Ambreen Qureshi

Formerly Deputy Executive Director of the Arab-American Family Support Center, Ambreen has extensive background in social justice, community service, and innovative media programs including Magnum Photos, Associated Press, and PixelPress. Passionate about youth development, youth media, and trauma-informed care she received her M.S. degree with a concentration in media and culture from the New School.

Ambreen Qureshi

Executive Director

Mary is an educator, facilitator and media maker with a focus in the intersecting areas of youth media, critical pedagogy and documentary filmmaking. She holds an M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in media and human rights from The New School. Her professional experience includes working as a high school Spanish teacher and summer ESL instructor for migrant workers in Appalachia, a facilitator of sustainable development and social justice curricula in Central America with Augsburg College's Center for Global Education and a youth media instructor in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Mary also designed and co-taught a semester-long documentary filmmaking workshop using mobile devices with New York City LGBTQ elders in collaboration with SAGE and The New School.

Mary Grueser

Deputy Director, Programs
Ayanna Saulsberry

Ayanna Maia Saulsberry is a writer and filmmaker with an MA and MFA from NYU. She currently specializes in film producing and archival media. Her career background ranges from television and film to theater and journalism, including projects for 40 Acres and Mule, AFROPUNK, CBS, ESPN, HBO, Netflix, PBS, Showtime, and VICE. Her writing has received Kennedy Center Awards. Ayanna sees media storytelling as a teacher and a spirit guide. She believes in creating and supporting films that fuel healing for inner and outer change.

Ayanna Saulsberry

Archive & Distribution Manager

Pia Rios is is a Peruvian educator and multi-modal researcher. She likes to explore how film and other non-traditional formats can improve the learning experience, and to think about the power structures involved in education. She has a BA in Philosophy from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP) in Lima and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from NYU. She has worked as an assistant professor at PUCP and in documentary film productions in Peru.

Pia Rios

PDP Director
betsy headshot

Betsy Cruz is a video producer with a passion for the arts and youth development. Before joining EVC, she worked in nonprofit arts administration and after-school education. She graduated from Fordham University with a degree in Communications & Media Studies.

Betsy Cruz

Administrative & Development Assistant

Brandon Nicholas is a portrait photographer & storyteller, and he's excited to be a part of the EVC family. A graduate of Morgan State University, and co-founder of The Each-Other Project

Brandon Nicholas

Archive Video Editor & Digital Media Specialist
Raelene new

Raelene Holmes-Andrews is alumni of EVC. After completing three full semesters of EVC's youth documentary workshop, she went got her degree in Applied Sciences from LaGuardia Community College. Since then, she's returned to EVC to give back as the Youth Documentary Workshop Assistant while working towards her BA in Theatre at Lehman College.

Raelene Holmes-Andrews

Youth Documentary Workshop Assistant

Cirilo Ordonez has been working alongside EVC through my high school back in 2017. Since summer 2020, he's been directly working as a teaching assistant with EVC workshops and has been a part of the creation of many amazing documentaries. He's also a content creator on Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube. He uses these platforms not just to pursue his dreams of becoming an actor and overall famous, but to create a sense of community with his audience as well. You can follow Cirilo on social media at @cirilotheentertainer.

Cirilo Ordonez

YDW Teaching Assistant

Nadia Feracho is a filmmaker and photographer whose work touches on topics such as beauty standards in America, investing in small Black businesses, and gentrification. With an M.A in Communication Arts, concentrating in Television and Film production from New York Institute of Technology, she is excited to be a Youth Documentary Workshop Instructor at EVC to help students use art to create social change.

Nadia Feracho

YDW Instructor
Brandon Johnson

Brandon J. Johnson, a native of DC, is a Duke Ellington School of the Arts alumni Theater major. He received his BFA for Theater Arts Acting from Howard University. He also has a MA in Media Studies From The New School in NYC. Brandon is regional Performer/ Teaching Artist with The Canady Foundation of the Arts, a nonprofit organization founded by fellow Duke Ellington School of the Arts alumni Marjuan Canady that focuses on ``storytelling to positively impact youth as they develop into adulthood``.

Brandon Johnson

YDW Instructor

Cynthia Copeland

Senior Media Education Specialist
MJ Smalls

MJ Small

YDW Teaching Assistant

Ayaris is a filmmaker and teaching artist from the Bronx, her teaching artist work is rooted in social justice pedagogy supporting youth in reclaiming their narratives through various art forms. She believes film is a form of resistance and healing, that we need to capture our stories to reclaim our narratives and transform Black and Brown voices, in order to affect social change and liberation.

Ayaris Perez


Born in the Ivory Coast in 1995, Mohamed moved to the United States at the age of 19 years old. At the time Mohamed did not speak any English. He then attended Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School (MCNDHS), an International high school which offered him an internship at EVC. Mohamed was first exposed to film making at EVC youth workshop, where he worked with fellow students to make a documentary exploring societal issues. Back then Mohamed never thought of his career after high school. At EVC, he became a personal profile in “New Vision: A Deeper Look at the American Dream.” After two years as a youth Doc workshop, Mohamed attended SUNY at New Paltz where he studied Digital Media Management and Programming. In 2021, Mohamed graduated with a Bachelor of arts. Few months after graduation, Mohamed started working for EVC as a digital Media/ Manager until now. Mohamed is excited to learn more as a EVC staff member, and he is very optimistic about his next adventure.

Mohamed Fofana

Digital Media & Equipment Coordinator

Ines is a graduate of EVC’s Youth Doc Workshop and YO-TV. At YO-TV, she co-produced ‘Still Standing,’ a documentary about the impact of Hurricane Katrina. Her experience at YO-TV helped her realized her passion to fight for social justice through filmmaking. This experience led her to obtain her BA in Fine Arts with a focus in filmmaking. Her passion for filmmaking and social justice steered her in the path to pursue a MA in Social Work, concentrating on community organizing, planning, and development.

Ines Morales

Media Coach

Emmanuel Garcia comes to New York as an educator from Southern California. His focus is in facilitating engaging academic spaces for students to critically explore their environment. He has an MA in the Sociology of Education from NYU and is currently a sociology instructor for CUNY. Emmanuel is a media and instructional coach at EVC, guiding NYC teachers to incorporae video-project based pedagogy in their classrooms.

Emmanuel Garcia

Senior Media Coach
Steve 2017

Trained as a journalist at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Steve has taught media in high schools and universities, has produced documentaries, written Teaching Youth Media: Literacy, Video Production & Social Change, and numerous articles about media and education.

Steve Goodman

Founding Director