Staff

Chymeka Olfonse, Executive Director

Chymeka Olfonse is the Executive Director of Minds Matter National Inc. Having spent her entire post-college career in the non-profit sector, she joins the organization with a wealth of experience. Chymeka has dedicated her entire professional career to empowering individuals through education. She brings to Minds Matter an entrepreneurial spirit, volunteer management expertise and significant leadership experience in the education sector. She has worked in both programming and management capacities at the New York City Department of Education and at The After-School Corporation (TASC). In her role at TASC, Chymeka oversaw the development and implementation of the Center’s college credit-bearing certificate programs and continuing-education courses. She also built relationships with local colleges and community-based organizations, leading the Center’s recruitment and marketing efforts. As a Program Manager in the Office of Strategic Partnerships at the New York City Department of Education, she oversaw a number of large efforts to bring private-sector philanthropy into the public schools. Prior to that, Chymeka was Deputy Director for the Mid-Atlantic region of Jumpstart for Young Children, a national non-profit serving disadvantaged pre-schoolers. Chymeka is a graduate of Yale University where she earned a dual Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with Economic Policy and African and African-American History. She completed her Masters in Public Administration with a focus in Public and Nonprofit Management at The Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.  In the summer of 2012, Chymeka earned a Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management certificate offered through Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program.

 

Jade Keena, Operations Manager

Jade Keena brings years of experience in operations management to Minds Matter National Inc. Her post-collegiate career exposed her to a tremendous breadth of knowledge in day-to-day and big-picture administration, and she is ready to direct her skills and enthusiasm towards her true passion: the non-profit sector. Jade is a proud Summa Cum Laude graduate of Hofstra University, where she obtained dual Bachelor degrees in Public Relations and Creative Writing. While studying at Hofstra, Jade worked as a Public Relations intern at the Nassau County Coalition against Domestic Violence and as part of the V-Day Campaign.  As the first person in her family to graduate from college, Jade believes strongly in the importance of higher-education and is excited to help others achieve the same success. In her spare time, Jade enjoys writing poetry, and is an Academy of American Poets University and College Poetry Prize recipient.

 

Megha Vyas, Communications and Operations Associate

Megha is the Operations and Communications Associate at Minds Matter National Inc. Her passion for underserved communities brought her to the Organization. Prior to joining Minds Matter National, Megha worked as a researcher, writer, and editor for various research projects at Columbia University and Rutgers University. She was also a Legal Assistant for a law firm in New York City, a Freelance Writer at AOL.com, and an intern at the National Organization for Women. She actively pursues independent research projects that focus on international and domestic politics of culture, race, and gender. Megha strives to be constantly aware of the various intersectionalities of race, gender, class, sexuality, ability status, and so many more that affect our everyday, and is proud to be part of an Organization that brings awareness to the inequity gap that low-income youth and families face. She is a firm believer in the power of research, young people’s energy, and collective action to bring about social change. Megha is in constant admiration of the large nationwide volunteer base of Minds Matter, and is convinced that such thoughtful and dedicated people are bound to change the world. Megha earned her Master of Arts in South Asian Studies and International Affairs from Columbia University, and her Bachelor of Arts cum laude in History, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Comparative Literature from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where she received high departmental Honors for her Honors Thesis. Born and raised in New Jersey, Megha considers the Tri-State area home, and can’t imagine leaving it.

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