Darian is the founder and Executive Director of Cohesion. He has served in leadership positions in urban development work since 1999. Through these roles, he has developed partnerships with leaders in universities, the public school system, and the juvenile justice system. He has traveled the world in support of indigenous leaders working in community development in Guatemala, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Uganda, Zambia, and South Africa.
Director of Operations
Yolanda is a longtime urban community organizer and advocate. In Allentown, PA, she served as a program coordinator for the Weed and Seed Youth Coalition—a component of the City’s Community and Economic Development Department. In this role, she coordinated federal, state, and local social services, private sector and community efforts to maximize the impact of existing community programs and resources.
Certified Community Organizer Trainer & Grant Manager
Stefenie has 20 years of experience in non-profit and faith-based community development. She’s been a non-profit founder, executive director, grant writer, and a pastoral staff member, community organizer, and trainer. She is deeply committed to flourishing communities, equity, the deconstruction of white supremacy, and community collaboration. Stefenie, her husband Christian, and their two children live, work, pray, and play in Allentown, PA.
Hood Code Program Director
Jason is a highly motivated entrepreneur who created and founded the Hood Code program — focused on teaching coding and web-development to the most underserved youth in New York City. A lifelong resident of the NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) public housing developments, Jason is passionate about creating opportunities for youth through the limitless possibilities of computer science — providing skills that will allow them to compete in the 21st-century tech industry.
Amanda Helman, Ph.D.
Amanda is an education training consultant, administrator, and author with 15 years of experience in the field of education. She currently teaches at Lehigh University while pursuing a Master’s Degree in Community and Trauma Counseling. She is the author of I Am Worthy, Loved, and Valued, a children’s book which inspires students to build resiliency and positive affirmation about their worth. Amanda loves reading, writing, dancing, traveling, and building connections with people from all over the world.
Board of Directors
Bill has served in leadership roles in urban community development work since 1994 and has his master’s degree in social and civic entrepreneurship. He founded Lemonade International in 2008 and served as its executive director for nine years. He has also served as Director of Strategic Development at Zoe Empowers, and as Chief Relationship Officer at Restore NYC. Bill leads Groundswell — a consulting and branding agency that works with nonprofits and justice-seeking organizations.
Taressa is an HR leader with experience as a strategic business partner, change agent and people champion, guiding leaders in people strategy, culture and engagement. She received her Masters in HR Management from Moravian College and is currently an HR Director at the Coca-Cola Company. She has a passion for social justice and providing young people with an outlet to be heard, supported, and empowered. She has served nonprofit organizations by providing creative arts classes and developing a self-esteem program for girls.
Christian has 20 years of community development experience, beginning with sharing stories of hope and justice by curating art exhibits for 10 years at the Billy Graham Center Archives and Museum. As a non-profit founder, social-enterprise entrepreneur, and operations director, he has shaped the internal and strategic roadmaps for several organizations. He currently works at St. Luke’s University Health Network, and enjoys reading, baseball, traveling, and genealogy. He and his wife, Stefenie, live in Allentown with their two children.
Nashira is a dedicated youth advocate with over ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She served as a Community School Coordinator, leveraging supports and resources to equip and empower students. Through this position, she established a strong network of community partners to provide basic needs, education, and programming for underprivileged families.