Young Scholars Liberty Partnerships Program
Young Scholars Staff Members
Pamela G Matt, Esq.
Pam joined Young Scholars LPP in June, 2015 as the Program’s Executive Director. In this position she oversees the Young Scholars Program as well as the Program’s funding, activities, staffing, public relations, and collaborative efforts with other organizations. Her previous experience includes three years as the Executive Director of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, as well as Advancement positions held at Colgate University and SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Pam holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Trinity College and a JD from Duquesne University.
Mary Hayes Gordon
Director of Program Operations
Mary Hayes Gordon started with Young Scholars as a part-time Mentor Coordinator in 2007. In 2008, she worked for a short time as the Financial Literacy Coordinator before assuming the position of Assistant Director. During her time as Assistant Director, Young Scholars steadily increased programming and partnerships, including working with Zonta International, the Mohawk Valley Latino Association and the Steven Swan Humane Society. Notable program expansions include Colgate University High School Seminar, a 10-week SAT Preparation course and Mary’s particular favorite, the three-week Summer STEM Scholars program. Mary holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Utica College and a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Utica College with a concentration in the history of under-represented people.
Ben joined the YSLPP team in 2010 as a Site Assistant at JFK Middle School. He completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies at Utica College in 2009 and 2013 respectively, and is a NYS certified teacher. He was the Site Supervisor at Proctor from 2012-2016. In his current role as Assistant Director he is able to work with the faculty, staff, and students at all four sites to ensure a consistent first-rate experience for students at each. In 2016, YSLPP achieved a 100% graduation rate at Proctor HS and a program-record 35 students graduated with a NYS Advanced Regents Diploma. Ben was awarded with an Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award in July, 2016 from NYS, a Professional Staff Advisory Council Recognition Award from Utica College in May, 2016, and a Utica Rotary Pride of Workmanship Award in October, 2016. Ben also coaches kickers and punters part-time for Utica College Pioneers football.
Tom has been with Young Scholars LPP as their Academic Coordinator since May, 2014. He has been instrumental in developing instructional strategies to increase student performance and achieve group success at the Regents graduation level and the Advanced Diploma. Tom came to Young Scholars after a 30 year career in public education with both Westmoreland and the Utica City School Districts. Those years were punctuated with twelve years in the local business sector working for General Electric and Lockheed Martin corporations. He also served six years on the Board of Education of Clinton Central Schools. This year, Tom is leading an initiative with YSLPP to increase student attendance and performance to coincide with efforts underway by the UCSD.
Amber was appointed to the Administrative Assistant position for the Young Scholars LPP position in May 2016. Amber graduated from Utica College in 2013 with a degree in Public Relations. Originally residing in Manhattan, she found herself desiring to come back to her second home in Utica. Amber was a part of a program similar to YSLPP in her high school that set her up for college readiness and assisted her with SAT’s. In her position with Young Scholars LPP, she is responsible for organizing the record keeping, correspondence and grant reports for the Young Scholars LPP. She is an active alumnus at Utica College and continues to stay connected via her ties to UC as an alumnus of the HEOP Program and UC’s chapter of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Linda joined YSLPP in February, 2008 as Administrative Assistant and retired from that position in March, 2016. She was appointed as the part-time Mentoring Coordinator in March, 2016. In this newly created position, Linda focuses her efforts on recruiting individuals in the community to be mentors for YSLPP’s 350+ students. She works with the Executive Director in developing a marketing strategy and timeline for recruitment efforts. Other duties include implementing special events and participating in grant writing to expand mentor funding. Linda is very passionate about the mentoring program and has been mentoring students since 2008.
2016-17 JFK Staff
Jacquelyn is the Young Scholars Site Supervisor at John F. Kennedy Middle School. She joined YSLPP in September, 2009. Jacquelyn has been a School Counselor in the Utica City School District since 1997. She spent 8 years at Proctor Senior High School before transferring to John F. Kennedy Middle School, and also was appointed as the JFK National Junior Honor Society Co-advisor in 2013. Jacquelyn received a BS in Sociology/Psychology from the State University of New York @ Potsdam in 1987 and a MA in School Counseling from SUNY Oneonta in 1997. Prior to being employed with the School District, Jacquelyn worked with the Oneida County Department of Social Services and the Neighborhood Center.
As the Young Scholars Site Supervisor, Jacquelyn maintains a very close connection between the Young Scholars Program and JFK. She monitors and reviews academics, attendance, and behaviors for each Young Scholars student to ensure that they are upholding the requirements of YSLPP. Regular contact and support is made with the Site Assistant at JFK as well as the individual students in the program. Jacquelyn is dedicated to the youth of today, and works to empower them to be our leaders of tomorrow.
Lindsey Langdon was appointed as the Site Assistant for Young Scholars LPP at John F. Kennedy Middle School in June, 2016. As Site Assistant, Lindsey runs the Young Scholars tutoring room for 7th and 8th grade. Prior to her position with YSLPP, Lindsey was a 2-year corps member for the Native Alliance Initiative branch of Teach for America in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Her first year there, she taught 5th-8th grade English Language Arts contributing to students’ average of 1.5 years of growth. Her second year she taught all subject areas in the 4th grade benchmark classroom where students achieved an average of 3 years of growth in reading and 1.5 years of growth in math according to NWEA test scores. Lindsey graduated from Elon University (NC) in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, during which time she also went abroad, studying and volunteering in Sub-Saharan Africa for 8 months. She is now pursuing her Master’s in Leadership and Instruction for Inclusive Classrooms at Utica College.
Middle School Counselor
Courtney joined YSLPP in June, 2016 as the Young Scholars Middle School Counselor. She has experience with counseling children and their families. Courtney is a Utica City School District graduate. She completed her undergraduate degree at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. She has a Dual Masters’ Degree in Psychology and Criminology through the University of the Rockies in Colorado. Courtney focuses on helping our students overcome any personal and academic struggles, and keeps a vibrant, connected relationship with the parents and guardians of each Young Scholar.
2016-17 Donovan Staff
Roseanne has worked as a School Counselor in the Utica City School District for 22 years. While at Proctor High School she served as the Counselor Coordinator, responsible for the School Counseling staff at both the High School and the Middle Schools. In 2007, she transferred to James H. Donovan Middle School. Roseanne earned her BS in Marketing and Human Resources from St. John Fisher College. She worked for a short time in the Management field before returning to school to pursue a career in Education, earning her MS in Education, School Counseling from SUNY Oneonta. Roseanne has been a part of YSLPP almost since its inception, working in the Summer Program, a member of the Selection Committee, serving as the Vice President of the Advisory Board and as a Site Supervisor at Donovan Middle School. She is also on the board of Grady’s Way, a program of Catholic Charities, that works with adolescent homeless boys in the Mohawk Valley.
Dina DeSarro joined YSLPP as a Site Assistant at Donovan Middle School in August, 2016. Previously, she taught in the Frankfort-Schuyler School District from 1999-2006 in multiple capacities, including 5th grade reading and spanish as well as time spent staffing the resource room. She is a graduate of SUNY Oneonta and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Utica College. She is excited to re-join the field of education in the Utica City School District. In her current position she is eager to help YSLPP students excel and achieve their dreams. In her free time she loves attending the many events that her children are in!
2016-17 Proctor Staff
This will mark his second year working with YSLPP and his first as Site Supervisor at Proctor High School. A 2014 graduate of Utica College, John is now working towards his Master’s from Utica College in the Education program. He earned his NYS 7-12 Social Studies teaching Certification and worked as a substitute Social Studies teacher before joining Young Scholars and served as an Assistant Coach for Utica College Football.
Lauren joined the Young Scholars LPP in January 2011 as the full-time Counselor at Proctor High School. Lauren is an employee of the Center for Family Life & Recovery and works directly with the Young Scholars Program in a unique collaboration between the two organizations. In her position, Lauren is responsible for ensuring that the 230 Young Scholar students are receiving any necessary services relating to mental and emotional health and well-being. She is also very involved in engaging students in community service activities, helping them to navigate the college application process, placing Young Scholars in summer youth employment, and collaborating with other organizations to provide unique opportunities for YS students. Lauren is a 2007 graduate of Ithaca College. She earned her Master’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University in 2010.
Shannon will begin her second year as a Site Assistant at Proctor. She is a graduate of MVCC and SUNY Stony Brook. Her degree is in Psychology. She is also a proud graduate of the Utica City School District and is a familiar face to many as she has teaching experience in many district buildings. She is continuing her graduate coursework at Utica College in Occupational Therapy.
Sam begins his first full year with us in 2016-2017. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Hunter College in History in 2013. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree from Utica College in the Education program. Outside of the Young Scholars Program, Sam is actively involved in the local community, serving as a creative consultant for Made in Utica, LLP.
"Just listen to the staff, they definitely will help you." "Just listen to the staff, they definitely will help you."
SITES AND CONTACTS
Contact: John Verra
Phone: (315) 368-6175
Room Number: M021
Contact: Dina DeSarro
Phone: (315) 368-6590
Room Number: 130
Contact: Lindsey Langdon
Phone: (315) 368-6676
Room Number: 136
YOUNG SCHOLARS ON WAMC
Listen to this story about the Young Scholars LPP recently broadcast on WAMC - Northeast Public Radio.
Young Scholars Story →