Team Coordinators

Team Coordinators

The eleven individuals below are returning to Blue Engine for a second year of service. They will spend the 2012-13 academic year using their diversity of experience to make a measurable difference in the lives of young people. Having recently graduated from college, they dedicate this year of service to ensure in the years ahead that greater numbers of young people are prepared to do the same.

Alysa Delerme

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Education: BA Sociology, Boston College

Placement: Bronx Leadership Academy 2, Literacy

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Alysa has a passion for all things related to New York City, including finding a way to make a positive impact in its public education system, and is excited to be a Blue Engine Teaching Assistant this year. Through her education at Boston College, Alysa was exposed to the numerous inequalities that plague our society, especially due to differences in race, class, and gender, and has certainly taken on her alma mater’s motto of “men and women for others.” Through community service with her step team at Boston College, Females Incorporating Sisterhood Through Step, Alysa was able to work directly with urban youth. Her experiences mentoring high school students starting their own step team, as well as at an after-school program for grades 1-6, re-affirmed her desire to seek a career working with youth. This involvement, combined with her educational background in Sociology, has fueled Alysa’s decision to pursue a career in teaching, and she is especially grateful to have her first experiences in the classroom through Blue Engine, and is excited to be able to make a difference in the city she loves so much. Alysa joined Blue Engine in the summer of 2011.

Courtney Ng

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Education: BA Anthropology (concentrating in Archaeology), Rice University

Placement: Mott Hall, Literacy

During her four years at Rice University, Courtney dedicated her time to two fields – Anthropology and Education. She had always been interested in education, having attended a diverse array of schools within the New York City public school system, from an under-performing middle school to the prestigious Stuyvesant High School. She always wondered what made some students succeed and others fail, and vowed that she would not only learn the answer to this question, but would work throughout her lifetime to address it. She became interested in Anthropology in college and dedicated herself to the study of African Diaspora archaeology. She was drawn to this field of archaeology because it seemed to contain many stories of people struggling to succeed and beat the odds. She wanted to tell those stories in the hopes that they would speak to those struggling to beat the odds today. Courtney developed her interest in education throughout college by founding a student organization called The Mentorship Project. This organization targets high-performing high school students who are attempting to apply to college. It seeks to provide them with the knowledge, mentors, and resources they need to make a smooth transition to college. While Courtney has greatly enjoyed leading The Mentorship Project, she gained a deeper understanding of the factors that prevent students from excelling in college through her mentoring experiences. She hopes that Blue Engine will offer her the chance to pay forward the gift of education that she has received thus far, and allow her to make good on her promise that any child who desires to go to college can do so. Courtney joined Blue Engine in the summer of 2011.

Elizabeth Daugherty

Hometown: Norfolk, VA

Education: BA Public Policy/Sociology, The College of William and Mary

Placement: Bronx Leadership Academy 2, Math

During college, Elizabeth developed an interest in education and social equality issues through experiences inside and outside the classroom. She tutored 8th and 9th graders for four years, and also worked with Campus Kitchens where she was responsible for delivering meals and building relationships with clients. She spent two summers interning at Urban Promise Ministries in Camden, NJ, where she grew to love the city and its people. Observing the negative effects of education inequality on a personal level left her determined to learn more about the American education system. Her desire to gain a better understanding on social issues and how we can work to improve society, lead her to major in Public Policy and Sociology. Though her classes covered a range of social and political issues, the importance of every child receiving a strong education was a constant theme. She joined Blue Engine for the opportunities to learn more about education and to work with students in the classroom.

Emily Figueroa

Hometown: New York, NY

Education: BA Sociology/Spanish, Amherst College

Placement: Bronx Leadership Academy 2, Literacy

Growing up in New York City, Emily has always been aware of the educational inequity that plagues the New York City public school system. Although she enrolled in a specialized high school in 7th grade, she always had in mind a career in which she could go back and improve a system that she really believed could be made to serve all of its students well. During her undergraduate years at Amherst College, she double majored in Sociology and Spanish, both of which greatly reaffirmed her desire to pursue a career in education reform. Her tutoring experiences (which include working with Girls Inc. of Holyoke, Massachusetts as well as tutoring at Holyoke High School) have tested and tempered her ability to work with high-need, English-language-learning students, and Emily is excited to continue her work in that vein with Blue Engine. Emily joined Blue Engine in the summer of 2011.

Josh Espinoza

Hometown: McAllen, TX

Education: BA Psychology, University of Notre Dame

Placement: Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, Math

Josh hails from a family of educators, so the opportunity to foster motivation for learning as well as assist students in their educational pursuits has always been an important part of his life. He started working with students as a teaching assistant in his sophomore year of high school, volunteering with a local church program, and has continued to participate in volunteer programs in the educational setting. These experiences, coupled with the psychology program at Notre Dame, allowed him to explore both traditional and special educational structures in a manner that sparked a desire in education reform. This desire holds its roots from living in an area that has repeatedly been one of the worst in the nation for quality of education: Josh wants to communicate to students in similar conditions that a successful education is possible for anyone with the right motivation and support. Josh joined Blue Engine in the summer of 2011.

Joyden McKiver

Hometown: Lumberton, NC

Education: BA Political Science, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Placement: Mott Hall Bronx High School, Math

Joyden is self-motivated, passionate about education, and a team player. Since entering college, she has been a part of the BEST (Building Educational Strengths and Talents) Learning Community. Through BEST, she has served as a teacher assistant and a mentor to incoming freshman. The community has provided her with a myriad of knowledge that can only enhance her future endeavors. Joyden also volunteered, and tutored at a local elementary school in Charlotte and understands first-hand the challenges facing today’s students. Under the auspices of North Carolina Activating Citizenship Through Service, she has developed a genuine passion for education and service. She has spent many hours researching educational policies and is especially interested in Finland and South Korea. She is a true believer in the words of Arne Duncan, “Education is the civil rights issue of our time,” and plans to translate those words into action through Blue Engine. She sees Blue Engine as a catalyst for procuring life skills as well as a vital tool for academic growth, while giving others a chance to fulfill their dreams. Joyden joined Blue Engine in the summer of 2011.

Lauren Gleason

Hometown: Annapolis, MD

Education: BA Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, Amherst College

Placement: Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, Math

Lauren first became interested in educational equality after experiencing the achievement gap within her own high school. Raised in Maryland, she first became involved in teaching through her love of the Chesapeake Bay. After working with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on a piece of national education policy promoting environmental education, Lauren was inspired to start an education program which combined science, technology, and environmental education in local schools in the Amherst Community. During her time at Amherst, she also served as a tour guide, played varsity lacrosse, and immersed herself in the Spanish language during her semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. As a “people person”, Lauren hopes to pursue a service-oriented career where she can work directly with people on a daily basis. This desire was reaffirmed by her recent summer internship at the Legal Aid Society in New York City. She chose Blue Engine because it allowed her to combine her interest in educational equality, her love of teaching, and her desire to work directly with people. Lauren joined Blue Engine in the summer of 2011.

Lusdymer Pichardo

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Education: BA African American Studies, Yale University

Placement: Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, Math

Although Lusdymer started her college career on a pre-med track, she soon discovered a passion for education and helping others. During her time at Yale she has been dedicated to various mentoring and tutoring programs both through Yale and New Haven organizations. She especially enjoyed working with Las Amigas. Las Amigas is a Yale undergraduate organization that connects Yale Latinas with college bound and at-risk Latinas at Wilbur Cross high school. Within Las Amigas, Lusdymer and her mentees participated in tough discussions about abortion and abuse, discussed plans for college and careers and enjoyed college visits and amusement park trips. A Brooklyn native of Dominican descent, Lusdymer went through New York City public school system and knows firsthand the significance of a good education and adequate resources in the classroom. She also recognizes the importance of role models and individual attention in the classroom. Graduating from college, she seeks to continue her involvement in giving back to her community. She joined Blue Engine in order to provide students with the opportunity to a better public school education and work towards long lasting change in the school system. Lusdymer joined Blue Engine in the summer of 2011. Currently, she is working as a BETA in an Integrated Algebra classroom at WHEELS.

Sean Kickham

Hometown: Chesterfield, MO

Education: BS Mathematics/Pre-Med, University of Notre Dame

Placement: Bronx Leadership Academy 2, Math

From his days growing up in Chesterfield, Missouri, Sean has always been passionate about education and service. His Jesuit education at St. Louis University High school taught him to be a “Man for Others” and the importance of service for one’s own personal development. During his four years at Notre Dame, he learned of the importance of education in providing an opening to a more fulfilling and successful life and began to believe that everyone has a right to a quality education, no matter their social or economic standing. A math with life sciences major, Sean’s curiosity has been piqued by the beauty in the natural world around him. As an anthropology minor, he has been exposed to viewpoints of people across the world. Sean has been involved in many educational activities in the past four years. He has taught in the local homeless shelter about violence and conflict resolution, he has mentored and tutored children with autism, and he taught gym class at a local grade school. Sean even had the chance to teach English to high school students in Phayao, Thailand. Sean hopes Blue Engine will give him insight into America’s educational system and help guide his future. Sean joined Blue Engine in the summer of 2011.

Sheyna Mikeal

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Education: BA in Psychology and Sociology; MS in School Counseling, The Johns Hopkins University

Placement: Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, Math

Proudly born and raised in Baltimore City, Sheyna is a product of the public school system. She graduated from Dunbar High School and went on to The Johns Hopkins University to study Computer Science. While taking a sociology class on education, she was exposed to the intentional inequities of public school systems which infuriated her. Sheyna dropped Computer Science and began to focus all of her energy on learning about the education system and its policies. At Hopkins, Sheyna was President of the Multicultural Student Volunteers where she took the group’s efforts into the surrounding public schools. She coordinated and participated in college panels for underclassmen and helped seniors navigate through the college application and financial aid process. As an intern in the Admissions Office at Hopkins, she learned what a top tier school is looking for in a student. Lastly, Sheyna was President of the Mu Psi Citywide Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and her chapter tutored and mentored 8th grade males. Sheyna continued her education at the JHU School of Education studying school counseling where she gained a plethora of knowledge and experience working with students. Her experiences reinforced and solidified her dream of being on the front line of education reform. This dream will commence with Blue Engine! Sheyna joined Blue Engine in the summer of 2011.

Willy Golden

Hometown: New York, NY

Education: BA Philosophy, Hobart College

Placement: Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, Literacy

Born and raised in New York City, and himself having gone through the public school system, Willy is excited to be a part of the Blue Engine team. He attended Hobart College in upstate New York and was a philosophy major with a public policy minor. The former gave him the skills to identify issues and actuate change, while the latter introduced him to a wide set of global and local matters that concerned and interested him. After graduating, Willy spent one year abroad in France as a teaching assistant in a public high school just outside of Paris. Instantly he became attached to the students and their educational pursuits. Although he had been a student tutor in college and had given private lessons, none of his prior experiences had gripped him so tightly.Willy is excited to continue being a part of an educational team in his hometown. After his fellowship at Blue Engine, he plans on becoming either an English literature teacher, or a social studies teacher in a New York City high school. Willy joined Blue Engine in the summer of 2011.