President & CEO
Ruth Rathblott has been a leader in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years, 15 of which she spent at Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City where she played a central role in its expansion. Ruth holds a BA from Goucher College and an MSW from Boston University. She was the youngest alum awarded the Goucher College Excellence in Public Service in 2005 and was profiled in the NY Times’ Corner Office in 2014. Ms. Rathblott joined HEAF in January 2013.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Jacqueline Adorno brings to Harlem Educational Activities Fund, Inc. (HEAF) a record of 30+ years of Human Resources experience in organizations across business sectors. Ms. Adorno has extensive experience in various functional areas of Human Resources, including but not limited to recruitment, talent management, union and non-union employee relations, compensation, benefits, employee development, training, and workers’ compensation. She is a prominent pioneer in engaging in proactive outreach and engagement to mitigate the escalation of employee relations and employee engagement matters as well as meticulous in safeguarding compliance with company policies and procedures. Prior to joining us at HEAF, Jacquie was the Director of Human Resources at Savvy Intrapreneur. A strategic and prominent visionary with a proven track record in developing positive business relationship outcomes with employees and key stakeholders. Jacqueline’s hallmark is ensuring employee issues are addressed in a comprehensive and collaborative manner. Ms. Adorno earned her bachelor’s degree from DeVry University and her master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Chief Finance & Administrative Officer
Deirdre Bennett comes to HEAF with several years of nonprofit experience. Before coming to HEAF as Director of Finance and Administration she worked at several nonprofits offering healthcare and educational services. Ms. Bennett brings expertise in all aspects of not for profit accounting. She has a lifelong dedication for helping others and feels working with nonprofits allows her to fuel this passion. Ms. Bennett earned her BBA at Baruch College.
Chief Development & External Relations Officer
Chief Programs Officer
Sean Harrell believes firmly in inspiring every scholar to dream bigger, work harder, and care more. With over a decade of experience as a school-based and district leader, Harrell has honed his nurturing approach in providing educators with the operational, curriculum, and youth development supports needed to maximize the organization’s mission and vision. While serving in his various roles, Harrell founded and serves as executive director of the Progressive Educators Group, which is a consortium of educators charged with rethinking education and developing culturally relevant curricula and school processes to drive student achievement. Through Progressive Educators Group, Harrell has served as a thought-partner to over two dozen charter schools and youth development based non-profits. Harrell is trained in the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Program, Reggio Emilia, Wilson Reading, and Children’s Defense Fund’s Restorative Practices.
Youth Development Facilitator
Director, Youth Development
Ayomide Adedapo is a Licensed social worker born and raised in Staten Island, NY. She has spent most of her professional career working with Youth in educational and SEL settings. Ayomide is passionate about helping students find their passion and purpose. She believes that Youth development, at its core, is providing Youth with resources so they have access to better opportunities. Ayomide received her undergraduate degree in social work from Suny Plattsburgh, where she also played collegiate basketball. She received her Master’s of social work from Adelphi University. Ayomide is enthusiastic about creating environments in which Youth feel safe, comfortable, and empowered. She firmly believes that once given the chance & resources; you can accomplish anything.
Director, Onward (College)
Brooklyn Program Manager, High Expectations
Staymon grew up in Brooklyn, NY, was born in Guyana located in South America. His West Indian background stems from Guyana and the Bahamas. He graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Studies and Human Services from Metropolitan College of New York and earned his Masters Degree in Psychology from Long Island University. He has successfully worked in the field of Youth Development, Advocacy, Counseling, and Program Management for over eight years. He’s passionate about working with youth and family populations using education to effectively bring positive results.
Director of Career Connections
Manager of Admissions and Community Outreach
Pronouns: They Series
Finance and Administration Assistant
Youth Development Facilitator
Director, High Expectations (Middle School)
Manager, High Expectations: Manhattan
Youth Development Manager
Sasha is a southern belle in the concrete jungle! Originally from Houston, Texas Sasha moved to New York to attend college. Sasha received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Relations. Sasha has a true zeal for youth as she is an only child and regards the youth she serves as the little brothers and sisters she wished she had. Sasha has been working within the nonprofit sector for the past 6 years in Youth Development. Working at Mary J Blige Center for Women and Children and Goddard Riverside as an Outreach Coordinator. Sasha is passionate about Heaf’s mission to provide equity and looks forward to continuing her journey servicing the youth of new york city
Senior Manager of Finance & Administration
joining HEAF, he worked at PwC, a big-4 public accounting firm, where his focus was for-profit taxes and accounting. Subsequently he worked at Lighthouse Partners, a private hedge fund with $8 billion asset under management. He worked at Citco Financial Services as supervisor. He started out at HEAF in the Finance department as a volunteer. His goal is to use his talents and skills to help the underserved youth and communities.
Queens Program Manager, High Expectations
Emani is a Bronx native and has resided there her whole life. She recently graduated with a MA in Youth Studies from the CUNY School of Professional Studies. Prior to that, she received her BA in Forensic Psychology from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her passion for youth development is evident in the diverse roles she has experienced over the years. Those roles include middle-school girls basketball, volleyball, and softball coach, youth advocate, professional mentor, group leader, teacher’s assistant, and elective teacher. She is very diligent about putting young people first and enjoys supporting their growth and development.
College Quest Manager
Michelle Parague has 26 years of experience in the education sector including at the City College of New York and a role as an Instructor and Academic Coordinator at the Upward Bound Program. Michelle has worked with hundreds of underserved students to develop a growth mindset, build their academic skills, prepare for the SATs, and plan for college. She believes in the transformative power of education and is passionate about equity and educational access. Michelle holds a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in Language and Literacy. She starts each day with her favorite mantra – “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”
Director, College Quest (High School)
Data and Development Manager