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Joseph Sciame

JOSEPH SCIAME is one of the founders of the Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School and previously served for ten years as the founding Chair of its Board of Trustees.

Mr. Sciame is Vice-President for Community Relations at St. John’s University, with campuses in Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan and Rome, Italy.  In his current position, since 1994, he interacts with all local civic and community groups in keeping the communication levels open in terms of University related activities.  He is known for his keen awareness of establishing lines of strong communication with community leaders, and with all levels of municipal government as well.

An involved person in his own community of New Hyde Park, NY, where he resides, Mr. Sciame is involved with his church as a lector at the parish of Note Dame, and is Chair of the Board of Ethics for the Town of Hempstead, one of the three towns of Nassau County.

A graduate of St. John’s University from its School of Education, Mr. Sciame commenced his earlier years working from 1962-1994 in the areas of registration, admissions and financial aid, which ultimately led to his presidency of the NYS, Eastern Region and National Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

In addition, he has been a local, state and national president of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, and a national past chairman of its Commission for Social Justice, which fights bias, bigotry and discrimination.  He currently is the President of the Sons of Italy Foundation, a 501(c)3 entity that provides national scholarships, veterans benefits and donations to other charities.


PATRICIA BRAMWELL, MSW, CSW who was born, raised and still currently resides in Bedford Stuyvesant is a Graduate of Central State University and Fordham University.

Ms. Bramwell is Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and is a founding member of Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School.

Ms. Bramwell is retired Psychological Counselor, tenured Assistant Professor from City College Department of Special Programs, (SEEK Program). She also taught a New Student Seminar for entering Freshmen and Transfer Students and was responsible for a caseload of 200 students. Ms. Bramwell also chaired the S.E.E.K. Committee on Course and Standing and served as the Assistant Coordinator of Counseling.

In addition, Ms. Bramwell served as Vice-Chair of District 16 School Board and as a former NYC Commissioner of Human Rights as well as serving on numerous Professional and Community Organizations.


VictorVICTOR RIVERA JR. was born and raised in the Sumner Projects in the same Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn which serves as the home of Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School.

Mr. Rivera is a founding member of the Board of Trustees, former Treasurer and is currently the Board Chair.  He is a graduate of New York City’s prestigious Regis High School (1980), Pitzer College (1984) and the Harvard Law School (1987).

Mr. Rivera is an attorney who has practiced in the area of commercial litigation for over 30 years in New York City. He is currently Senior Counsel at Goetz Fitzpatrick LLP, a general practice law firm specializing in the areas of construction law and general commercial litigation.  Mr. Rivera lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife and their two children.


DORIS GIVENS attended District 16 schools in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn which serves as the home of Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School.

Ms. Givens is our Board of Trustees Secretary and Governance Chair.  She is a graduate of Pace University, holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and professional certifications in risk management, compliance and general management with the Association of International Bank Auditors.

Ms. Givens is a semi-retired Banker who served as a Vice President, Operations Executive and Strategic Business Partner, respectively, over the course of 20 years for JPMorgan Chase and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  She recently served as Senior Director of Ops and Strategy for Year Up, Inc. She is the immediate past President of Jack and Jill of America, Brooklyn Chapter and currently serves an independent consultant. She is passionate about developing and advancing our next generation of leaders and lives in Brooklyn with her family.


KEVIN A. NESBITT has a career dedicated to working on the behalf of students and faculty in diverse settings ranging from the Department of Education (NYC), Charter School Management, to Columbia University, the New School, John Jay College and presently at Hunter College as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.  His emphasis is on cultivating a culture of cross-trained academic and student affairs professionals engaging in high impact practices.  These efforts lead to student persistence, student retention and graduates prepared to engage in critical professions. Dean Nesbitt most recently served CUNY as John Jay College’s Director of Faculty Affairs where he managed the tenure and promotion process and faculty development opportunities until November 2015. With a focus on enrollment management, he currently oversees the Offices of Admissions, Recruitment, the Welcome Center and Financial Aid at Hunter College. He currently serves on CUNY Vice Chancellor’s Arts and Education Committee.  

Nesbitt has an MS in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and an MA in Politics from the New School University. He is ABD at the New School for Social Research in the Department of Political Science.  In addition to studying issues affecting Caribbean-American immigration policies and practices, he has spent the last several years trying to better understand the recognizable shift in how families are defining and organizing themselves in the modern era.  In specific he is identifying and examining what he has coined as “Male Headed Single Parent Households,” MHSPHs and the movement for men to reclaim a role in families, even without the physical presence of a mother or partner. His recent interests include understanding single parent households by retrospectively exploring concepts of single motherhood in America up against modern-day single fatherhood. Nesbitt is a Brooklyn native of Jamaican descent whose addiction is traveling.  He is the proud father to a 11 year old boy and 13 year old girl both born to him and his wife right in Bedford-Stuyvesant.


Cecelia

CECELIA MARY RUSSO, a native of Brooklyn, not far from Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School, is one of its founding members and is currently Chair of the Education Sub-Committee.

Ms. Russo is the Director of Pre-Admission Programs at St. John’s University and Associate Director of the Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP), which is a New York State Education Department co-sponsored program for 7-12 graders who are African-American, Hispanic, Alaskan and Native- American who have been historically underrepresented in the STEM-L fields. At the University she is responsible for five programs, which reach out to more than 4,000 junior high and high school students in the five New York City Boros, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and New Jersey.

Ms. Russo has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, permanent New York State Certification in teaching Kindergarten – Eighth grade, a Master of Science Degree as a Reading Specialist for elementary and secondary students, a Master’s degree in Counseling and a Professional Diploma in Counseling/High Education.

During her thirty years in the field of education, she has taught at the elementary, junior high and college levels, concentrating mostly on the Language Arts area. She has tutored children of all ages and levels in English, Social Studies and communication/ study skills. She has also taught adults in a General Equivalency Diploma Prep Program. She has conducted workshops for students, parents, teachers and administrators.

Ms. Russo has served in many leadership positions for elementary, secondary and college associations and has been and will continue to be an advocate for a quality education for all.


LETICIA THEODORE-GREENE is the press secretary at the Office of the New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. In the role she is responsible for this citywide elected official’s communications and media relations engagement, presence and strategy. Prior to taking the role she was the Associate Executive Director for Community, Government and Public Relations at NYC Health+Hospitals/Kings County where she created and implemented strategy for community and public relations, and worked to secure public funding for Brooklyn’s busiest hospital.

In previous roles Leticia was the deputy commissioner for external affairs at the New York State Division of Human Rights; a lobbyist and political consultant on local City Council races, vice president at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. In her early career Leticia was a reporter for WNYC Radio who also contributed to National Public Radio.She covered pivotal events in New York City including terrorist attack of 9/11, NYC black out of 2003, Staten Island Barge explosion and more.

Leticia holds a Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York and a Master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.  A native New Yorker, Leticia spent much of her childhood in Trinidad, West Indies, the birthplace of her parents. She has three brothers and proudly resides with her husband Winston and their two daughters in beautiful Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.