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Tatiana Poladko Alleyne
Chief Executive Officer
tatiana.poladko@teensharp.org
Twitter: @TatianaPoladko

Tatiana Poladko is a founder and CEO of TeenSHARP, who has dedicated the last 10 years to propelling exceptional young people of color to highly selective colleges. Prior to her work with TeenSHARP, Tatiana taught in the Department of Sociology at Temple University,  while also completing her PhD candidacy requirements. She launched the first site of the Jumpstart early childhood education program in the state of New Jersey. She also spent three years working for the United Nations Development Program in her native Ukraine building a corps of 1,500+ youth champions working to achieve socio-economic and environmental development goals outlined in the Millennium Development Goals plan. Tatiana holds a Master’s in Public Administration degree from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree in Sociology from Temple University. She lives in Wilmington with her husband Atnre Alleyne, TeenSHARP’s founder, and their toddler daughter Zoryana Aminah.

Julia Durodoye
Chief Operating Officer
julia.durodoye@teensharp.org

Julia Durodoye is the COO at TeenSHARP and a member of the executive leadership team. In this capacity, Julia spearheads all organizational donor engagement efforts across the Delaware Valley, enforces robust financial management, and overseas all communication and performance evaluation.  Julia has a track record in dramatically accelerating fundraising, marketing and branding, and aligning programmatic solutions to donor-engagement strategies. Prior to joining TeenSHARP, Julia was the Director of Development at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia, where she expanded the organization’s regional reach serving hundreds of low-income children.  Julia led Global North Texas, a citizen diplomacy organization working jointly with the United States Department of States to host international leaders helping them create professional connections with their American counterparts. Julia Durodoye holds a B.A. in international studies and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Texas.  Julia is an active board member at the Latin American Community Center in Wilmington, DE  and volunteers as a mentor and Spanish tutor for youth in the City of Wilmington. She lives in Wilmington, with her husband Raifu and two sons Romero and Camilo.

TeenSHARP-Delaware Program Staff

Gabrielle Thomas
Site Manager, TeenSHARP Delaware
gabrielle.thomas@teensharp.org

After serving for one year as an Americorps VISTA with TeenSHARP, Gabrielle Thomas transitioned into her current role as Site Manager of our Delaware location. In this capacity, she recruits scholars, instructors, tutors and mentors. She facilitates all programmatic activities for scholars, including those taking place on Saturdays. She also ensures that students grow as leaders, by coaching them to emerge as Starters, Connectors, and Givers.  Gabrielle is also the Founder of the Youth Advocacy Council of Delaware, which seeks to empower student voice in the education policy sphere so that students can affect change within their schools. In 2014, she graduated magna cum laude from Arcadia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Global Legal Studies/Pre-Law. Her interest in education reform grew into an embedded passion after studying the effects of centralized policies on the Philadelphia school district via the School Reform Commission. After completing her degree, she furthered her understanding of education policy by working as a staffer for Nic Dakin, Shadow Schools Minister in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

 

Melissa Benbow is the Academic Advisor for TeenSHARP’s Delaware site. Melissa graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Certificate in African American Studies in 2013. Since then, Melissa has served as a Communications Specialist for Delaware Division for the Visually Impaired in her capacity as Public Allies Delaware AmeriCorp member. She then worked as Writing Specialist and Adjunct Instructor at Delaware Technical Community College. Melissa is also a social entrepreneur; she co-owns a health and culture education business called Awakened Kitchen. Her involvement with TeenSHARP began as an Instructor in TeenSHARP Delaware’s inaugural cohort in 2015. In her position as Academic Advisor, Melissa uses her experience and expertise to prepare students of color to apply to top tier colleges and universities. She is providing personalized academic advising for close to seventy students by helping them locate their college goals and creating a pathway that leads them to achieving these goals.

 

TeenSHARP at Rutgers-Camden (NJ and PA) Program Staff

Maija Hall
Site Manager, TeenSHARP at Rutgers-Camden
maija.hall@teensharp.org

Maija Hall is a 2017 graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and a minor in African-American studies. During her tenure at UMass she served as the President of the Black Student Union and the Director of Policy and Research at the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy. Through her work with these various organizations, Maija advocated and fought for increased retention of students of color and affordable higher education. She helped plan the statewide Public Higher Education Advocacy Day at the Massachusetts legislature for two years, and spent her last summer as the Deputy Field Director of Lisa Blunt Rochester’s historic campaign in Delaware. Maija is a 2013 alumna of TeenSHARP who has served as mentor, panelist and speaker, while in college. She is excited to assume the responsibilities of a Site Manager of TeenSHARP’s location in New Jersey.

 

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Rayn Phillips
Academic Advisor, College Discovery Program (7th and 8th grade scholars)
TeenSHARP at Rutgers-Camden
rayn.phillips@teensharp.org

Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Rayn Phillips has her first experience getting involved in education and youth development at the age of 12 when she worked as a Summer Reading Program Volunteer at the Free Library of Philadelphia. She continued her community-based work throughout college through the Free Library of Philadelphia, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), and Incarcerated Voices. After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at Arcadia University in 2014, Rayn became the AVID Program Coordinator at the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND). As a fervent advocate for human rights, Rayn’s long-term goal is to be a legal advocate for those who would not receive assistance and protection otherwise. Rayn is currently a graduate student in the Master of Social Work Program at Rutgers University.

Deborah Yanez
Parent Engagement and Partnerships Coordinator
deborah.yanez@teensharp.org