Meet our core staff members, specialist instructors, board of trustees, and advisory committee:
S T A F F
Alexis Burgess spent the first half of his adult life doing philosophy. He was an undergrad at Harvard, and then earned his PhD from Princeton. As a professor, Alexi taught at Stanford for nearly a decade, and held visiting appointments at schools like NYU, Pomona College, and UCLA. He's been volunteer tutor of the month at 826LA, a counselor at the Ross Young Scholars Program in mathematics, and led courses at Urban Homeschoolers.
Ana Herrejón has her BA from UC Berkeley, and is currently doing graduate work in Human Services at Antioch University. She was a longtime staff member at Taking the Reins, a youth empowerment program in Atwater Village. As part of Alcove, Ana strives to support kids to set educational goals for themselves that will ultimately help them become strong individuals who will contribute to their communities.
Noelani del Rosario-Sabet is a recent graduate of UCLA with a degree in international development studies. She worked as a tutor for several years, and has extensive mentoring experience through programs like UCLA’s Mental Health Initiative, Peer Mentoring, and a Junior Youth Empowerment Program she founded at the age of fifteen. Noe loves to spend her spare time expanding her knowledge in neuroscience, history, psychology and education.
Will Slocum graduated high school at the age of sixteen by passing the California High School Proficiency Exam. Working in the Liberated Learners network has given him an appreciation for education reform. He enjoys helping kids who weren't thriving in the traditional system. Will is also involved in the self-directed learning community by working as a writer for the Walk Your Path podcast, where unschoolers give interviews about their life experiences.
S P E C I A L I S T S
Ramona Burke attended independent schools in the South Bay before finishing high school at Crossroads. After majoring in American Studies at Yale, and teaching in private schools for a few years, she decided to stay home with and eventually homeschool her three children. Now in her tenth year of that adventure, Ramona’s excited to help other parents navigate the ins and outs of individualized homeschooling in LA.
Myles Gaines is a local food entrepreneur, yogi, and co-founder of SOUL + ROOT: an organization offering immersive learning opportunities centered on racial justice, outdoor engagement, and healing for middle and high-school aged students in California. While a student at Yale he led educational farm tours with middle schoolers and volunteered with a reading comprehension program in his hometown of Tallahassee, FL.
Joshua Nordin has a BA in Film Studies and a MA in Anthropology. At another alternative learning center, he taught everything from SAT and ACT test preparation to courses co-designed with students with 'diagnosed learning disabilities'. His areas of expertise include: geology, history of life, evolution, anthropology, English literature, and theories of modernism and postmodernism.
Alex Delyle is a TV writer currently staffed on AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. Prior to her TV career, Alex worked in advertising as a copywriter/creative director. She co-created the Los Angeles water conservation campaign "Save the Drop" and one time she even got to name a brand of clementines, Clementeenies. Alex lives in Highland Park with her wife Laura and their three dogs.
Jade Adia Harvey is a Black feminist, an avid backpacker, and the co-founder of SOUL + ROOT: an organization offering immersive learning opportunities centered on racial justice, outdoor engagement, and healing for middle and high-school aged students in California. Jade has worked in various roles within the educational equity space. She received her BA in Ethnic Studies from Yale University and is currently pursuing her JD at UCLA Law.
After earning a BA in English and an MBA from McGill University, Guy Vidal moved to Silverlake and founded a management consulting practice, a real estate investment business and, together with his wife Karen, the Vidal Design Collaborative: a design-build firm. Vidal received formal training in photojournalism and in darkroom photography, and is a certified tennis instructor.
Kiva Singh is an artist who works primarily in watercolor and textile. She also draws storyboards, sketch art, and illustrations for books and magazines. At twelve, she left traditional schooling for independent learning with the support of North Star. Continuing her autodidacticism into adulthood, Kiva circumvented college and went directly into a career as a artist.
Felicia Graham has spent ten years teaching and developing experiential learning opportunities around Global Studies and youth empowerment. Her interests include social justices and peace education, social-emotional learning, global herstories, political ecology, and development studies. She is currently a doctoral student at UCLA's School of Education, working on Global Citizenship Education.
T R U S T E E S
Haiwen Chu is an educational researcher focused on expanding educator expertise to enact quality mathematics instruction for students who are learning English as a second language. He was head counselor at the Ross Young Scholars Program. And Haiwen is also interested in the pedagogy of apprenticeship in the transmission of classical Japanese sword arts.
Daniel Helenius is Director of Professional Growth at Green Dot Public Schools, where he supports employees at both the central office and the school site. Dan began his career as a 7th grade English teacher in the Compton Unified School District, but later moved to Green Dot where he taught 9th grade English, before serving as an assistant principal at one of Green Dot's high schools.
Christopher Hunter was an English professor at Caltech before taking a job as Director of STEM Leadership with the Ron Brown Scholar Program, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting talented and civic-minded African American high school and college students. Chris was born and raised in Los Angeles and educated at the LA Center for Enriched Studies, Harvard, and UPenn.
Cary McClelland is a writer, filmmaker, lawyer, and human rights advocate whose work has taken him around the world. His award-winning film Without Shepherds documented the lives of six different people fighting extremism in Pakistan. His newly released book, Silicon City: San Francisco in the Long Shadow of the Valley, was chosen as one of Stanford University's Three Books of 2019.
A D V I S O R S
Mara Donahoe has a BA from the University of Washington in Comparative History of Ideas. She co-founded Urban Homeschoolers, a resource center offering a la carte classes for home-educated students. Prior to that, Mara worked with FACE-LA, a homeschool support group, and WISH, a homeschool co-op.
Pedro Estrada works at 826LA and oversees the workshops and evening tutoring programs in Echo Park. He also oversees 826LA’s workshops with the Hammer Museum and supports summer programming. Pedro's been involved in education since serving as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Moldova.
Hilary Haldeman is a psychotherapist practicing on the east side of LA. She received her BA in Philosophy from Kenyon College and worked in philanthropy focused on social justice before getting her MSW from Columbia. She's passionate about advocacy and increasing accessibility to mental health services.
Gideon Rosen is a Stuart Professor of Philosophy and chair of the philosophy department at Princeton University, where he earned his PhD under Paul Benacerraf in 1992. He's also served as chair of Princeton's Council of the Humanities and director of the Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows.