Ananda grew up in South County, attending the Stockbridge Plain School, the Great Barrington Steiner School and Hawthorne Valley High School in Ghent. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2002 and completed her Masters in the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. From 2004-2009, as an Outreach Educator at the Berkshire Violence Prevention Center, Ananda worked with South County youth to prevent sexual harassment, relationship and sexual violence. While at UMass Amherst, Ananda was the Education and Prevention Specialist at the Center for Women and community where she taught and supervised their Educator Advocate program until 2012. In her current role at RSYP, Ananda continues to support youth with the behind the scenes work it takes to run a small youth organization day-to-day. When she is not at RSYP, Ananda hangs out with her dog, Stella, reads, and keeps tabs on current pop culture trends with a healthy dose of TV watching.
Sexual Health Education Facilitator
Chris is the Deputy Director at RSYP. He grew up in Delaware, Ohio and graduated from Muskingum University in 2000 and UCLA in 2003. Chris spent the last eight years as the Associate Professor and Director of Theatre at Heidelberg University. Since 2003 he has also worked as a counselor, Program Director, and Director in Los Angeles and Northwest Connecticut for summer youth programs. He has been a featured speaker and program coordinator at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and the American Camp Association’s Tri-State and New England conference on a number of social justice and youth programming issues. He also is a passionate theatre maker and his work has been featured in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Berkshire Eagle, the Valley Advocate, Rural Intelligence, Metroland, Berks
Director of Empowerment
Sabrina is the Director of Empowerment, focusing on connecting empowered youth and adult relationships. She spent her early years in Southern Berkshire County, later residing in all 4 corners of CT over the span of 25 years. She returned to her roots in the Berkshires in 2013 with her husband and 2 children. Sabrina graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2000 with a BA in Psychology. Early in her career she worked in the mental health field and social service insurance programs for low income families. She spent the next 12 years working in both the insurance and renewable energy industries in sales, management, coaching and training. Her work in energy and eco sustainability allowed the opportunity to help build an international library in Ghana, Africa and a water accessibility project in West Java, Indonesia. Sabrina left the corporate world to pursue her artistic passions, including creating a series of free form dances she calls Freedom Dance. You can find her at home with her family, often hermitting. There she paints, writes poetry, sings and creates improv & choreographed dance pieces.
Director of Development
Sarah joined RSYP as Director of Development in September 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature from University of Rhode Island and began her career in fundraising at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sarah moved to the Berkshires in 2013 to work in Development at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge. Most recently, she served as Development Manager for Community Access to the Arts and currently volunteers as Secretary of Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires. Sarah is committed to contributing to the health and vitality of Berkshire County, which drew her to the mission of RSYP. When not at work, she can be found discovering new hiking trails, practicing yoga, trying to meditate, and cooking.
YOB and Special Projects Coordinator
Regina is the Youth Operational Board and Special Projects Coordinator who is passionate about bringing youth together, through facilitation, education and fun! She just completed her Bachelors of Arts in African American Studies, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Born and raised in Amherst, MA, she has had the opportunity to learn in many different ways and has done social activist work for 9 years. Her activist experience ranges from working with people with disabilities, to racial justice, to LGBTQ justice and continues to do this work presently through organizing. When she is not learning about the world we live in she is dancing, singing off key, and watching food network.
Mica is the Mentoring Coordinator at RSYP, connecting youth and adults in South County. She grew up in the Berkshires, living in Becket and attending Monument Valley and Monument Mountain in Great Barrington. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with B.A.’s in Cultural Anthropology and Narrative Justice. At UMass she was a student organizer with Divest UMass, facilitator of a class about community organizing, and developed a passion for exploring the intersections of healing and social justice work. When not at work, you can find Mica tending to her garden, singing show tunes, or reading her horoscope.
Nancy is the Apprenticeship Coordinator at RSYP. Nancy is Colombian and Argentine. She grew up in Miami, Florida throughout her formative years and then attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City for college where she studied Textile & Surface Design. Throughout her college career, she interned with a Brooklyn-based weaving studio and healing arts center named Weaving Hand, where she mentored local teenagers and learned the importance of working with a community geared agency. Nancy moved to the Hudson Valley with her cat Feliz in the summer of 2016 and loves working with young people and community members. When not at work, Nancy likes to make elaborate meals for friends, she likes to take care of her house plants, and laughing very loudly. Nancy is excited to continue to enrich the lives of the young people in the Great Barrington community
Maeve is the Development Associate at RSYP. Maeve grew up in South County, attending Mount Everett Regional High School in Sheffield and Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington. She completed her B.A. in Psychology and Studio Arts with a specialization in Art Therapy at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson in 2013. During her time at Bard, Maeve was an active member of B.R.A.V.E and a co-founding member of the Body Image Awareness Alliance. Inspired by the impact donors can have on RSYP’s mission to empower youth and support inter-generational community in Southern Berkshire County, Maeve joined the RSYP team in 2016. When Maeve is not at work, you can find her in the ceramics studio, adventuring with her dog Wicket, or spending time in her garden.
Key is a 22-year-old human, who was born in Boston, MA in the glow of street lights, to then move to the cornfields of Canaan,CT. They attended Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, MA and after they graduated, attended Holyoke Community College for two years and then transferred to Mount Holyoke College. Currently, Key is the co-founder, originating designer, and advisor of the Railroad street Youth Student Empowerme
411 in the 413 Intern
Alexis is a recent transplant to the Berkshires—South County—who loves volunteerism and helping her local community. She is a home-schooled senior in high school and hopes to study sociology and physics in college. In her freshman year, she founded and ran the only non-school-affiliated teen Red Cross club in Massachusetts. In her current role at RSYP, Alexis continues to channel her passion for helping the community by working in conjunction with others to create the youth conference. When she is not at RSYP, Alexis hangs out with her family and cat, Archimedes, blogs, reads and writes, and enjoys socializing in her book club and choir.
Southern Berkshire Community Health Coalition Co-Chair
Megan is a co-chair of the Southern Berkshire Community Health Coalition. She is a high school student at Mt. Everett school, and lives in Sheffield, MA. Megan wants to study environmental engineering in college, and help rehabilitating wildlife in her spare time. Megan also loves to play in Mt. Everett’s band, jazz band, volleyball and softball teams.
Puppy in Residence
Stella joined the RSYP team as the Puppy in Residence in 2013 at 10 weeks old. She is a life long learner currently attending Real Life Obedience School in Egremont, MA, while continuing her on the job residency. Stella works directly with youth and staff to bring laughter and fun to the Drop-in Center and conduct outreach to youth around town. In her time off, Stella enjoys hanging out at the dog park, long walks and playing tug with just about anyone.