Advisor at Claremont International High School
Director, College Access Center
Community School Director
Division Director, Post-Secondary Pathways
Advisor at DreamYard Preparatory High School
Byron was born and raised in the Bronx, and has always been closely connected with his community. After leaving The Bronx for 4 years in 2018 to pursue his Bachelors of Science in Education, he quickly returned home to pursue a career in college access and education in the same community he grew up in. While attending The University of Virginia, Byron was also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., as well as the Collegiate100 Society, which both played key roles in his passion for mentorship and positive youth development. Byron has made it his goal to use whatever talents, resources, and knowledge he has to use it towards empowering his community, and the youth who grew up just like him. Byron is looking forward to his new chapter at Bronx High School of Business, and looks forward to the many great students and stories he’ll encounter.
Christi Ferrer was born in the Dominican Republic, and immigrated to the United States at the age of 15. Christi came with the goal of finishing high school and getting into college right after. During her high school years, she joined the community service program at her high school where she became the community service school coordinator. Christi was also always in the college office completing her college applications, however, she also used to stay after school to help out others with their applications as well. After her high school graduation, she was hired at the school she graduated from as a College Bridge Coach where she supported seniors through post-secondary programs such as applying to college, financial aid, vocational programs, and took them to college trips. Christi loves helping the community, and because of this reason, she decided to get her Bachelor’s on Social Work and completed a couple of trainings in order to be as prepared to continue giving back to the community.
Christi is the first one graduating from college from her family. She understands the struggles students face when they immigrate to a new country where they do not know the language or anyone who can guide them. However, she realized that by having the right resources and good mentors, anyone can be capable of accomplishing their dreams. This is one of the reasons that motivated her to become a College & Career Advisor, so she could continue inspiring the youth to advocate for themselves and to have a better and bright future.
Cindy is the Coordinator of New Settlement’s College Success Program, which provides support for students as they work towards a college degree. She has worked in the realm of youth development, advocacy, and education for over five years. Her passion is in youth empowerment, youth voice, and creating an inclusive environment for English learners.
Prior to this position, she was an Educational Counselor for New Settlement’s Student Success Center. In addition, she trained and supervised five cohorts of high school interns who served as peer advisors in the college application process.
Cindy’s connection to the College Access Center is deeply rooted in her experience as a former participant. She is a graduate of Ithaca College with a B.A. in Sociology. In her spare time, Cindy volunteers through New York Cares, travels, and is active in arts initiatives that are focused on social change, diversity, and community.
Evelyn was born and raised in Manta, Ecuador. She moved to the Bronx, NY at the age of sixteen looking for a better future. Evelyn attended an international high school in the Bronx from where she graduated feeling admiration for professionals who always motivate their students to follow their dreams. As a recent immigrant and first-generation student, she never took for granted the opportunity of attending a prestigious private school like Bard College. After being accepted to Bard, she promised herself to take advantage of every opportunity that would prepare her personally and professionally so that one-day she could serve her community in the Bronx. Evelyn received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and now will work as a college advisor at Claremont International High School. She is aware of how transforming access to higher education can be, not only academically but also professionally and socially. She is very excited to start working with students and support them in every way possible to make college a possibility.
Kenny Ramirez is a dedicated professional with a remarkable journey that epitomizes perseverance, ambition, and a deep commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others. As a first-generation college graduate, Kenny’s story is a testament to his unyielding determination to overcome challenges and pave the way for a brighter future. In 2018, Kenny proudly earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University, marking a significant milestone for himself, his family, and future generations. Recognizing the transformative power of education, Kenny set his sights even higher. He is pursuing a Master’s in Social Work, further honing his skills and knowledge to effect change on a larger scale.
Kimberly was born and raised in the South Bronx. Coming from a single-parent household, her mother has instilled in her to do everything passionately; that’s exactly how she chooses to live her life. Throughout high school, Kimberly came across peer leadership and took off running. From advocating to ending the school-to-prison pipeline to providing education around family planning and healthy relationships, she has made it her mission to help people in some way, shape, or fashion.
Lisette Soto was born in the concrete jungle called The South Bronx in New York City, where she was raised by a single parent. Her mother made sure that she was in school every day, on time, and spoke about her future. Lisette had a lot of exposure to colleges since she was 10 years old. She made it her mission that she will make something out of herself and excel. Her journey began in working with elementary school kids for after-school programs and summer camps. She then made her way to become a peer youth advocate in a mental institution, and then became a parent coordinator at a High School in Brooklyn. She then found that her passion was working with students once again. She pushed herself to apply to become a college and career counselor position at New Settlement at the Bronx High School of Medical Science. She is currently a counselor and is fulfilling the role of assisting High School students with their college and career questions. She continues to gain more experience and knowledge in her new role and is excited about this opportunity. Lisette is certain that this is her desire and destiny. Lisette has proved to go above and beyond, despite her struggles with education, she was able to gain an Associate’s degree in Finance and Banking and also her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
Lisette has grown to be a person that wants to help the youth in the South Bronx because she once was in those students’ shoes. She will make it her mission to be that change and give students a path that, just because you came from poverty, doesn’t mean it ends from there. Lisette continues to motivate students and knows that in her heart she’s right where she needs to be.
Maggie is the Director of the Student Success Center at the Taft Educational Campus with New Settlement. She has been serving Bronx communities for almost 10 years now. She enjoys giving back and serving her Bronx community by providing students with access to post-secondary options such as college, vocational programs, or any trainings that will help them succeed.
Maggie was born and raised in the South Bronx in the NYCHA projects. She has experienced the unfortunate reality that kids from low-income families and poor school districts face. However, with a lot of ambition and perseverance, she enrolled at Skidmore College through the Higher Educational Opportunity Program, where she double majored in Political Science and Spanish, with a minor in Latin American Studies. For two summers of her undergraduate years, Maggie served as a Summer Bridge College Coach for College Bound Initiative and Urban Assembly. This is where she truly became passionate about college access and equity. Skidmore also opened up Maggie’s eyes to the disparity in education between her affluent peers and her peers from back home. As a first-generation college graduate, her experiences at Skidmore and her involvement as a Coach reassured her that she wanted to enter the field of post-secondary access. In the future, Maggie hopes to have a bigger institutional impact on low-income students and students of color by continuing to advocate for them and attempting to close achievement gaps. In May 2021, Maggie will be graduating with Masters in Public Administration at Baruch College.
Prior to being promoted to Director of the Student Success Center, Maggie has escalated to different positions throughout New Settlement. Maggie first started as an Educational Counselor at the College Access Center, supporting high school students and young adults with applying to post-secondary options, co-leading our early college awareness program called College Explorers, and managing small projects. After 2 years, she became the College Advisor at DreamYard Preparatory School and supported three senior classes through post-secondary enrollment. At DreamYard, she matched students to a post-secondary plan, ran a Senior Advisory course, organized day and overnight trips, supervised youth leaders and summer bridge coaches, and was in charge of ensuring that the school’s college and career-going culture was improving. Maggie was then promoted to Program Manager of College Access Programs for New Settlement, and now to Director of the Student Success Center at Taft and AECI2 where she works with her team of six counselors, 8 youth leaders, and 2-4 summer bridge coaches to ensure that every partner school has a robust college and career office that supports every student through their post-secondary process to then transition them into New Settlement’s Success Program.
For fun, Maggie loves spending time with her daughter, family and friends. She travels to Dominican Republic every year, and aspires to travel to different places in the world! Maggie loves trying new hobbies, new recipes, and new activities!
Mariana grew up in South Carolina and moved to the Bronx in 2008. She grew up in Highbridge and attended DreamYard. During her senior year, she got involved with New Settlement and interned as a Youth Leader for DYP. This opportunity was life-changing. As the oldest daughter of immigrant parents and a first-generation student, getting the chance to support her community with college access further confirmed her interest in social justice advocacy.
She graduated in 2016 and went on to study Latin American and Latinx Studies at John Jay College. Once on campus, Mariana realized how much she valued her community. Her heart being at NS, Marian returned to DYP as a College Bridge Coach for three more years to support high school students with their college application process. Today, Mariana is a College and Career Advisor at her alma mater. She enjoys connecting with youth and empowering them through life-changing experiences and opportunities. Her background allows her to understand the importance of access to higher education and her goal is to continue bridging the gaps for students that come from her Bronx community.
Marohey is from the Bronx, NY. She made sure that her education was her first priority growing up. She earned an associate’s degree in Political Science from Bronx Community College. College seemed so far away, and impossible years ago. However, Marohey was able to complete her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies. She is an alum of New Settlement’s Success Program and was able to receive one-on-one support during her time in college, which inspired her to want to serve as a mentor to others. As a Success Counselor, she hopes to inspire her students to aim high because, she is aware that perseverance, hard effort, and dedication also lead to knowledge and prosperity. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books and listening to music.
Mikey Crump was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He was one of the first students and graduates from Guttman Community College. He went on to continue his education at Queens College and graduated in 2017 with a B.A. in Media Studies. Mikey is passionate about student elevation and guiding the next generation to higher goals than the previous generation (including himself) could not obtain. Prior to College Mikey attended Wadleigh High School for Visual and Performing Arts and graduated in 2012.
Before joining New Settlement, Mikey was an Admissions Advisor at his alma matter Guttman Community College, he also worked as an Intake Specialist at Bob’s Place Homeless Shelter for Men and finally, he worked as a programming assistant at Emmis Communications (Hot 97, WBLS).
During Mikey’s spare time, he loves to play basketball, go to the club, attend Knicks games at Madison Square Garden, and create content (music and podcasts) with his friends.
Rosemary Guzman was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Rosemary graduated from the University at Buffalo (Go Bulls!) in May 2022 with a bachelor of arts in Sociology and a minor in Counseling. During her time at UB, Rosemary was a member of the Executive Board, and Latin American Student Association, where she advocated for Latinx students’ social injustices on campus. She also worked as a Resident Advisor who not only created a safe and inclusive environment for her residents but was also a mentor for the BIPOC students within the residence dorms. These roles inspired Rosemary to want to be a guide for first-generation students and help them succeed which led Rosemary to her current role in New Settlement, Success Counselor. In her spare time, Rosemary likes to drink coffee with a good old book!
Shadeh Camacho, born and raised in the vibrant borough of The Bronx, embodies a passion for education and community building that has shaped her inspiring journey in the field of student affairs. Currently serving as the dedicated Coordinator of Student Affairs at Claremont International High School, nestled within the TAFT campus, Shadeh’s impact on the lives of students and her community is immeasurable.
With a profound commitment to education, Shadeh has amassed over a decade of invaluable experience within the New York City Department of Education (DOE). Her journey began within the very halls of TAFT, where she not only graduated but also held various pivotal roles within the school’s community. Her dedication to learning led her to achieve an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Tompkins Cortland Community College and another associate’s degree in Human Services from Bronx Community College.
Driven by her thirst for knowledge and a desire to enhance her skills, Shadeh is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Pierce University. Along the way, she has distinguished herself as a leader, serving as the Chairperson for the SUNY Division of Student Government and holding the esteemed position of President in two out of the three colleges she attended.
Shadeh’s expertise lies in school programming and community building, where her innovative approach fosters student engagement and support. As a testament to her leadership abilities, she has successfully steered numerous initiatives that have enriched the educational experiences of students under her care.
Beyond her professional achievements, Shadeh takes immense pride in her Dominican heritage. She finds immense joy in spending quality time with her friends and family, exploring the world through travel, and indulging her taste buds with delectable dishes. Her love for animals knows no bounds and she really enjoys reading books.
In addition to her academic and professional pursuits, Shadeh possesses a generous spirit, dedicating her time to various charitable organizations. Her volunteer work showcases her deep empathy for others and a genuine desire to make the world a better place.
Yulissa Liriano was born and raised in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. Born to Dominican immigrant parents, it was instilled in her from an early age the importance of education. She attended DeWitt Clinton High School. In 2008, Yulissa attended the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale. Here, she was able to study abroad in Rome and Quebec, Canada. Both of these experiences made Yulissa fall in love with languages and travel. She graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in French Studies and Italian. After college, Yulissa worked for 2 years and decided to continue her education. She completed her Masters in Childhood Education at Lehman College. Yulissa taught in elementary school for 7 years and was passionate about teaching and helping children in her community.
As a first-generation college student, Yulissa understands how important it is to have resources and programs as applying for college can be a daunting task. Yulissa is excited to help prospective and current college students in the same community she lives in so they also have access to an amazing college experience.
Some interesting tasks about Yulissa are: she loves binge-watching shows on Netflix, she enjoys trying new restaurants, she loves to travel, she has an amazing 4-year-old son, and she enjoys painting.