Administration (TS and UB)
For more than 15 years, Kecia has been working in a variety of organizational settings in urban education. Prior to joining The Double Discovery Center, she was the founding Director of Teachers College, Columbia University’s university-assisted, community school initiative in Harlem that partnered with five NYC public schools. She was an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Montclair State University where she taught courses in leading school reform & improvement, community & school relations, research methods, and group dynamics. Kecia also was a Leadership Development Facilitator/Senior Program Officer at New Visions for Public Schools where she provided intensive school improvement support for administrators and school teams at seven NYC public schools. She worked for the New York State Education Department to help with implementation of their Race to the Top initiative. Kecia was a founding board member of Harlem Academy. Her professional work and research primarily focuses on urban school leadership, particularly collaborative approaches to innovative urban school turnaround and transformation in communities of color. She earned a B.A. from Hamilton College, M.A. and Ed.M. from Teachers College, Columbia University, and Ph.D. in Urban Education from the CUNY Graduate Center where she was a MAGNET Scholar. Her dissertation documented the educational experiences of young men at Rikers Island and examined the impact of a Sternberg’s multiple intelligence literacy program on the young men.
Finance and Analytics Manager
Corey has worked in higher education and finance for the past eight years. He spent the last three of those years at Pace University where he was the Budget and Finance Director for the Strategic Initiatives Division, which includes Pace's online, ESL, and continuing education departments. Prior to moving to New York, he worked as a Registrar for Executive Education at the University of St Thomas in Minneapolis, MN, where he also earned his M.B.A. Corey lives in Washington Heights and enjoys cooking--especially food from his plot at the local community garden.
Annick has a significant background in fundraising for educational institutions, from Columbia University Medical Center to the French-American School of New York. She attended high school in France and is familiar with both the public and private educational systems in the United States. She has a B.A. in Science Journalism from Baruch College and an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University. Annick chose the development field because she wanted to make a positive impact on society and her values strongly match DDC’s mission. She believes in providing children access to quality education, regardless of income, so that every child can fulfill his/her potential and in turn, contribute positively to the economic growth and the democratic process of this country.
Denisse Garcia currently resides in Washington Heights and is of Dominican and Salvadoran descent. In her spare time, she enjoys painting and spending time with family and friends. Denisse recently graduated from The City College of New York where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Previously, she worked at the Colin Powell School and was one of three people to oversee an entire finance division.
Talent Search Program
Destiny is a Washington Heights native. She has been passionate about college access since her junior year of undergraduate studies at SUNY New Paltz through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) where she majored in Psychology and minored in Black Studies and Disaster Studies. Her passions led her to Columbia University School of Social Work where she obtained her MSW and worked with a group of students in Harlem to ensure their place at an institution of higher education. Prior to coming to the Double Discovery Center, Destiny spent three years at Uncommon Schools, working relentlessly to assist the students of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn on their pathway to and through college and ultimately achieving 100% of cohort enrollment at a 4-year institution. Destiny is excited to make a similar impact closer to home because she drives her work through the mantra "Be who you needed when you were younger."
Marlin is a Dominican woman born and raised in the South Bronx with a passion for poetry, her family and SUNY Buffalo State (only the best alma mater!). She feels fortunate enough to work in her dream field as she truly thinks that working with youth is her niche and life calling.
First of all, as a disclaimer, Krystin advises that she is a writer; always will be—and, as any other writer in the room might be able to empathize with, she finds it insanely difficult to write about herself in any capacity. That being said, she borrows from an artist statement she wrote some years back: What it means to be Krystin Hernández, a woman of color born in the South Bronx to a father who emigrated from Mexico with no knowledge of English and a mother whose parents never graduated from high school; an artist; an activist; an animal lover; a writer; a serious person with a high threshold for silliness; an educator with a hunger to learn and a yearning to create and connect—is an echo of a larger political world in which she is, however unconsciously, a member. The point she makes is this: we are complex. It follows that the work that we deign to do must involve the navigation of these complexities. As a counselor, it is her mission to connect these multiple, overlapping things that create and empower (or dis-empower) “us,” to the ways in which we reach, educate and activate our students, the ways in which we provide access and concomitantly ensure the success of young people as agents within this matrix.
Kaye earned her BA from Brandeis University as a double-major in sociology and theater arts, with a minor in African and African-American studies. Kaye is a proud alumna of the college access program The Posse Foundation, which ignited her passion in education, youth empowerment, and leadership development. She joined the Posse NY program team as a Trainer and, most recently, served as the Program Director overseeing partnerships with Babson College, DePauw University, Franklin & Marshall College, Lafayette College, Lawrence University, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Vanderbilt University, and Wheaton College. She is excited to advance DDC's mission and goals and is eager to continue supporting high school students engage their academic and leadership potential.
Jessica Yip is the new Upward Bound Counselor for the Double Discovery Center at Columbia University. She is a proud environmentalist, animal lover, and travel & food enthusiast. Jessica graduated from the University at Buffalo with a B.A in Sociology and Economics. During her junior year, she realized that she wanted to pursue a profession where she could help others so she decided to become a counselor. Jessica went on to get her M.S.Ed in school counseling at Queens College and has been working with youth ever since.
Meaghan attended the University of Connecticut for both her undergraduate degrees in history and education, as well as her graduate studies in education, women, gender and sexuality, and nonprofit management. Meaghan’s culminating research project focused on the impact of experiential learning on both student engagement and their resulting historical understanding. From August 2012 through June 2014, she taught high school social studies at Conard High School in West Hartford, Connecticut. During her first year as a teacher, she founded a nonprofit organization called BRAVE Girls Leadership Inc., which operated for five years, in up to 15 different schools, with the mission to inspire and challenge humans to be brave and self-empowered contributors to a better world. The organization developed and implemented programming focused on student leadership and identity development, direct service learning, character education, social justice education, and mentorship. In addition, from August 2015 to May 2018, Meaghan also worked as the Student Success Counselor in the Center for Academic Excellence at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut.