YNPN-NYC is organized by a volunteer board.
Jessica Black // BOARD CHAIR
Jessica is dedicated to developing and implementing innovative initiatives to improve the health of NYC's most vulnerable populations. She currently oversees Collaborative Care, a primary care behavioral health integration initiative, at NYC Health + Hospitals. In this role, she leads strategy, program implementation, quality improvement and technical assistance efforts for the program across the nation's largest public hospital system.
Jessica began her career working with children with social-emotional disorders and complex mental health issues and their families in both residential and school-based settings. It was here that she became interested in creative prevention efforts in behavioral health.
Following her time in direct service, Jessica worked at Fostering Change for Children, where she was involved in program design as well as support and training for the Children's Corps program, bringing a dedicated and talented workforce to the front lines of the child welfare system. Jessica holds a B.A. in Film and Media Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and an MSW and MPH from Columbia University.
Kelsey DeForest // BOARD MEMBER
Kelsey is committed to the global movement to expand sexual and reproductive rights and furthers that passion at International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region. She works with individuals and families to help them actualize their philanthropic visions for quality healthcare, transformative advocacy, and greater environmental sustainability across Latin America and the Caribbean. She also provides metrics and data visualizations to assess and augment fundraising performance. Kelsey graduated summa cum laude from Hollins University with a BA in political science and minors in Spanish and economics and stays engaged as her class fundraising chair. Her experience spans political campaigns and PACs, higher education institutions, and an array of social service organization, and she delights in applying this unique perspective to fundraising challenges.
KALIN DRZEWIECKI-SEZER // BOARD MEMBER
Kalin joined the Board in 2016. She has experience in talent management and operations management. She is passionate about creating professional development opportunities for young social justice professionals and is interested in issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She believes sharing lessons learned about her organization’s internal racial equity efforts is an important way to make the movement stronger.
Kalin is the Director of Administration and Budgeting at Dēmos. She is responsible human capital management, operations management, organizational budgeting, and financial management. Kalin was a 2015-2016 Community Innovation Fellow with Re:Gender, a two-year fellowship designed to build skills to influence one’s field with the application of a gender lens. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Public Citizen Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Service Award.
Previously Kalin worked with Re:Gender. She did graduate work in International Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, and worked with The Global Justice Center and Funding Exchange as part of her studies. She holds B.A. degrees in International Studies and French from St. Norbert College in Wisconsin. As an undergraduate, she studied in Madagascar, Mexico, France, and at the United Nations.
ERIN M. HAWKINS // BOARD MEMBER
Erin is a dedicated to community-oriented initiatives that create systems of support and solutions from within the community. She has worked in operations and human resources for four years and strives to empower and encourage young professionals in the nonprofit arena. Originally from the South, she has lived in NY since 2010. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Long Island University’s Global College and is an avid runner, reader, and volunteer with New York Cares and Achilles International.
KAREN LIN // BOARD MEMBER
Karen has a heart for positive social change and a mind for analytical approaches. She’s fortunate to be able to help nonprofits build their capacity through the Taproot Foundation, where she does program evaluation, communications, and marketing. Prior to Taproot, Karen completed a fellowship at a boutique consultancy specializing in health leadership, where she worked on narrative development for Roll Back Malaria and the global Ebola response communications plan for the UN. She’s also served as a pro bono consultant to organizations in the U.S. and abroad, who are tackling issues like health care for U.S. veterans, child trafficking, and education. Karen holds a B.A. in Psychology: Behavioral Neuroscience from Macaulay Honors College (CUNY) and a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University.
HEATHER O'DELL // BOARD MEMBER
Heather is the Operations Manager at SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education). Her professional goal is to effect positive change in the lives of underserved children. Heather’s Biological Sciences degree from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University gave her the opportunity for teaching experiences in both the U.S. and the U.K. She has taught math and science at secondary schools in South Dakota, Arizona, and England. Following the many summers that she worked at Camp Vacamas while she taught in public schools, Heather began working year-round at Vacamas Programs for Youth working with Title I students from the urban areas of New York and New Jersey. She has been able to engage students using experiential learning and using the resources that are around her to teach and she loves to make lessons come alive in the outdoor environment. Heather knows the value of summer camp and how beneficial it is to reduce the summer learning loss. Her passion, and previous work experience, has all been directed toward working to enhance and enrich the lives of children and alleviate the negative effects of poverty.
Markus Ward // Board Member
Markus' entire career has been committed to serving mission driven organizations to better meet the needs of their constituents and to create meaningful change. He began his career as a Corps Member with City Year. Following that he was an Inaugural Member of the Children's Corps program, where he was a frontline worker reunifying families in the foster care system. He moved on to develop and design SCO Family of Service's innovative systems to recruit, select, and professionally develop staff in the field of child welfare.
Following his time at SCO, he moved to a role at the premiere youth workforce development program, Year Up. In the role of Special Assistant to the Executive Director at Year Up New York, he acted as a strategic partner and executer to the Executive Director in her leadership and management of the organization.
In his current role as Director of Operations and Strategic Initiativest Workforce Professionals Training Institute he is responsible for creating a healthy organization in the areas of financial management, strategic planning, business development, communications, knowledge management, and infrastructure.
He graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Psychology, and is completing his Master's in Nonprofit Management at the New School's Milano School. In his free time he is an avid Spartan fan, traveler, and cook.