Maurya is the Co-Founder and former Chief Executive of Code Nation which she grew from an idea to a national nonprofit that serves thousands of young people across the United States. For her work building Code Nation, she was honored as a Millennial Impact Fellow, an Ashoka Emerging Innovator, a Catalyst by the City of New York, a New York Business Journal Woman of Influence, and an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar. She has also been a featured speaker at the United Nations Conference on Women and TEDxNYCED. Maurya is a lifelong athlete and a coach who served as the founding Head Coach of Wagner College’s NCAA Division 1 Triathlon Team. Before beginning Code Nation, she managed Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s global pro bono practice group, whose volunteers contribute over 90,000 hours of pro bono and public service time annually. Maurya started her career as a middle school United States history teacher in West Philadelphia with Teach for America.
Fatima Alabdullah has five years of experience in supporting underserved populations through accounting and financial management. Most recently, Fatima was dedicated to serving NYC families that are living on the economic fringe through her management of multiple budgets at the Educational Alliance. Originally from Syria, Fatima began her professional career in the United States by assisting the Jan Peek House, a shelter for homeless adults, in their finance department. She went onto support five different organizations in their financial management through her work with Robert Half Finance and Accounting, where she developed a special passion for nonprofit work. Fatima has also worked as a junior financial analyst for the Stephen Gaynor School, catering to bright children with learning differences.
Rachelle is a Sports Philanthropy expert and marketing strategist who has built partnerships across corporations, brands, sports teams, educational institutions, and community organizations at both national and international levels to create long-term, sustainable impact, particularly for youth in under resourced communities. An experienced fundraiser, she has secured millions in funding from grants, sponsorships, and individual contributions to improve the lives of youth and support community-led work. Throughout her career, she has produced high quality events for VIPs, including professional athletes and other high net worth individuals. She has also organized large-scale summits for coaches, practitioners, and youth. Originally from South Carolina and with Haitian roots, Rachelle believes strongly in equipping youth and communities to reach their full potential. Rachelle graduated from Furman University with BAs in Communications and Political Science.
Peter Feldman has more than a decade of experience as an educator and sports-based youth development professional. As a former high school teacher and coach, Peter believes that intentional programming, strong relationships, and high-expectations, high-support cultures are vital to fostering positive youth outcomes through sport. Prior to joining Laureus USA, Peter worked at CitySquash, where he spearheaded the creation of their social-emotional learning program, successfully led the organization’s expansion to Brooklyn, and cultivated crucial new institutional relationships and funding sources.
Julia has over 19 years of non-profit management experience. Her work is centered on the core belief that the best way to improve quality of life for those who need it most is to empower them, passing on a sense of shared responsibility and individual self-efficacy. Currently, Julia is the Director of Operations & Sport for Good Atlanta for Laureus USA where she is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations necessary to ensure that the organization achieves its objectives, DEI initiatives, and manage the collaborative approach to strengthening metro- Atlanta communities through the power of sport. In her previous roles with the Laureus, she has secured funding and managed over $5.1M in grant funding with a focus of using the power of sport to change the lives of youth and communities. Julia has worked with organizations such as Families First and East Athens Development Corporation, she provided direct services in impoverished/under-resourced areas by speaking with community residents, determining their needs, and designing economic opportunities to empower these individuals to improve their own lives. Due to her keen insight and strong leadership, more than 1,200 Georgia residents gained economic security. Julia received her B.S. in Political Science and Master of Public Administration from Georgia Southern University, as well as her Accounting Certification from Athens Technical College. When Julia is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Toryn, and their daughters, Teghan and Taelyn.
Ben Schornack is an experienced coalition-builder, fundraiser, and facilitator in the field of sports-based youth development. He previously worked as the NYC Director for Up2Us Sports, where he managed local fundraising, programming, and coach development. Prior to Up2Us, Ben has worked as a program manager and basketball coach, and he is a proud alumni of AmeriCorps VISTA. He has also been a guest-lecturer for the St. John’s University sports management program and the Adelphi University sports-based youth development program.
Ben believes that well-designed sports programs can provide youth with a caring coach-mentor, an opportunity to build transferrable skills, and a safe space that allows healing from traumatic or stressful life circumstances. Throughout his career, he has worked with community organizations and stakeholders to merge assets and build capacity in order to achieve these high-impact outcomes. Ben lives in Chicago with his wife, Jenna. He graduated from Central College in Iowa with a BA in psychology.
Born and raised in East Harlem, Rob has a unique lens when it comes to sports programming, thanks to over two decades of experience in sports-based youth development as both a participant and a practitioner. He is the inaugural recipient of the “Every Day Heroes” award from the Homers for Heroes Foundation. Prior to joining Laureus, he served as DREAM’s (formerly Harlem RBI) Senior Manager of Athletics, Health, and Wellness, where he leveraged the power of sport programming to drive social-emotional development in addition to physical well-being. He is a graduate of Lehman College, with a BA in Exercise Science, and holds a certification in the Neurosequential Model for Sport. Prior to becoming an employee of DREAM, he was a participant in their programs, where he developed as a young baseball player. Rob believes that sport programming has the ability to reach those furthest from opportunity in ways nothing else can when designed intentionally.
Tiffany Aidoo has a lifetime of experience as a high-level performing athlete and nearly a decade in advocating that sport is a catalyst for social change. Prior to joining Laureus, she worked in Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office with the NOLA FOR LIFE program, which was Landrieu’s comprehensive murder reduction strategy. She successfully led the Midnight Basketball and Mentoring programs. In addition, she also has experience working within collegiate athletics, nonprofits, and various types of local and national stakeholders. Her passion for sports as a tool for social change transpired through her journey as a student-athlete and professional experience.
Tiffany has a MA and BA in communication from Tulane University, where she also received a full athletic and graduate assistant scholarship. She is also a certified National Academy of Sport Medicine (NASM) personal trainer and teaches TRX suspension training classes.
Sara McLaughlin has experience in the non-profit sector having worked with organizations focused on youth development, including Girls Inc. and Right to Play USA. She has also spent time in the classroom environment, volunteering as a mentor to aid high school students through the college application process. As a lifelong sports fan and soccer player, she recognizes the unique power and ability that sports have, to educate young people and impact communities. Sara graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY with a BS in Psychology, a concentration in International Humanitarian Studies, and a co-ed intramural basketball championship. Although originally from New Jersey, she considers herself a true New Yorker and currently lives on the Upper East Side.
Kip is a leading professional in the emerging field of sports-based youth development, possessing extensive experience in program design, delivery and evaluation, with a special emphasis on school communities. He has a BA in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara, and received his MA from New York University’s Steinhardt School in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy. An alumni of our Sport for Good New York City Leadership Council, Kip served as the inaugural chair from 2019 to 2021. His extensive work with DREAM Charter School, Play Rugby, and other SBYD organizations in the areas of program delivery and implementation eventually turned into successful grant writing and strategic fundraising experience. Joining Laureus USA’s team as the Senior Development Manager, Kip will continue to leverage his extensive grant writing and strategic program fundraising experience to transition into fund development.
Maggie grew up in the mountains of the Adirondacks, where she developed a love of the outdoors, sports, and recreation. As a two-sport athlete (soccer, track) in high school, she knows the power of “sport for good” can have a lasting impact well into adulthood. After graduating from New York University with her BA in Multimedia Production and Journalism, she survived a short stint as a substitute teacher and then embarked on a career in the film, television, and events industry, working with a number of high-profile clients at HBO, NBC, Street League, Dew Tour, and more. In 2016, she switched gears and joined a sports-based youth development organization in Queens called GallopNYC, where she spearheaded efforts to secure new partnerships and funding sources through leveraging her skills in communications, marketing, and event management. Today, she competes in Crossfit as an adaptive athlete, and enjoys yoga, photography, hiking, and seeing live music. Her ultimate goal? To tell the collective stories of Laureus USA’s partners and unite under a common mission – to increase equal access to competitive, recreational, and therapeutic sports programs for all.
A native Chicagoan, Grace came to Laureus after building the North Lawndale Athletic and Recreation Association (NLARA), a coalition on the West Side of Chicago that includes over 30 orgs, alongside leaders from Play Like a Champion Today, UCAN, and other grassroots organizations. In 2018, Grace conducted a community-wide needs and assets research study in the North Lawndale community on Chicago’s West Side for the University of Notre Dame, her alma mater (where she graduated with a BA in Program of Liberal Studies & Pre-Health). Her core belief is that coalition-building work is the best way to create innovative, inclusive and sustainable programming for young people, and she knows that sports have the capacity to be fun, supportive and energizing for everybody.
Nneka is from the Metro-Atlanta community and has always had a desire to learn more around the impact of sports programming, having grown up as an avid soccer player. She has a rich background in sport-based youth development. Nneka earned her PhD in Sport Management at the University of Connecticut where she researched experiences in SBYD programs. Prior to that, she worked directly with in programming, leading, and designing opportunities for girls.
Chicago Grant Manager, Mariana Niekamp, comes to Laureus USA as an alumni of the Laureus USA Emerging Leaders Program, having experience working with Girls Rugby, Inc and Women Win. Her past work for these organizations truly spans the global context of sport for good – having facilitated successful International Sports Programming with Women Win and the US Department of State. Additionally, Mariana has presented research at the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport in Montreal, on aligning parent and participant perspectives in youth sports. She holds two degrees from Miami University of Ohio in Diplomacy & Global Politics (BA) and Sport Management (MS). She is a firm believer in the power of play and radical inclusivity.
Amy Mummery is the former Executive Director of America SCORES Chicago, a sports-based youth development program that uses soccer, poetry, and service-learning to help youth lead healthy lives, be engaged students and build the confidence and character to make a difference in the world. She is also a trainer for the Center for Healing & Justice Through Sport and holds a BA from Purdue University in Human Development. She believes in the transformative power of teamwork, sport, and the spoken word, and creating opportunities for youth to build lasting relationships with caring adults is what drives her daily work and commitment to the growth of SBYD programs across communities. In her free time, she enjoys Tabata workouts, playing the piano, and cheering on her favorite Chicago sports teams with family and friends.