Khadijah M. Silver, Esq. is a passionate, focused activist and advocate for young people facing the intersectional oppressions of poverty, racism, gentrification, xenophobia, transphobia and homophobia. Raised in extreme poverty in Cambridge, MA, she has first-hand experience with many of the institutional and psychological barriers to health and well-being faced by the young people we serve at RAP. She is driven by a strong belief that the kids are all right: we grown folk need to work on our stuff and provide them with the support system they need to tap into their natural resilience.
Prior to joining RAP, Khadijah founded and directed her own organization, BetterBio, which trained inner-city teen girls to support their communities’ health awareness through science journalism, video and in-person education. She carries a full toolbox of nonprofit management, social justice organizing and youth leadership skills, honed through a 15-year career in nonprofit fundraising, policy, journalism, documentary film-making and after-school education. Khadijah holds a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Mills College in Oakland, CA.
Deputy Executive Director for Programs
Elisa has worked throughout her career to open doors of access and opportunity to economic, social, and political rights for young people. Previous positions showed her that the most effective way to create systemic change is to give young people the tools they need to be agents of change in their own lives and communities. She joined RAP to help put advocacy tools directly in the hands of young people. Elisa has a degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MSW from Hunter College.
Director of Operations
Teneé is a dedicated advocate for youth leadership, development, and education. In her youth, she learned quickly the importance of caring for and developing youth, and her desire has always been to create great environments that support them. This pursuit led her to graduate from Temple University with a B.A. in Psychology, an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Milano, The New School and a M.A. in Youth Ministry from New York Theological Seminary. Prior to working with RAP, Teneé worked with various charter school and youth-centered nonprofits to create positive, methodical environments that encouraged and advocated for youth. She is excited to bring her experience and knowledge to the RAP family!
Senior Program and Communications Associate
Jenna is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and legal studies. Her background as a journalist covering social justice issues sparked her interest in exploring advocacy work. As an editorial intern at Catalyst magazine, she wrote extensively on education reform and activism in the Chicago public school system. She believes creativity and empathy are key drivers of social change and she is passionate about centering those assets when working with young people through RAP.
Scott Ellison Smith
Young Fatherhood Initiative Coordinator
Scott Ellison Smith is a graduate of Morehouse College and has been working in youth development for over 20 years. As a public school teacher, arts educator, and coordinator for the SIMBA program he has dedicated his life to helping children in under resourced communities. Currently he is pursuing his MSW at Hunter College’s Silberman school of Social work with a concentration on Child Welfare and Families. He is excited about his internship at RAP and looks forward to working with young fathers through the Teen Father Initiative. He hopes to use his knowledge and experience to help young fathers understand their rights and increase their ability to navigate the various systems they will encounter as young fathers.
Jennifer Macias Taylor
Young Fatherhood Initiative Coordinator
Jennifer Macias-Taylor is a passionate social worker with a blended background in trauma-focused therapy and community organizing. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Montclair State University, and an MSW in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University’s School of Social Work. Equipped with a strong knowledge in the intersectionalities of oppressions towards historically underserved populations, she has strived to advocate for and empower individuals and communities to affect intrapersonal and systemic change. She joined RAP with a drive and fervor to develop and facilitate initiatives that ultimately inspire and equip youth to step into leadership roles that will advance social justice for their respective communities and beyond.
Maria Santana comes from a strong Dominican background, which has always encouraged her and her older brother to overcome challenges and face adversity. Her past experiences have motivated her to take on leadership roles that allow her to be an inspiration to those who seek change, council those who need direction, and help those who cannot help themselves. She uses her personal experiences and advice from those around her to make the best decisions possible for everyone involved. Maria believes this is an essential part of being a leader, and it’s something she constantly works on improving.
Maria is currently attending the City College of New York as an applied mathematics major, and as a sophomore, she is proud to have served as the treasurer of the Dominican Student Association, and now is a senator of the Undergraduate Student Government. She aspires to work in the non-for profit sector, specifically in college access for minority students, because of the potential leadership opportunities within the community, which will allow her to give back and help others.
Youth Fatherhood Initiative Peer Advocate
Coley Washington is a young, strong, black man who was born on December 14th 1993 in Harlem, NY. Growing up, he wanted to be many things, but never in a million years would he have thought he would be a Peer Advocate. Coley had a child when he was 18 years old, and it has made him a better, uplifting person. Since Coley has been working a RAP, he has changed the lives of many young men in NYC. He is a hardworking, well spoken young man.
Jane is a currently pursuing her MSW in Community Organizing at Silberman School of Social Work with a focus on child welfare. She first fell in love with helping young girls become their best selves as a summer camp counselor in Michigan, and that has grown to helping figure out ways to elevate youth voices in their communities. She has had varied experience working in the youth development field (from researching family systems at the University of Rochester to working with homeless youth in Scotland to be peer mentors), but the underlying thread has been figuring out strategies to help youth understand and build up their strengths — which is why she is SO excited to be a part of the RAP team! She is especially excited to get to be one of the co-facilitators of the Youth Policy Fellowship and work with RAP’s amazing young advocates to build and grow their power as agents of change in their communities!
Board of Directors
Lakisha Burke, Chair
Vice President & Transition Manager, Credit Suisse
Marie Mahony, Treasurer
Senior Vice President & Assistant Controller, HBO
Vice President of Business Development, SheKnows Media
Program Officer, Ford Foundation
Associate, Sycamore Partners
Partner, Bryant Park Financial Communications
Vice President of Communications, The Century Foundation
Investment Specialist, JP Morgan
Impact CouncilEmily Behan
Director of Family and Community Engagement, Coney Island Prep
National Director, Roosevelt Network
Program Manager, The Reproductive Health Access Project
Banking & Finance Associate, Clifford Chance
Associate, Guggenheim Investments
Investor Analyst, JP Morgan