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.
VICTOR 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 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.
JOSUE DE PAZ is working to break generational cycles of poverty by lowering barriers to education and providing holistic interventions for underserved and first-generation students. As students struggled to adjust to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Josue founded First Tech Fund (FTF) to close the digital divide faced by under-resourced students. Working with 50 volunteers since May 2020, FTF has provided free computers, internet access, mentorship, networking, and workshops to over 135 low-income New York City high school students. FTF received over 1,000 applications from students across New York for participation in their programs. After FTF’s first cohort year, Josue found that the computers and other technology that his organization provided not only supported the students themselves–but also their siblings and extended family members, enabling them to participate in remote schooling and access social services, employment, and health resources.
Originally from Cuernavaca, Mexico, Josue is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. Prior to founding FTF, Josue worked at Girls Who Code, an organization that works to close the gender gap in technology, where he managed partnerships, outreach and strategy across the southern United States. Josue was a 2021 Coro Workforce Systems Leadership Fellow and a 2022 Council for Urban Professionals Fellow. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Santa Clara University.
SHAWN CARSON was born and raised on Lafayette Avenue in the heart of Bedford Stuyvesant, just a few blocks away from the Bedford-Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School.
Mr. Carson is a very seasoned mortgage lending professional possessing more than twenty years of real estate financing and sales experience. He has originated, underwritten, and/or closed over 1,000 residential and commercial real estate transactions that total in excess of $700 million dollars during his career in the mortgage industry. He also has an extensive network of real estate professionals, community advisors, and political figures who have a deep commitment to not only the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood but specifically educating and cultivating the next generation of leaders from this community. With a focus on maintaining access to home ownership for current residents, Mr. Carson routinely conducts first time home ownership courses with local housing counseling agencies and organizes wealth building and preservation exercises throughout the Bedford-Stuyvesant and surrounding “Brownstone Brooklyn” communities.
Shawn received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Oswego, and his MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s E. Phillip Saunders College of Business. An avid sports fan (Jets, Mets, and Nets!!!), self-described soccer and track dad, and a North Fork winery enthusiast Shawn currently resides in East Yaphank, NY with his wife and their combined “Brady Family” of 5.
BSNBCS is not only a supportive school for my children, I have a third grader and a seventh grader, it is very supportive to me as a parent as well. Their teachers are in communication with me regularly about my child’s progress and the office team and support staff are always available to answer any questions. It is a loving community that I am glad to be a part of!
This is a great school. My son started out in kindergarten and he will be going to 5th grade for the new school year. The teachers work hard with each child. The staff are friendly and polite and the school as a whole is well organized. Thank you BSNBCS.
Since I enrolled my kids in this school I have seen improvements in their academic performance. They can now read well. The school's staff and teachers are friendly and approachable. I would recommend this school.
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