The NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) will serve for a second year as a partner organization to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE) for its Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D) program. As such, we are thrilled to welcome two Ed.L.D. candidates to our staff for their 10-month residencies.

Veronica Benavides joins us having served as a corps member at Teach for America and as a Fulbright Scholar. She has transformed curriculum for the American School Foundation in Mexico City and consulted on the development of teacher competencies in Antigua, Guatemala. Additionally, she is the co-founder of Movement Makers, a New York City-based organization that looks to increase the agency and academic performance of high school students through culturally relevant curriculum.

Francis Yasharian started his career in education as a 3rd grade English-as-a-Second-Language teacher. He then moved to serve as the Director of Linguistic and Cultural Diversity and the Academy Leader at Community Academy Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. There, he transformed within two years two elementary campus sites from failing to ‘on-track to meet targets’.

NYCLA will benefit from their individual expertise; Veronica will bring her research and passion for educational equity, while Francis will leverage his experience by focusing on coaching and adult learning. NYCLA staff members will serve as thought partners and mentors to support Veronica and Francis’s professional goals.

As an organization that specializes in capacity building and adult learning, we are honored that HGSE selected us to foster the ongoing growth and development of Veronica and Francis. Learning, reflection, improvement, collaboration and innovation are all key tenets of our work, and we look forward to working with these two talented professionals.