Director, SYEP Iniatives
Adam has been a part of Commonpoint Queens for the majority of his life, attending Nursery School at our Sam Field location 30(!) years ago. Since then, he has also been a participant of our after school programs and summer camps before starting his professional journey as a camp counselor in high school. After graduating from Syracuse University and Queens College with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees respectively in Education, Adam became the full time Program Director at the COMPASS Program at P.S. 169 in Bay Terrace. From there, he spent a few years serving our executive team as the agency’s Director of Administration before finding his current home overseeing our SYEP initiatives, working out of John Bowne High School. In his down time, Adam enjoys spending as much time as he can with his wife Rose and dog Ahsoka, watching his beloved Mets, Knicks, Jets and Arsenal, reading and collecting comic books, and forever trying to catch up on his tv and movie streaming binge-list.
Director, Career Ready SYEP
As an agency-lifer, David is no stranger to all things Commonpoint Queens. He first began as a toddler in one of our nursery school classes, then attended our Pioneer Day Camp as a camper for 6 summers. In 2009, he started as a camp counselor for Pioneer Day Camp for five summers, while also working as an after-school counselor and Gym Specialist at P.S. 175 during the school year. He found his calling in the Youth Workforce Department by starting off as a Worksite Monitor/Liaison in 2013. By 2018, with a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Queens College, David quickly climbed the ladder to becoming full-time with the Youth Workforce Department as a School-Based SYEP Program Coordinator. A short time after, a new title of Worksite Operations Coordinator was bestowed upon him to manage all Work Learn & Grow and SYEP Worksite partnerships. He now sits as Program Director for our Career Ready Work Learn & Grow, Summer Youth Employment Program. He is looking forward to bringing more opportunity and growth to hundreds of youth every year through the programs. In his down time, David enjoys spending quality time with his girlfriend, watching comedy movies, rooting on the Yankees, and hanging out with family and friends.
Program Operations Coordinator
Kara has been a part of the Commonpoint family since she was a camper at age 7. Before being promoted to Program Operations Coordinator, she worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Summer Youth Employment Program/ Work, Learn & Grow Program. In May of 2021, Kara graduated from Stony Brook University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She is passionate about supporting youth through transitions and socioemotional growth. One goal of hers is to effectively engage youth to meet their academic and personal goals in addition to promoting their overall mental health and well-being. As a prior SYEP participant, she understands the invaluable opportunities that the program has to offer.
Program Coordinator, Career Ready SYEP at Pan American International High School
Magaly Avelino started working at Commonpoint Queens in September 2022 as the Program Coordinator for the SYEP Career Ready Program at Pan American International High School. She graduated from Queens College with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in June of 2022. Working with the youth population has been her top career objective since graduating college. She believes that working with students is a rewarding experience because she is able to see them grow and achieve academic excellence regardless of the challenges they may face. Before becoming a program coordinator at PAIHS, she worked at the school as a Youth Advocate and provided students with direction in their academic, vocational, and personal lives. During her free time Magaly enjoys traveling, hanging out with her friends, and going on long walks with her dog.
Program Coordinator, Career Ready SYEP
Paolo started at Commonpoint Queens as a Social Work Intern at Martin Van Buren High School in 2021, where he was a counselor in the S.O.A.R. Program. He currently attends Touro College in order to obtain his Master’s of Social Work. Paolo has transitioned into his current position of Career Ready Employment Coordinator in the Summer of 2022. Paolo has had vast work experience in various environments including mental health, live music event management, and hospitality. Paolo enjoys film photography, going to museums, trying different types of foods, and playing music.
Special Initiatives SYEP Program Director
Michell Marin started working at Commonpoint Queens in September 2021 as the Program Director for the SYEP Emerging Leaders Program. She comes to Commonpoint Queens with a strong background in youth development. She graduated from NYACK College with a Master’s in Organizational Leadership and was an after-school site director before coming to Commonpoint Queens. Michell is passionate about the work she does and the lives she touches. Michell wants the future leaders of tomorrow to have positive role models who can show them how to make a difference while cheering them on in the process. Michell enjoys traveling, hanging with her friends and family, and trying new restaurants.
Alex started out at Commonpoint Queens in 2017 as an after-school counselor at PS 206. She joined the SYEP team as an Administrative Assistant during the summer of 2019 and subsequently stayed on for the Work Learn and Grow program. In spring of 2022 she joined the full time staff in the position of Administrative Specialist, and now oversees the entire admin team. In her spare time she enjoys reading, listening to music, and watching historical dramas.
Emerging Leaders SYEP Program Coordinator
Kathia Espinal started working at Commonpoint Queens in March 2022 as the Program Coordinator for the SYEP Emerging Leaders Program. She graduated from The New York City College of Technology with a Bachelor’s in Human Services and was a caseworker before coming to Commonpoint Queens. Kathia is passionate about empowering today’s youth to reach their full potential. Kathia enjoys traveling, Netflix, and music.
Worksite Administrative Specialist
Nicole Ponce started working at Commonpoint Queens in July 2020 in our High School and College Success Division where she primarily focused on supporting youth with work readiness and completing post-secondary plans. Nicole has recently transitioned into a new role as our new Worksite Administrative Specialist for our Youth Employment Division. Nicole has over 7 years of non-profit experience where she worked in various Youth Development Programs including Summer Youth Employment, Work, Learn, and Grow, and In-School Youth. Nicole currently attends New York City College of Technology to complete her dual degree in Business and Technology of Fashion. Nicole enjoys various areas of creative arts and actively designs and participates in Anime Conventions.
Worksite Operations Coordinator
Dahlia started at Commonpoint Queens in March 2023 as the newly appointed Worksite Operations Coordinator. She graduated from John Jay College with a Bachelor’s in Latin American and Latino Studies and minored in Sociology. She comes with a strong background and knowledge of SYEP and other youth development programs. She was a SYEP site monitor and a Job Developer before coming to Commonpoint Queens where she recruited youth across NYC and provided them with job opportunities as well as assisting them in continuing higher education. Dahlia is passionate about working with youth and helping them reach their full potential. During her free time, Dahlia enjoys going out to eat at new places with friends. She also enjoys her time at home with her family and dog.
SYEP/WLG Program Coordinator
Aisha started working at Commonpoint Queens in Spring 2023. She is no stranger to the Summer Youth Employment Program, as she has been working with SYEP since 2021. Her first SYEP, she was an Intern at Global Kids Bryant High School primarily focusing on SYEP Younger Youth Project Based Learning. She returned to Global Kids Bryant as an Assistant SYEP/WLG Coordinator after completing her BA in Sociology and minoring in Psychology at Hunter College. Now working as an SYEP/WLG Program Coordinator at Commonpoint Queens, Aisha continues on her path to activate high school youth in Queens, NY to gain professional work experience before they embark on their adult lives. Aisha is passionate about advocacy and social justice issues, with a strong focus on empowering youth, lower socioeconomic communities, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, BIPOC populations, and those with disabilities. One goal of hers is to help her youth gain even larger opportunities to set them up for success, and give them the confidence to know they are more than capable of taking on these challenges. She is looking forward to attending the first college graduation for one of her students she has worked with. In her free time, she enjoys listening to live music, dancing, being outside in nature, crocheting, and spending time with her loved ones.