Our Team

Senior Leadership

Rehana Farrell

Executive Director

Rehana assumed the role of Executive Director of Youth INC in January 2015. Rehana joined Youth INC from Cain Hoy Enterprises, a private equity firm in New York City, which she helped form as Chief Operating Officer. Cain Hoy was comprised of investment professionals from Guggenheim Partners where Rehana worked as Chief Administrative Officer for Guggenheim Investments since 2012. Prior to that, Rehana spent 8 years at Merrill Lynch where she held a variety of global financial and operating roles. Before joining Merrill Lynch, Rehana worked at Smith Barney in Strategy and Finance, as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and at Prudential Financial where she began her career in a management training program.

Rehana holds an AB from Smith College and an MBA from Columbia University where she was President of Columbia Women in Business. She remains active with her alma maters and also works closely with numerous nonprofit organizations nationwide.

She lives in Princeton, NJ with her two children, Gordon and Mari. Her passion for children and making the world a better place for them – one where the playing field is more level and opportunities are not dictated by the randomness of birth – is what led her to leave the for-profit world to run Youth INC, which she hopes and plans to do for a very long time.

Laura Elick McCory

Director of Programs

Lauren Elicks McCort joined Youth INC in September of 2012 and now serves as Director of Programs, overseeing the capacity-building content, coaching, capital and connections provided to Youth INC’s Partner Network of over 80 nonprofit organizations. In her previous role as Director of Impact Measurement, Lauren managed Youth INC’s Metrics Program which helps nonprofits explore and measure a core set of research-based social-emotional learning outcomes that are correlated with academic success, reduced risky behaviors, and increased thriving. Lauren also assessed Youth INC’s organizational metrics and KPIs related to our capacity-building work. Prior to joining Youth INC, Lauren was Associate Director of Development at Dancewave, an arts-education organization based in Brooklyn, NY. Lauren also worked for Harlem-based nonprofit Broadway Housing Communities, and has had the pleasure of providing consulting support for the Binghamton Philharmonic, Broome County Health Department, and The Handicapped Children’s Association.

 

Lauren received her Master in Public Administration and BA in English from Binghamton University, and a certificate in Principles and Practices in Organizational Psychology at Teachers College Columbia University.

Bill Kelly

Director of Development

Bill joined Youth INC in 2014 and serves NYC youth as a Director on Youth INC’s Development Team. In his current role, Bill provides leadership to Youth INC’s largest fundraising initiatives including the Celebration to Benefit New York Kids and Youth INC’s State of the Market Investor Conference. Previously, Bill has provided leadership to Youth INC’s State of the Market Conference and Innovator’s Breakfast. Prior to Youth INC, Bill worked with the Boy Scouts of America for 12 years in increasingly significant leadership positions in New York City, Westchester County, Long Island, and Rhode Island. He remains a volunteer with the NYC organization.

A Penn State alumnus, Bill lives in New York City with his wife and family and is a member of the Wings Club, New-York Historical Society, National Eagle Scout Association, Irish Arts Center, and American Ireland Funds’ Young Leaders Society.

Angela Dorne

Chief Operating Officer & Special Counsel

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Staff

Taylor Wright

Associate Director of Development

​Taylor Wright joined Youth INC in January 2018 with a passion for empowering youth to achieve their fullest potential. She currently serves as an Associate Director on the Development Team. In this role, Taylor supports fundraising efforts by managing several of Youth INC’s signature events, including RBC Race for the Kids. Prior to Youth INC, Taylor worked as the Community Engagement Coordinator at a youth-serving nonprofit in Colorado, where she led community outreach efforts, developed programming and events, and provided direct impact services.

She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Colorado College.

Paul Vegara

Program Associate 

Paul Vergara joined Youth INC in May 2018 as the a Program Associate. In this role, Paul works closely with the Program Team to assist with the coordination and delivery of capacity-building services and support.

Prior to working at Youth INC, Paul served as a Senior Trainer & Program Coordinator at Global Kids, where he developed dynamic after-school programs throughout New York City that focused on youth leadership, international affairs, and activism.  Additionally, Paul previously worked in South Africa with Grassroot Soccer, a sports-for-development organization that leveraged the power of soccer to educate about HIV.

Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Globalization of Music & Dance Culture with minors in Anthropology and Public Health from the University of Rochester. He also holds an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Public Health from the CUNY School of Public Health.

In his spare time, Paul is a long-distance runner, traditional Indian folk dancer, and international traveler.

Will Vanasdale

Senior Associate Director, Development

William joined Youth INC in April 2018 as a Senior Associate Director on Youth INC’s development team. In his current role, William works on expanding corporate engagement opportunities including the State of the Market Conference as well as supporting other fundraising initiatives.

 

Prior to joining Youth INC, William worked as a Corporate Relations Officer at New York Cares, overseeing corporate fundraising and volunteerism programs. Previous positions include Manager of Individual Giving and Donor Engagement at United Way of New York City, Development Associate at Classroom Inc, and Opera Club Steward at Santa Fe Opera. He has a Bachelors in Theatre Arts Management from Ithaca College.

 

Outside of Youth INC, William enjoys travelling, cycling, tennis, opera, and lazy Sundays with his cat Bess.

Dionne Norton

Development Associate

Dionne Norton joined Youth INC in May 2018 as a Development Associate. She has more than 10 years of nonprofit experience and has earned a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Manhattan College. Prior to Youth INC, Dionne was a Program Assistant in the Education Department at the American Museum of Natural History. She handled the logistics for their professional development workshops and events.

Dionne is a Bronx native who loves dancing, listening to music, playing tennis, and travelling. She has a passion to make a difference, even in the smallest capacity.

Lesego Otlhabanye

Atlas Corps Fellow

Lesego Otlhabanye joined Youth INC in January, 2018 as an Atlas Corps Fellow. In this role, she works alongside the Development Team to create substantive communications output and improve Youth INC’s brand through creative marketing initiatives. 

 

Lesego has four years of experience in development banking and nonprofit work. She holds a degree in International Business Management from Asia Pacific University in Malaysia. Lesego worked in Microfinance at the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency for three years, assisting startups and expanding informal businesses access funding, financial literacy and business development. Lesego is a Global Shaper from the Gaborone Hub, an Initiative of the World Economic Forum. Lesego is the founder of Rising Tswana, a nonprofit platform for Christian creatives to share their work. She has a keen interest for shaping the African narrative positively through writing and blogging. Lesego is a co-author of a book with three other young African leaders titled Young Conversations.

Ellie Reiter

Senior Associate Director, Programs

Ellie Reiter joined Youth INC in 2015 as an Associate Director on the Programs Team. In her current role as Senior Associate Director, her responsibilities include managing the Board Advancement Program, the Succession Planning Program, and other board related initiatives. Prior to Youth INC, Ellie applied her program design, development and management skills as a Program Strategist at TYTHEdesign, a design-thinking based social enterprise and as a Program Officer II at the Institute of International Education. Early in her career, Ellie taught English as a Foreign Language in Spain and China.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College where she was an All-American soccer player and a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Bloustein School at Rutgers University where she earned the Outstanding Student Academic Achievement Award.

Her primary hobby is figuring out ways to make her toddler daughter laugh.

Chrystian Rodriguez

Senior Associate Director, Programs

Chrystian joined Youth INC in 2018 as Senior Associate Director of the Metrics Program. In this role, Chrystian supports youth development nonprofits in exploring research-based evaluation tools, assists our partners to better understand social-emotional learning outcomes, and implements positive youth development practices to facilitate growth of quality youth programs.  He joins Youth INC with an extensive background in managing youth development programs, leading assessment protocols, designing educator development trainings, and building partnerships across youth-serving institutions.

 

Before coming on board, Chrystian served as the Network Manager for Mozilla Foundation’s Hive NYC Learning Network, a learning laboratory for youth development organizations championing innovative digital media and technology programs. Prior to that, he was Assistant Director of Community Engagement and Program Manager at Free Arts NYC, as well as serving as a Program Director and a senior teaching artist for Global Action Project.

 

In his spare time, Chrystian teaches a film course for Third World Newsreel, and enjoys engaging in philosophical conversation about sci-fi and horror films; he also admittedly collects geeky things.

Joan L. Shinault

Senior Associate Director, Programs

Joan L. Shinault joined the Youth INC Team in September 2016 as an Associate Director. Prior to joining Youth INC, she served for one year as a Project Management Consultant to the Youth INC Programs Team and assisted with the development of Youth INC’s People emphasis. As a member of the Program Team, she manages two New York City collaborative initiatives through NYC Service: Strategic Volunteer Planning – Service Enterprise and Youth Leadership Councils. She also continues to assist in the development of “People” at Youth INC. Joan has a background in the fields of youth and student development. She held leadership and administrative roles in the higher education and nonprofit sectors, including the Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc., Westchester Community College, Broome Community College and Binghamton University.

She earned a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Arts degrees from Binghamton University, State University of New York and a Master’s of Science degree from Kansas State University.

Joan is also a published author who owns her own publishing company, Sound Doctrine Publishing. She is a minister and is always seeking opportunities to help young people develop. She has a particular passion for assisting young people in the areas of college access, transition and success.

Franklin Agyare

Office Manager

Franklin Agyare joined Youth INC in March of 2018 with the will to make a difference in servicing and raising our city. He is currently serving as the Office Manager and works directly with the Development team to ensure the office runs efficiently. He oversees all office management systems.

Franklin attained his Bachelors of Science from the State University of New York at Oswego. He is well known and respected by his alma mater as he was actively involved both on and off campus.

 

In his spare time, Franklin dedicates his time to his family and friends and loves all sports. To that end he plays and watches almost all major sports. He is a soccer, basketball, and football fanatic.

Angela Chen

Associate Director, Development

Angela joined Youth INC in 2015 with a passion for transforming the lives of NYC youth. She currently serves as an Associate Director on the Development team. In her current role, Angela works on Board related initiatives, Youth INC’s signature events, Celebration to Benefit New York Kids Gala and Chips for Change and oversees Youth INC’s Young Professionals Board. 

 

Angela is a Brooklyn native and outside of work, she enjoys volunteering, practicing yoga and traveling the world.

Tracie Gilstrap

Senior Associate Director, Programs

Tracie Gilstrap joined Youth INC in 2015 as Associate Director and is now Senior Associate Director of Celebration and BridgeFund programs. Tracie brings over 20 years of nonprofit experience in the youth development and organizing space as well as arts and culture. She has served as Program Officer at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation, capacity-builder and an organizer when she served as Program Associate at the Ms. Foundation for Women. Tracie is Vice President of the governing board of New Hope for All Saints Lutheran church.

Tracie received her Bachelor’s degree at St. John’s University and is a candidate for a Master’s in Divinity at New York Theological Seminary.

Tracie is the mother of two beautiful girls who keep her active through soccer and in the performing and visual arts.

Jhanelle Gopie

Program Associate, BridgeFund and Celebration

Jhanelle Gopie joined Youth INC in January 2018 as the Program Associate for the Celebration and BridgeFund Programs. In this role, Jhanelle assists the Senior Associate Director of Programs in coaching the nonprofit leaders in our partner network through the year-long fundraising training program. She will also support the BridgeFund Program and its application process.

Prior to working with Youth INC, Jhanelle served as the Development Assistant/Receptionist at the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, where she assisted with the organization’s grant making and cultivation initiatives.

Jhanelle holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance with a minor in Government and Politics from St. John’s University. She also holds a Masters of Arts in International Affairs with a concentration in Development from The New School.

Outside of work, Jhanelle enjoys cooking, doing Pilates, and taking in a healthy dose of bad reality television.

Carys Hopkins

Associate Director, Development and Operations

Carys Hopkins joined Youth INC in early 2017 as a Salesforce Database Analyst on the Development team. She is responsible for the implementation of Salesforce throughout Youth INC operations and development, reconfiguring Salesforce to the organization’s needs and creating new processes and procedures. Her role has grown to also include managing the recruitment of new Board Members and fundraising for Youth INC’s signature event, Celebration to Benefit New York Kids Gala. Prior to Youth INC, Carys was a Program Manager for UK wide Youth Program, and was responsible for remotely managing 19 regional teams, and Program performance.

 

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Bath and  Graduate Diploma in Law from Bournemouth University.

 

After recently relocating from London with her Husband, Carys’ main passion is to travel, and to explore as much of the USA as possible.

Vanessa Marquez

Senior Associate Director, Marketing & Communications

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