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National Alumni Advisory Board
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The City Year Alumni Association is led by our National Alumni Advisory Board, comprised of volunteer Alumni Board Chairs from local Alumni Associations across the country. Chairs lead their local Alumni Advisory Board to plan activities that mobilize alumni as volunteers, donors and ambassadors of City Year.

Alumni Advisory Boards:

  • support corps members along their leadership path;
  • connect our diverse alumni community; and
  • advance City Year’s service and the national service movement.

2017 National Alumni Advisory Board

Nellie Tsai '05, '06
National Co-Chair 


Nellie served as Alumni Board Chair with San Jose, a member of the National Alumni Advisory Board from 2008-2011, and most recently as a board member with City Year Detroit.   As SJ Board Chair, she developed a strong pipeline of alumni board members, expanded alumni engagement throughout the Bay Area, and successfully implemented a range of corps support initiatives including stone soup dinners, mentorship programs and 18 Minute Networking. Her vision of advancing the alumni network includes enhanced alumni role in promoting national service and closer connection with AmeriCorps Alums; expanding professional development resources for alumni; and developing Red Jacket Weekend as a hallmark alumni event across the network.  In addition to her two corps years, she is also SJ staff alum, having served as Training & Program Manager and Events & Operations Coordinator.  Nellie is the Director of The LEAGUE Michigan, a program of the Michigan Nonprofit Association that equips K-12 students and educators with resources and knowledge to grow their civic engagement and knowledge. She has a BA from Rutgers University and an MBA/MA from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (Go Blue!)

Stef Vestal '06, '07
National Co-Chair


Stef served as Alumni Board Co-Chair with City Year Washington, DC and as a member of the National Alumni Advisory Board from 2011-2014. Additionally, she has been a leader of the broader national service movement serving as the Chapter Leader for DC AmeriCorps Alums chapter from 2011-2014 and most recently as Co-Chair of the National Chapter Council with AmeriCorps Alums.  As CYDC Co-Chair, she led the board to significantly grow their annual Alumni & Friends fundraiser event in attendance and revenue, increased alumni-corps connections through mentoring and career-themed dinners and established close collaboration with AmeriCorps Alums DC chapter through joint social and networking events. Her alumni vision includes attracting and developing alumni talent to lead boards/chapters and establishing alumni boards and chapters at every City Year site with partnerships and collaborations with AmeriCorps Alums chapters, professional societies and other organizations to connect alums through service, social and networking events. In addition to her two corps years, she served as Senior Program Manager for Young Heroes with CYDC for four years.   Stef is a 6th Grade Teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia and a field hockey coach.

  Jourden Martin '13
Chair, Baton Rouge

  Marissa Rodriguez '08, '09
Chair, Boston

Marissa Rodriguez proudly served with City Year New Hampshire from 2007-2009, with a stint on the Summer Academy team in between. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Marissa graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Letters, Arts, and Sciences. Marissa currently serves as Director of Learning & Organizational Development for Scholar Athletes, a Boston-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting academic achievement through athletics. When not working or serving as the City Year Boston Alumni Board Chair, Marissa enjoys playing softball, flag football, and planning her upcoming wedding!


Rahul Gupta '09
Co-Chair, Chicago

Rahul Gupta proudly served with City Year Chicago during the 2008-2009 school year. After City Year, he went back to school to finish his degree in Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. Rahul then joined Teach For America and served in the 2012 corps, teaching senior English at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago. While there, he earned his Masters in Arts of Teaching at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. After two years at Tilden, Rahul spent a year teaching freshmen English at The Latin School of Chicago. Currently, he is a middle school Reading & Language Arts teacher at Wood Oaks Junior High School in Northbrook, Illinois. He also coaches 7th grade basketball, this being his third year coaching. In his free time, Rahul enjoys spending time with his wife (a City Year alumn!), writing, cooking, trying new restaurants, biking, and running. This is his fourth year on the Alumni Board and second serving as the chair.  

  Lara Mbayed '12
Co-Chair, Chicago 
  Sarah Gollwitzer '10, '11
Co-Chair, Cleveland

Sarah Gollwitzer is a proud native of Cleveland, and has served on the City Year Cleveland Alumni board for 5 years before becoming co-chair. She attended the College of Wooster where she found her passion for working on social justice issues, and received her B.A. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. During her years of service with City Year Cleveland, '09-'11, she worked as Civic Engagement / External Affairs and led a volunteer team at East Clark K-8. After City Year she continued to work in the non-profit field, currently doing data entry and grant reporting for the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland. Outside of work she tries to stay connected to her community socially, politically, and musically as well - a member of, and board VP for, the Blazing River Freedom Band; Cleveland's LGBT and ally marching and concert band.

  Raymond Martin '11, '12
Co-Chair, Cleveland 

Grace Campos '14, '15

Co-Chair, Columbus

Grace Campos grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. She attended The Ohio State University graduating with a degree in Biochemistry. After graduation, she joined the City Year Columbus in 2013 - 2015 corps and was a Service Committee Coordinator, Team Leader ('14-15), and member of the Dean's Council ('14-15). After her two year service with CYCO, she moved to New York as a Pricing Analyst for an e-commerce business. Currently, she is the Data Manager for KIPP Columbus, a key member of the School Support Team overseeing all academic information systems across schools and region. This will be her first year serving as a Co-Chair of the Alumni Board. 


  Jason Phillips '13
Co-Chair Columbus 

  Ashley Lindsay '08
Co-Chair, Dallas

  Ivan Nieves '12, '13
Co-Chair, Dallas

Arielle Ortmann '13
Co-Chair, Denver

  Kelsey Paulino '13
Co-Chair, Denver

  Trevor Epps '06, '07
Chair, Detroit

  Ben Nasrallah '13, '14
Chair, Jacksonville

Ben is a proud City Year Jacksonville '13 & '14 alum. Ben is currently the Student Services and Admissions Assistant with the Graduate School at the University of North Florida. He will complete his M.Ed. this summer to work as a high school counselor. He stays connected to the schools that City Year serves in through field work, including providing regularly scheduled college going lessons, financial aid seminars, and parent engagement workshops with Duval County Public Schools. 

  Larissa McNeil '15, '16
Chair, Little Rock

Meghan Paynter '13, '14
Chair, Los Angeles

Meghan Paynter proudly served with City Year Los Angeles as a Corps Member ('13) and as a Team Leader ('14). Since then, she has worked for a cancer nonprofit called the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in Manhattan Beach, CA providing support and information to patients and caregivers of the disease. Meghan graduated from Loyola Marymount University with her BA in Psychology as well as her MA in Counseling. This will be her second year on the board and her first year serving as the board chair. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and playing soccer with friends.

  Tania Alonso '12
Co-Chair, Miami

Tania Alonso is from Santa Clara, Cuba but grew up in Miami, Florida. After attending the University of Florida, she served as an AmeriCorps Member in City Year New York. Upon completion, she served as the assistant to City Year Miami's Executive Director and then their development team for almost four years. She currently works at the Jackson Health Foundation as Assistant Director of Development and also serves on the board of the Gator Club of Miami. 

  Stacy Liu '14, '15
Co-Chair, Miami

Stacy Liu hails from the 'burbs of Sacramento, California. She attended the University of California, Davis, earning a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Creative Writing and Psychology, while simultaneously interning in a research lab surrounded by babies. After spending her final year abroad, she returned to dive right into her first service year with City Year Sacramento. The following year, she stepped 3000 miles out of her comfort zone to join the Civic Engagement team of City Year Miami. Currently, she works at United Way of Miami-Dade as a Manager of Engagement.

Lauren Feaster '10
Chair, Milwaukee

  Chris Mancuso '13, '14
Chair, New Hampshire

  Genesis Parker '14
Co-Chair, New Orleans

  Hannah Tutak '07
Co-Chair, New Orleans 

  Marlena Frantzides '07
Co-Chair, New York

  Kyle Levine '14
Co-Chair, New York

  Adrian Kierulf '11, '12
Chair, Orlando

A transplant to Orlando, Florida, Adrian spent the majority of his childhood moving from state to state and developed a deep love for travel and adventure – his journeys took him to California, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Indiana, where he graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. Upon graduation, he relocated to Chicago, IL, where he proudly served as an AmeriCorps member in 2010-2011. He then completed his 2011-2012 corps year as a Service Leader on the Civic Engagement Team, where he engaged corporate sponsors and organized beautification projects across the city of Chicago. Adrian joined City Year Orlando during its founding year in 2012 and continued to serve for three years within the Impact, Development and Operations departments, ultimately helping to establish City Year Orlando in Orange County Public Schools and the broader Orlando community. His passion for community outreach, citizen engagement and social responsibility most recently led him to Orange County Government, where he now proudly serves in the Office of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. Adrian is thrilled to continue supporting City Year as chair for the City Year Orlando Alumni Board. 


Tiffany Searles '09, '10
Chair, Philadelphia
Tiffany Searles currently works as the Director of Programs at New Foundations Charter School in Philadelphia, PA. In this role she works with students and teachers to facilitate service-learning experiences and manage in school and OST programs. She is also the Vice Chair of the Event Committee of the Spruce Foundation and is a regular event volunteer at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. She served with City Year Philadelphia as a Whole School Whole Child Team Leader at Thomas Creighton K-8 in ‘08-‘09 and as a Young Heroes Northeast Team Leader in ‘09-‘10. She received her B.A. in Sociology/Social Psychology from Lehigh University. This is her third year on the Philadelphia Alumni Board and second year as Chair.


  Shawn James '11, '12
Co-Chair, Providence

Shawna Melton '07, '08
Co-Chair, Providence

Shawna proudly served in the City Year Providence corps in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 and served as a Program Manager from 2008-2011. She currently works as Student Services Manager at Achievement First Iluminar in Providence, Rhode Island. Achievement First is a growing network of non-profit, high-performing, college-preparatory, K to 12 public charter schools in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island. The mission of Achievement First is to deliver on the promise of equal educational opportunity for all of America’s children. Achievement First Iluminar holds a special place in Shawna’s heart because it was at one time called Perry Middle School: the school that she originally served at during her first year of City Year. Shawna grew up in Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in English in 2005. This will be her second year serving on the City Year Providence Alumni Board and first year serving as Co-Chair of the board.


Ashley Pangelinan '12, '13
Co-Chair, San Jose


Ashley Pangelinan proudly served with City Year San Jose during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 corps year. She is a full time teacher at a public school in San Jose. In addition to her work with City Year, Ashley is an alumna from Teach For America and New Leaders Council Silicon Valley. She received her Masters in Urban Education - Policy and Administration in 2015 from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and her BA in Global Studies and Asian American Studies in 2010 from the University of California Santa Barbara. Ashley has been on the City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley Alumni Board for the past three years and this is her first year as the Board Chair. 

  Cristy Rowley '13, '14

Owen Kajfasz '14, '15

Chair, Seattle

Owen is a second year grad student at the University of Washington, where he also earned his undergraduate degrees in Spanish, Physics, and Astronomy. Now pursuing his Masters of Science in Information Management, he plans to use this degree to work with nonprofits and education-focused organizations to better use data and information to drive impact. Owen serves on student government as his department’s Diversity Officer, leading initiatives to ensure all of his fellow diverse students are supported in their academic and career pursuits. Owen also has a super power: he finds four leaf clovers like nobody’s business.


  Sara Kruse '09, '10
Chair, Tulsa


Barbara Ddamulira '11
Co-Chair, Washington, DC


Barbara Ddamulira served in the DC 2010-2011 corps. She works for the Henry M. Jackson Foundation as a Monitoring and Evaluation Associate with the U.S. Military HIV Research Program’s Global Health Program.  After serving in the 2010-2011 corps at the Browne Education Campus, Barbara received her Master of Public Health from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.


Molly Mitzner '14
Co-Chair, Washington, DC