Kyle is a first-generation college graduate from New Jersey who went on to become a civil rights attorney, law professor, and public policy advocate. Kyle’s career has covered a variety of social justice initiatives in Newark: K-12 education reform, low-income housing preservation, assisting victims of foreclosure scams and related research about the impact of foreclosures on Newark communities, LGBT rights and police brutality, anti-bullying policy, and prisoner reentry.
He is a successful fundraiser who spent the last two years helping KIPP New Jersey build and launch a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign–raising millions in pledges for the non-profit organization.
Prior to this, Kyle spent five years as lead education attorney at Essex-Newark Legal Services, two years as a visiting law professor at Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Social Justice in Newark, and several years as the CEO of the charter school association in New York and Connecticut. He is a fellow of the Leadership Newark class of 2011, and proud father of a five-year-old son.
Kennisha’s entrance into the education sector was via a competitive fellowship through Education Pioneers, in which she brought her diverse project and relationship management skills to the City of Newark to advocate for change. At the Newark Charter School Fund, she led policy and programmatic initiatives that required strong collaboration within the public and private sector.
She has also served as liaison for key partners in the City of Newark’s Education Office, Newark S.T.E.A.M. Coalition and Newark Public Schools. Prior to that, she worked in the private sector, where her work included managing projects to improve Customer-facing products and services in the financial industry.
A graduate of Temple University, Kennisha also dedicates time to serving her community by working with organizations such as Butterfly Dreamz, the Nigerian Healthcare Foundation, New York Cares, and the Central Brooklyn Food Coop. She’s currently a Leadership Newark Fellow C/O 2022.
Galen comes from a family of passionate educators, school leaders, and coaches. His professional experience has always centered around promoting the success of children, including working in foster care, coaching high school and college cross country and track & field, and teaching middle and high school physical education in the East Orange School District.
Most recently, Galen was the Director of Youth Leadership Development at The North Ward Center, where he led numerous programs and activities for youth including a Little League Baseball program, and the largest youth basketball league in Newark.
A graduate of The College of New Jersey and St. Mary’s College of California, Galen is a proud supporter of all Philadelphia sports teams and jogging in the occasional 5K. He resides in Newark with his partner Mikaela and their daughter Gia.
Colleen comes to NJCF after 20 years of service at the New Jersey Department of Education, holding a multitude of roles during her tenure, including Deputy Chief of Staff where she was responsible for managing the Department’s legislative affairs and policy development division.
Most recently she led the Department’s COVID-related response efforts. Colleen is proud of her work at the Department and hopes to leverage her experience to directly enhance opportunities for New Jersey’s students and families.
Colleen received her Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Rutgers University, as well as, her Master’s degree from Rutgers University, Edward J. Bloustein School of Public Policy. She is also a proud alumni of the Eagleton Institute of Politics.
Colleen enjoys spending time with her family and is active in many local charitable organizations in her hometown of Hamilton Township.