Our Team

Our Team

From naturalists to film makers, 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 & Executive Director of RISE, Jeanne has worked closely with the Rockaway community and city agencies in developing strategies to redevelop large stretches of underutilized and neglected public land in the Rockaways. 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 Masters Degree in Design from Yale University.

Pascale Mevs portrait

Pascale Mevs

Director of Programs and Evaluation

Pascale comes to RISE with a background in education, workforce development and civic service design. She has worked in multiple capacities within NYC government, including most recently as a Senior Advisor at the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity where she focused on program design, performance monitoring and evaluation, and previously worked in nonprofit community economic development. As RISE's new Director of Programs, she is committed to developing systems to ensure effective and equitable youth education, civic engagement and urban planning initiatives. Pascale is a former NYC public school teacher and holds a Master's Degree in Urban Education Policy from Brown University.

Mesha Joseph portrait

Mesha Joseph

Programs Manager

Mesha Joseph oversees all our youth development programs. Mesha has worked with various nonprofit organizations focused on youth development prior to joining RISE. Focused on making impactful social change, Mesha has dedicated her career to working with youth in all capacities. With her Bachelors from Fairfield University, where she was on the NCAA Div I Women's Basketball Team, Founder of the Performance for Change Theatre Troupe, and with a Masters Degree from Walden University in Nonprofit Management; Mesha utilizes her experience and knowledge to expand and develop youth programming. 

Ana Fisyak portrait

Ana Fisyak

Deputy Director for Planning & Development

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 RISE, 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.

Keza Lawrence portrait

Keza Lawrence

Manager, Office Administration

Keza comes from the Healthcare industry where she worked in the health system assisting the elderly for several years. She has a passion for working to help improve her community and gives back as much as she can through our community and youth programs. Keza has a Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Administration / Human Resources Management from Ashford University.

Judah Asimov portrait

Judah Asimov

External Affairs Manager

Judah has been involved in working on political campaigns and government relations prior to joining RISE. He has been putting his skills to work doing public outreach and coordination with local individuals and organizations in the Rockaways to promote 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.

Ephraim Foster portrait

Ephraim Foster

Educator, Living Classroom

Ephraim likes educating youth about environmental issues affecting Far Rockaway.   He started coming to RISE as a member of Shore Corps in 2016. Since then he's been an educator for the Living Classroom and Aqua 101 programs. Ephraim has lived in Far Rockaway for all of his life, and he loves the effect RISE has had on his community with events like tree plantings and beach clean ups.  He has an Associates Degree in Fire Science from Nassau Community College.