As the Director of Government Relations, Melissa Bender advocates to expand and strengthen national service opportunities at the federal and state level. Most recently, Melissa served as a policy advisor and legislative staffer at the Maryland General Assembly, working on education equity, food insecurity and criminal justice reform issues. She previously worked at Ithaka S+R, a higher education policy think tank, and served as an AmeriCorps member with Reading Partners, where she managed a volunteer literacy tutoring program at a DCPS elementary school. She started her career in international development supporting USAID's communications efforts overseas. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor's in Political Science and Russian Studies from the University of Virginia.
After graduating from the College of William & Mary in 2017, Sarah proudly served with City Year Boston in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The best part of her service was getting to know the students and teachers she worked with.
Sarah also brings experience in policy, coalition building, and political campaigns to the work of making service years an accessible and community-centered opportunity for all. When she isn’t thinking about service, Sarah is looking for her next travel adventure, hanging out with her puppy, or reading a random book from the neighborhood library.
Jennifer Bagaglio serves as the Chief Operating Officer. In this position, Jen works closely with the entire team to handle budget development and reporting, human resources, strategic planning, Board relations, meeting and event planning, as well as other organizational support tasks. This is an evolution of Jen’s previous role as Operations Director with NCoC.
Prior to joining the NCoC team, Jen spent four years working at DC Vote to end taxation without representation in our nation’s capital. She worked there as the Public Affairs Manager. In that capacity, she worked on community engagement, coalition building strategies and managed the volunteer program. At times she was also responsible for the development and communications tasks in the office.
Jen is a New Englander at heart. She grew up in Massachusetts and attended the University of Vermont for her undergraduate degree. She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration on social movement theory and political activism and civic engagement in the nonprofit sector.
In her free time she enjoys attending SoulCycle classes and finding new books for her book club to read.
As Chief Strategy Officer, Kristen is responsible for formulating and ensuring the execution of Service Year Alliance’s strategy to make a service year a common expectation and opportunity. Prior to this role, Kristen spent six years leading the development and implementation of ServiceYear.org.
Kristen served as an AmeriCorps Program Officer with California Volunteers, the state service commission. In this capacity, she evaluated AmeriCorps grant applications, contributed to the development of Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps programs, and trained, assessed, and monitored an $8.5 million portfolio of programs. During this time, she guided, coached, and advised well over thirty programs across California to maximize their community impact while maintaining compliance.
Kristen is also a proud AmeriCorps VISTA alum. As a VISTA, Kristen served on California First Lady Maria Shriver’s WE Connect campaign, connecting low-income families with valuable programs and resources to become more financially secure. While serving, Kristen built crucial community partnerships, trained and managed volunteers, and planned and implemented large-scale community events during tax season.
Kristen earned a Bachelor of Science in Planning, Public Policy, and Management from the University of Oregon and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from California State University, Sacramento.
Brooke leads the Service Year Impact Community network working with more than a dozen communities to advance shared national service strategies to meet local needs.
Brooke is passionate about advancing opportunity in communities and bringing people together through cross-sector collaboration. At the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development she launched the Promise Zone initiative, bringing 13 federal agencies together with local leaders to address priorities in 22 urban, rural and tribal high-poverty communities. A key part of this place-based initiative was the 120 VISTA members providing backbone organization support.
Brooke started her career in AmeriCorps teaching in Baltimore with 200+ amazing middle schoolers through Teach for America. After working on Sherrod Brown’s Senate campaign in Ohio, she then managed the Call to Serve network at the Partnership for Public Service with more than 700 higher education partners.
An Arizona native and first-generation American, Brooke holds a BA in political science and psychology from Scripps College, a MA in teaching from Johns Hopkins University and a MPA in collaborative management and urban sustainability from George Washington University.
In her free time, Brooke loves to explore Washington, DC by bike, traveling to new places and getting dirty gardening. Her goal is to end her career in the Peace Corps.
Jesse Colvin is Service Year Alliance’s CEO. He is a recognized leader and military veteran who ran to serve as the Representative from Maryland's first congressional district in the 2018 midterm elections.
Jesse previously worked as a strategic advisor for Toffler Associates, a management consultancy. Prior to that, he held investigatory roles at Barclays Capital and Control Risks.
Jesse served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment, where he completed four combat deployments to Afghanistan. Before joining the military, he taught English language courses to Iraqi refugees in Damascus, Syria.
Jesse holds a B.A. in history from Duke University and a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Jordan, who is a former police officer, their son, who is a high-energy toddler, and their rescue dog, who is a poorly behaved husky-german Shepard mix.
Monique Ellington is skilled, multifaceted leader with a strong record of helping individuals achieve their full potential by creating new opportunities and overcoming barriers to success. Monique has extensive experience in workforce development, program development, individual empowerment and development.
She is the Director, Program Engagement, where she strives to make a service year a common opportunity for every young person in the city of Chicago. Monique is fervently working to address social make a service problems and injustices in Chicago by connecting opportunity youth to new and existing opportunities and overcoming challenges that impact communities through service year opportunities. Previously, Monique served as the Training Development Manager for Greencorps Chicago, a city of Chicago program to assist individuals in gaining technical and professional skills while simultaneously overcoming multiple barriers to success.
Prior to joining Greencorps Chicago, Monique worked Safer Foundation, an organization to assist individuals with criminal records, and Haymarket Center, a comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment facility, where she connected individuals to career opportunities. Monique graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University where she majored in English Literature and minored in Black World Studies. While in college, she implemented a service program teaching arts and crafts and mentoring children in the Delaware, OH community.
In her spare time, Monique enjoys spending time with children and youth and exposing them to dance, music, history and poetry.
Aly is the Managing Director of External Affairs at Service Year Alliance where she manages media relations, messaging, social media, and advocacy communications. Aly previously was the Communications Manager at ServiceNation. She came to ServiceNation from The Incite Agency where she worked with public affairs and advocacy clients and managed the firm's administrative responsibilities and research. Aly was the assistant to Robert Gibbs, former White House Press Secretary, as well as Ben LaBolt, 2012 Press Secretary for President Obama's reelection campaign.
Prior to joining The Incite Agency, Aly handled press in the U.S. Senate for Mo Cowan (D-MA) during his interim term in the U.S. Senate and continued working in that capacity as a press advisor as Sen. Cowan transitioned to private life. Previously, Aly worked on client projects at ASGK Public Strategies and fundraised for Joe Kennedy III and Alan Khazei on their respective House and Senate campaigns in Massachusetts.
She offers experience in nonprofit, public sector, and private sector communications, as well as political campaigns and development strategy. Aly holds a degree in Communication from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School. She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, enjoys skiing, boxing, and hanging out with her husband, daughter, dog, and cat.
As Managing Director of Programs, Bryan is part of Service Year Alliance’s strategy team and overseas the programs team which works with service year programs and partners across the United States to utilize service years as a strategy for local and regional needs and document evidence that makes the case for service years.
Bryan has over 20 years in the nonprofit sector working previously at U.S. Green Building Council, Sunlight Foundation, and United Way Worldwide before coming to Service Year Alliance. In all his positions, Bryan works to increase organization effectiveness through ongoing feedback loops and building positive, collaborative teams to tackle hard issues. Bryan holds a BA from Clark University and a MS in Organization Development from American University.
Bryan is a Peace Corps alumni, having served in Armenia 2009-2012 as a Community & Business Development volunteer. He believes in the power of people coming together to solve community and world problems through active listening and compassion for one another’s’ stories. Bryan loves traveling the globe and observing and interacting with differences and similarities across cultures. He also is an active runner, biker, and outdoor enthusiast. His favorite quote is “It always seems impossible until it's done (Nelson Mandela).”
As a Communications Manager at Service Year Alliance, Juanita supports all communications functions of the organization including media relations, messaging, social media, and more.
Juanita is a proud AmeriCorps alumna and served in 2016 with City Year DC to help support students' social, emotional, and academic development while providing schools with additional capacity to enhance learning and belonging.
Juanita holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Penn State University and is currently earning a master's degree in Public Relations & Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. She resides in Maryland and enjoys sightseeing, traveling, and indulging in new foods.
Jonas manages the certification process for the Service Year Exchange. His work on the Service Year Exchange also includes developing resources, supporting partnerships, and creating and implementing communications and customer support strategies. Jonas’ belief in the power of service years is tied to his firsthand experiences, which began when he served as a corps member with City Year Philadelphia in 2010. He served a second year with City Year as a Diplomas Now Team Leader, before going on to teach at Baltimore City Public Schools as a 2012 member of Teach for America.
Prior to joining NCoC, Jonas worked in public education as a member of both Teach for America and City Year. He created and taught original units and lessons as a middle school English teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools. While teaching, he earned a Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University.
As a Diplomas Now Team Leader with City Year, Jonas coordinated a team of AmeriCorps members in providing strategic interventions and whole school programming to middle school students in Philadelphia. In this role, he also managed school partnerships, tracked and utilized data to advance student achievement, led trainings for corps members, and facilitated feedback from over 230 AmeriCorps members by administering a site-wide corps council.
Jonas graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from Villanova University. During his time at Villanova, he was a columnist for The Villanovan and also served as a teaching assistant. Outside of work, he enjoys running, hiking, cooking new dishes, and finding new music to add to his record collection.
He currently lives in Washington, DC.
In 2006, Sandy graduated from the University of Maryland College Park and began working in the nonprofit sector. He completed a service year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at Jumpstart for Young Children, working to build their regional fundraising efforts. After serving his term, he spent 6 more years at Jumpstart in various fundraising roles out of their Washington, DC office. Most recently, Sandy served as the Director of Development at Council for a Strong America, a public policy organization working to improve America's public safety, national security, and economic growth through research-based investments in children.
Today, Sandy serves as Chief Development Officer, building funding partnerships that help fuel Service Year Alliance's ambitious strategic plan. In his spare time, Sandy enjoys Brazilian jiu-jitsu, hiking, and brunch. Especially brunch.
As the Director of Programs with Service Year Alliance, Kara works with current and potential host organizations to position service years as a solution for communities.
As organizational leader, she has over 8 years of experience in public affairs and community service. During her career, she has developed an understanding of organizational operations in non-profits focused on affordable housing, youth empowerment, food systems, economic mobility and environmental education.
Kara is a proud Habitat for Humanity / AmeriCorps Alum and comes to Service Year Alliance with enthusiasm for service programs and the impact they have on our country. During her time at Service Year, Kara hopes to contribute to a future in which service is a common and accessible opportunity for all!
Floyd Sartin is the Managing Director of Human Resources at Service Year Alliance, is a seasoned Human Resources professional with experience leading strategic business initiatives. Floyd is responsible for managing and implementing HR functions, which include talent acquisition, benefit administration, on-boarding, human capital, and employee relations.
Prior to Service Year Alliance, Floyd was the Human Resources Manager at The Washington Home & Community Hospices where he successfully streamlined their HR functionality into a paperless environment, enhancing performance management, and cultivating a dynamic culture within the organization.
Floyd is originally from Detroit, MI, and has a MBA in Human Resources Management from Walden University and a B.A. in Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University.
Outside of practicing human resources, Floyd is a coffee roaster entrepreneur, enjoys spending quality time with his wife and young son, and watching any sports program that’s on the television.