OUR TEAM:

From naturalists to film makers, educators to designers, our staff is comprised of experts from many different fields under a common purpose; connecting people to the natural environment.

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Jeanne DuPont, Executive Director

As Founder of the RWA, Jeanne has worked closely with the Rockaway community and city agencies in developing strategies to redevelop large stretches of neglected waterfront in the Rockaways. Much of her work has involved utilizing the waterfront itself through programming and advocacy with youth to protect public waterfront access. Jeanne has a Masters Degree in Design from Yale University.


 

Judah Asimov, External Affairs Manager

Judah has been involved in working on political campaigns and government relations prior to joining RWA. He has been putting his skills to work doing public outreach and coordination with local individuals and organizations in the Rockaways to promote RWA & RISE Programs as well as collaboration with local  youth on planning work associated with Project Underway. Judah has a Bachelors Degree in Comparative Government from Wesleyan University. 


 

Juli Schroeger, Program Coordinator

Juli has extensive experience in marine science and environmental education. For several years, she worked as a PADI scuba instructor in North Carolina and the Dutch Caribbean, where she also conducted research on coral reef ecology and the design of marine reserves. Before joining RWA, she worked as an environmental educator for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in Queens. Juli is passionate about marine conservation and education. She believes that the New York coastline is an invaluable resource for fostering a deeper connection between local youth and their environment. Juli has a Bachelor's Degree in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. 


 

Ana Fisyak, Planning & Development Associate

As an urban planner dedicated to a community-based approach, Ana has previous years experience doing community advocacy and technical assistant provision for New York City communities. Before joining RWA, Ana was a planner at WXY Architecture & Urban Design where she worked on the Rockaway Parks Conceptual Plan. She is  a public space advocate and co-edited Beyond Zuccotti Park (New Village Press, 2012) and curated From Zuccotti to Taksim: Negotiating the Right to the City through Public Space (Pratt, 2013). Ana has a Masters Degree in Science/City & Regional Planning from Pratt Institute. 


 

Daniel Borrero, Program Assistant

Daniel, now in his senior year at New York University, has been involved in RWA programming since 2010 when he was a sophomore in high school. During his time with RWA he learned to surf, kayak and took part in many of RWA's urban planning and community development projects which fostered his interest in Environmental Studies and Urban Planning which he is presently studying at NYU. Participating in RWA's various programs have helped him grow as a  person, and learn much about the natural environment in Rockaway. In his new position on the RWA team, Daniel is working hard to make sure the new Shore Corps youth members are as excited and engaged, as he was when he was a high school student in the program. He is also learning what it takes to build and maintain a healthy community organization.


 

Diwa Tamrong, Sustainability Educator & Farm Share Manager

Diwa moved to Far Rockaway in 2006 after living on a farm on Kauai, Hawaii and traveling in Southeast Asia where she developed a strong appreciation for cooking, sustainable agriculture, and educating future generations about the importance of both. Since then she has led workshops and classes for seniors and youth relating to food education and human's relationship to nature. Diwa has been a teaching artist for RWA's Living Classroom and Aqua 101 program since 2014, where she enjoys spreading her love of cooking, fermentation, and art. Diwa is also a founding member of Arts & Parts, a local arts education organization serving children in the Rockaways. 


 

Oprah Davidson, Chef/Culinary Program Educator

Born and raised in Far Rockaway, Oprah has taught classes on healthy cooking and eating for the RWA Living Classroom and Rockaway Youth Entrepreneurship Program since 2016. Oprah is a successful chef with experience in cooking education through Young Chef's Academy and the Institute for a Culinary Education. Oprah has also hosted community meals with the Rockaway Youth Taskforce Garden and other local farms in the Rockaways to share her love of healthy food and cooking. Oprah caters most of our breakfast and luncheons at RISE as well as oversees the cooking and food demonstrations with our students at the Rockaway Farm Share every Wednesday. Oprah has a Bachelor of Arts in the culinary arts and pastry from the Johnson & Wales University.  


 

Heather Kramer, Arts & Sustainablity Educator

Heather currently resides in Rockaway, where she cofounded the organization, Arts in Parts to remind children and adults alike that there is much to learn and enjoy about the plants, animals and waters that surround us. Heather is a firm believer that nature is the best teacher and muse. But it seems as if technology is creating a gap between us and the lessons of the natural world. Heather is an educator for RWA's  Urban Planning and Living Classroom Programs where she has the opportunity to share her love of arts and the environment to teach young children about their local surroundings. Heather has a Masters Degree in Film Production from NYU.


 

Success Stories:

Meet Jadel

In 2007, Jadel participated in her first RWA program as a 7th grader at PS43. Through high school she has been a valuable contributor to our ongoing efforts and today she continues to work with us as a practicing intern while she attends college. Hear more about Jadel's story.