Coordinators

Coordinators

All coordinators are trained in the People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos methodology developed by founder, Sarah Hirschman. The following list includes our current regional coordinators.

ALMA CONCEPCIÓN was trained as a coordinator for People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos by Sarah Hirschman in 1991.  From 2006-2007, she served as Assistant to the Director; from 2009-2010 as Project Director for the Spanish component Gente y Cuentos in New York.; and is currently (2011) working as Project Manager for Gente y Cuentos.  She has trained and supervised a number of new coordinators.  She has also coordinated programs in Spanish and in English throughout the years.

SUZY DWYER’s relationship with People & Stories began as a Crossing Borders participant in 2009. She was trained as a coordinator in 2010 and now coordinates programs at Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Yardville and Clinton House in Trenton. Prior to People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos, Suzy spent many years as an English teacher in private schools.

SCOTT FEIFER has been a People & Stories coordinator for over ten years in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  His participating groups most often include juveniles in detention and residents of Manos House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for court-adjudicated teenage males. Additionally, he conducts People & Stories programs at the Lancaster Public Library, which welcomes diverse participants from the county at large and from people & Stories groups in which Scott has facilitated.

MARGARET GRIFFIN is a former Board member and Executive Board member of People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos. She has conducted site visits for the organization and was trained a a coordinator in February 2013. Margaret’s first group was with teens at the Shiloh Baptist Community Development Corporation in Trenton in Spring 2013.

STEPHANIE HANZEL COHEN works both as the Program Manager in the People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos office and as a coordinator for programs at Bo Robinson Education and Training Center, a minimum security correctional facility in Trenton, New Jersey.

ANNDEE HOCHMAN has been coordinating People & Stories programs at Interim House, an inpatient recovery program for women in Philadelphia, since 2001.  In addition, she coordinates senior programs in Camden County. She also edits the People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos newsletter.

LAWRENCE MCCARTY has been coordinating People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos in Philadelphia since 1999 at Project HOME which serves men and women in transition from homelessness and at Norris Square, a bi-lingual learning center in North Philadelphia where he conducts a Gente y Cuentos program for seniors.

ANA G. MEJIA was trained as a coordinator in 2005.  Since then, she has coordinated programs at various sites where participants are part of the Hispanic community. Currently, she coordinates a Crossing Borders Program at the Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

ASSENKA OKSILOFF coordinates women’s program at Bo Robinson Educational and Training Center. She was first introduced to People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos as a Crossing Borders participant in 2009 and was trained as a coordinator in 2010. Assenka has 20 years of experience in higher education and also works in communications and public relations.

GLORIA PEREZ conducts People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos with recent immigrants from a number of Spanish-speaking countries.  She coordinates a bilingual Gente y Cuentos program in Newark, New Jersey at the Hispanic Development Corporation.  Gloria was originally trained as a coordinator by Sarah Hirschman.

KATIA SALOMON initiated People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos in France under the name “Gens et Récits” in 2002 and has coordinated programs in the Fleury-Mérogis prison near Paris and in Saramon, a village in rural southwest France.

MARCY SCHWARTZ has been a coordinator with the program since 1998, and enjoys facilitating groups in English and Spanish.  She has trained some 30 coordinators in Bogota, Colombia, where the program continues.  She has lectured and published articles on the program in both Spanish and English.  Most of her coordinating experiences have been at the Yardville Youth Correctional Facility in New Jersey.  She has also led programs at the Adult Learning Center in New Brunswick and at the Centro de Recursos in Trenton.

JO SCHMIDT began coordinating People & Stories groups in 2009.  She has facilitated groups at the Lawrence Senior Center, Bo Robinson Education and Training Center, and Youth Corp of New Jersey. Jo Schmidt has worked in education as a reading specialist for many years.

PAT SMITH, aka “Mama Pat,” was trained as a coordinator in 1987.  However, it was not until her retirement as Principal at the Afrikan People’s Action School in 2006, that the space opened up in her life to coordinate People & Stories programs.  She conducts programs at Architects Housing, New Jersey Youth Corp, and IslesYouth Build.

DIANE WILFRID has coordinated programs for men at the Rescue Mission of Trenton since 2008. Many participants are in transition from incarceration while others are at the Rescue Mission for drug or alcohol rehabilitation. Diane also coordinates programs at Project Freedom in Lawrence for residents with disabilities who live independently.