Meet Our Staff
(718) 649-7979 ext 17
Ana Aguirre is the Executive Director of the United Community Centers. Ms. Aguirre is a Peruvian immigrant who received the equivalent of a Master’s degree in Psychology in Peru. She began working for UCC in 1993 as a community organizer/health educator in our HIV risk reduction education project. In 2004 she became the Executive Director. Ana received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from Hunter College in 2000. Ana has a deep knowledge and understanding of the East New York community and the public health issues they face, and has proven she can organize with them across their differences.
East New York Farms, Project Director
(718) 649-7979 ext 12
David Vigil is the Project Director for ENYF!, overseeing all components of the project including fundraising and program development. David started in 2007, serving as Farm Manager, Youth Program Director, and ultimately as Project Director. David brings with him experience in both urban and rural agriculture, youth development, adult education, and volunteer management. David studied at Deep Springs College and received a B.A. in History and Spanish from Columbia University. He was named one of New York Food Policy Center’s “40 Under 40 in Food Policy” in 2016.
(718) 649-7979 ext 29
Iyeshima Harris started her mark in the food justice movement at the age of 14. As a Jamaican native, she struggled with the process of assimilation into a new culture. Through farming she found great comfort in her community. Throughout her involvement in the movement, Iyeshima has taught food justice, advocate for universal free school lunch, assisted in the development and sustainment of a youth-led organization, and is now the organizer for the Youth Food Justice Network. She is dedicated to integrate youth empowerment and leadership into adult dominated sectors. With a double major of Political Science and Sociology, Iyeshima wishes to combined her passion for food justice and her knowledge of the American politics to drive the importance of food in people’s everyday life.
Tirrell Alford is our Pink Houses and Bay View Houses Farm Manager. He holds an Associates degree in graphic design, and worked as a farm-hand at Kingsborough Community College Urban Farm. While at KCC Urban Farm, Tirrell worked through two growing seasons in which he tended to crops, distributed free produce to Kingsborough Community College students & staff and lead workshops on the importance of growing food locally. Community service has always been an important factor for Mr. Alford. He has been a youth activist as part of non-profit organizations, including the NAACP from 2005-2013 and El Puente from 2007-2011, where he participated in various outreach campaigns, protests, and community beautification projects.
Gina Pierre-Louis is our Family Worker. Gina was introduced to UCC in 1999. She began working in the day care as an assistant Group teacher. She then became a Group teacher and moved into her current position of Family Worker in 2015. Gina holds an Associate’s degree in Teacher’s Education from Medgar Evers College, a BS in Family and Children’s Counseling and Disability Studies from CUNY Graduate School, and an MS in Bilingual School Counseling from Long Island University. Gina loves working with parents and believes success happens when there is a partnership, communication, and genuine involvement between the home and school.
(718) 649-7979 ext 14
Kendra Ellis is our Farm Manager. Kendra joined ENYF in the Spring of 2016. Kendra became interested in food justice because of her early involvement in community gardens in her hometown of Astoria, Queens. She has worked on several organic and biodynamic vegetable farms around the Northeast and studied agricultural sciences at Cornell University, supporting her ultimate goal of becoming an urban farmer in NYC.
Educational Director Morris L Eisenstein Learning Center
Marcia Sibble is the Educational Director Morris L Eisenstein Learning Center and is responsible for all financial and educational aspects of the United Community Center's Day Care Program. Ms. Sibble joined the United Community Centers team in July of 2015.
Protecting the East, Project Director
(718) 649-7979 ext 16
Deidre Miller is the Project Director of Protecting the East. Deidre is a former youth program participant and has been involved with UCC for more than 10 years. As project director Deidre is responsible for developing and implementing a community-level intervention for HIV prevention and developing curriculum and training of PTE staff and Youth Peer Educators. She has many years of experience working in youth development as well as extensive training and experience in sexual health education. Deidre holds a Bachelor’s degree from Baruch College in Business Management and Psychology.
(718) 649-7979 ext 18
LaSalle Miller is the Fiscal Officer for United Community Centers. She has been with UCC for 20 years.
(718) 649-7979 ext 28
Kevon is the ENYF! Youth Program Director. He works directly with the youth interns, developing youth development and agriculture workshops, and guiding the Youth Food Justice Network. Kevon is an alumnus of the ENYF Youth Internship program, working with us from 2007-2011.
(718) 649-7979 ext 15
Sadatu Usman is our Community Gardens Coordinator. Sadatu is a hospitality veteran and has managed restaurants and hotels in NYC for than 20 years. After breaking out on her own, she worked on her small family farm with her mother in Delhi, NY. She grew a variety of specialty vegetables and would sell them at Pop-up Markets she organized in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy. During this time, she started vending at the ENYF! Farmers Market, where she sold fruits and veggies and handmade bath and body products. After 2 years vending at the ENYF! Farmers Market, joined the ENYF! team as Community Gardens Organizer. It was the perfect opportunity for her to learn more about her craft, urban farming, and further her career in the Food & Beverage business.
(718) 649-7979 ext 13
Karen Alessi is our Development Associate Director. Hired in fall of 2015, Karen works in all aspects of fundraising for UCC including grant writing, donor development, and event planning. Karen has a background in health education program design, holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from Hunter College, and is a Certified Health Education Specialist.
Meet the Board of Directors
Co President (through June'17)
Could You Be Our Next Board Member?
We're looking for new members to join our board, especially professional men and women who can help us locate and secure grants, provide financial advice and services, or provide legal assistance.
Our Board Members bring with them new avenues for UCC to explore, and in exchange, they enjoy the opportunity to make a lasting, positive impact in our neighborhood.
Whether you’re from East New York or somewhere else, your energy and skills can help our organization grow. To find out more about Board Member opportunities, please contact us.
Contact Ana Aguirre at [email protected] for more information.