M A R C H
Click on photos below to view biographies
Rebecca Seigel, MD
Trisha Ocona Francis
Pastor Roberta Moore
Johanna E. Willins
Wai Yee Chan
Sonia Valentin Fernandez
Iris N. Sanchez
Pastor Debbie Santiago
Donna Maxil / Melissa Anceravige
Tammy Aguilera Moore
Janet Munroe Rousseau
Michele Kirschbaum is the Director of Programs of the
New York Peace Institute (formerly known as Safe Horizon
Mediation), a not-for-profit that provides free
mediation services in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The New York Peace Institute’s mediation program
has helped numerous families and neighbors work through
their underlying conflicts, which had escalated to
Michele is also an experienced mediator and prior to her
current position, she was the Coordinator of Special
Education Mediation for over 10 years.
During that period she mediated hundreds of cases
that assisted parents of children with disabilities and
the NYC school system resolve disagreements about
students’ special needs.
In recognition of her work, Michele received the
Lawrence Cooke Peace Innovator Award from the New York
State Dispute Resolution Association.
Outside of her work, Michele is a champion of Safe
Horizon, a not-for-profit agency that helps victims of
crime and abuse.
In particular, Michele has personally supported
the Safe Horizon Counseling Center, a mental health
clinic that assists families traumatized by violence and
abuse, and the Brooklyn Community Program, a center that
counsels individuals impacted by crime.
Michele has been a long time resident of Brooklyn
Heights and has two wonderful daughters.
Lillie Marshall came to Red Hook in 1966, and has served
as an activist there since 1967, sponsoring block
parties for the children and sitting tenant patrol.
In those early years she chaired the NYCHA –
sponsored awards dinners.
She also joined the Tenants Association Board,
where she served as Treasurer.
In 1995, Lillie served as Secretary and later as
President of Red Hook West Housing, a position she holds
to this day.
She has also served as the Secretary of the
International Corp of Presidents (ICOP) Board for
Brooklyn South in Coney Island.
Over the years Lillie has sponsored many programs for
Red Hook’s residents: computer courses, ESL (English as
a Second Language), security guard classes, literacy
programs and family days. Under her leadership, Red Hook
is on the rise.
Lillie is the proud mother of four (three sons and
She has nine grandchildren and one
Rebecca Seigel, MD
Rebecca Seigel, M.D, is a Family Medicine physician at
Downstate Long Island College Hospital. Dr. Seigel
is a graduate of Weill Cornell University Medical
College and Barnard College. She has dedicated her
career to bringing medical care to a diverse array of
patients, with a special focus on women's health and
underserved patient populations.
For nearly 14 years, Dr. Seigel has served as the
practitioner for the residents of the
Park Slope Women’s Shelter, a shelter for homeless women
with psychiatric and substance abuse issues. Earlier in
her career, she worked with the Indian Health Service in
New Mexico, providing primary, acute and prenatal care
to Native Americans. In Brooklyn, Dr. Seigel has worked
in primary-care clinics in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and
Fort Greene. Fluent in Spanish, she now serves a
socially, culturally, and economically diverse
population at Downstate LICH's Family Medicine center.
In addition, Dr. Seigel very much enjoys teaching and
has taught and mentored many medical students and
residents throughout her career. As a mom to three
young children, Dr. Seigel loves living in Brooklyn and
is proud to treat many wonderful Brooklyn families.
Trisha Ocona Francis
Trisha has an intense dedication and commitment to her
community, which has her often looked at as the trusted
and respected go to person, for when many are in need of
real estate and housing questions and honest free
direction. She often organizes, hosts, and/or speaks at
community and professional events. Trisha’s
tireless efforts for the 2008 Housing Forum for Rev.
Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition resulted in over
600 financial struggling homeowners, many who were
helped out of foreclosure on the spot. Trisha is an
alumnus of the We Are All Brooklyn Fellowship. At
the mere age of 25 she was not only the youngest CB 17
member but also unanimously nominated and elected as the
East 58th United Block Association president.
Born and raised in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn
Trisha began her career in real estate in 1999 when she
managed a city hall real estate law firm and property
management company. Realizing real estate was her divine
calling; she left her position there to commit to
further utilizing and developing her expertise and
discovered passion. Trisha is an appointed board member
of the New York State Department of State’s Real Estate
Board; where she and her fellow board members share
regulatory duties with The Division of Licensing
Services and has the power to set the rules and
regulations of New York State Real Estate, and help
create and enforce the NYS real estate laws. In
addition, she is the real estate instructor at Medgar
Evers College. Trisha is a Real Estate Blogger for the
Huffington Post’s Business Section. She has also written
for other numerous real estate news columns and has been
a guest and featured on numerous radio and news
publications, including Hot 97’s Street Soldiers with
Lisa Evers. She has also organized and hosted an event
for CCIM to introduce over 1000 people to commercial
Pastor Roberta Moore
Pastor Roberta Moore has been in ministry for over 30
is the founder of Victory Christian Tabernacle Inc., and
its Director for over 20 years.
She is also a full-time employee for Citigroup.
Pastor Moore believes that God led her to the
Brownsville community to open up a church. She says “we
are here to turn a distressed community into a blessed
Every school year, her church gives out school
supplies and free sneakers to the less fortunate
For Christmas she has an organization come in and
set up a toy store in the church that allows mothers
and fathers to shop for free for their children to
make sure they have something to open up.
Every summer, she has an outreach program
called “4 Real 4 Him” for the community, where food
and health management supplies and workshops are
offered to the community for their well-being.
Pastor Moore has a passion for the
Brownsville community and a heart for all people.
Johanna E. Willins
East New York
Johanna Willins has involved herself in the community of
East New York where she has lived for over 30 years.
When she retired
in 1998 she joined the Concerned Citizens of ENY.
active in local politics and elections volunteering. Her
next project was the parent library of P.S. 13, teaching
arts and crafts to the parents of P.S. 13.
Turning her attention to gardening, she founded and
became President of Herbal Garden of ENY 1998. The first
year Herbal Garden of ENY produced vast amounts of
quality vegetables and herbs which led to the
co-founding of ENY Farmers Market and ENY Farmers Market
Youth Internship with the assistance of Pratt and
In 2002 Johanna became a Certified Master Composter, a
volunteer at Brooklyn Botanical Garden and co-founder/
treasurer of the Olympus Garden Club. Using her skills,
the first project was to beautify the New Lots Library
garden. Her second project was Ruby Weston Manor Nursing
Home garden in ENY. And her third project was the Quaker
School Garden located in Downtown Brooklyn in honor of
Since 1998 Johanna has lent her skills to beautify and
enhance the lives of her neighbors in the community of
ENY. She instructed youth in after school projects and
she taught arts and crafts, crochet, and knitting and
computer instructions free of charge at the New Lots
library. She has worked to help others create their own
programs in their neighborhoods.
Shannon Hummel has been a choreographer and arts
educator for over 20 years. She is the founding artistic
director of Cora Dance, a professional dance company and
education organization, and is
bringing her work to the widest possible audience, with
particular focus on communities lacking performing arts
experiences due to limited resources or other isolating
factors. Passionate about making high-quality performing
arts experiences accessible to all, Hummel's work has
been embraced as much by renowned critics and seasoned
dance audiences across the country as by school
children, church congregations and passersby in public
parks. Since 2002, she has presented dance performances
and education initiatives in isolated or under-served
communities in VA, WV, KY, NJ, NY and VT, working with
over 6,000 participants over the last 10 years. In 2009,
Hummel established The Cora Studio in the
socio-economically divided neighborhood of Red Hook,
Brooklyn, to bring together her passions for
choreography and education. The studio provides 10-20
evenings of live performances annually, 7 days a week of
professional dance classes for adults and kids (many
including afterschool pick up, free snack and
dance-wear, and additional childcare for families); and
gathering space to the entire community, ALL on a
Through the Cora Studio's pay-what-you-can
initiatives, Cora has worked with over 1500 people since
2009 from all parts of the community.
Shannon has served on faculties of numerous schools and
studios including James Madison University (where she
holds a BS in Dance) and Queensborough Colllege.
She curates, adjudicates and has been a guest
speaker at American Dance Festival - NY; American
College Dance Festival; Dance Theatre Workshop; and at
many universities, often speaking to audiences about how
to build bridges to the arts for communities lacking
access. She is proud mother to a lively 5 year old boy
named Henry and wife to actor, Greg McFadden.
Wai-Yee Chan has served the Asian American community for
almost 30 years.
As part of the Chinese American Planning Council,
one of the oldest Asian social services organizations in
New York City, she has dedicated her life to the
teaching and development of young minority children at
She was a program director of CPC’s day care
center and after school program.
At Public School 153 in Brooklyn, she runs a year
round out of school program that caters to children in
She organizes and develops special events for the
community, such as health fairs, senior citizens’
cooking contests, and children’s drawing contests.
Wai-Yee oversees all of the Brooklyn CPC after
school programs and summer day camps.
She is a very passionate and caring individual
who put others interests over her own and whose
contribution to the Brooklyn Asian community is
Matilde Pedrero, born in Mexico and raised in Brooklyn,
is a role model for the younger residents of Sunset
Park. She has a
strong sense of community, advocating and working to
enhance her neighborhood.
She has a keen
interest in local issues, the needs of her neighborhood
and the importance of being part of programs and events.
While in Brooklyn College studying towards a dual
Bachelor of Arts degree, she was on the Dean’s List four
As an outstanding student majoring in Psychology
and Puerto Rican and Latino Studies (PRLS), she received
the PRLS department’s Latino Award.
In 2010, she
completed her Master of Arts studies in Mental Health
She has always been committed to working in her
neighborhood and with the Latino immigrant population at
Matilde began volunteering with different organizations
during her junior year, using her Spanish proficiency
and guided by a concern for our immigrant population.
At Tepeyac Association of New York, she
volunteered as a GED program coordinator and counseled
Latino immigrants on higher education initiatives to
help them integrate into their new country.
Volunteering at the Sunset Terrace Mental Health
Center, she worked with patients with severe mental
illnesses, creating a more productive interaction with
As a Research Assistant at NYU’s Child Study
Center, she worked on a study of parenting,
acculturation and child functioning in Mexican and
Dominican families of preschoolers.
In her second year of her Master’s program she
became a psychiatry extern at Bellevue Hospital, working
in Bellevue’s Bilingual Treatment Program, a program
established to provide culturally and linguistically
appropriate mental health services to the Latino
Using her knowledge and experiences gained through
working at the Sunset Park BID and her various volunteer
positions, Matilde, has also worked with other young
people of Sunset Park in her block association to plan,
organize, and fund educational events and has also shown
concern for the safety of our residents which drives her
to work hard to institute programs such as the Safe
Sonia Valentin Fernandez, a proud mother of two
daughters who have followed in her footsteps by becoming
community activists. She is grateful for her Catholic
upbringing, as well as the support of her family,
friends and volunteers. Sonia is truly humbled to be
recognized for doing what she wholeheartedly loves.
"Helping others," says Sonia, "fills my soul."
Sonia has been a volunteer and community activist for
over 30 years. Her extraordinary compassion was
triggered by an experience she had as an 8-year-old
Puerto Rican girl. Kids were receiving Christmas gifts
from strangers, and their benefactors turned out to be
police officers from the 42nd Precinct. "These tall,
tough Irish cops turned into gentle giants as they
happily distributed toys," recalls Sonia. "I still
remember the warmth I felt inside, and being impressed
that others cared." She's had a soft spot for police
officers ever since because their actions eventually let
Sonia realize her true calling in life - helping
Her community involvement spans a wide
gamut, from entertaining sick children at hospitals,
petitioning for increased funding for the Brooklyn
Public Library, to coordinating a food pantry, as well
as filling out tax forms for the elderly, and
volunteering at CUNY's Kingsborough Community College
and Brooklyn College's Student Affairs events. Following
9/11, Sonia jumped in headfirst to help those affected
by this national tragedy. She pitched in at the Race
Against Violence, and also at Brooklyn Borough President
Markowitz's summer concerts, and Senator Golden's
community events. Sonia and dedicated female volunteers
crochet blankets for veterans at the New Utrecht
Library. She serves on Community Board 11 and attends
precinct community council meetings. She secured a
“Love Your Block" grant in her Bensonhurst neighborhood,
as well as founding the "Friends of John J Carty Park,"
who recently distributed Valentine cards to veterans in
Bay Ridge and seniors in Coney Island.
Iris N. Sanchez
In 1989, Iris Sanchez first followed her calling to feed
She decided to focus on the southwest part of
Brooklyn: Sunset Park, Park Slope, and Red Hook.
From her home kitchen and with assistance from
her family, she cooked chicken soup and made hot
chocolate to give to homeless individuals and families
that lived in squatter camps throughout these
She later expanded her ministry to include a food
pantry that was originally housed at Bay Ridge Christian
Church and later relocated to a warehouse on 51st
Street and 2nd Avenue.
With a team from the local church and her family
she would continue to provide soup on weekends, as well
as canned goods and in-kind donations to the community,
reaching out to over 1000 people weekly.
During the Thanksgiving holiday she cooks Thanksgiving
meals to feed the community and also collects toys to
bring to the family shelters. From the Tuesday before
until Thanksgiving morning she cooks over 40 turkeys and
with assistance serves 12 large trays of stuffing, 6
trays of yams and over 50lbs of Arroz con gandules (rice
and pigeon peas).
In 2011, Iris began collecting donations of money and
food to feed 200 people in the Coney Island area.
She also provided a variety of educational classes for
individual empowerment, such as ESL, GED, SAT and
Iris is truly an Extraordinary Woman!
Frances Brown is a vibrant woman with a bright, bubbly
personality. She is caring, compassionate, and always
available to provide help individuals or to her
community at large. She works as a school crossing guard
on very busy Hamilton Avenue, where she knows and cares
about each and every child. She likes to say that all
the kids in Red Hook belong to her. A deeply spiritual
person, Frances is a tireless worker and fundraiser. She
is a missionary and also acts as an evangelist at
Greater Saint Paul (A.M.E.), where she attends church.
Frances is Treasurer of the Red Hook East Tenants
Association. She is also the PSA-1 Council Vice
President for Brooklyn South.
Frances also serves as Chair of Mothers Against
Gangs, a community-based organization that helps in the
prevention and redirection of at risk-youth.
Frances Brown is an Extraordinary Woman who
deeply cares about, God, family and her fellow man.
Sheriece Hunter takes pride in community involvement by
volunteering and attending various meetings with
community-based organizations (Voices of Woman
Organizing Group, Riverwatch Inc., James E. Davis
Foundation, and the United States OPM/Blacks in
She devotes her time to help in the areas of
domestic violence, feeding the homeless, visiting the
sick and shut-in and bringing cheer, prayer and smiles
to many faces of the elderly at the New York
Congregational Nursing Center.
Sheriece is someone who always has the will to help
others and volunteers her time and energy to her
Rukhsana Liaqat is co-founder of American Council of
Minority Women (ACMW), established in July 2005 by the
women of Minority Community of the USA for the
empowerment, development, protection and promotion of
human rights of women in the USA, and particularly in
the state of New York. Working for the organization gave
Rukhsana incentive to help minorities, especially women.
Rukhsana became aware of psychological and social
issues that these women were facing. Most of these women
are illiterate and want to go to school to make their
children’s lives better. She has encouraged them to
bring a change in their lives with the light of
Her work with ACMS has led to the establishment of the
Adult Literacy Center in Brooklyn, which has enabled 35
women to read and write. English language and
computer skills are also taught. Rukhasana believes
that education is the biggest tool for women to succeed
in their personal and social lives.
Given the convergence of Rukhsana’s personal and
professional interests, she is currently pursuing a M.S.
degree in Accountancy and Taxation (CPA qualifying). Her
basic concern is to help minorities as much as she can,
because people have many tax related and other fiscal
problems and there are not enough bilingual accountants
to help them. Rukhasana sees herself working to support
the young and old those and those that are
underrepresented and disadvantaged. Rukhsana hopes to
provide people, and women in particular, with all the
things they need to become independent and make their
lives better. Rukhsana knows the best way to do
this is to continue her studies to fulfill her goals in
order to help her community.
Marlena Ortiz is a second generation Puerto Rican, born
in New York, and raised in Marine Park, Brooklyn. As
early as the age of 25, she was diagnosed with stage two
breast cancer after being misdiagnosed over the course
of a few years. She felt betrayed that no one made her
aware that breast cancer could exist in women as young
as she, and became understandably upset that her life
would now have to be put on hold as a result. Through
her battle with cancer, Marlena made a promise to spread
awareness and prove to other young women that life
should still be lived. As a result, the non-profit
Beating Cancer In Heels was formed, dedicated to the
empowerment of young women with cancer. It is their aim
to raise awareness and encourage women to embrace who
they are through Life Coaching, Beauty & Style workshops
and recreational activities.
Sarah Sander has worked tirelessly to remove the stigma
and shame of a special child.
As a mother- turned-advocate, she mentors
hundreds of families who turn to her for advice, support
and encouragement when faced with a birth of a child
with Down syndrome.
She created a newsletter called Down Syndrome
Amongst Us. She has educated many women and helped them
navigate the issues particular to special children.
When Sarah’s son graduated from his regular
special education program, she founded a school – Bonim
Lamokom - for her son and former classmates.
The school is situated in a “regular” school
building so there is integration between the special and
regular student bodies.
Sarah continues her work of education and
advocacy, now working to help the adult Down Syndrome
Through her efforts, there are options and hope for
thousands of Jewish special children in Brooklyn and
Cynthia Greenberg serves as President of Kolot
Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives: Building a Progressive
Jewish Community in Brooklyn.
She is a much sought-after consultant to a wide
range of public sector- and social change-focused
organizations. Cynthia organized the recent conference
on the 20th anniversary of Anita Hill’s
testimony on the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence
Thomas, and her clients include groups like the National
Domestic Workers Alliance, which in 2010 helped win
passage in NY of the landmark Domestic Worker Bill of
Rights, and Picture the Homeless, which just weeks ago
released a ground-breaking report on the 5,900 vacant
buildings and lots in NYC that could be developed into
A long-time activist in the NYC Jewish community and
in the larger community as well, at Kolot Chayeinu,
she has developed an action-oriented Board who have
brought this 18-year-old congregation that began
with just 8 people to a vibrant membership of nearly
400, with 250+ children, a strong financial base and
a steady growth of dynamic programs. Under her
leadership the congregation has a much in-demand
monthly Sabbath service for people in their 20s and
30s; vibrant social justice programs, including work
with other communities of faith in our borough
through Brooklyn Congregations United;
enthusiastically received services and programs for
families with children, including a
130-children-strong afterschool Children’s Learning
Program; ever-growing Shabbat services and adult
education offerings for the whole community; and
annual High Holyday services that are packed with
more than 1,000 participants a day. Kolot Chayeinu
has become known as the place to be for all who
desire a combination of engaging community, Jewish
connection, prayer and learning with strong action
for social justice.
Kim Henry became involved with Relay for Life of Sunset
Park with the American Cancer Society in 2006.
She started off as a team captain and raised
money for cancer research for free cancer screenings as
well as many programs within the Brooklyn area.
The following year she chaired the event, which
she has been doing since 2007,
in memory of
her sister Maureen Henry, and in 2010 founded The
Maureen Henry Walk of Hope.
Kim lost her sister Maureen to cancer in 2006 and
that event changed her life forever. In her absence, Kim
was left with overwhelming grief and hurt, all she could
focus on was on how to keep her sister close now that
she was gone? How
could she honor her life and memory with a positive,
meaningful message and make a difference? Relay For Life
was just what Kim needed. Relay for Life gave a voice to
tell people how important her sister was to the family.
Kim refused to
let her sister’s fight with cancer go unnoticed.
Kim’s goal was
to be a small part of the amazing journey in finding a
cure. Kim has been fundraising for 7 years now and does
not see herself stopping any time soon.
Together under Kim’s leadership, Relay for Life and The
Maureen Henry Walk of Hope have raised over $350,000.
Kim is proud to have brought cancer awareness to
her community to help save lives.
Pastor Debbie Santiago
For 20 years, Debbe led a lifestyle of drugs,
violence and crime. She eventually turned to alcohol and
lived under the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Homeless, and trying unsuccessfully to vent her
rage, she would get into physical fights on a daily
was at this point in her life Debbie believes God called
her to start the Salt and Sea Mission. She got a job
with a man she had befriended, and the money made it
easier for her to bring food, supplies and the Gospel to
other homeless people.
What began as feeding people with compassion from the
back of a shopping cart has become serving 33,000 meals
from the emergency food distribution program, a youth
development program, a domestic violence program, an HIV
program, furniture and clothing distribution programs,
and social service advocacy and case management.
Pastor Debbe Santiago was ordained in 1998 and went to
college to become a Licensed Christian Counselor.
She has served
on the 60th Precinct Community Council for
several years, and has been a member of Community Board
13 for 21 years.
Throughout Denise Cosum’s career as a social worker she
has encountered all kinds of problems concerning
families, including poverty, hunger and homelessness.
She noticed the stories about the fathers of these
children were often the same.
They were incarcerated, or nowhere to be found.
A single mother of two sons, Denise witnessed and
understood the struggles of raising children, especially
males, in an underserved community.
One day while at work, two of Denise’s colleagues
inquired as to how she raised her two sons in the
projects of East New York while preventing them from
being involved with the criminal justice system.
They told her she would be great working with
This is when she realized her life purpose was to help
young men reach their full potential and become
contributing members of society.
One day while accompanying her son to a Brooklyn
hospital, she observed a young man being demeaned by
people in the hospital’s waiting area.
She learned that he had just aged out of the
juvenile justice system.
Denise began to mentor this young man and, as she
witnessed his daily struggles, she noticed the system
neither adequately monitored his education nor made it
possible for him to develop independent life skills.
She began to understand the harsh realities of
young men of color who are forced to make their own way
with little to no support system.
Since 2009, Denise Cosom and her “Young Gents
Society” mentoring program have been volunteering at
Crossroads, a juvenile detention center responsible
for caring for NYC youth remanded into their care by
Ms. Cosum has made a significant impact on the
Crossroads youth, as well as on the staff.
The youth and staff look forward to
participating in her program.
Ms. Cosom has assisted with some of the most
challenging youth and her assistance has been
Attorneys contact Crossroads and request that Ms.
Cosum meet their clients.
Young Gents has mentored over 100
incarcerated young men at Riker’s Island and have
presented workshops to young men at Crossroads
Chavie Glustein founded BINA Stroke and Brain Injury
Assistance in 2003 as a result of her personal
experiences following the devastating stroke of a close
family member at a very young age. After five years of
accompanying her relative to intensive rehabilitation,
Chavie well understood the bewildering maze that
families are forced to navigate when confronted with the
unfamiliar world of stroke and brain injury. She was
determined to share the hard-won knowledge she had
gained with others facing a similar journey while
traveling on the long road to rehabilitation. Starting
from a desk in her apartment and five clients, BINA has
expanded to a beautiful suite of offices in Midwood with
a staff of nine and has to date assisted over 1,000
survivors of stroke and brain injury and their families,
the majority of whom reside within the Jewish
communities of Brooklyn.
BINA’s pioneering and comprehensive approach includes a
unique and detail oriented system based on in-depth
research which addresses the individual needs of each
client. Services include referrals, advocacy, case
management, crisis intervention, vocational services,
support and education. Leading brain injury specialists
have lauded Chavie’s work at BINA as critical and
trailblazing. Chavie has visited over 100 rehabilitation
facilities, meets with specialists and therapists
regularly, and travels around the country to attend
medical conferences. She speaks directly and at length
to clients to assess and address their particular needs,
and her warm and engaging personality has made her a
beloved figure to one and all.
Maritza Fred, the sixth of eight children and
the only female in a traditional Hispanic family.
She and her husband, Robert, have been married for
36 years and have 3 beautiful daughters, 5 loving
grandchildren and 3 foster children. Maritza resides
in the Sunset Park community.
As a young
girl, Maritza had to overcome many obstacles and
challenges. Her parents were out of the home often,
either at work or at community meetings, leaving
Maritza to care for her two youngest brothers. As
she got older, she became aware of many homes with
absent fathers and parents who verbally abused their
children. In response to the things she experienced
while growing up, as an adult, Maritza became very
aware of the need for fostering children. Over the
course of the years, Maritza and her husband have
opened their homes to several children as foster
parents. She has provided a loving and nurturing
home for these children and has advocated for their
parents, assisting them in getting into programs
that would help them eventually reunite with their
parents. Maritza and her husband are committed to
mentoring married couples in order to help them
parent their children and live healthy and
Maritza believes that
every child should have a healthy childhood and that
should include a place where they feel safe, and
where they are loved, understood, respected and well
fed. Because of her concern for children, Maritza
has partnered with agencies in her community to
provide reading programs for the children in her
community, has become a parent advocate for schools
in Sunset Park and conducts monthly parenting
workshops for several community based organizations.
Maritza has recently opened up a Child Care business
in her home, where she provides daily care for small
children, introducing basic academics, music and
extracurricular activities, but most importantly she
provides a nurturing environment and plants a solid
foundation for the parents to build upon.
Maritza received her GED in 2004. She is passionate
about showing Hispanic women in particular their
worth and teaching them to have respect for
themselves as well as to expect it from others. Her
passions drive her to assist in empowering those
less fortunate in any way possible.
Lisa Davie started volunteer work at St. Edmund’s School
with the Home School Association in 1992. St. Edmund’s
is a small school with approximately 300 students.
Lisa was elected Home School President in 1994
and served through 2002. She raised in excess of
$500,000 for the school through various fundraisers as
president; this was done through the Christmas Fair,
carnivals, casino night and many other school functions.
Lisa spent 10 years there working very closely
with the administration and gave her heart and soul to
the school and the community.
Due to her boys passion for the game of ice hockey, Lisa
was drawn to the Greater NYC Ice Hockey League which has
been serving the community since 1967.
Her goal was to help create a better environment
for all the boys and girls who participate in the
was elected to the board of directors in 2004.
Lisa now serves as the Treasurer on the board of
directors and heads up all of the fundraising for the
organization, as well as the bookkeeping and all of the
Lisa’s efforts throughout the years with various
organizations have brought in countless dollars not
only to Greater NY but to other organizations as
continues to grow the youth league and make it more
affordable to a larger part of the community.
Lisa is truly a leader in our community and
one heck of a “stay at home” mom!
Mary Salogub is an 86 year old woman who will not stop
Mary served as secretary of the 69th
Pct. Community Council; she helped organize the NYPD Cop
of the month celebration.
Mary had knee surgery early 2011, but she did not
miss any days helping others.
From her hospital bed she helped to organize the
Cop of the Month celebration “Crime Night Out” street
Co-chair of the 69th Pct baseball league for
years, she registers the children, raises funds to
offset the costs to the children.
Co-chair of the Canarsie Memorial Day Parade for
This parade brings together children in a marching steel
band from the Berean Baptist Church on Bergen Street to
Canarsie with children from Canarsie’s Bayview Housing
The children receive community service
certificates suitable for college requirements.
Ilene Sacco was born and raised in Queens but fell in
love with Brooklyn, especially Bay Ridge and Dyker
Heights in the early 90’s when she started working for
the Kings County DA’s Office as Director of Special
Ilene earned her law degree from New York Law School in
1994 and both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in
Criminal Justice from John Jay College. She is an
attorney and currently works for the NYS Office of
People with Developmental Disabilities.
Ilene has always been extremely involved in community
based activities both in Queens where she grew up and in
her Brooklyn community.
She is currently the President of the 68th
Precinct Community Council and is very proud of the
accomplishments the current board has achieved,
especially their comprehensive community email
notification system which provides residents of the
community information on important crime and local
Ilene is the former President of the Bay Ridge Community
She was Vice President of the Bay Ridge Lions.
She is also a board member of Ragamuffin, the
Dyker Heights Civic Association and has been involved in
many community organizations, having worked on many
community projects through the years.
She has been named “Woman of the Year” from both
Advocates for Services for the Blind and
Multi-handicapped and by the Dyker Heights Civic
Association and named Lion of the Year in 2000.
Ilene has received awards of merit from many
Community School District 20 Drug and Alcohol Prevention
Program, the Fifth Avenue Board of Trade, the Merchants
of Third Avenue, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation,
and by both the 62nd and the 68th
Ilene has also received numerous commendations
and citations from many elected officials, including
Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudolph Giuliani, Gov.
George Pataki, Congressman Vito Fossella, State Senator
Martin Golden and City Councilmember Vincent Gentile.
Ilene currently resides in Bay Ridge with her husband
John Walsh, an accountant, and they are in the process
of trying to adopt their first child.
Helen is a member of a nonprofit fraternal charity
organization known as the Order of the Eastern Star.
She is a leader in her chapter and has raised
$15,000 for cancer research and over $5,000 for other
charities over the last five years.
Very active in her church she was elected as the
1st and 2nd Vice President of the
Ladies Usher Board as well as the Supervisor of the
Junior Usher Board for three years.
As a member of the Hospitality Committee, she
provides care packages for senior citizens and community
residents in need.
Helen helps feed the people in the community
during the holidays and participates in the Walk for
She also volunteers on the Competitive Edge
Planning Committee, a group of public and private
partners working together to increase its roster of
qualified disadvantaged minority and women-owned
businesses and qualified firms.
She works with developers to create jobs through
community hiring on large construction projects.
For all of her tireless efforts in her community,
Helen Wilson is truly one of Brooklyn’s Extraordinary
/ Melissa Anceravige
Donna Maxil and Melissa Anceravige were born, raised and
still live in Park Slope BROOKLYN! Proud to be true Old
School Brooklynites -- They sit on their stoop and drink
coffee every beautiful summer evening. P.S.124 has been
a part of their family for over 65 years. Donna
volunteered at the school for many years serving on the
PTA, and eventually started working there as a
Donna currently works as the Parent Coordinator
at P.S. 124.
Attending the 72 precinct Community Council for
many years, at first attending meetings and voicing
concerns about the community, and now serves as the
President of the 72nd Precinct Council.
A family that is genetically predisposed to cancer,
in their lifetime they have lost several family
members to this disease and currently have family
members living in remission. As
a child, Melissa did not understand death or
disease, when her Aunt Nancy Hernandez passed from
colon cancer at the age of 34 she did not know what
was happening or what to make of it. As a teenager
she lost her grandmother to lung cancer. Being
older Melissa was deeply saddened but still did not
understand cancer. After living through the
struggles of their deceased family members Melissa
and Donna knew they had to do something. Melissa
and Donna formed a group of family and friends and
decided to raise money to help find a cure for
cancer. The 17th Street Cancer Crusade was formed.
They hold Annual Fundraisers and donate 100% of
everything raised to help cancer organizations in
their quest to find a cure. They have raffles, a
Flea Market, rides, games, food, drinks, music and
much more... all in the memory of their loved ones.
Together with many dedicated volunteers, they are a
success year after year. Raising thousands of
dollars for Organizations such as Cure Search & The
American Cancer Society.
Tammy A. Moore has been
serving her community for over 30 years.
She visits hospitals,
teaches Sunday school and works tirelessly with homeless
and troubled women and children for the purpose of
introducing people to her church and to presenting them
with the Gospel.
Thirty years ago, as a single mother, she received Jesus
Christ as her Savior, and believes the result of that
was God pouring blessings upon herlife. It not
only changed her, but changed the life of her children.
Her oldest child, Luci
Sadlowski turned to religion, was able to go to
Christian College in Indiana, even though Tammy didn't
know how she would be able to pay her tuition. Her
daughter met a Christian young man and married, and 25
years and eight children later, she is serving in a
church with her husband.
Her oldest son, Leon
Aguilera, is now the Pastor of Lefferts Park Baptist
Church in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, where one of his
ministries is to the homeless of Brooklyn. Her youngest
son, Robert Moore, is a New York firefighter in Dyker
Heights and faithful to the church.
“God has been abundantly good to
me and my children, and I pray that my life will bring
Him honor and glory for without Him I could do nothing.
I only pray that at the end of my life when I come
before Him He will say, "Well done my good and faithful
servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord."
Esther Friedman was born on NYC’s Lower East Side.
Inspired by the selfless example of her parents, both
Holocaust survivors, her lifelong commitment to helping
others began at an early age. Together with her
grandmother, ten year old Esther would regularly visit
the patients in the Jewish Hospital for Chronic Disease
(now Kingsbrook Medical Center).
When she moved to Borough Park, Brooklyn in 1970,
Esther continued her good work by volunteering at
Maimonides Medical Center. She currently makes rounds on
Friday with the juice cart, distributing drinks and
refreshments to the patients, staff, and visitors, and
she provides hand sewn white tablecloths, homemade
cholent and fruit salad to the hospital’s many Jewish
patients in honor of the Sabbath. Esther is actively
involved in the Zichron Shlome Refuah Fund, an
organization helping adults and children with cancer,
and coordinates not only their annual Chinese Auction
fundraiser, but Hatzolah’s, the Jewish volunteer
ambulance corps, as well. In addition to her charity
work, this busy mother and grandmother works in the
hospital’s fertility clinic, teaches sewing to
elementary and high school students, and still finds
time to chair the PTA. “To give is to get,” she
explains. ”There’s nothing that can compare with the
feeling you get from making other people happy.”
Sara Reyes is a 19 year old Latina born and raised in
New York City. Growing up in East New York, Brooklyn,
Sara quickly realized that her neighborhood was one of
the most underserved communities in NYC. As
a teen Sara experienced many hardships, but decided to
that she would step up and take ownership over her life
and her neighborhood. Recognizing that many of her
neighbors faced similar challenges, Sara
joined the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation 2
½ years ago and has become a youth leader of Future of
a member she has organized her peers and neighbors
around educational justice issues, helping to save a
community high school and middle school; shined a
spotlight on the lack of community school resources; and
represented Future of Tomorrow at city and national
gatherings. She has also assisted the
organization’s home ownership counselor in running the
first-time home buyers program.
Joyce Vederosa is a 5th grade teacher and UFT
representative at PS 277 in Gerritsen Beach. She is a
self – sacrificing woman who has committed her life to
helping local children in need and families of children
in need. Joyce has always been committed to helping
local families who are the victims of tragedies and
extraordinary medical expenses. She has established the
Jennifer Lundgren award to honor the memory of Jennifer
Lundgren who died as a young child when her home burned
down on Ryder Street in Marine Park. Joyce held a
fundraiser for Nicole Woods, a child in Brooklyn who had
a brain tumor and was able to collect over $10,000 to
help the family with the medical bills. Joyce recently
held several community fundraisers including a carnival
at Holy Trinity Church in Marine Park for Megan Russo, a
child in the community with eye cancer. None of these
fundraisers were for established charities or non-
profit organizations, Joyce just saw local families that
were suddenly struck with tragedy and she took immediate
action to come to their aid in a huge way.
Joyce , along with her friend Margarite Burke , have
created a “ Catering Service “ where they cook huge
meals and invite families from the neighborhood to come
to her home in between wake services and after funeral
masses. This act of kindness takes a huge burden off
local grieving families and gives them a warm home to
comfort each other while going through a difficult time.
On holidays, Joyce always opens her door and includes
people from her church and the community who don’t have
anyone to celebrate with.
Joyce belongs to the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in
Marine Park where she is heavily involved with volunteer
activities. She has been a basketball coach for 20 years
in the Holy Trinity Athletic Association. What makes
this activity special for Joyce is that she makes sure
that every child gets court time and goes out of her way
to include autistic children and hearing impaired
children. Joyce is also the Chairman of the Church
Property Board, serves on the Church Council as a
lifetime member and leads the Holy Trinity Youth Group.
Janet B. Munroe Rousseau has lived in Brooklyn since
1973. She worked
as a nurse and midwife delivering new Brooklynites from
1973 to 1998 at Kings County Hospital. In her spare
time, Janet helped to form the Sesame Flyers
Organization. This organization helps children with
their homework and to become model Brooklynites. The
children learn of their heritage, and some learn how to
play the steel drums. These young musicians have done so
well that they have won numerous awards. Janet has
served on the Sesame Flyers Board of Directors since
Janet also served as the chairperson of the Social
Affairs Committee for 25 years, providing hot meals for
the children and teachers of the Saturday program.
Janet coordinates and participates in numerous
health fairs, especially the annual health fair at St.
Matthew’s RC Church.