Bill Herman. International Director. Director of YES! Teacher Training. Bill received his BFA and teaching credentials in 1975. Several years later he received his MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. For more than twenty years, Bill taught photography and art in high schools and colleges across the United States. Inspired by working with youth, Bill initiated and conducted IAHVs first Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP) in the United States in 2001. Since then, he has organized and taught YLTP in Mexico, Belize, Haiti, India and Pakistan. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bill managed a team of people to organize and deliver trauma and stress relief programs and YLTP for the people of New Orleans. In 2008, he began a partnership between IAHV and Friends of Petit Anse to conduct an ongoing YLTP reforestation project in Haiti. Inspiring and training young people to teach the Youth Empowerment Seminars (YES!) in schools across North America is his most recent passion.
New York/New Jersey
Narciso Cruz. YES! Teacher. Narciso was born in the Dominican Republic and studied Political Science at the City College of New York. He has more than twenty-five years of professional experience in youth development, and seven years of experience as a YES! teacher. He is currently the Director of the Youth Programs for IAHV in York City, and oversees all YES! programs in New York and New Jersey. In addition to teaching YES! in schools and in the community, Narciso teaches YES! programs at youth correctional facilities nation wide.
Hitesh “Harry” Monga. YES! Teacher. Hitesh recently graduated with his BS in Construction Engineering Technology at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Since childhood, he has had a passion for giving back to society. Having volunteered with several service-based, non-profit organizations, Hitesh could have never imagined that his passion for giving back would manifest as the Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!). Hitesh has since assisted and/or facilitated the YES! Program to over 10,000 students nationwide. Inspired by the overall vision of YES!, creating a stress-free environment for both students and educators, Hitesh is driven to continually look for new ways to convey this profound wisdom. He enjoys playing competitive sports, reading and self-development.
Juan Mosquera. YES! Teacher. Juan joined the YES! team in New York full-time in 2014. With his roots in Colombia, Juan was raised in Ohio and attended the Ohio State University receiving a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing. During his time in university, he served in several leadership positions including being elected Hall Council President as a freshman. He also became very involved with Yesplus, the college age program for YES!, organizing many courses and events, eventually going on to become a Yesplus Teacher. He found his passion for serving youth in schools during a workstudy position working with an afterschool kids program, and decided to switch career tracks and join City Year for two years where he mentored, tutored and empowered 9th and 10th graders. Juan is happy to be working full time at Dodd Middle School in Freeport Long Island, supporting school climate change through the curriculum, SEL practices, and working together with the committed staff towards a stress-free, violence-free school.
Lauren Grieco. YES! Teacher. Research Assistant. Lauren holds a B.S. in Psychology from Saint Joseph’s University, where she graduated magna cum laude. Prior to working with YES!, Lauren was an Early Intervention Support Therapist, working in the field with special needs children for 5 years. In her work as a YES! teacher, she teaches a curriculum that increases emotion regulation and stress management in high-risk students. Lauren also facilitates one-on-one coaching sessions with students, assessing their need for tools and techniques to increase focus at school and to decreases stress, anxiety and anger. Lauren is also the co-founder of a Leadership Training Program for young women called, GROW, Girls Ready to Own the World. She has been an avid practitioner of yoga and meditation for the past ten years and is passionate about bringing the benefits of these practices to those struggling with life’s daily stressors and psychological trauma.
San Francisco Bay Area
Priya Mayureshwar. YES! for Schools City Director, SFBA. YES! Teacher. Priya comes with 13 years of experience in the IT industry. She has worked as a Software Engineer and as a Business Analyst for different IT companies in India, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and the US. Inspired by the work done by IAHV, she made the switch to teaching YES! in 2009. She has taught the program to high school students in at risk populations as well as in academically high achieving schools. Priya’s YES! motto is “Awareness is all about living fully in the present moment”.
Martín Blank. YES! Teacher. Martín studied Education and Social Change at UC Berkeley and Jazz Studies at the California Jazz Conservatory before playing and teaching music around the world for 7 years, studying languages and cultures during his travels. Since 2013, Martín has touched the lives of over 5,000 students and hundreds of teachers around the U.S. and Mexico with techniques of meditation, stress-management, and well-being as a teacher for the Youth Empowerment Seminar. He lives in Berkeley, California and plays in the SF Bay Area’s fastest growing Cumbia band: the drummer and lead singer each grow two inches per week (their waistbands).
Emily Lifton. YES! Teacher. Emily graduated from Sierra Nevada College in California with a degree in psychology and body therapy in 1984. For ten years, she worked as a massage therapist, a yoga teacher and ski instructor in Lake Tahoe, while raising her daughter, Tika Simone. Additionally, Emily has taught YES! and YLTP programs both nationally and internationally, and has been actively involved with IAHVs youth lead community service initiatives in New Orleans, Belize and Haiti. Since moving to Chicago in 2003, Emily has taught YES! in elementary, middle and high schools in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.
Pam Brockman. YES! Teacher. Pam has a BA in Modern Languages from Knox College in Illinois, a MA in Romance Languages from Northwestern University in Illinois and speaks fluent Spanish and French. Her professional experience includes teaching French and Spanish at suburban, inner city and parochial high schools, and ten years as vice president of a small Hispanic advertising and public relations company in Chicago. Pam teaches the YES! program, as well as stress management and life-skills programs for adult. She also teaches meditation and facilitates meditation retreats in the US, Canada, Central and South America. Pam is passionate about helping youth and adults learn practical skills to manage their minds and emotions.
Justin McGurrin. YES! for Schools City Director, Los Angeles. YES! Teacher. Justin has a degree in English and business from Florida State University. A 2006-2007 LeaderShape Graduate, Justin has been involved in leadership roles with projects ranging from Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief to Cherokee Nation Education Reform. He has been teaching YES! in cities across the country since 2009, and is currently serving as the Los Angeles Program Director for YES! for Schools. Additionally, he is pursuing a masters degree in the field of education. Justin is passionate about and finds much joy in working with youth. In his spare time he can be found exploring Los Angeles, playing basketball and acting.
Deirdre Jackson. Lead YES! Teacher / Coordinator, LA. Deirdre studied psychology and sociology at Clemson University in South Carolina. While there, she helped start The Tracy Jackson Foundation, which provides support to battered women and self-empowerment programs for under privileged girls. Currently she lives in Los Angeles and works part-time for the U.S. Department of Education testing 4th and 8th graders in math and science. She also works for the RAND Corporation on Project Choice, a study created to design after school drug and alcohol prevention programs. Now Deirdre is taking her desire to uplift youth to the next level by working with IAHVs youth programs as a YES! teacher.
Britney Poitier. YES! Teacher. Brittney received her BS in Psychology and BA in Communication from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. While there, she worked as an advocate, empowering teen girls in the juvenile delinquency system through the Girl’s Advocacy Project. After graduating, Brittney became an Americorps member in a program revolved around non-profit organizations called Public Allies Chicago. This new endeavor gave her the opportunity to work at Chicago Public Schools district office, coordinating free tutoring services for students in over 400 schools. In 2012, Brittney discovered YES! for Schools, fell in love and decided to become a YES! teacher after her term with Americorps. Brittney’s passion lies in the realm of uplifting humanity in any way possible so that each person can experience a happy, healthy and rewarding life.