Staff & Board

Join the Breakthrough Team!

Executive Team

Beth E. Onofry

Beth E. Onofry

Executive Director

Meet Beth

Beth (she/hers) brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in both the higher education and nonprofit sectors. She spent 11 years at the TEAK Fellowship, a college access and success nonprofit in New York City that helps bright and motivated students from low-income families. Prior to joining TEAK, Beth worked in Admissions at Dartmouth College. She earned her BA from Dartmouth, her Master’s degree in Education from Harvard, and a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Long Island University.

Shawna Rodgers

Shawna Rodgers

Chief Development Officer

Meet Shawna

Shawna (she/hers) is a seasoned fundraising professional with more than decade of demonstrated success in raising millions for universities, healthcare facilities, and other non-profit organizations. Her experience includes leading staff during organizational change, non-profit board development, and capital campaigns. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Maryland and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). 

Clifton Stuckey III

Clifton Stuckey III

Chief Financial & Operating Officer

Meet Clifton

Clifton (he/him) has been serving in the education/youth development space for over 11 years and brings over 6 years of leadership experience. He spent 7 years at Uncommon Schools Charter Network, and served as the Director of Operations of 4 high-performing Brooklyn middle schools. As a first-generation college graduate, Clifton has a deep passion for supporting our youth and has an unwavering purpose to deliver a high quality educational experience to our future leaders. Prior to joining Uncommon Schools, Clifton worked in Financial Services at Fordham University in NYC. He earned his BA in Accounting and his Master’s degree in Taxation, both from Fordham University.

Middle School Team

Paola Hernandez

Paola Hernandez

Middle School Program Manager - Bronx

Meet Paola

Paola (she/her) has recently worked with City Year New York as a volunteer member and then a Team Leader. She started her career by working in the UConn Collegiate Awareness and Preparation Program (ConnCAP), a program she herself was in during high school. She earned her BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut. She looks forward to building relationships with students, their families, and her peers to better serve Breakthrough New York in meeting its mission.

Daisy Salas

Daisy Salas

Admissions Director

Meet Daisy

Daisy (she/her/ella) graduated from Brooklyn College with her B.A in Psychology and minors in Children Youth Studies and Thanatology. Daisy comes from a background in community advocacy. She has always had a passion for empowering and advocating for marginalized groups. She aims to bring awareness to students and families about all the different types of resources and services that are available for students. She is looking forward to connecting families Breakthrough New York and all that it offers! 

Destany Martin

Destany Martin

High School Placement Manager

Meet Destany

Destany (she/her) earned her BA in Global Affairs at George Mason University. It was during this time that she was a Teaching Fellow at Breakthrough Greater Boston and fell in love with her experience helping students reach their full potential. Destany returns as Breakthrough New York’s High School Placement Manager and is looking forward to helping students and families explore their high school options and find the right fit.

Ahladini Veerina

Ahladini Veerina

Middle School Program Manager - Manhattan

Meet Ahladini

Over the last ten years, Ahladini (she/her) has been a tutor, teacher, and mentor to students ranging from preschool to college. She seeks to challenge and empower students in a way that ultimately transforms the way they see and think about themselves and their place in the world. Through patience and humor, Ahladini works to create comfortable reciprocal relationships with her students in order to foster well-rounded growth and learning. Ahladini received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Politics from Occidental College.

Anita Norman

Anita Norman

Middle School Program Manager - Brooklyn

Meet Anita

Anita (she/her) is interested in helping students see their most indomitable selves in the classroom and beyond. From education programs in national and international contexts, Anita has built and led curricula that challenges the status quo and invites students to use creativity when addressing community needs. She is motivated to ensure students have the support and information they need to thrive in diverse educational contexts. Anita received her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Yale University.

Adriana Meza

Adriana Meza

Senior Director of Middle School Programs

Meet Adriana

Adriana loves working with Breakthrough New York as she is able to work closely with and in service of NYC youth. She is a middle school ally and advocate who loves finding ways for learning and leadership to exist in all child-related spaces. As a former teacher, dean of students, school leader, and instructional consultant, she approaches this work with intention and great excitement. Adriana received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Seattle University and her master’s in Education from Pepperdine University. 

High School Team

Margaret Cohen

Margaret Cohen

High School Manager, 10th Grade

Meet Margaret

Margaret (she/hers) comes to Breakthrough with a background in social work. She completed both her bachelors and masters in social work at Fordham University where she focused on educational equity and support for young people. She is passionate about holistic mentorship and approaches to education that recognize learners for everything they bring to a space. She looks forward to connecting with students, families, and mentors as 9th graders transition into high school.

Jonathan Lim

Jonathan Lim

College Guidance Manager

Meet Jonathan

Jonathan (he/him) is a college advisor with over 3 years of experience helping students access and persist in college. He graduated from CUNY Hunter College and initially pursued a career in civics education before shifting focus into postsecondary access. His goal is to help as many students as possible access a quality education in a manner that highlights their individual journeys. Jonathan joined Breakthrough New York to expand his ability to support students through the college access process.

College & Career Success

Finance & Operations

Joshua Jordan

Joshua Jordan

College & Career Manager

Meet Joshua

Joshua (he/him) has been passionate about education since he was five years old, when he “helped” his mother teach preschool students. Since then, Joshua’s interest in education merged with his dedication to justice-oriented practices as he gained leadership experience while managing a youth empowerment program. As a team member at Breakthrough, Joshua is most excited to connect with students while building community through compassion, humor, and authenticity. Joshua received a B.A. in Government & Education from Cornell University before earning a M.A. in Education Policy from Stanford University.

Jomar Lopez

Jomar Lopez

Talent Acquisition Director

Meet Jomar

Jomar (he/him) has had a passion for working within the education space ever since his SYEP internship at a childcare center back in the summer of 2012. After graduating college, Jomar continued his work in after school programs throughout the city. He eventually joined the Breakthrough community as the Manhattan Program Manager in 2019, where he continued engaging with students and their families on their academic journeys. He is excited to step into the role of Talent Acquisition Director to recruit and cultivate the talent that surrounds Breakthrough’s students. He is currently earning his MPA in Policy Analysis from CUNY Baruch College.

Lisbeth Valerio

Lisbeth Valerio

Operations Coordinator

Meet Lisbeth

A graduate with a BA in Marketing and a minor in Psychology, Lisbeth (she/her) is not just a professional; she is an advocate for collective success and well-being. Her passion for community empowerment is evident in her hands-on experience with nonprofit educational organizations. Lisbeth is dedicated to breaking down barriers and enhancing resource accessibility to foster sustainable growth within these communities. Her mission goes beyond survival; she envisions communities thriving by connecting them to meaningful resources.

External Relations Team

Max Haigney

Max Haigney

Development Coordinator

Meet Max

Max (he/him) is a recent college graduate with a passion for educational equity and community-driven social justice initiatives. He has previously worked in fundraising for nonprofits dedicated to refugee empowerment, emergency response, and food insecurity. He earned his BA from Brown University in Education Studies and International & Public Affairs in May of 2023. He is excited to utilize his experience in fundraising and education to support the external relations team and Breakthrough New York’s mission.

Board of Directors

David M. ShermanChair
Senior Advisor and Co-Founder, BGO Strategic Capital Partners

Gautam RanjiVice Chair
Chief Financial Officer, MSG Sphere

Mona Shah – Treasurer
Head of North America Business Development, PayPal

William Clark – Secretary

Daniel Botoff (Dan)
Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets

Anne C. Buehl
Principal, Rocaton Investment Advisors

Jennifer A. Coyle

Peter Croncota
Director of School and Program Partnerships, KIPP Infinity Charter School

Gerald Cooper
Partner, Campbell Lutyens

Laura Drumm

Nora Elish Program & Outcomes Chair
Mentor, Students for Justice

Jed Feldman
Partner and Chief Legal Officer, Thrive Capital

Gregory K. Gale
Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP

David Geithner
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, On Location

Maria G. Hackley
Global Co-Head Industrials Group, Citi

Christopher Impey (Chris)
Managing Director, Global Head of Corporate Banking Subsidiaries, Bank of America

Jean-Pierre (J.P.) Jacquet
Director of Financial Aid, Assistant Director of Middle and Upper School Admission, Riverdale Country School

Kimberly Johns
Managing Director & Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs & Co.

Drew Phillips
Partner & Chief Operating Officer, Atalaya Capital Management

Sarah Rappoport

Associates Board

Shola Akinrolabu
Vice President, Paramount Global

Pamela Aquino
Executive Assistant, Salesforce

Jamin Bennett
Vice President of Business Development, Sunkeeper Solar

Shannon Clark
Senior Outbound Product Manager, Workday

Kristin Clarke-Cole
Special Assistant, Ford Foundation

Christopher Kenny
Director, RBC Capital Markets

Shannon McDonald
Field Producer, Fox News (Chair)

Juliana Merola
Director, Debt Capital Markets, Short Term Fixed Income, Bank of America

Rosa Salinas
Community PR, Amazon Web Services

Sebastian Sanchez
Equity, Debt, and Structured Finance Associate, Cushman & Wakefield

Damen Scott
Principal, Achievement First Brooklyn High School

39 Broadway, Suite 820
New York, NY 10006
[email protected]
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