Jennifer Lawrence is the Executive Director at the SEAT Center. Her work includes the creation and oversight of YouthBuild Schenectady and the ongoing expansion of our social enterprise services. Jennifer holds a Masters of Social Work Administration from Fordham University and attended the SUNY Albany Executive MBA Program. Jennifer’s current focus is on building sustainability and infrastructure, with special attention to programming that provides a participatory learning environment, models high expectations, incorporates youth voice, and creates future hope. Jennifer is a strong advocate of youth employment as a means to decrease crime, increase hope, and make sustainable change. Jennifer is a graduate of the American Express Leadership Institute/ Center for Creative Leadership and was a 2009-2011 YouthBuild USA Director’s Fellow. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys spending quality time with her son Anthony and obsessing about all things SEAT!
Rebecca PaavolaSR. DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Rebecca Paavola is the Senior Director of Education and Training at Schenectady YouthBuild. Rebecca Paavola has been with Schenectady YouthBuild as Director of Programs since November 2012. Prior to this, she was the Assistant Principal and Special Education Coordinator for LAYC YouthBuild Charter School. Rebecca has over 18 years of experience as an educator and school administrator at a range of elementary and secondary schools including YouthBuild Community School in Ohio. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University in Special Education and Elementary Education, and continued on to graduate studies at Ohio State University in Literacy and Reading. Rebecca is trained in Quantum Learning, Mockingbird Education, Contextualized Learning, and is a Bridges out of Poverty Train the Trainer.
Jermaine WrightASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, TROY YOUTHBUILD SITE SUPERVISOR, CULINARY INSTRUCTOR
Jermaine is the Associate Director at the SEAT Center, the Site Supervisor for Troy YouthBuild, and the Culinary Instructor for our Train Up Culinary program. Jermaine earned his Master of Arts in Corporate Communication and Branding, and his Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Persuasive Communication from the University at Albany.
As Associate Director, Jermaine leads and oversees all of SEAT’s internal and external communications, marketing, and public relations efforts. In addition, Jermaine runs the Troy YouthBuild program, overseeing both Construction and Culinary tracks, and serves as our Culinary Instructor via the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s culinary curriculum. Outside of SEAT, Jermaine is a personal chef, a competitive hip-hop dancer/instructor, a communications and marketing consultant and an entrepreneur. He’s passionate about all things youth, and loves all things creative.
Khamali BrownDIRECTOR OF SPECIAL PROJECTS
Khamali earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Utica College. For almost 10 years, she worked for the NYS Department of Health, AIDS Institute coordinating and promoting statewide trainings. As an entrepreneur, she was a consultant in sales, marketing, and training with over
15 years of business experience mentoring and coaching individuals to achieve their goals. Khamali is a certified Dale Carnegie Instructor and has worked with professionals and corporate teams building skills in professional presentations, coaching, communication, and leadership.
Brian McKeonASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF YOUTHBUILD
Brian earned his degree from Covenant College in Georgia. He has extensive experience in non profit management, education, urban development, and cross cultural work, including starting an international disaster response organization and running it for ten years. He has travelled to more than forty countries, coached three different varsity sports, and is a volunteer fire fighter. His favorite times though are those spent with his wife and three children.
Lakeia BowmanASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF WORK WELLNESS
Sharon Philips CORPORATE SERVICES ADMINISTRATOR
Sharon earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Communications from SUNY Oswego. Over the course of her career, she held oversight of Marketing, Public Relations, Business Development and Organizational Development/HR departments at CAP COM Federal Credit Union. Her passion for community engagement was realized in co-founding CAP COM Cares Foundation. As an entrepreneur, she is a consultant in marketing, organizational/culture development and strategy. She serves on the Board of the American Cancer Society and Better U Committee for the American Heart Association. In her role as Corporate Services Administrator for SEAT Center, Sharon is focused on the employee experience which aligns culture and strategy to drive the SEAT mission.