Below is a listing our of staff.
RACHELLE N. VILLARSON
Rachelle N. Villarson currently serves as President for YPN-ULEM and has been a member since 2010. During her time at YPN-ULEM Rachelle has been a part of many special firsts for YPN-ULEM! As Community Service Chair, YPN-ULEM executed an impressive 30 service events in the first program year. She was also one of the leads and planners of the Public Health committee's "Living S.M.A.R.T. Health Bazaar" -- an event that resulted in the first national award for YPN-ULEM. She is also the first YPN-ULEM member to sit on a national committee, first on the Programs Committee and currently on the Policy & Procedures Committee. Additionally, she served as one of the lead volunteer coordinators to over 150 volunteers for the National Urban League Convention in Boston, July 2011. Rachelle's reason for joining YPN-ULEM is simple: service. Service to her local and global community and service to people. Rachelle currently works for the Massachusetts Suffolk County Sheriff's Department. She plans on continuing to serve the YPN-ULEM, ULEM and NUL movement in any way she can.
“I joined YPN-ULEM because I believe in giving back to the global community that has given me so much. I want to leave the world better than when I entered it.”
MARTINA W. DURANT
Martina Durant currently serves as Chair of the Youth Development & Education committee for the YPN-ULEM. Martina has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hampton University. In YPN-ULEM and her professional career, Martina strives to "each one, teach one". She knows the greatest strides towards social justice and equity come from our youth and believes her impact in the movement comes from supporting and mentoring youth in our community.
"I joined YPN-ULEM because I wanted to give back and be more engaged in my community; while connecting with and learning from other young professionals seeking to impact change. As Youth Development and Education Chair, I hope to connect youth with access to knowledge and opportunities that encourage self-awareness, empowerment, leadership, and diversity."
Elizabeth Walker serves as Chair of the Professional & Social Development Committee for the YPN-ULEM. Liz has a Bachelor's degree in Corporate Communications with a minor in Management and Accounting & Finance from Bridgewater State University. She is currently attending UMASS Boston for her Master's in International Management. Along with her involvement with the YPN-ULEM, she also manages the Outreach Ministry at her local church, New Life Restoration Temple in Dorchester, MA, as well as serves on the executive committee for the UMASS Boston Chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA). Liz strives to help people discover and achieve their personal and professional goals. She believes that success and fulfillment in these areas of your life will lead to both economic and mental empowerment.
"I chose to join YPN-ULEM and lead as Chair of Professional & Social Development to use my skill set for a cause that will help people in the community grow personally and professionally. As a change agent, I will connect people with the resources they need to build and confidently display a personal brand that reflects their values, interests, and aspirations. As a chapter leader, I hope to achieve a solid Professional & Social Development core over the next few years. I want employers to see YPN-ULEM membership as commonplace for future leaders of industry."
Kristen Halbert currently serves as Chair of the Civic Engagement committee for the YPN-ULEM. Kristen is a MS Candidate of the Urban Planning and Community Development program at UMass Boston, where she previously graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor's in Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Science. She is also a 2016-17 delegate for City Awake, a civic innovation lab of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Her ongoing work with Roslindale Village Main Streets has earned her a Boston Main Streets Volunteer of the Year award.
"I chose to join because I could see the need for participation in the process from people outside the traditional power structure. By changing the voices at the table, we can change the direction of the discussion. Over the next two years, I would like to increase our political influence, engagement in local and state elections, and educate young professionals about the power of the ballot box."
Still functioning under one-year terms for executive officers and board members, President Cummings stepped down and President Liveda Clements was elected with Vice President David Jones. Under President Clements tenure, YPN went through a period of construction, foundation building and many firsts:
- First YPN president to attend an National Urban League (NUL) conference , held in Los Angeles
- YPN chapter by-laws drafted
- First chapter banner crafted
- Inaugural Evening of Elegance and Jazz held – Hamill Art Gallery in Dudley Square
Nehemie Cange currently serves as Vice President for the YPN-ULEM and has been a member since 2010. During her time with YPN-ULEM, Nehemie has successfully trademarked Volunteering Is Sexy ™ for the chapter, served as a member of the planning committee for the National Urban League Convention in Boston, July 2011, and gained national visibility for the chapter and its affliate by facilitating and securing appearances on news networks such as MSNBC, BBC World Have Your Say, and CNN.
Nehemie has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from University of Massachusetts and is currently a 2018 Juris Doctorate candidate at Suffolk University Law School. Along with her involvement with the YPN-ULEM, she also volunteers with other organizations such as Project Citizenship and the Black Law Students Association.
“I joined YPN-ULEM and the Urban League because I am a firm believer that to better know where you’re going, you have to know where you came from.”
TIFFANY COOPER, LCSW
Tiffany Cooper currently serves as Co-Chair of Public Relations and Marketing Committee for the YPN-ULEM. Tiffany is a Masters of Business Administration Candidate at Simmons College, where she previously graduated with her Masters in Social Work with a Certificate in Urban Leadership. Tiffany is a member of the National Black MBA Association. She is also the current YPN-ULEM's 2016 Member of the Year recipient.
"I chose to join because I wanted to be more connected to the community that I grew up in and made me who I am today."
Following the tradition of one-year terms, President Brandice Burton was elected with Vice President Nancy R Rousseau. During President Burton’s term, YPN continued to mature as an organization both in structure and programming.
- YPN chapter by-laws are revised to make all executive officers and board member terms two years, beginning with the next election term
- YPN collaborates with Codman Academy Charter School on their annual Kwanzaa celebration
- YPN participated in NUL Conference in 2003, held in Pittsburgh
- YPN hosts the 2nd Annual Evening of Elegance and Jazz
- YPN hosts several voter registration drives throughout the city
CAMILLE N. SIMPKINS
Camille N. Simpkins is Secretary for the 2016-2018 term of YPN-ULEM. She serves as a Committee Loan Member for the Urban Edge, a volunteer for the Massachusetts Conference for Women and a volunteer for the Women's Business Enterprise Center. She also supports the Corporate Social Responsibility for Citizens Bank through volunteerism e.g. Institute of Contemporary Arts / The Boston Food Bank / Cradles to Crayons. Camille is a graduate of Norfolk State University (HBCU), where she earned a B.A. in English Literature. Camille is currently working towards a Green Belt in Six Sigma.
"I joined YPN-ULEM to continue my family’s legacy of volunteerism and advocacy of the Urban community in support of Education, Job Skills Training and Healthcare. My uncle, Robert A. Simpkins was employed with the Urban League of Southeastern PA early in his career. I prides myself on being a resource of information for the village that raised me. I stand on the belief that “There are no short cuts in life, only short comings.” Information allows you to take the road less traveled with confidence and faith that it will all work out. Volunteering is the best way to make a person SMILE!"
NANCY RACHEL ROUSSEAU
Nancy R Rousseau was elected as President with Hillary Gabbidon serving as her Vice President. During President Rousseau’s 1st term YPN continued to not only mature as an organization but began to branch out to the Greater Boston area with their events and programming. Along with chapter participation in the NUL conference, held in Detroit, and the Annual Legislative Policy Conference (LPC) in Washington D.C., some this term’s greatest achievements include:
- Launch of the Power Breakfast series sponsored by Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Miller Brewing Company, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and others
- 3rd Annual Evening of Elegance of Jazz – held at new venue Hoosic Club in Milton
- Chapter logo and tagline “Setting the Pace for Tomorrow’s Professionals” created – April 2004
L. KIM AMISIAL
Laurie Kim Amisial currently serves as Parliamentarian for the YPN-ULEM. Laurie has a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from BU. Along with her involvement with the YPN-ULEM, she also volunteers with other organizations such as Cradles to Crayons and Rosie's Place. Laurie aspires to make a difference in the lives of the generations that will follow in my footsteps and finds the best way to do that is to maintain diversity in the ways I choose to serve.
“I joined YPN-ULEM because I needed to find a way to give back; while continuing to grow, learn and engage in activities that strengthened me mentally and professionally. YPN allows me to do that, as well as meet a diverse group of individuals who have opened my views to all possibilities.”
NANCY RACHEL ROUSSEAU
President Rousseau was elected to her second term, now serving two-years under the by-law changes adopted in the 2002 – 2003 administrative year. Duane Johnson was elected as Vice President. YPN maintained their constant presence at LPC in Washington D.C. and the NUL conference in Atlanta. YPN also continued to stretch across the city with their programming and events including the installation of key chapter enhancements and continuations of previous chapter programming.
- Launch of Soul Food Cinemas, held at Northeastern University
- Launch of the Civic Engagement Committee
- Hosted several community event such as home buying seminars and Kwanzaa celebration
- President Rousseau presents at ULEM Gala -- 1st YPN President to do so
- 4th Annual Evening of Elegance and Jazz, held at Hoosic Club in Milton
- YPN makes 1st monetary donation to ULEM
IVI NWOSU, M.Ed
Ivi Nwosu currently serves as Treasurer for the YPN-ULEM. Ivi holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration – Non-Profit Management from Northeastern University where he is also an M.B.A. degree candidate. Ivi also serves on the executive leadership team of his local chapter of Business Networking International (BNI). Whether at the workplace or in his community, Ivi strives to engage and assist in developing leaders. Along with his involvement with the YPN-ULEM, Ivi has volunteered with organizations such as Cradles to Crayons and The Greater Boston Food Bank. Ivi believes that success is when you add value to yourself and satisfaction is when you add value to others.
"What really attracted me to YPN-ULEM is what the group stands for in regard to the investment in the community facilitating programs geared toward personal and professional development. I am drawn to the impact we can have on the community and taking an active leadership role. I hope to help this group in continuing to be pillar in the community in regard to an organization that develops leaders and promotes positive change and awareness."
Duane Johnson succeeds President Rousseau to office and serves two consecutive terms. Due to difficulties in developing a cohesive leadership team YPN had minimal programming, membership growth and engagement. Upon President Johnson’s conclusion of his final term, YPN donated $5000 to ULEM – the largest donation to that date.
NANCY RACHEL ROUSSEAU
Nancy Rousseau was elected to her third and final term as President to YPN, appointing W.E. David Halbert as Vice President. Under President Rousseau’s term, YPN went through a period of revival and restoration. With further chapter structural enhancements and programming additions, YPN became a well-known service organization in and around Greater Boston.
- Incorporate the official use of ULEM into the chapter name, changing the chapter acronym to YPN-ULEM
- Launch of the Public Health Committee in October 2010
- Inaugural Leadership Development Conference (“Arsenal for Self-Empowerment”)
- Won first chapter National Award – National Day of Service
- 1100 service hours performed to ULEM; over 3500 service hours to the community resulting in 2100 individual and families fed and 400 children received brand new toys, books, and school supplies
- Increased membership to over 200
- YPN-ULEM donates $6000 to ULEM – largest donation to date
- Launched chapter website and chapter social media accounts
Established “Volunteering is Sexy™”
Charlene Luma was elected the 7th President to YPN-ULEM, with Rachelle N Villarson elected as Vice President. Under President Luma's term, YPN experienced several firsts and additions for the chapter.
- Establshed YPN-ULEM "I Am Empowered" Scholarship for graduating high school seniors and Urban League of Eastern MA participants attending a 2 or 4 year higher education institution
- Establshed the "Youth Development & Education" Committee
- Donated largest amount to Urban League of Eastern MA to history date