentor teacher and love learning from and inspiring both his colleagues and students. What energizes him at YouthBuild is learning from his student’s resilience and seeing holistic positive growth in the amazing young people he works with. He also appreciates their smiles.

If Jeremy is not at YouthBuild, you can find him enjoying time with his family, neighbors and friends, drinking coffee on his porch, traveling the world and gardening. You might also catch him kayaking local waterways with his family, or surfing both the east and west coasts.

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.

Career Coach and Instructor

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.

Specialized Services

Attendance Specialist

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.

School Psychologist, Compliance Coordinator and Right to Know Officer

Dr. Bader is a Licensed Psychologist here at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. He also serves as the Right to Know Officer and has been with YouthBuild Philadelphia since 1998. In his current role, Dr. Bader 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.

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.

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.

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.

Director of Specialized Services

Fatimah Johnson is the Director of Specialized Services for YouthBuild Philly. She has spent many years in service to students with needs first as a teacher and later as an administrator, but always as an advocate.

Prior to joining YouthBuild, Fatimah served as the Supervisor for Special Education Services at Independence Charter School West. As one of the founding members of the school she developed and shaped the special education department from the beginning.

Ms. Johnson received advanced degrees in special education from California State University, Los Angeles and Edinboro University. In her spare time Ms. Johnson likes to knit, take long walks, and sample new cuisines.

Special Education Teacher

Eric Sidener is a Special Education teacher at YouthBuild Philly. He has taught in public and charter schools in and around Philadelphia, and has been delighted to see how much fun it is to help young people learn to push past obstacles, to learn and to grow. He went to Temple University for his BA, UPenn for his Master’s in Education, and back to Temple U for additional instruction.

Eric enjoys cooking for his wife and 3 children, training his dog, Wombo, and is also interested in nearly everything in the world from canoeing, camping, and hang gliding to carpentry and plastic recycling.

Supplemental Special Education Teacher

Padma Lopez is a Supplemental Special Education, Math Teacher and Case Manager at YouthBuild with 16 years of public teaching experience in Philadelphia and abroad. She helps all types of students master learning that directly relates to life, find strategies to circumvent obstacles and build the confidence for self-advocacy. Specializing in learning and emotional difficulties, Ms. Lopez uses her experience to collaborate with teachers, family and especially students to make learning accessible, exciting and relevant to anyone in her care.

Finding brain development fascinating, her Master of Arts in Education she earned at LaSalle University and dual certification in special and general education for all grades has aided her in providing for the most extreme needs over a broad population. Over the years, Padma strengths as a teacher dedicated to global awareness and environmental advocacy has earned her a “distinguished” rating in her evaluations, a Greenschools grant to help a school rid itself of plastic bags and has been honored to be a Take Flight Leader to conduct service learning with 7th grade students in Managua, Nicaragua (2016 & 18). At YouthBuild, Padma will continue to fix her efforts to ensure all she works with are successful in school and life!

When they’re not at YouthBuild, Padma can be found gardening, painting, practicing yoga or traveling with her husband and dog:)

Special Education Teacher

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.

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.”

Student Life

Dean of Culture & Equity

Donheen Boone has been an educator in Philadelphia for 10 years. In his journey as an educator he has worked for KIPP Philadelphia Charter School as a 6th Grader Teacher. Donheen then transitioned into a Wellness Director/Enrichment Instructor where he partnered with various organizations to provide health and wellness programming for students ages 11-14. In addition, Donheen also managed after school programming at KIPP Philadelphia Charter School, running comprehension programming from the hours of 4pm-5pm Monday through Thursday. In his recent years Donheen has been a Dean of School/Student Culture for five years at Simon Gratz Highschool. In this role he supported students in various capacities, but specifically being the lead Dean in Restorative Practices, along with PBIS strategies and SEL support. Currently, Donheen assumes the role of Dean of Culture & Equity at Youthbuild Philadelphia Charter School.

Assistant Dean of Students

Shamar Smith has been working within the education space since 2015. In his previous role at Simon Gratz as a Classroom Counselor for the school’s anchor program, he supported over 1,100 students. In his new position here at YouthBuild Philly, Smith is charged with supporting student life and managing the schools climate and culture.

AmeriCorps Community Projects Coordinators

Community Projects Coordinator

Community Projects Coordinator

Community Projects Coordinator

Community Projects Coordinator

AmeriCorps VISTAs

Development and Communications VISTA

Angel Jarrett-Crenshaw is the Communications and Development Vista at YouthBuild Philly Charter School and a graduate of Kutztown University where she received a B.S. in Cinematography, Television, and Media Production.

With a background in social media content creation and filmmaking, Angel supports YouthBuild Philly’s PR and Communications Specialist in amplifying the school’s marketing and communication efforts. Angel utilizes her skills to engage with students, alumni, friends, and family of YB on social media and to create lasting memories for current students through photos and videos.

Angel has a strong passion for highlighting diversity in her work, through her position at YB she is given the opportunity to capture students’ joy in a positive way. Outside of work, Angel expresses her creativity in other mediums like songwriting and dancing.

Student and Alumni Success

Director of Student Success

Sam is the Director of Student Success at YouthBuild. Her primary duties include overseeing the Student Success, Postsecondary, and Counseling programs, responding to students’ social-emotional needs, addressing student barriers, and building community partnerships. Sam received her MSW from West Chester University and is a licensed social worker in Pennsylvania. She also holds Education Specialist I and Certified Trauma Professional certifications. Sam considers herself a strong advocate for student mental health and strives to create a proactive mental health culture at YouthBuild. In her free time, Sam enjoys going on adventures with her dog, Sully!

School Counselor

Frank Redmond has been a part of the YouthBuild Philly movement since 2004. Currently, Frank serves as the school counselor at YouthBuild Philly and is a key contributor to the school’s Restorative Culture and Student Assistance Program (SAP). Frank’s primary duties include building connections with students during Year 0 and Year 1; addressing student barriers to success, goal setting, crisis management, coaching; and planning with Year 1 students as they prepare for postsecondary success during Year 2.

Frank is a Proud Owl! Graduating from Temple University in 2000 with a degree in Human Biology prior to completing his graduate studies at Arcadia University where he majored in Public Health. Before coming to YouthBuild Philly, Frank worked with Philadelphia youth on juvenile probation at Community Education Partners (CEP), George Junior Republic, and Saint Gabriel’s Hall. It was during his time working in the juvenile probation system where he was first introduced to positive youth development, Restorative Practices and began to study the impact of ACES on urban youth. Frank received his certification in Trauma Informed Theory from the founder of the Sanctuary Model, Dr. Sandra Bloom. Additionally, Frank is also a licensed Restorative Practices trainer by the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP).

In his spare time Frank enjoys being a foodie; going to the movies, reading about grit, studying positive psychology, studying post-traumatic growth, and relaxing with his family at home.

Student Advisor

Student Advisor

Workforce Development

Vocational Coordinator and 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.

Building Trades

Building Trades Instructor

Building Trades Assistant

Business Administration Scholars (BAS)

BAS Coordinator/Instructor

Cafe Shift Lead

A YouthBuild Philly 2016 Alum, we are excited to welcome Taylor Lewis back “home,” as the new Café Shift Lead for our Stomping Grounds Social Justice Café.

Since graduating from YB, Taylor has worked in multiple capacities at Starbucks corporate and Starbucks franchises. Her previous roles include café barista, café trainer and café manager, making her a perfect fit to manage our Stomping Grounds Social Justice Cafe.

Child and Youth Care (CYC)

Child and Youth Care Instructor

Culinary Arts and Wellness

Culinary Arts and Wellness Instructor

Healthcare

Healthcare Instructor

Denisha Robinson is a Philadelphia native and the Healthcare Instructor at YouthBuild Philly with 5 years of experience shaping and inspiring black and brown students in underserved communities. Specializing in social emotional learning and professional development , Denisha uses that experience to empower students to take control of their education and progress towards their dreams.

By focusing on access to quality education, Denisha has been able to put their Sports and Recreation Management degree they earned at Temple University to good use. Over the years, she has shifted her lenses from using sports as a vehicle to drive education to transforming students ability to critically think about how they impact themselves and people in their community. The best part about Denisha’s job is seeing her students reach their goals despite what they had to overcome. It is her goal to make sure all her students have access to quality education and support.

When they’re not at YouthBuild Philly, Denisha is an avid world traveler and a full time boy mom.

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

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