The Apex for Youth staff consists of skilled, experienced and caring administrators and educators who come from diverse backgrounds and speak multiple languages.

Michael Lee

Executive Director

Prior to joining Apex, Michael, a native New Yorker, served as the Director of Development at the Committee of 100, an organization of Chinese American leaders that addresses issues concerning Asian Americans and U.S.-China Relations. In this role, Michael was responsible for executing the Committee’s fundraising strategies and cultivating relationships with the organization’s members and supporters. Michael received an M.S. in Fundraising and Philanthropy from New York University and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in East Asian Studies. He teaches martial arts and lion dance at Norman Chin’s Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu School in Chinatown and is a member of the Chinatown Rotary Club. He, his wife, Grace, and two sons Connor and Maxwell reside in Brooklyn, NY.

Jiyoon Mary Chung

Director of
Mentoring & Educational Programs

Jiyoon oversees Apex’s Mentoring Programs and Volunteer Programs and runs the High School Mentoring Program. Jiyoon is a strong believer in mentorship and volunteering in her personal life, having volunteered as a teacher at St. Paul’s Church in Flushing for 12 years. She has worked to empower youth in various immigrant and underserved communities throughout the city, including Flushing, Crown Heights, Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Jiyoon received her B.A. in English and minored in Psychology and Sociology at SUNY Geneseo, where she became deeply involved in student activism and led several Asian American and diversity initiatives. One of her favorite parts of her job is getting goosebumps while matching new mentor-mentee pairs.

Anne Lee

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Anne was a volunteer in the 4th Grade Prep program for two years before joining the Apex family full-time. Her previous experience in not for profits and education includes serving as the New York chapter president of Project by Project, a volunteer-run nonprofit that raises awareness for Asian American issues; teaching English to young children in Japan; and tutoring Chinatown elementary school students during her undergraduate years in Los Angeles. Prior to Apex, she was a journalist for many years, published in outlets like Money, Fast Company and Forbes Travel Guide. She also spent time at Mattel, where she crafted stories about Barbie and friends on toy packages. Anne holds an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Ji Yeon Yi

Director of
Afterschool Programs

Ji Yeon’s primary responsibilities include developing curriculum for and supervising NYC DYCD funded Apex’s after school programs at New York City public schools, including SHSAT/SAT Prep Program, STEM and Literacy Program, Music and Arts Program, Martial Arts Program and Public Speaking Program; hiring instructors, planning and implementing trainings and orientation for instructors, parents and students; and assisting/advising with instructors. Prior to joining Apex, Ji Yeon worked as a Korean language tutor at New York University and at Hangul (Korean) school in Flushing. She was also an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher in Seoul. Ji Yeon received her M.A. from New York University in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and earned her B.A. from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, South Korea in Spanish. She minored in English Education.

Carlo Punzalan

Site Program Director, SONYC at P.S. 184 Shuang Wen

Carlo joins Apex for Youth with many years of experience as a teacher in both urban and suburban settings.  He brings his love for education as well as the importance of building relationships with children and staff.  Carlo has a degree in Psychology/ Special Education and Learning Technology.  Carlo was born and raised in Quezon City, Philippines and immigrated to the United States at the age of 9.  He has lived in California and currently resides in New York. In his spare time, Carlo loves spending time with his family including his wife and his newborn son.  He also has an avid interest in photography and sports. Carlo is excited to be a part of the Apex family.

Chung Min Yoon

Site Program Director,
SONYC at Corpus Christi School

Chung Min is grateful for her job at Apex as an after school program site director. After teaching middle and high school students for five years at an international school in her hometown in South Korea, she served as a head teacher for an additional year. She decided to build up her academic background in education and came to New York, where she earned her M.A. from New York University in International Education. Chung Min strongly believes in the power of education and wishes to bring more educational opportunities to students from low socioeconomic families through a variety of after school activities. Her great joy comes from interacting with students and staff to understand their needs and provide them with a better setting for education. Her favorite pastimes include spending time with her nieces and nephew, Sophia, Sean and Olivia.

Belinda Lin

Program Manager, Mentoring Programs

Belinda is grateful for her role as the middle school mentoring program coordinator in both the Manhattan and Queens program sites. The positive impact that her mentors have made in her youth has inspired her to play an integral role in empowering and influencing the youth of this generation. Whether it’s through volunteer work, tutoring or mentoring, she feels deep joy when a student begins to discover his or her own potential and starts to reach for it. Belinda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Cross-Cultural Studies and is pursuing a Master of Social Work degree from her alma mater, Nyack College.

Jessica Song

Program Manager, High School Mentoring Programs

Jessica coordinates the High School Mentoring Program. Prior to joining Apex, she helped establish a mentor/art therapy program for Asian-American teens affected by domestic violence and trauma, as well as tutored and mentored at-risk youth in NYC transfer high schools. Through her work, she aims to continually connect underserved youth to mental wellness and emotional growth. Jessica was raised by Brooklyn and is married to New York City. She has a B.A. in Psychology from CUNY Hunter College.

Daniel Tak

Program Manager, Middle School Mentoring & Basketball Programs

Dan leads the Middle School Mentoring and Basketball programs at Apex and is also the reluctant in-house IT guy. His involvement with Apex began as a volunteer during the initial season of the basketball program in January 2011. He led the program’s first expansion site at PS 110, and was an Apex Volunteer of the Year recipient in 2012 before joining the Apex staff. Prior to Apex, he worked as an IT consultant in the Bay Area, and was stationed in Hawaii while serving with the United States Marine Corps. He returned to New York City to attend the General Studies program at Columbia University. Dan enjoys watching mentoring pairs grow together and seeing basketball students improve and develop a love for the game.

Angela Tse

Program Manager, Educational Programs

Angela oversees Elementary Test Prep programs at partnership schools in Lower Manhattan. Prior to Apex for Youth, she worked as a tutor for elementary and middle school students, and as a teaching assistant. She enjoys interacting with youth and seeing their growth through learning and new experiences. Angela received her Bachelor of Arts in Asian and Asian American Studies from SUNY Binghamton. As a native New Yorker, Angela appreciates discovering hidden gems that the city has to offer. She is a fitness enthusiast who finds joy and discipline in lifting and running.

Joseph Yi

Program Coordinator, Educational Programs

Joe coordinates Apex for Youth’s educational programs for middle school and high school students, including the SAT and College Prep programs. Prior to joining Apex, he managed operations and admissions for Columbia University’s Summer High School Program. He also volunteered for 5 years at a mentoring program for Asian-American teens affected by domestic violence, where he guided students through the SAT and college admission process. Joe holds a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University and is finishing his M.A. in Economics & Education at Columbia’s Teachers College. During his graduate studies, he specialized in college access and success for underrepresented students and plans to use this knowledge to address the educational inequality in New York City.

Ian Yu

Assistant Program Director, SONYC at P.S. 184 Shuang Wen

Ian‘s role as the Assistant Program Director at PS 184 for Apex for Youth is backed by 8 years of experience in the after school setting. His background as a Head Teacher at Confucius Plaza Day Care has enabled him to give back to the children in the community. Ian also organizes basketball clinics and leagues in  Chinatown for youth and adults. His passion for sports helps with teaching the students team work, sportsmanship, and perseverance. Ian is looking forward to making an impact on today’s youth with the Apex family.

Nelson Yu

Program Coordinator, Mentoring & Basketball

Nelson, a born and bred New Yorker, has a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Asian-American studies from Hunter College. He went on to receive his Master of Science in Education and School Counseling from Long Island University in downtown Brooklyn. After graduating, he moved to China and became the Director of Studies for an English language center. Nelson has also been a volunteer basketball coach for over 10 years with a local Chinatown athletic organization. He is excited to bring his experience, knowledge and love for the game to Apex’s basketball program, and his passion for working with Asian American youth to the mentoring program.

Ayana Britt

Volunteer Data coordinator (NYC Civic Corps)

A Staten Island native, Ayana is a NYC Civic Corps member working with Apex for Youth. Ayana is an avid reader who loves to laugh, meet new people, try new food and travel. After receiving her B.A. in International Studies at SUNY College at Brockport, she worked as a Resident Assistant at the University of Connecticut and then volunteered in India for a month through a women empowerment program. In the near future, she hopes to receive her master’s degree in either higher education or nonprofit management and is very passionate about empowering the youth and giving back to her community.

Gabrielle Leparik

Volunteer Outreach & Recruitment Coordinator (NYC Civic Corps)

Gabrielle is a member of NYC Civic Corps and working with Apex for Youth as the volunteer outreach coordinator. Gabrielle will be responsible for recruiting volunteers and working with education program tutors. As a recent graduate from Hofstra University, Gabrielle received her B.A. in Political Science and minored in Graphic Design. Prior to joining Apex, she spent two weeks teaching English in Amatitan, Nicaragua. This inspired her to return to her high school on Long Island and teach art classes to middle schoolers. Gabrielle hopes that her time with Apex will motivate others to be involved in bettering their community.

Allen Leung

Operations Coordinator

Allen, born and raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, comes to Apex with a diverse background of experiences. With a B.A. in Finance from Pace University, he started his career working in the Investment Banking industry. After 12 years of banking, he went on to start multiple casual dining restaurants and lounges where he developed a keen understanding of all aspects in the operating and managing small businesses. At Apex he maintains the efficient continuation of Operations, ensuring that everything is running as smooth as possible. During his free time, he likes trying new restaurants to “check out” the competition. He is also a huge NY Rangers fan.