A 16-year resident of Philadelphia, Rebekah came to the city from her hometown of Lebanon, PA in 2001 to pursue a degree in Communications at Temple University. After graduation, she landed at Valley Forge CVB where she traveled the country to promote the greater Philadelphia region. In 2010, she went to Adventure Aquarium to lead the sales department. During her time in Camden, Rebekah developed her talents for community outreach and programming. She directed the aquarium’s “greening and cleaning” neighborhood improvement initiatives in the city and was an active member of the Greater Philadelphia and Camden County Chambers of Commerce.
Her personal and professional lives united in 2015 when she joined the Barnes Foundation where she leads group sales and tourism initiatives. She enjoys developing meaningful collaborations and working with the next generation of leaders in Philadelphia. Rebekah is also passionate about Spotify playlists, spreadsheet and exploring her Center City neighborhood for top-notch craft beers. Rebekah has previously served on the Programming and Advocacy committees for YIP and joined the board in 2016 as Secretary and Communications Co-Chair. Email Rebekah
Amanda originally hails from New Jersey and has been an active resident of the City of Brotherly Love since 2013. Upon graduating with a Marketing degree from Rowan University, she began her career with The Philadelphia Orchestra helping to create and execute marketing tactics to attract, retain and engage new audiences. Currently, Amanda works as the Group Sales Manager at the Penn Museum: The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology where she has established a sales department from the ground up. In this role she creates audience development strategies which expose local, national, and global visitors with the Penn Museum’s exceptional galleries, exhibitions, research, and digital content.
When she’s not working around mummies or with YIP, Amanda also sits on the Board for the Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens as the Marketing and Development Chair. Outside of her non-profit work, Amanda enjoys exploring the city’s best dive bars, is an unapologetic Star Wars fan, and continues in the lifetime pursuit of learning how to say “Ham & Cheese” in as many languages as possible. Her current tally stands at 7… Email Amanda
Robyn Nwankwo is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Pennsylvania. She started her career at Deloitte & Touche LLP where she performed Audit services for clients primarily in the Financial Services and Higher Education industries. Currently, she works in Independence Blue Cross’s Corporate Audit & Compliance division, developing assessments to identify and remediate material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in internal controls over financial reporting.
Robyn is a 2010 graduate of the University of Virginia where she received her B.S. in Accounting and Information Technology. Upon graduation, Robyn joined the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants and most recently served as 1st Vice President through 2016. Robyn’s first involvement with YIP was through her participation in the Board Prep Program. She is a graduate of the Fall 2015 cohort. A South Jersey native, Robyn enjoys recreational volleyball at her local gym, traveling, and playtime with her pup, Leo Da Vinci. Email Robyn
Matthew prefers his coffee black and OJ with pulp. Though, most importantly, he like his cheesesteaks wit whiz. Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania Matthew always knew he’d eventually find his way to Philly. Temple University brought him here and now the city’s culture and growth is making it hard to leave.
After officially becoming #TempleMade in 2012, he was recruited by DuPont to become a member of the Commercial Development Program. While there, he worked on global communications and drove improvements serving as the liaison between commercial functions for the Performance Polymers business unit. Following DuPont he joined the fast paced Philly tech startup, RJMetrics. In August 2016, RJMetrics was acquired and Matthew is now a Product Marketing Associate for Magento Commerce. In addition to YIP, Matthew also serves as a Business Development Advisor to FixList and a Committee Member for the Fox School of Business Alumni Association. Email Matthew
After graduating from Temple University, Kylee (mistakenly) left Philadelphia for Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in nonprofit work and public policy. After working for an organization focused on the welfare of women and children, she discovered that her interest in technology and design could be used in service of the non-profit work she so enjoyed. She left Washington for Boston, where she spent three months learning to code and found herself more excited than ever about what technology can do and the role it can play in reducing barriers and improving processes in the areas of government, healthcare, education, and more.
But, of course, neither D.C. nor Boston could compare to Philadelphia and it’s unbelievable community of makers, doers, and passionate weirdos (said lovingly!). Ready to return and make Philadelphia her home, Kylee took up residence in Queen Village and a job at P’unk Ave, a design and development firm in South Philly. Most recently, she’s taken a position as an Experience Engineering Manager with Launch Academy, an immersive program teaching eager learners with little to no coding experience how to begin a career in technology. Her move to join YiP means the roots she’s always hoped to plant here are finally finding a place to grow. Email Kylee
Nate grew up in Rochester, New York and moved to Philadelphia in 2004 to attend La Salle University. He graduated with a BA is Mass Communications and put it to use as a hyper-local community journalist for Patch.com. He has written for the Philadelphia City Paper, The American Institute of Economic Research, College Living Magazine and several now-defunct community newspapers. He currently works as a Business Communications Manager for Pep Boys. He’s lived in Philadelphia for the last 12 years, spending time in Graduate Hospital, Whitman, Olney, Mt. Airy and Roxborough before settling in Kensington with his wife, Meagan. He attends Olde Richmond Civic Association meetings, is a member of the Kensington Community Food Co-Op and has volunteered with Philasoup, Philadelphia SPCA and Philabundance. He believes that the 76ers are the city’s best sports franchise, that the PhilaMOCA is the best rock music venue in town and that Freeway remains underrated. Email Nate
Bethany is a Boston native where she attended the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has become a Philadelphia lover in her three years here, thanks to the city’s vibrant arts and culture community. She is the Manager of Annual Giving & Special Events at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), a special collections library with over 21 million items representing 350 years of American history. As well as being a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network; Bethany coordinates HSP’s Young Friends, a social group of 21-45 year young professionals with a passion for celebrating and preserving history. She founded the Young Friends of HSP Board in 2014, and is thrilled to now work with 32 of this city’s future leaders. Email Bethany
Gwen Emmons is the digital strategist at Forward Together, where she uses the Internet to promote policy and culture change so that all families can thrive. Prior to working at Forward Together, she organized for reproductive rights at Planned Parenthood and sent a TON of email on behalf of progressive clients at M+R Strategic Services in DC.
A Masters in Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice brought her to Philly, but she fell in love with long runs along the Schuylkill and Philly’s delicious restaurant scene and never left. Follow her on Twitter at @gwenemmons or get your fill of pictures of her pug Frankie on Instagram at @gemmons. Email Gwen
Diana is a nomadic hobbit that found her calling as the Community Engagement Editor of PlanPhilly, a project at WHYY. She has been involved in Philadelphia’s community economic development scene via the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, Community Design Collaborative, Asian Arts Initiative, and Women’s Community Revitalization Project. She most recently worked as the Director of Partnerships and Outreach for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.
Even though she spent her formative years in Los Angeles, Diana has since grown accustomed to four seasons and quite likes the East Coast. She holds a bachelors in Urban Studies and French from Vassar College and a Masters in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an alumna of the United Way Emerging Leaders program and recipient of the coveted Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s ‘Main Street Townie’ Award. Diana enjoys short walks along urban waterfronts, design-based solutions and multi-course meals. You can find her at her local watering hole, which can be a restaurant, teashop or salon, depending on the day. IG: dianaluwho
Diana serves as the YIP historian and lead on partnerships. Email Diana
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Nikkia is a graduate of Philadelphia High School for Girls and Ursinus College. Currently, she is the Wellness Manager of Universal Companies. Universal Companies is a non-profit education management and development organization with a mission to improve communities and change lives within historically disenfranchised communities. As the Wellness Manager, Nikkia manages programs that provide social etiquette and character development training for Philadelphia’s youth. Additionally, she is dedicated to the enhancement of programming and initiatives that promote healthy lifestyle choices among youth and community members.
Nikkia is the Co-Founder and Advisory Board Member of Influencing Action Movement, a nonprofit that works to connect people across networks to role models, career advancement opportunities and community-based resources. The organization offers specialized, online mentoring programs for teenagers and last year served more than 3,500 Philadelphians through mentoring programs, networking events and community service projects.
In her free time, you can catch her volunteering with the Junior League of Philadelphia, “Class Pass-ing”, enjoying a local restaurant in Rittenhouse/Midtown or traveling with friends. Email Nikkia
Katya Noreika is a Loan Officer at Entrepreneur Works, a microenterprise development organization focused on growing small businesses and creating jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region. She is responsible for Entrepreneur Works’ loan portfolio, including new loan origination, underwriting, deal closing, and portfolio management. Katya is a recent graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, where she received her MBA with a concentration in finance. Prior to pursuing her MBA, Katya managed a community-based education program at the Center for Literacy, a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization focused on adult literacy skills and career development.
Katya fell in love with Philadelphia eight years ago when she moved here after receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Relations from Scripps College in Claremont, California. She first became involved with YIP through the 2010 State of Young Philly. She has since been involved with the Programming Committee and completed Board Prep in 2012. In her downtime, she is either enjoying the outdoors, taking a ballet class or whipping up something delicious in the kitchen. Email Katya
Alison Shott is Associate Director at Econsult Solutions, a Philadelphia-based economic and public policy consulting firm. In this role, she works with a wide range of policy makers, non-profits, and businesses on community and neighborhood development, public infrastructure, real estate and urban economics, and transportation.
Originally from Montgomery County, Alison now lives in West Philadelphia. She relocated back to PA in 2015 after a decade-long detour through DC, Scotland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Ontario – acquiring a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. in Political Science along the way.
In Canada, Alison was actively involved in student advocacy, representing 5,200 graduate students in local, provincial, and national postsecondary education policy discussions as the spokesperson for the Society of Graduate Students. She has also been involved in advocacy work on land use, sexual violence prevention, and public transit funding. Outside of work and organizing, Alison can be found swimming, reading, listening to and talking about podcasts, and re-immersing herself in the Philadelphia food scene. Email Alison
Nate spends his weekdays helping environmentalists achieve conservation victories at home and abroad. In addition to his day job at The Nature Conservancy, he is an avid outdoorsman and strives to balance city-dwelling life with regular outings in nature. One of his favorite jobs was working in the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico as a botany intern in cooperation with the Millennium Seed Bank.
Nate studied Biology and Religion at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 2011. He has worked at a wide variety of nonprofit and for profit organizations.
Nate has been won over by Philly since moving here in 2013. He spends his free time exploring the city in search of coffee, backpacking in the wilderness or exploring foreign cities. Nate is passionate about the intersection of the environment, urban planning, transportation, food policy, public health and environmental justice. Email Nate
Jason Tucker is a lifelong Philadelphia resident. Jason attended Germantown Friends School in Northwest Philadelphia before leaving the area to attend Amherst College in Massachusetts. After graduation, upon realizing that Massachusetts was too cold, Jason returned to Philadelphia and eventually attended Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.
Jason is currently an attorney barred in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He works as a Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for The Goldenberg Group, a commercial real estate developer.
Jason has always loved Philadelphia. He’s the one proudly proclaiming that Philadelphians “Invented America.” Jason serves in a dual capacity on YIP as a member of the Programming and Advocacy committees. His particular interests skew to the idiosyncrasies of Philadelphia’s local politics and as well as urban policy, planning, and education. He may also be one of the last surviving 76er fans left. Email Jason
Frankie has served proudly as YIP’s official mascot since 2017. He enjoys peanut butter, naps, and the intricacies of Philadelphia politics. Contact Frankie.