Director of College Access Center
Assistant Division Director of Center Based & Community Programs, Community Center
YMEN Coordinator, Community Center
Director of Community Organizing
Division Director of Schools and Community Partnerships
Director of Program for Girls and Young Women, Program for Girls and Young Women
Director, After-School Programs at Mount Eden Children's Academy, After School Program at Mount Eden Children's Academy
Director of Center-Based Operations, Community Center
Division Director, Post-Secondary Pathways, College Access Center
Director of Development and Communications
Director of Bronx Helpers
Program Director, After School and Summer Programs at P.S. 294/P.S. 311
Director of Workforce Development, Young Adult Opportunity Initiative
Program Director, YouthBuild
Rigaud Noel joined New Settlement as our Executive Director in November, 2020. Rigaud comes to New Settlement with a strong track record in providing children, youth and families opportunities for educational and career advancement to help them succeed in school, work and life. Over the last 20 years, he has served in senior management and executive positions at various non-profits across New York City. Most recently, Rigaud served as Chief Partnership Officer at New York Edge, one of the largest after-school providers in New York State. During his tenure, he was able to secure over $6 million in new funding, establish new partnerships with schools, colleges/universities and community-based organizations, as well as successfully serve as a steering committee member with the board of directors, assisting in the completion of a three-year strategic plan. Prior to New York Edge, Rigaud directed youth programs with the Police Athletic League, Madison Square Boys Club and Children’s Aid. He is a graduate of Syracuse University with an MPA from Villanova University.
Allison Palmer, M.S., Associate Executive Director, joined New Settlement as the founding director of New Settlement’s College Access Center in July 2001. She holds an M.S. in social administration from Columbia University’s School of Social Work and a B.A. in history from Wesleyan University. She has over 20 years of experience in access to higher education and positive youth development, teen leadership training and adolescent counseling. As the director of New Settlement’s College Success Initiatives, Allison led the program design, development and implementation, including the one-to-one college-counseling program and the intensive four-year College Explorers Program; hired, trained and supervised full- and part-time staff; led outreach to the community and program partners; and represented New Settlement’s Center in citywide and statewide coalitions and national conferences. Allison also served as the Bronx delegate at the National Association for College Admission Counseling for three years, co-founded the Bronx Opportunity Network and the College Success Network, and currently sits on the Advisory Board of Mayor De Blasio’s Sector Advisory Council on Education, the Options Institute, Degrees NYC, and College Access Research and Action (CARA).
Debbie Aviles, New Settlement’s Director of Operations, joined New Settlement in the Spring of 2010, bringing along over 25 years experience in office management, finance, and staff benefits. Debbie is a former long-time resident of the Bronx and is now residing in sunny Naples, Florida.
Cindy Concepcion is the director of New Settlement’s College Access Center. She has been a leader in the nonprofit sector for over nine years. Cindy works to engage communities, organizations, and external partners in supporting youth and young adults in their post-secondary pathways. Prior to this position, she was the Coordinator, College Success Program and Educational Counselor for New Settlement’s Student Success Center providing advising and support for students, as they work towards a college degree. 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.
Jennifer is very passionate about serving the community in which she lives and works. She excels at working alongside management teams to innovate and implement community engagement strategies in support of New Settlement’s mission and vision.
She possesses a honed ability to connect, listen closely and curate synergies among all levels of the organization to maximize the opportunities for success based on New Settlement’s values and objectives.
She is the Director of Community Organizing. Sheila has been here for 11 years and continues to do amazing work for New Settlement!
Lorraine Hernandez has worked in the Youth Development field for 15 years. Lorraine is a licensed Social Worker and it is important to her that she spreads mental health awareness in the field.
“I am excited to have joined the team at New Settlement and look forward to growth!”
Michelle D. Jimenez joined Settlement Housing Fund (SHF), the parent company of New Settlement (NS) in 2022. She is a dedicated and innovative human resources executive with close to 20 years of experience designing and executing human resources strategies with expertise in implementing personnel and industrial security programs in various industries including healthcare, the federal government, and non-for-profit. Currently, as the head of the HR department for SHF and NS, she continues to provide human resources leadership.
She works closely with the management and the executive team on the daily administration and support of its team and its organizational growth. She leads all HR operations including recruitment, benefits, and ensures that the organization is in compliance with all local and federal labor regulations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology/Biology/Chemistry from Lehman College and an MBA degree from Monroe College where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is also a certified senior HR professional (SCP) from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is an active community volunteer with different organizations; and is also a member of the international business, management, and administration honor society – Sigma Beta Delta, SHRM, and a former member of the Forbes HR Council.
Tasheema recently graduated with her Master’s of Social Work (MSW) at Lehman College. She also holds a B.A. in English from Binghamton University (SUNY) with a concentration in Creative Writing. As of July 2021, Tasheema took over leadership of The Program for Girls and Young Women and we can’t wait to see all the great work she will continue to accomplish with our young ladies. She was the co-facilitator of multiple programs including Project V.I.P., Girl Talk (leadership development), all of our sexual and reproductive health programming, and the summer Peer Educators program. Since joining our staff in 2005, Tasheema has completed extensive training in youth development, including arts education, gender-equity, youth engagement, financial literacy, college preparedness, self-defense, and sexual health education. A native of the Bronx, Tasheema spent three summers during college as a lead facilitator of New Settlement’s intensive Bronx Helper’s Super Summer. Her extensive experience working with girls and boys, teen women and men also includes serving as the site director of the Boys and Girls Club of Binghamton, NY, as a program facilitator in the Broome County YMCA, and as an intern in a public elementary school in Binghamton. Since 2008, Tasheema has served as the program’s liaison with an ever-evolving coalition of Bronx organizations collaborating to support young women’s sexual and reproductive health, She lovingly is referred to as ‘Mom’ by many of our program veterans, for her nurturing, humorous, no-nonsense style of leadership.
Born and raised in Queens, New York, Irma’s passion and devotion is Youth Development and Family Wellness. She has been in the field for over six years with plans to touch the lives of many without limitations. Recently transitioning to the Bronx community, she has taken on the role of Program Director and Administrative Director of New Settlements’ after-school programs. Irma hopes to continue cultivating, teaching, and learning to fulfill her purpose. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and participating in recreational activities concentrated on mental and physical health.
Ally is the Administrative Director of the New Settlement Community Center and has worked for New Settlement for the past 14 years. She enjoys creating the systems of operation we use in the organization. She has strong ties to the community we serve, as her family was one of the first tenants in the apartment buildings. Being able to watch her mother create the New Settlement Multi-Cultural After School Program set a strong example for her work ethic and goal to provide quality programming to the community.
Feyisola “Jimi” Orekoya joined New Settlement in May of 2017 to serve as the director of the Community Center. Prior to New Settlement, Jimi served in various roles in youth development, juvenile justice, education and facilities management.
With the expansion of the center’s programming and reach, Jimi was promoted to the senior leadership position of Division Director for Center-Based Operations where he oversees initiatives related to Community Health, In-School Partnerships, Arts & Recreation, as well as services to Teens and Seniors.
Juan Otero is the Building Engineer of the New Settlement Community Center, responsible for the physical management and upkeep of our facility and aquatics center. Before joining New Settlement in 2014, Juan served as an Engineering Supervisor of Asphalt Green from 2002 to 2014; a highlight was coordinating his department in support of a 14 million dollar renovation project of their 5.5 acre sports complex. Juan is also an Energy Engineer with the Bronx-based Association of Energy Affordability. He has certifications in Boiler Maintenance (1996 Bronx Community College), Building Maintenance (1998 New York City Technical College) and Refrigeration (2001 Turner School).
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 advocating 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 where she works with her team of four counselor, 8 youth leaders, and 2-4 summer bridge coaches to ensure that every partner school in Taft 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!
Leigh Reid joined New Settlement as our Director of Development and Communications in April 2022. Leigh is a frontline fundraiser with extensive experience managing annual benefits, strategic planning, and growing an individual giving program. Previously, she served as senior director of development and communications at Extreme Kids & Crew, a nonprofit dedicated to creating inclusive play spaces and community programs for children with disabilities and their families. In 2020, Leigh spearheaded a panel at Extreme Kids & Crew focused on the experience of being Black and disabled. The program received high acclaim from educators, parents, and the disabled community, and has also since become an annual advocacy event for the organization. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism and international studies from Pennsylvania State University. She is an alumna of the New York Community Trust Fellowship and serves as a committee volunteer for the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Javiel Vega, M.S.W. became Director of Workforce Development at New Settlement in November 2020 after leading our Young Adult Opportunity Initiative since 2005. Javiel holds a B.A in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College (1999) and M.S.W. from Hunter College School of Social Work (2008). He joined New Settlement as director of YAOI in July 2005 and led its rapid expansion ever since. He brings extensive experience in running and developing programs for young adults in New York City. At C.A.S.E.S, he served as Deputy Director from 2001 to 2005 and Team Director from 1999-2001; at Safe Horizon, in the Bronx, he worked as Project Director of Bronx Family Court (1995-1998) and Domestic Violence Case Management Supervisor in Brooklyn Family Court (1993-1995). He is a Certified Field Instructor for Social Work Graduate School students and is proficient in Spanish.
Roman joined the YouthBuild movement 10 years ago and New Settlement in 2017 when he was asked to ramp up the newly acquired YouthBuild program. He is a proven leader in non-profit management and growth, with experience in adult and youth workforce development, program development, education, and evaluation. He holds an MBA from the University of Illinois and lives in Northern New Jersey.
In his spare time, Roman enjoys spending time with his family and volunteering in his community.
Chauncy Young has been active in the field of Education Organizing since 2004, when he joined as an organizer with the Community Collaborative to Improve District 9 Schools (CC9). He also is a founding member of the Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ) and a founding member of the Healing-Centered Schools Working Group, both citywide coalitions of which the New Settlement Parent Action Committee is a member organization.
Chauncy served as Organizer, Lead Organizer and Director of Organizing with the United Parents of Highbridge, another member organization of CCB and CEJ prior to becoming the Director of Education Organizing at New Settlement. He coordinated the Highbridge Middle School campaign, which led to the creation of the Highbridge Green School, and coordinated the Highbridge School Coalition and the Highbridge Clergy Coalition. He was an active member organizer of the Muslim Holiday Campaign, and was involved in the CC9 Lead Teacher Program, as well as campaigns for the Middle School Initiative, Community Schools, and Culturally Responsive Education.
While Chauncy originally studied to be a science teacher, he has worked to make improvements to education outside of the classroom. As a parent and a resident of the Highbridge neighborhood in District 9, Chauncy is committed to improving the quality of education in District 9, in the Borough of the Bronx and across New York City.