MEET RSYP STAFF

Ananda Timpane
Executive Director
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AnandaAnanda 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.


Sabrina Allard
Deputy Director
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Sabrina 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.


Regina East
Director of Empowerment and Advocacy
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Regina is the Director of Empowerment and Advocacy 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.

 

Sam Riva
Mentoring and Skate Park Coordinator
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Sam is the Group Mentoring and Skate Park Coordinator at RSYP. He grew up in the Berkshires, living in Sheffield and attending Mount Everett up until 10th grade where he moved to Chatham High School in Upstate New York. In the spring of 2020 Sam completed his Bachelor’s Degree for Youth Justice and Advocacy at Boston University. Along with the completion of his Bachelor’s Degree, Sam completed his Criminal Justice Certificate. During his time in Boston, Sam volunteered at a YMCA after school program where he helped guide youth towards goals they desired. When Sam is not working you can find him fishing, hiking or playing sports outdoors.

Gabby Reeve
Youth Operational Board Coordinator
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Gabby is a recent Berkshires transplant by way of Boston and the Philippines who is passionate about youth leadership and the power of sexual health education to help youth make their communities safer, healthier, and more just. She graduated from the Heller School at Brandeis University in 2020 and is a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies. She is also a returned Peace Corps volunteer and has worked in procurement, violence prevention, sex education curriculum and training, and as a trivia host. Gabby’s other passions include podcasting, Star Trek, criminal justice reform, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, running, yoga, the six wives of Henry VIII, reading, bi visibility, horror movies, antiracism, walking her step-dog, grapefruits, and perfecting her jump kicks.

Erica Mielke
Director of Finance
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Erica has assisted small businesses and nonprofits in the Berkshires for over 20 years. She studied Accounting at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Science in Accountancy. After working for 2 years in Chicago doing cost analysis for private corporations, she realized that her soul simply could not continue helping big firms make money. She quit the world of corporate accounting and has never looked back.

Erica currently lives with her fabulous son in Great Barrington, where she was born. Before coming full-circle to settle back into the Berkshires, she lived in rural central Florida, South Bend, Chicago, Madrid, and most recently, Oaxaca, Mexico. She has a passion for languages and has taught English and Spanish (and dabbled with Italian and Portuguese). Erica enjoys reading, joining too many book groups, and watching movies in her free time.

Tiffany Riva
Director of Development
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Tiffany grew up in Northwest CT, and after several years of living in North Carolina and spending some time in Germany and New York City she settled back into that quiet corner to raise her children. Tiffany graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services. She is passionate about building strong community relationships and connections and constantly learning about the world around her. Some of Tiffany’s favorite things are adventuring with her family, reading and most recently dabbling in her garden.

Maeve Dillon
Development Associate
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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 farming at Indian Line Farm in Egremont, MA.


Z Estime

RYSE Founder

Z is a 24-year-old human, who was born in Boston, MA in the glow of street lights, and then moved to the mountains of Berkshire County, MA. They attended Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, MA, transferred to Holyoke Community College, and attended Mount Holyoke College (MHC). Z recently graduated MHC as Jack Kent Cooke scholar, and is evolving into a seasoned bio-sustainable crop farmer, youth justice advocate and healer, artist and poet, as well as a positive youth development program designer of the RYSE program (Railroad Street Youth Student Empowerment Program) at Railroad Street Youth Project in Great Barrington, MA. When they are not bustling around making connections or expanding their social justice projects, Z loves to hang out with friends, sprawl across the floor, and dream of a utopia filled with regenerative change and peaceful Love. Check out their z-gen centered podcast and living archive, z.ink.ED.

 

Tessa Climo
Southern Berkshire Health Coalition Intern

Tessa Climo is a senior at MMRHS. She previously has been involved in many mental health alliances and wellness clubs. She feels passionate about mental health awareness in our community and is eager to create bonds and resources for all people in the Berkshires. Climo is stepping into the position of Co Chair for the Souther Berkshire Community Health Coalition. In this role, she hopes to help create community and awareness within the town and school. Climo feels passionate about bringing more wellness recourses into Monument High School and the Berkshires. Tessa outside of school loves to read, sing, play music and journal.

 

Deisy Escobar
Southern Berkshire Health Coalition Intern

I am from Great Barrington and attend Mount Everett Regional High School. I’m a junior this year.  I also host a bilingual radio show with my mom called Mundo Latino. I also like volunteering and helping my community. Apart from that, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, spending time outside, and learning new things.

 

 

 

Stella
Puppy in Residence

StellaStella 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.