The Apex for Youth staff consists of skilled, experienced and caring administrators and educators who come from diverse backgrounds and speak multiple languages.
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
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.
Alex leads fundraising efforts at Apex and is responsible for growing revenue streams from individual, foundation and corporate supporters. He has raised more than $5 million over his career, including at South Coast Repertory, a Tony Award-winning, $12 million theater in Southern California, and at Cool Culture, a Brooklyn nonprofit that connects underserved youth with NYC museums. Alex earned his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, writes screenplays in his spare time and wishes his Mandarin were better. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.
Ji Yeon Yi
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.
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.
Zorana joins the development team at Apex and oversees a portfolio of revenue generating and marketing events, in addition to engaging in front-line corporate and individual fundraising. In her previous position, she has worked with numerous nonprofit galas on event production and fundraising consulting. She is passionate about serving the underrepresented youth community through mentoring and programming. Zorana earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY New Paltz, currently resides in Brooklyn and enjoys stand-up comedy. She is thrilled to be a part of the Apex team as we grow our organization’s footprint in the nonprofit world.
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.
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.
Alexandra joins Apex with an extensive background in psychology and social science research methodology. She attained her BA in psychology from McGill University in Montreal, and subsequently attained her MA in clinical psychology from Columbia University in NYC. After realizing her passion for helping underserved populations through research, she completed her PhD in social psychology at Rutgers University where she studied the effects of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination on members of disadvantaged groups. Alexandra is thrilled to be able to harness her research skills to help strengthen Apex’s program evaluation strategy.
Grace helps conducting a mentoring program at Apex as a program assistant. Grace was born and raised in Seoul until she moved to Toronto. While she was studying Fine Arts at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, she found her strong interest in serving underserved youth through creative art making process. It ultimately led her to study at Art Therapy master program at NYU. As an art therapist, she has a strong experience in working with at-risk children from immigrant families in the United States especially those who present emotional/behavioral difficulties due to trauma, domestic violence, and parental separation. She is passionate about utilizing her clinical/artistic experiences at Apex throughout coordinating mentoring sessions in creative and safe ways.
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.
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.
Angela oversees Elementary Test Prep, Elementary Group Mentoring and Summer Art & Dance Program at partnership schools in Lower Manhattan. Prior to Apex for Youth, she worked as a teaching assistant and tutored elementary and middle school students. She enjoys interacting with elementary school youth and seeing their growth through academic and recreational learning and exposure to 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.
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‘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.