Staff

Patty Machir Patty Machir

Executive Director

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Patty was named Executive Director of Futures and Options in April 2007.  Patty's lifelong passion has been helping children and youth in her community. Whether in Dallas, Texas, Washington D.C. or her birthplace of New York City, she has found a way to help those youth who might not receive help otherwise.

Since becoming Executive Director of Futures and Options, Patty has worked tirelessly to improve the long-term sustainability of the organization through board development and strategic planning, as well as through organizational growth and development in the areas of program, fundraising and marketing. Patty's passion for the youth and the program's mission is coupled with commitment to excellence in all areas, which ensures continued improvements and growth in the program, infrastructure and sustainability.

Before coming to Futures and Options, Patty was Director of Volunteer Services at The Children's Aid Society, one of the oldest and largest children's welfare agencies in New York City, and was responsible for the oversight of the recruitment, training and management system for over 300 volunteers each year, as well as the corporate strategic partnership program and annual fundraising gala. From 2003 to 2005, Patty was Executive Director of Variety International – The Children's Charity, a multi-national, volunteer-driven organization aligned with the movie industry, which supports programs for children with special needs, children with serious medical concerns and children who live in the midst of poverty. In Dallas, Texas, Patty was president of the Board of Directors for Dallas for Children, a start-up, volunteer-run fundraising organization that supported selected intervention and prevention programs for needy children, from birth through six years old.

Patty has always been a strong advocate on behalf of children and youth, whether as a volunteer or paid employee. She served on the Dallas Commission for Children and Youth for three years, was a member of the Adolescent Pregnancy Board in Fort Worth, Texas for three years, and also served as director of Rockville Community Nursery School in Rockville, Maryland.  She is the mother of three sons and one daughter, all of whom are living in New York City. Patty received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Georgetown University, and her Masters of Arts in Education: Early Childhood/Special Education from George Washington University.

Nancy Manket

Chief Operating Officer

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Nancy Manket is the first Chief Operating Officer for Futures and Options. In this role, she oversees finance, operations, and human resources to ensure a strong infrastructure to support the organization's rapid growth. Before joining Futures and Options, she advised the C-suites of mid-market companies to provide growth and acquisition strategies. In addition, she has served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at a number of mid-sized firms, where she focused on financial, process, and people improvements, which contributed to the success of those businesses. After years of working in the corporate and banking world, she is thrilled to be applying her skills and experiences to an organization with a mission that aligns with her passions.

Nancy has an MBA from Columbia University and a BA from Cornell University.  She is an active Board member of Key Collegiate, a public charter middle school in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and Reunion Gifts Campaign Co-Chair for Cornell.  In her spare time, she teaches yoga and enjoys hiking, biking, and skiing with family and friends.



AmandaAmanda Cotchen

Program Coordinator

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Amanda Cotchen is a Program Coordinator at Futures and Options where she facilitates career-development workshops and plays an integral role in the internship program from candidate recruitment and interviewing to site matching to mentoring interns through successful internship completion.  She also leads the College Guidance ancillary program, which includes monthly workshops, essay review, and individual support.  Amanda joined Futures and Options in 2017, while completing her school counseling internship at The Beacon School in NYC.  Prior to joining Futures and Options, she was an Account Executive at DBL.E, a NYC-based B2B public relations agency.  She brings to F+O a passion for youth development, a desire to help students realize and reach their potential, and a unique mix of experience working in business and education.

Amanda graduated from University of Dayton with a BA in Communication and a minor in Psychology, and earned an M.Ed in School Counseling from Hunter College.

       

Catherine Dodge

Grants Manager

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Catherine joined Futures and Options in November 2010, and became the Grants Manager in spring 2016. She is passionate about leveling the playing field for young people in New York City and empowering them to envision exciting futures and to achieve their goals.

Before New York, Cat lived in Iowa City, Iowa for two years.  There she worked at a social service nonprofit by day and stage managed for Riverside Theatre by night. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Literature from Bard College, where she mentored and tutored high school students through the college application process. In 2014, Catherine completed her Master of Public Administration in Urban and Social Policy from the School for International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She grew up in Lyme, Connecticut. 

  

James Gurney

Program Manager

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James is the Program Manager at Futures and Options. In this role, he launches new program partnerships, evaluates student outcomes data, and helps coordinate internships for New York City youth.

Prior to joining Futures and Options, James taught an undergraduate course at the University of Georgia on diversity and multiculturalism in American schools, developed curriculum for an online textbook transformation grant, and worked as an academic mentor for student-athletes. James graduated from the University of Georgia in 2015 with a Ph.D in Social Foundations of Education. His research investigated the implementation of educational policies and the realities of classroom practices in Togo, West Africa, where he spent two years working as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of California—Santa Barbara in 2008, where he double majored in International Affairs and Black Studies. In his spare time, James enjoys back-country camping and Detroit Tigers baseball.

    

Taylor Heideman

Business Engagement Coordinator

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Taylor joined Futures and Options in April 2018. Prior to joining Futures and Options, Taylor worked for the City of Chicago as a Youth Programs Coordinator and Assistant to the 48th Ward Alderman. During her time in Chicago, she cultivated a number of new opportunities for teens to connect with elected officials, developed new strategies to keep young people engaged in their communities, and coordinated youth employment programs. Taylor is excited to continue working to empower young people in New York City and looks forward to engaging with teens to further their career passions.

 Taylor graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 2014 with a B.A. in Political Science. She continued her education to earn a M.A. in Public Policy and Public Administration from Adler University in Chicago. Her graduate thesis focused on youth civic engagement strategies in urban areas. Throughout her studies and work, Taylor is very passionate about social justice and human rights advocacy.

  

Sarah Kaufmann

Senior Program Coordinator

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Sarah Kaufmann is a Senior Program Coordinator at Futures and Options. Her work portfolio includes the facilitation of intern professional development workshops, managing high school interns and coordination of the Barbara L. Christen Scholarship. Prior to Futures and Options Sarah worked as Social Media Manager at Women's Education Project. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, where she majored in International Development Studies and minored in Middle East Studies.

    

Krista Kee

Program Coordinator

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Krista is a program coordinator at Futures and Options responsible for leading our arts-based programming, facilitating workshops, and supporting students throughout their internships. Prior to joining Futures and Options, she worked as a research coordinator for a legal tech start up in New York City. She also previously worked in the Career Services and Alumni Development offices at the University of Roehampton in London while completing her master's degree. During her undergraduate studies, she served as a director for "Frog Camp", a first-year experience program at Texas Christian University.

Krista graduated from TCU in 2016 with her BFA in Modern Dance and Political Science. She then went on to receive her MA in Dance Politics and Sociology from the University of Roehampton. Her graduate thesis explored the Afro-Argentine history of the Tango and complexities of Argentine national identity. She is passionate about social justice, education, and student development and she is excited to utilize her experience to contribute to the mission of Futures and Options.


Kat Malek-Hood

Business Engagement Manager

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Kat Malek-Hood joined Futures and Options in February 2018 as the Business Engagement Manager.  In this role, Kat manages the expansion of Futures and Options' network of business partners, which provide the investment, support, and workplace opportunities that allow Futures and Options to run its youth career development programs, which include Career Essentials and the Internship Program.

Prior to joining Futures and Options, Kat worked at NBCUniversal in Ad Sales and Corporate Social Responsibility.  During her time with the Corporate Social Responsibility team, Kat contributed to the development of the 'Erase the Hate' campaign that launched this year across all of NBCUniversal's cable networks, and focused on positively impacting the social issues in this country. Prior to NBCU, Kat worked for Senator Gillibrand, connecting constituents to critical government programs and services.

Kat earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from New York University with a focus in Anthropology.  Kat is very passionate about developing high-quality internship opportunities for our students and our supervisors, as well as providing businesses with a pipeline to NYC's ambitious young talent.

   

Willa Mayo

Program Coordinator

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Willa Mayo is a Program Coordinator at Futures and Options where she facilitates career development workshops, conducts student interviews, and supports students and partner organizations through the seasonal Internship Program. She previously ran a similar internship program at a social enterprise bakery called Sweet Generation, and prior to that she worked at Big Sister Association and served as a corps member for City Year Boston. She graduated from Smith College School for Social Work with her Masters of Social Work and is licensed in the state of New York. She previously earned her BA in Psychology from Skidmore College. Willa enjoys going on long walks and exploring different Brooklyn neighborhoods.

    

Joanna Munoz 

Program Director

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Joanna Munoz serves as Futures and Options' Program Director. In this role, she oversees the implementation of F+O's programs and the expansion of F+O's network of business partners. She also develops and manages collaborations with schools and CBOs to bring F+O's model programs to more New York City youth.

Joanna graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations in 2009 and joined Teach For America, an organization that recruits college graduates to teach in under-resourced schools throughout the country. After completing her TFA commitment, she became a Program Coordinator for Futures and Options, working to design specialized programs, facilitate career development workshops, and provide individualized career coaching for interns. In 2013, Joanna was promoted to Business Engagement Manager, responsible for implementing a partnership strategy aligning with Futures and Options' mission and goals for program growth. Joanna briefly left Futures and Options to pursue a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in May 2016, before returning to the organization as Program Director. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two dogs.

    

Priya Murali

Assistant Program Coordinator

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Priya joined Futures and Options in April 2018 as an Assistant Program Coordinator. Prior to joining the organization, she served as a Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools, a nonprofit that addresses the opportunity gap by providing middle schoolers from underserved communities the opportunities they need to achieve greater academic parity with their more affluent peers.

Priya earned a degree in Anthropology from New York University and is excited to bring her experience working in youth development to ensure that New York City's young adults have the support and resources they need to succeed.

   

Jacques Onanga

Assistant Program Coordinator

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Jacques graduated from Royal Holloway University of London, with a degree in Political Science and International Relations with June 2017 and joined the Futures and Options team in April of 2018. His experience working at the United Populations Fund in Burundi offered him a first-hand insight into the complexities and nuances of youth development. There he understood the value of public and private sector partnerships in promoting youth entrepreneurship through education, as well as delivering vital services to impoverished communities. Jacques has also worked in the London Borough of Croydon, assessing the impact of community safety and justice policies on at-risk youth alongside elected borough representatives. His most recent role as a financial aid advisor at Frank FAFSA, a startup fin-tech company in New York, has provided him with a lengthy exposure to college access and success strategies, the financial aid process, and working with high schools and community based organizations. Jacques is passionate about helping students complete complex tasks in minute detail, and thinking critically with them about the key drivers of their development as future university students and young professionals.

   

Claudia Pelczarska

Financial Assistant

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Claudia joined the Futures and Options team in April 2018 and became the Finance Assistant in January 2019.  Prior to that, Claudia interned at UBS, Financial Services, within the Field Development and Productivity Area of Wealth Management, and worked closely with All Bar None, an internal women's network that promotes recruitment, retention and advancement of women through networking, mentoring, and leadership opportunities. Claudia is grateful to be able to be a part of Futures and Options to help empower New York City's underserved youth.

Claudia moved from Poland to New York City in 2002. She graduated from Fordham University, where she majored in Economics. Claudia is a part of Fred's Team, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's running program that is dedicated to moving us closer to a world without cancer. Claudia is honored to work with underserved youth, and be a part of an organization that provides low-income, minority youth with training and the access they need to compete for jobs.  

ArisArisdehilys Reyes

Assistant Program Coordinator

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Aris joined the Futures and Options team in April 2017, as an Assistant Program Coordinator. Prior to joining Futures and Options, Aris worked with pre-kindergarten students as a Teaching Assistant at Mt. Carmel Holy Rosary School in East Harlem. She began her work in early childhood as a Group Leader in an afterschool program at Mt. Carmel in 2015, while also serving as an undergraduate Teaching Assistant at Hunter College, for a Statistical Psychology course.

Aris graduated from Hunter in 2016 where she majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology. She also interned at NYU's playLab, a social justice research lab measuring the efficacy of home visitation programs on school readiness outcomes for under-resourced students. Aris' Latina background and interest in serving underrepresented communities have inspired her to pursue her Master's degree in School Counseling with a Bilingual Extension at Lehman College, in hopes to positively impact the lives of students and their families.   

 

Mike Turay

Business Engagement Assistant

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Mike joined Futures and Options in April 2018, becoming the newest member of the Business Engagement Team as an assistant. On the daily, he supports his team in the recruiting of business partners who are interested in hosting interns. As a former participant of the program from 2013, he realizes the importance and value F+O played in providing him a solid foundation prior to college.

Mike earned his Bachelor's degree in Communications and Journalism from the State University at Albany, where he was also a contributing writer for Albany Student Press. Writing is another passion of Mike, he created his own blog, "Lai-Turay's ¾ Court Press" in 2018 and continues to produce daily content in sports. His parents each worked for the New York City Department of Education, his dad being a retired principal and his mother working as a college adviser for over 20 years. He looks to continue their legacy of helping youth maximize their highest potential while cementing his own path at Futures and Options.

    

Simone Williams

Alumni Engagement Assistant

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Simone Williams is the Alumni Engagement Assistant. She works with the program team to ensure students' seamless transition from flagship programs into appropriate alumni programs, provides alumni participants with personalized guidance, information, and reminders about program events. Additionally, Simone oversees the High School and College Success mentorship program. Simone joined the Futures and Options team in August of 2018. In May of 2018, she graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelors of Arts in English and two minors in Creative Writing and Black Studies. During her four years in Undergrad, she held various student leadership positions. She assisted first year students in a successful acclimation to college through peer mentorship, assistance filling out FAFSA forms, creating academic schedules, choosing residence halls and much more.

Simone has dreamed of being an Educator since the small age of seven. Overtime, she realized that she can be an educator and impact students, even if she's not directly in a classroom. She began to explore a career of mentorship. Simone has learned that a student having mentorship through the difficult transition of high school to post-secondary education is just as essential to their overall success as having academic support. She is excited to be a resource for the Alumni of Futures and Options as they embark on their future endeavors.

 Jean Son

Development Manager

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Jean Son is Development Manager at Futures & Options where she oversees the organization's fundraising and marketing activities. Jean has more than eight years of experience in the nonprofit sector working in special events, grantwriting, and individual fundraising for organizations including Aperture Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and Citymeals-on-Wheels. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with BAs in Philosophy and English. As a New York City native and graduate of its public schools, she is passionate about ensuring all young people have access to career training and opportunities.

Meghan Becker

Senior Program Coordinator

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Meghan Becker joined Futures and Options as a Senior Program Coordinator in December of 2018. In that role she is responsible for the implementation of career development programs, which includes working with students and alumni, school and business partners, and volunteers to successfully achieve program goals and grant objectives. She specifically serves as the program lead for the Urban Leadership Fellows program and the Career Essentials high school program. Prior to joining Futures and Options, she worked as a high school counselor at Clearview Regional High School, located in a Philadelphia suburb. In that role, she managed a caseload of approximately 200 students focused on academic, social-emotional, and college/career counseling. She has also worked at Domus, Inc., a public relations agency in Philadelphia as an Assistant Account Manager for a major pharmaceutical company.

Meghan attended Villanova University where she earned a B.A. in Communications in 2012. She went on to Monmouth University where she earned an M.S.Ed. in School Counseling in 2016. She is very excited for the opportunity to utilize her counseling skills in a role with a direct impact on ambitious students in New York City. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys relaxing on the beach amongst family and friends.

Sasha-Lee Lewin

Program Assistant

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Sasha-Lee is a Program Assistant at Futures and Options. In her role, she works alongside Program Coordinators to ensure organized and efficient delivery of Futures and Options career development programs. She has previously worked as a Camp Counselor at Camp Jacobson and as an Office Assistant in the History/Philosophy Department at SUNY New Paltz. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology in May 2017.

As a first generation college student, she understands the importance of access to quality education and career development resources for students. She has had the opportunity to give back to other students through community outreach, disturbing school supplies to students in need. In her spare time, Sasha-Lee enjoys trying new restaurants, writing, hair styling, and spending time with her friends and family. She is excited to be a part of the Futures and Options team!

© 2017 Futures and Options. All Rights Reserved.
Futures and Options is a nonprofit career development and paid internship program for New York City youth.

120 Broadway, Suite 1019. New York, NY 10271. 212-601-0002. info@futuresandoptions.org