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.
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.
Director of Empowerment and Advocacy
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.
Senior Mentoring Coordinator
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.
Mentoring and Skate Park Coordinator
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.
Youth Operational Board Coordinator
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.
Director of Development
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 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 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.
Southern Berkshire Health Coalition Intern
Nadia is from Monterey, and attends Mount Everett Regional High School. She has participated in Southern Berkshire Community Health Coalition Meetings since freshman year, and is now a Co-Chair. In this role she is expanding on her pursuit of building communities within the local schools, towns, and south county as a whole. Nadia likes being outside, and whenever possible enjoys hiking, as well as horseback riding and spending time with her dog and cats
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.
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.