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Joe Gonzalez has spent his professional career in a multitude of fields including work in television, film, theatre, special events, design, construction & green consulting. Capable of wearing many hats, Joe has served as a Producer, Technical Director, Logistical Manager & Production Manager.
With an ever evolving passion to “make things happen”, Joe has also been a tireless volunteer his whole life, having spent thousands of hours working with kids as a mentor and in school programs.
As an individual who spends nearly every day reading and learning more about global issues, he was eager to find a way to develop real solutions to some of the problems that we all face. Co-founding The Project Solution with Tara Bracco is just one step toward making a significant difference in the world community.
His philosophy is that we must change our perspective and understanding of our place in the world. We don’t live alone in a town or a city or a country, we are global citizens who live together on the same planet. It is only when we see ourselves together that we can begin to work toward common goals and solutions.
Contact Joe directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist, writer, and non-profit consultant Tara Bracco is the co-founder of The Project Solution and the founder of Poetic People Power, an ongoing project in New York City that combines poetry and activism. Her op-eds and non-fiction writing on feminism, the arts, and economics have appeared in a range of national and local publications including The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, American Theatre, Brooklyn Rail, Clamor, and BUST. She is also a Fellow at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership.
In 2003, Bracco created Poetic People Power to raise awareness on social and political issues by engaging audiences through the expressive art of poetry. Since then, she has provided work opportunities for emerging poets by commissioning nearly 50 political poems and premiering the new work to public audiences. Now with the project moving into its eighth year, Bracco is becoming a recognized leader in the area of art and activism. Her work with Poetic People Power has been profiled in Time Out New York and has received awards from the Puffin Foundation and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She has spoken about her career as an artist and activist at Barnard College, Marymount Manhattan College, and has been a guest teacher at Teatro La Tea’s “What’s In a Word” program. Bracco performs her own poetry at colleges, fundraisers, and venues throughout New York.
Bracco’s activism and leadership is also reflected in her non-profit work. She has a deep knowledge of the non-profit sector with over ten years experience working for feminist and arts organizations. As a non-profit consultant, Bracco has advised on and developed fundraising strategies for Our Time Theatre Company, the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts, Savvy Ladies, Bitch magazine, and Girls Write Now. She is also on faculty at the Woodhull Institute, where she has traveled across the country training hundreds of women in public speaking and advocacy. In fall 2007, her teaching was featured on Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty website. In April 2009, Bracco co-founded The Project Solution with longtime friend Joe Gonzalez.
Contact Tara directly at: email@example.com
Board Member, Kevin Yuhas
Despite the fact that his job as a commodities trader paid a handsome salary, especially for a 25 year old, Kevin Yuhas quit his first job in search of something that satisfied his creative desires and sense of moral purpose. After a brief stint at the School of Visual Arts and founding an eco-conscious T-shirt printing company, Kevin discovered an untapped talent: teaching. His early work within the New York City Department of Education as a substitute teacher eventually led to a position as a technology coordinator, a position which allowed him to apply his engineering skills and natural teaching abilities in order to integrate technology into school curriculum. After suffering a near fatal run in with an automobile, he returned to the Department of Education as a mathematics teacher in the largest Middle School in New York City. Drawing from his own personal life experience as a student of mathematics Kevin set out to teach mathematics in a manner “that allowed and encouraged students to take a more active role in constructing their understanding of the subject”. His pedagogical practice caught the eye of the mathematics coach at his school who encouraged him to apply for a full tuition grant for the math leadership program at Bank Street College. Kevin was awarded the grant and over the next 4 years he discovered a venue in which to exercise his sense or moral purpose and natural talents as an educator.
During his career Kevin has taught children from Kindergarten to graduate school students. He has mentored many student-teachers and also worked as a mathematics coach for the Department of Education in an attempt to improve the quality of mathematics education by working with both teachers and school administrators. He firmly believes that “all students, regardless of their ethnic or socioeconomic background have the right to authentically understand the mathematics that they are (often poorly) taught in schools”. An advocate for high quality and unbiased public education Kevin has served on the planning board of several schools including the Lyons Community School that was founded by a fellow cohort member at Bank Street.
Currently, Kevin works at The Shuang Wen School, a dual-language school in Chinatown. He teaches 7th and 8th grade students mathematics and is active in working with the student council. In 2007 he was awarded the Fund for Teachers fellowship grant and has spent time in Taiwan studying Mandarin so that he can both better serve the needs of his students and communicate with the non-English speaking members of the school community. Kevin has played a pivotal role in implementing the pilot program of The Ten-Cent Project Solution at the Shuang Wen School. In the future he hopes to help expand this wonderful program to schools throughout New York City.
Outside of his interests in issues related to social justice and equality in education, Kevin is an avid musician, breakdancer, and fan of the Arts in general. He enjoys learning new languages, travel, fitness, and meeting most anyone that is passionate about what they do and thinks “outside of the box”.
Contact Kevin directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike experienced first-hand some of the complex challenges facing developing countries while participating in a conservation program in Zimbabwe in 2006. This life-changing adventure reinforced his desire to support conservation efforts and to improve the lives of others. Finding like-minded individuals in Joe and Tara, he enthusiastically commits his support and skills to this incredibly forthright program.
Mike’s professional career includes seven years in public accounting at Ernst & Young specializing in the non-profit, manufacturing, and healthcare industries; as well as, controller and CFO positions in video post production, imports, investment banking and content publishing. Also an actor, singer, and writer, he is currently developing a play based on the life of Sister Dorothy Stang—a nun assassinated in Brazil in 2005 helping the impoverished peoples of the Amazon.
Contact Michael directly at: email@example.com
Michael Emerson began his career as a stage actor in regional theater where he was attracted to classical roles. His work on and off Broadway led to supporting parts in film and television where he has made a mark portraying damaged and dangerous characters on programs like THE PRACTICE and LOST. He has been twice honored with the Emmy Award. Michael holds an MFA degree from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and lives in New York City with his wife, actress Carrie Preston.
With her bubbly persona and drive to perform, Carrie Preston has landed roles in everything from stage to the big screen to a starring role as Arlene Fowler, the red-headed sassy waitress in the Golden Globe nominated HBO series True Blood. Preston’s breakout Outer Critics Award nominated turn as “Miranda” in George C. Woolf’s Broadway production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest with Patrick Stewart, led to roles in major television series such as LOST and Desperate Housewives along with scene-stealing turns in Duplicity with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen; Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona; the Oscar nominated Transamerica, playing Felicity Huffman’s sister; Alan Ball’s Towelhead opposite Aaron Eckhart, the Daisy 3 Pictures’ (her production company) film Ready? OK!, and the critically acclaimed independent film, That Evening Sun, with Hal Holbrook.
Kamazima Lwiza was born and raised in Tanzania. He got his bachelors degree in math and physics from the University of Dar es Salaam, before pursuing graduate education in marine physics in Britain. He is an associate professor at Stony brook University, and has been teaching marine physics and climate change since 1991. He is currently the director of the Environmental Living Learning Center at Stony brook University. He is also the faculty advisor of the Stony brook Environmental Club. He has conducted marine research in several places around the world, but recently his focus has shifted to Lake Victoria, in East Africa because of the enormous environmental problem the lake faces. He was the chairman of the Association of Tanzanian Community in New York from 2000 to 2010. He is the only male member of the women aquaculture group in his village, Rulongo, Tanzania.
Kamazima has been and still is active in several groups which are geared to providing assistance to those in need. His focus has been in three major areas: (i) education for all school age children, (ii) sustainable and clean water supply, and (iii) empowering women (especially those in poor rural areas).
Rebecca Eldridge has enjoyed a distinguished career in working with many of the country’s most prestigious media and entertainment brands. Eldridge began her career in television and film production before moving into advertising and media, where she worked at Glamour, Redbook, Condé Nast Traveler, and Child magazines. Eldridge is currently Vice President, Marketing for NCM Media Networks where she develops marketing campaigns for brands spanning on-screen, online, social media and mobile platforms. In this capacity, Eldridge also spearheads marketing initiatives with the nation’s leading film studios and broadcast and cable networks, developing promotional campaigns with movies and television shows.
Beyond her media experience, Eldridge has been a freelance writer and an active supporter of animal welfare and children’s causes. She has served as the long-standing Production Manager for the Michael Awards, which recognizes the fashion industry’s top editors, designers and models, and benefits the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation. Eldridge is a graduate of the University of Alabama and credits the university with developing her interest in international culture, history and travel.
Dr. Nelsen grew up in Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin. There he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. He moved to New York City where he attended NYU College of Dentistry and obtained a Doctor of Dental Science degree. He was accepted to Saint Vincents Catholic Medical Center where he performed his general practice residency. He practiced in NY/ Long Island for many years before relocating to North Carolina where he now runs his private practice. Dr. Nelsen lives with his wife and two children.
Bill is an activist, educator, and writer. He is one of the Founders of MS
223, The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, a highly successful public middle school in the South Bronx. The school was featured on the cover of the New York Times Magazine. Bill taught Math and English at MS 223 for 7 years and currently writes grants to expand the reform efforts of the school. In 2010, he wrote the application for the Intel School of Distinction Award. The $160,000 award gave MS 223 national recognition as one of only 6 schools in the country to be honored out of over 3,000 who applied.
Bill is a graduate of the Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University. He also completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Cornell. He then came to New York City to teach and received a Master’s in Education from Pace University. Bill is currently finishing a Master’s from Bank Street College of Education in Math Leadership.