Our Team

Our Team

From naturalists to filmmakers, educators to designers, our staff connects experts in various professions to the local Rockaway community.

Jeanne DuPont portrait

Jeanne DuPont

Founder and Executive Director

As founder and executive director of RISE, Jeanne has worked closely with the Rockaway community and city agencies since 2005, developing strategies to redevelop large stretches of underutilized public land for the good of the community. Much of her work has involved organizing community members and youth in utilizing outdoor space for programming focused on social equity, health, and environmental justice. Jeanne has a Master Degree in Design from Yale University.

Juvie Anne Alfeche portrait

Juvie Anne Alfeche

Public Programs Coordinator

Juvie Anne Alfeche earned a Bachelor of Science in Resource Conservation from the University of Montana. There, she learned about environmental conservation, natural resource management, and building sustainable livelihoods and communities. She worked as a farmer at PEAS Farm in Missoula, Montana, and as a grower at Square Roots in Brooklyn, before coming to RISE. In her spare time, Juvie Anne is busy in the kitchen, cooking and baking delicious treats and meals to share with her family and friends.

Alana Danieu portrait

Alana Danieu

Programs Manager

Alana Danieu arrived at RISE by way of the Battery Conservancy and the Ong lab at Dartmouth College, an agroecology lab. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics/Statistics from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. "I am passionate about ecology, education, and community-building. Beyond advocacy for environmental sustainability, I am specifically drawn to RISE because of its commitment to equity, community-led initiatives, and youth programming."

Marvin Lopez Acevedo portrait

Marvin Lopez Acevedo

Youth Engagement Coordinator

Marvin Lopez Acevedo was born in Guatemala, raised in Far Rockaway/Five Towns, and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Geosciences and Physics from Hamilton College. “I am interested in the natural environment, specifically in the origin and implications of Earth’s natural systems, and in developing a more inclusive scientific pedagogy." He has a valid drone license, which permits him to fly research-level drones to collect data and images, and is looking into obtaining one to carry out environmental research projects in the Rockaways.

Stephanie Castillo Samoy portrait

Stephanie Castillo Samoy

Director of Operations & Communications

The Rockaways has been part of Stephanie's life since the late 1990s, when her Tae Kwon Do instructor trained his students in his backyard and then took them surfing off of Beach 87th Street. She served as president of the Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association, worked for New York State Senator James Sanders Jr., and is happy to have landed at RISE! Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in Media Studies from the New School.