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Founder & Executive Director
Jai is the Founder and Executive Director of the Urban Dove, and the Founder and Board Chair of Urban Dove Team Charter School. Jai has worked with young people his entire life, and has dedicated his career to improving and enriching their lives. He is a founding Board member of Up2Us, a national coalition of Sports Based Youth Development agencies and previously served on PASE’s Youth Sport Alliance Council. Jai has also served as Chairman of the Youth Committee for Community Board 4 and was honored as a Local Hero by Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative
Jai was born and raised in New York City. After completing a public school education at Stuyvesant High School, he graduated with Honors from the University of Michigan. Before founding Urban Dove, Jai worked as a teacher in the New York City school system both at the high school level and at the City University of New York. He was also a basketball coach for more than 15 years. A self-professed family man, Jai lives in Chelsea with his favorite people - his wife Kathleen and two daughters, Charlotte, 7 and Waverly, 4.
Associate Executive Director
Richie Cerrud came to New York City from Panama at the age of 8. He was educated in the NYC public school system at every level. He has been dedicated to youth sports and youth development since 1985 when he started his first football league to help bridge the gap between the youth of Yorkville and Harlem. Richie is passionate about youth development and has dedicated his life to developing innovative programs to help at-risk youth reach their full potential, often using sports as a vehicle to teach life skills, including teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution and responsibility.
Richie has emerged as a respected leader in his field through his unique combination of personal and professional experience. He has served as mentor and role model for thousands of young people who have come in contact with him over the past 20 years. In 1999 Richie was recognized by the Partnership for After School Education as a recipient of the 1st annual PASEsetter award for excellence in youth work. Serving the youth in style, Richie does not have one favorite color, but instead has favorite colors for each season – blue pinstripes in the summer, green and white in the fall/winter, and gold and blue in the winter/spring.
Finance & Administration Manager
As Finance and Administration Manager, Anthony Maselli oversees all finance, accounting and administration functions for Urban Dove and Urban Dove Team Charter School (UD Team). With over 20 years of practical experience in accounting and finance in non-profit arenas, Anthony brings demonstrated expertise, well-developed knowledge, skills and a proven track record of success to the Urban Dove management team. Anthony's past experience includes finance and accounting management at The German School NY, Greenburgh 11 UFSD and Yonkers Public Schools. Anthony has a Bachelor of Science from Mercy College, an Associates of Applied Science in Accounting from Dutchess Community College and is proficient in a variety of finance and accounting applications.
Director of Development and Communication
Amy Sewell directs Urban Dove’s development and communication efforts. With almost 30 years of experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors (she founded her own nonprofit to help expose at-risk kids to the arts), Amy has worked in various industries integrating and implementing communication and development strategies. Amy is also an award-winning producer, director and published author. She is best known for her audience-pleasing film Mad Hot Ballroom (2005) and most proud of her documentary about gender inequality, What's Your Point, Honey? (2008). Blindspot (2010) was her most recent documentary about two young blind people navigating NYC. She has also worked in marketing, communications, public relations, event planning and fundraising with results-oriented approaches to creating positive change.
Sewell’s classroom experience includes teaching filmmaking at Frederick Douglass Academy High School in Harlem. She serves on the Advisory Board of Reel Works Teen Filmmaking Lab, Community Board 1’s Affordable Housing and Senior Services Committees. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, has an MBA, and resides in Lower Manhattan with her husband and twin teenage girls. She loves sailing, backpacking and playing poker.
D. Maria Frazier
D. Maria is a proud native of Brooklyn, New York. Her 15 years of teaching and youth development experience includes working with the National Urban League’s Education Department, NULITES Youth Summit, the Flatbush YMCA and The After School Corporation (TASC). D. Maria joined the Urban Dove team in 2004 and has quickly moved up the ranks from HiRisers Program Coordinator; College All-Stars Founder, Program Associate and Manager; Regional Program Director and currently serves as the Director of Programs. D. Maria holds a B.A. from Brooklyn College in Psychology and Child Studies and has received extensive training with Columbia University’s Non-Profit Management Program. As the most tenured Urban Dove staff member, her longevity, dedication, leadership style, model of excellence and wealth of talent render her an invaluable asset to Urban Dove, its programs, staff and young people.
Program Manager - College All Stars, Bronx
Tyler is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, but has been living in New York City for 12 years and counting. A UCLA Theater student, Tyler also holds his MFA in Playwriting from the Actors Studio Drama School. As one could guess from his educational career, Tyler is an avid theater goer. Working at the Urban Dove since September 2007, Tyler has worked in college admissions for over 10 years. Before Urban Dove he worked in the admissions offices at UCLA and The New School, and for five years was the Assistant Director of Admissions for Eugene Lang College. Tyler came to Urban Dove with the desire to have more direct interaction with students, and to use his experience to help students achieve access to higher education. Tyler's favorite part of being part of the Urban Dove team is "Getting a call from one of my students saying they've been accepted into a college."
Jamie Lee Cruz
Jamie is a native New Yorker, who grew up in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. As a teenager she began working at the Hudson Guild Beacon Program as a peer counselor and was promoted to program manager after being recognized for her hard work and dedication during her eight years there. Jaime is extremely passionate about youth and community development and has assisted in developing and leading several programs in the fields of teen empowerment, youth councils, after-school programs and drama. She has also developed and directed over ten performing arts productions. Jamie has been a Program Associate with Urban Dove since 2008.
Mike has moved all around New York during his childhood living in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and even a few years in Yonkers. Mike studied Psychology at Clark University in Worcester, MA and graduated in 2007. He came back to New York upon graduation, and worked with Prep for Prep as a counselor for high school students. In the summer of 2010, Mike joined Urban Dove as our Assistant Camp Director and Program Associate for the HiRisers program. He truly enjoys working firsthand with the children, especially teens and always looks to strengthening those relationships and building new ones. When Mike isn’t working with the kids at Urban Dove he likes to travel whenever possible. More often though, Mike enjoys being a couch potato watching his favorite shows or movies, with a hot Italian dish or a couple of sushi rolls.
A big sports fan, Ray, whose favorite teams are the Giants, Knicks, and Mets – was born and raised in Brooklyn, but currently lives in Queens. Ray graduated from Manhattanville College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Psychology and his experience in the non-profit field includes working at the University Settlement Houston Street Center. At Urban Dove since 2008, Ray enjoys opportunities to interact with Urban Dove youth and truly enjoys working for an organization that helps them succeed.
Program Associate - College All Stars, East Harlem
Dennis is a proud native of Yonkers, New York. While completing his Master's Degree in Counseling at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry. Dennis interned in the school counseling office of Edgemont Junior/Senior High School in Scarsdale, helping students with all aspects of the college process. Dennis is excited to continue working with youth in the non-profit sector, having previously worked for nearly two years in Youth & Family Programs at Cluster Community Services in Yonkers. In June 2012, Dennis joined Urban Dove as a College All-Stars Program Associate. When not working with students, Dennis enjoys rooting for his hometown Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers, finding the best Rock, Pop and Blues music the city has to offer, and exploring his newest hobby, yoga.
Development and Communication Associate (VISTA)
Emma joined Urban Dove as an Americorps VISTA and serves as an associate to the Development and Communication department. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with Honors from Wesleyan University with bachelor's degrees in History and Government. An avid soccer player growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, Emma believes in the value of a healthy balance between sports and school. She loves traveling and hiking, and recently completed her first half-marathon.