YouthBuild’s staff is composed of committed educators, administrators, counselors, vocational instructors and AmeriCorps members. We are a diverse team of professionals, united in our high standards and commitment to serving the best interests of the students.

No matter their role at the school, every employee at YouthBuild plays a part in creating a safe and positive educational environment where amazing transformations can take place.

YouthBuild Philly has been named a Top Workplace in Philadelphia for six years running. Click here to see available positions at YouthBuild Philly.

Got a question for us? Fill out our contact form and we’ll direct your inquiry to the right person. 


Scott Emerick, Executive Director

Program Administration

Brian Leffler, Program Director

Justine Philyaw, Program Operations Director

Robin Walker, Learning Exchange Director


Adesanya Karade, Chief Financial and Operating Officer

Bill Baig, Network Administrator

Joshua Neilson, IT Help Desk Specialist

Annette Ortiz Molina, Office Manager/HR Coordinator

Alexander Rocke, Sr. Financial Analyst

Jenna Dougherty, Jr. Financial Analyst

Ian Mackenzie, IT Intern


Meredith Molloy, Chief Development Officer

Ted Molloy, Individual Giving Coordinator

Nikkia Moss, Communications & Development Associate

Paul Luong, Grants and Data Manager

Tanza Pugliese, AmeriCorps Grant Coordinator

Eric Shapiro, DOL Grant Coordinator/Systems Analyst

Academic Education

Sarah Burgess, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Jody Cohen, Language Arts Teacher

Willa Deitch, Language Arts Teacher

Erika Starr Celley, Mathematics Teacher

Rebekah Dommel, Mathematics Teacher

Christina Neilson, Mathematics Teacher

Peter Celona, Science Teacher

Anthony Smith, Social Studies Teacher

Postsecondary Career Development

Justin Lockley, Interim Director Of Career & Alumni Success

Latosha Morris, Career Coordinator

Zurrell Toney, Career Coordinator

Orneno Wright, Career Coordinator

Jennifer Rivers, Interim Director of Career Partnerships & Postsecondary Initiatives

Ricky Strickler, Career Training Coordinator

Michael Noel, Postsecondary Impact Coordinator

Specialized Services

Frederick Bader, School Psychologist, Compliance Coordinator

David Rivoire, Special Education Coordinator

Richard Chalme, Special Education Teacher

Ashlee Hipp, Special Education Teacher

Erin Young, Special Education Teacher

Isabella Aponte, Behavioral Specialist

Nina Mercado, Instructional Aide, Temporary

Rebecca Wanner, ESL Teacher


Cheryl Thomas, Counselor, Consultant

Student Life & AmeriCorps

Zuri Stone, Assistant Director of Student Life


Amanda Hulse, Community Projects Coordinator

Natasha Keele, Community Projects Coordinator

Jasmine Newton, Community Projects Coordinator

Student Success

Ana Dopazo, Director of Student Success

Doris Spears, Interim Director of Student Success

Charla Hill, Student Success Manager

Frank Redmond, Student Success Manager

Patricia Rozier, Student Success Manager

Vocational Education

Building Trades

George Jenkins, Building Trades Instructor

Ronald Payton, Youth Development Specialist

Business Administration /Customer Service

Melissa Jackson-Schmidt, Business Administration Scholars Coordinator

Gary Morris, AmeriCorps Customer Service & Technology Coordinator

Josh Harding, AmeriCorps Customer Service & Technology Coordinator

Michelle Severino, AmeriCorps Customer Service & Technology Coordinator

Business Administration /Customer Service

Jennifer Schifano, Barista Instructor


Nakesha Moore, Healthcare Coordinator

Brenda Alfaro, Healthcare Program Officer


Obioma Martin, CDA Instructor, Consultant