Messan Adelan is a native of West Africa (Togolese) he attended science high school in order to pursue a science related career. After graduating from high school, he attended at University Of Lome-Togo for two years in West Africa. With his talent in mathematics and other sciences, he served as a group leader in mathematics at the University where he helped students on campus. Immediately after, he was offered a position as an assistant teacher in a High School. After this experience he migrated to the United States in 2009. Not having any family members in USA, he was determined to succeed in Math/Science. Without being deterred and with a renewed passion to be an educator, he decided to go back to school to materialize his dream of becoming a college professor. He was accepted into Queens borough Community where he has achieved a place in the math honor class, and admission to the CSTEP program (College- Science Technology Engineering Program). With the C-STEP program he was afforded, among other opportunities, a unique one to do his program internship with the QCC Liberty Partnerships Program-Project Prize to tutor Middle School and High School students. His plan is to help them to overcome the fear of working with Math, while he helps them with homework and Math challenges in their current grade.
Qumyka Rasheeda Howell: is an educator, writer, documentarian, and a non-profit leader working at the intersection of art, inter-spirituality and activism in the NYC area. She is a PhD student studying at The School of Human and Organizational Development at Fielding Graduate University. She works with organizations and interfaith communities across the country that focuses on social change, community empowerment, advocacy and the elimination of the sexual violence culture.
She is the Founding Executive Director of Innocence Stolen Innocent Still (I.S.I.S.) Foundation a dual sexual assault and domestic violence organization. She is also the innovator behind I.S.I.S. Foundations’ multi award winning Art eNergy Karma Healing (A.N.K.H.) programs that has empowered survivors and facilitate art and healing retreats for survivors across the country. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She is an Instructor/ lecturer for Project Prize of the City University of New York Research Foundation in Queens NY. In addition, Qumyka develops human and organizational change programs for public and nonprofit organizations.
Qumyka is a writer and poet. She is a Digging Deep, Facing Self (DDFS) alum based in New York. She is currently working on an anthology and documentary on Spiritual Feminist in the Anti-Violence Movement (Fall, 2016). Her writings was published in Feminism and Religion, Huffington Post, and Proud Parents Magazine. Qumykas poetry was published in the ‘Armed With Only Our Souls’ DDFS anthology edited by New York City poet Caits Meissner. Her poetry was also published in Writing for Peace anthology, Typoetic and Indian Review.
Qumykas' hope is to live in a world that no longer tolerates sexual violence. Her life’s journey is to seek opportunities to forward her mission through art, contemplative thought and social change for all of humanity. You can connect with her at www.Qumyka.com or on twitter @QumykaHowell
Marissa Molina graduated from University of Albany with a Bachelor of Art in her Departmental Art Honors major and World History major in 2010 and received her Master’s in Fine Art in Studio Art at The City College of New York in 2014.She is an Artist working currently in unconventional wearable sculptures, relief paintings, and drawings built off of found objects and the personalities of people. Her travel and volunteer experiences around the globe, martial arts practice, intrigue with culture and history, as well as experience with most mediums of art have made her practice interdisciplinary and ever-growing. Having shown work in and around New York City and having worked with children before, she is excited to impart her artistic knowledge onto the kids of Project Prize who she has been already working with, for 3 years, on a volunteer basis.
Vanessa Nandram has been dancing since the age of 5. She is a dance major and Senior at Queensborough Community College. She has performed in California during her high school education, with a Folkloric group and as an adult in New York with QCC. She has also choreographed her own pieces of work which was shown at QCC. She is experienced in styles of Azteca Folklorico, Mariachi, Hip-Hop, Swing, Ballet and Modern forms of dancing. She is passionate about dance and enjoys teaching how the body can move in unique ways.
Zeki Sekban taught math in Turkey for over 10 years before he came to the United States in the early 2000’s. Upon his arrival, he joined Jean Nuzzi IS 109 as a math teacher. Later on, the Project PRIZE program coordinator made him an offer to work as a math teacher with the after school group. Besides the math class, he also coordinated a course to expose Project PRIZE students to the major aspects of the Turkish culture. Zeki was invited to work with the summer and Saturday component of the Project PRIZE program in 2006 and since then he has taught the Turkish culture workshop, has coached soccer, football, and has advised a chess team, at the same time he has taught math for junior and high school students. Currently, Zeki is a math teacher at the Pan American International HS in Queens.
Olivea Popescu Weber was trained as an architectural designer. She enjoyed a long and fruitful career, mostly with major companies specializing in retail architecture. In the recent years, she dedicated part of her time to sharing with younger generations the joy of creative building design. She is also involved in several after school programs in public schools. It brings her great pleasure when a student leaves the classroom with a better understanding of form, proportion, texture, and learns to appreciate the space around us, whether man-made or natural creation.
Malcolm Wright’s background in music began in 1997, where he played in 4 different bands. He has been teaching and tutoring Music since 2007 and has been training in Kajukenbo since 2008. Growing up in a military family there was a large emphasis on physical health which lead to his well rounded physical fitness background and discipline. He settled down in New York City in 2002 and later joined Kiwanis International in High-School where he started an on-going career in volunteer work. He has been cultivating his skills on Piano, Guitar, Bass, Trumpet, and Vocals and has played in different bands throughout New York City. Along with these foundations in music, he has even had experience in musical theater. He currently majors in Music and Health Science with a minor in Psychology at Hunter College. Along with His continued training in Dan Zan Ryu Jiujitsu and Kajukenbo. Malcolm has been working with the Project PRIZE students for the past 3 years on a volunteer basis.