We are excited to welcome additions to the Youth Bureau Team, internal promotions and staffing changes:
Daquan Rockett (AKA Rockett) joined the College Discovery Program (CDP) team as a full-time youth program leader in June. Rockett began his career at the Youth Bureau working with the Paul Schreurs Memorial Program as a seasonal employee from 2019 to 2021. He brings firsthand academic and mentoring support as a graduate of the first CDP cohort.
Lee Berrien joined the Recreation Support Services (RSS) as a recreation specialist for individuals with developmental disabilities in 2021. Lee has a long history with the Youth Bureau working for both RSS and CDP He started as a part-time seasonal staff with RSS in 2005 as a student, working through school and college. He joined the CDP program in 2018 as a youth program leader and transferred to RSS in 2021.
Melis Schildkraut joins the IYB as recreation specialist in expressive arts. Melis grew up in Rochester and has lived in Ithaca since moving here to attend Cornell in 2013. She got her start working with youth while volunteering for rural youth development programs in Freeville her freshman year and has been working with youth in Tompkins County ever since! Before coming over to IYB, Melis ran 4-H youth development programs in the Town of Danby for several years. In her free time, she loves creating and spending time outdoors. This fall, she's excited to share some of her hobbies with Ithaca youth through both a nature-based arts class and a book-making class.
Big Brothers Big Sisters welcomes match support specialist, Shasta Savage. Shasta grew up in the Ithaca community and spent much of her youth attending Youth Bureau programs. After graduating from high school and reflecting on the community mentors who supported her, Shasta pursued a college degree focused on social justice, human rights, youth development and resilience. Through the purposeful, compassionate, trauma-informed approach taken in all that she does, Shasta honors the values of dignity, equity and inclusion. She is currently certified as a yoga teacher who offers accessible yoga, mindfulness and self-care classes. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, eating delicious food and petting dogs! She is excited to begin her journey with the Big Brother Big Sisters community.
Amir Ali was promoted to recreation program leader. Amir started as a recreation program assistant in 2018. He spends his time working at Cass Park Pool and Rink and teaches art classes at the Youth Bureau.
Yolanda Marion was promoted from recreation program coordinator to recreation administrator. Yolanda started her career with the Youth Bureau in 2001 as a recreation supervisor. She brings experience running almost every program offered by the Recreation Department and has coordinated the Cass Pool and Rink seasons for more than 10 years.