Shari Krull is an impact leader at the nexus of mentoring, workforce development, and driving economic equity nationally. Shari currently serves as CEO of StreetWise Partners, a non-profit organization with a mission to close the employment opportunity gap within disadvantaged communities of New York City, Washington D.C. and Michigan.
After earning her BA in Social Work and Psychology from Miami University, and her Master's Degree in Social Work from Columbia University, Shari dedicated her early career to tackling issues related to mental illness, domestic violence and foster care. She went on to spend 10 years building and leading Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers in New York City. She then took on the role as Executive Director at The Grace Institute, spearheading the transformation of a century-old organization into a market leader in workforce development.
Shari serves on the Board of New York City's Employment and Training Coalition and the Advisory Board of The Ready Foundation. She has previously served on the Advisory Board for New York Public Radio's Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, and as an Adjunct Professor at New York University, where she shared her expertise and worked to inspire others to join the non-profit space. A lifelong gender equality advocate, Shari currently lives on Long Island where she is outnumbered by her husband and two sons.
Lauren Silberstein joined StreetWise Partners in November 2015 and oversees all aspects of programming across the three regions we serve. She is a Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW), receiving her Masters degree in Social Work from Columbia University in 2004. Prior to StreetWise Partners, Lauren served as Director of Support Services at Grace Institute, a workforce development organization for women where she worked for 7 years. Overall, she has 15 years of management and program development experience working in organizations that serve disadvantaged communities, both at Grace Institute and Safe Horizon. Lauren lives on Long Island with her husband and three daughters.
Nicole came to StreetWise Partners initially as a one time volunteer in 2016, later serving as a Mentor and Officer in the program before transitioning to a staff member in August 2019. A career fundraiser, Nicole is excited to blend her personal passion for StreetWise Partners’ mission with her professional acumen to help fuel growth for the organization. Most recently, Nicole served as Senior Director of Development at National Kidney Foundation where she helped to establish the Greater New York market’s fundraising strategy, drove revenue growth through volunteer leadership and lead the corporate partnership program. Previously, Nicole spent time at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Nicole is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, holds a bachelor’s degree from Sacred Heart University, and a certificate in non-profit executive leadership from Baruch College.
Erica has extensive experience with both nonprofit and governmental audits, including: pre-audit review, engagement planning, internal control testing, and internal auditing. In addition to joining StreetWise in 2020, Erica currently serves as CFP for several nonprofits in the area. Erica is former Parent Trustee for Poughkeepsie Day School and currently serves as Treasurer of the board for Community Family Development. She was also recently elected President of the Dutchess County-Poughkeepsie Land Bank and is excited to apply her experiences with StreetWise to amplify the impact of Land Banks in the region.
Lina Ko joined StreetWise Partners in July 2021. Prior to StreetWise Partners, Lina served as a nonprofit consultant in a variety of areas, including campaign management, board development, business and strategic planning, and financial management. She co-led the strategic planning process and the 50th year anniversary campaign readiness assessment for Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. She also worked with the incoming Executive Director and Board of Directors of Groundswell New York City to redefine its strategic plan and identify its capacity building needs. Lina comes to StreetWise Partners with over fifteen years of experience in corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability and finance with roles in program management, strategy development, and communications. She holds an M.P.A. from Columbia University in International Economic Policy and Management, and a B.S. from New York University in Finance and Information Systems.
Luka joined the Streetwise Partners in January 2020 as a mentee in the NYC Program and later became an intern on the Michigan Program team. In July of 2021, he strengthened his ties with the organization and its mission by joining the Development team full-time. He was born in Germany, raised in Georgia, and since 2013 has been a proud member of the New York community. The joy he finds in the StreetWise Partners comes from the organization's dedication to growth, both for the people we serve and the people who help us serve.
Laura Barnes joined StreetWise Partners in June 2021 as Volunteer Coordinator. Laura began her career working with volunteers in 2011 with the New York based non-profit World Science Foundation. Most recently, she served as the Community Engagement Lead/Supervisor of Lifesaving Outcomes for Best Friends Animal Society, a National animal welfare organization. During her time at Best Friends, Laura implemented and oversaw the volunteer program, managed the foster program and most recently, the adoptions program. Ever since her first experience working with volunteers, Laura has been inspired by people donating their time to help others and improve lives. She is excited to be a part of the StreetWise team and mission. Laura lives in Queens with her husband and 3 cats, is an avid runner, and loves reading and being outdoors.
Dave Font joined Streetwise Partners in January 2019. Prior to Streetwise Partners Dave served as the Executive Director for Push to Walk, a nonprofit gym for people living with paralysis. There he oversaw all financial, outreach, and strategic initiatives for the organization. Previously, he served in various roles over eighteen years with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest New Jersey, ultimately overseeing the day-to-day operations of its largest unit serving over four thousand children a year. Dave holds a Masters Degree in Human Resource Development from Clemson University and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University – Newark where he currently serves as a Part-Time Lecturer in the School of Public Affairs and Administration. He loves helping people through his work in nonprofits and is excited to work with mentors and mentees at Streetwise Partners to tackle unemployment.
María Elena joined StreetWise Partners in May of 2017. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Duquesne University and is a New York University certified coach. Previously, she worked at CarCharging Group where she assisted the sales team and at Vme Media where she was in charge of scheduling and promotion. Prior to this she had experience in various administrative, sales and customer service roles in the fashion and beauty industries. Thru her volunteer work, she has gained experience working with human trafficking survivors, children and the elderly. Most recently, she volunteers at Restore NYC where she assists with their Economic Empowerment program for women survivors of human trafficking. She is excited to have made the switch to the non-profit field and to be able to support others in reaching their goals through her work at StreetWise Partners.
Naseem (she/her/hers) joined StreetWise Partners in October 2020. Naseem began her career as an ESL (English as a Second Language) educator and brought those skills to designing curriculum and lessons in the workforce development nonprofit space. She is equity-driven with experience serving immigrants and under-resourced communities in New York City. Naseem is passionate about girls and women’s experiences and representation globally and is driven to approaching challenges with a thoughtful, empathetic lens to remove as many barriers to access in order to create a community of inclusiveness. She is interested in the intersection of education/training and technology to design and deliver content that can be used to support learners of all ages in order to empower them and build a more equal, equitable, and inclusive society representative of everyone.
Olivia Martinez joined StreetWise Partners in September 2021. She graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor's Degree in International Political Economy and Minors in Business Administration and Economics. Before joining StreetWise, Olivia completed a year of service through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and AmeriCorps. She worked at St. Joseph the Worker, in Phoenix, Arizona, an employment resource center for people experiencing homelessnes. She was responsible for completing intakes, distributing resources, and conducting interviews for participants interested in the Employment Bridge Program, a transitional housing program for individuals who are working yet still experiencing homelessness. She is excited to be back on the East Coast and work for an organization committed to equity and social justice, values integral to her professional and personal life. She cannot wait to aid in the process of removing systematic barriers to employment that underserved communities face.
Iban Vazquez (he/him/his) is a first-generation Latinx American, with a B.A. in Sociology from Hunter College. He joined StreetWise Partners as a mentee in Spring 2021 and later became the Recruitment Assistant for New York’s Program Team. With a career trajectory that spans from client service in retail to working at the U.S. Census in the government sector, Iban is honored to align his goals with StreetWise Partner’s mission & community as the Employment Services Coordinator. Born & raised in Queens, Iban advocates for the diversity that he sees in his community to translate to the diversity of talent in the workforce. Outside of empowering his community, Iban is a nature enthusiast, Funko Pop Collector, and music aficionado.
Alphonso Amos (he/him/his) is an individual that is committed to working for social justice and improving the quality of life for all. Alphonso has 12 years of career experience in education, non-profit, for-profit, and government sectors. He was the community relations coordinator where he oversaw the giving programs and community outreach for Schostak Family Restaurant Port Huron Applebee’s. In addition to his role as a community relations coordinator Alphonso has also served as a local elected official in the capacity of city councilman. He is a passionate advocate for youth and young adults, believing strongly in the power of mentoring, volunteerism and service. Alphonso also leads community initiatives such as, the Blue Water Youth Voice and the Mentors Matter community initiatives. He is the past president of the Port Huron Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), current youth advisor and secretary and former MCCC AmeriCorp Member. Amos also served on the Michigan Municipal League Energy, Environment, & Technology Policy Committee as a member, a Young People For alum and is a member of the People for the American Way Young Elected Officials Network, Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials and the Young Elected Officials Black Caucus. Amos is a first-generation college graduate with a Bachelor of Art in communication from Ashford University and a Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. His life mission is to be the change that he wishes to see in the world.
Simitha Kumar joined StreetWise Partners in September 2017. She manages the White & Case and Gallup programs in addition to mentee recruitment for the D.C. region. Prior to StreetWise Partners, she was the Program Specialist at Northern Virginia Family Service in the housing department where she aided homeless and low-income clients to obtain rental assistance. Simitha holds a Master’s degree in Commerce from the University of Mumbai in India. Simitha is enthusiastic about volunteerism and has coordinated special events such as the International Yoga Day on the National Mall. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, meditation and cooking.