Founder and Executive Director
Robert Clark is the first YouthBuild graduate to establish a YouthBuild program. He has over 22 years of experience in youth development and providing technical assistance to other YouthBuild programs. As a result of his expertise, he has consulted with Newark Public Schools on a long-term strategy for alternative education and comprehensive high schools that can appropriately meet nontraditional students’ needs. He is committed to designing strategies to engage opportunity youth inside and outside of public schools and re-orienting public sector systems to optimize community structures’ capacity to improve youth outcomes.
Deputy Executive Director
SanDonna Jones has 19 years of organizational development, strategic planning and resource development experience. She previously served as YBN’s Director of Grants and Administration. Prior to joining YBN, SanDonna was the Principal of SBJ Consulting and provided expertise in the areas of resource development, organizational assessment, board development, and strategic planning to various nonprofit organizations. She has held roles at reputable entities such as the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Newark Community Development Network, and the Regional Plan Association. She has certifications from the Columbia School of Business Institute for Non-Profit Management, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Training Institute, and the Harvard Institute on Affordable Housing. SanDonna is a Leadership New Jersey Fellow (1998), serves on the executive committee of the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute, is a Newark Youth Investment Council Member, and a Newark Youth Policy Board Member. She is a member of the 2014-2015 Support Center Trajectory Leadership Group.
Chief Operating Officer
Prior to joining YBN, Travis served as the Newark Public Schools’ Director of External Relations and COO of the Newark Workforce Investment Board. He is concurrently an adjunct professor at the Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA). Travis has a Master of Public Administration, is a National Urban Fellow, and holds certifications in Non-Profit Leadership and Public Performance Management from the RUN Business School and RUN SPAA, respectively.
Director of Performance Measurement and Assessment
While a Senior Analyst for Newark Public Schools, Jimmy fulfilled several critical functions, including analyzing information for approximately 36,000 students, formulating hypotheses around student achievement, surfacing key policy questions based on underlying data, leveraging data and various databases to drive improvements, and conducting complex exploratory analyses to extract new insights and year-over-year data patterns. Jimmy previously served as the Director of Performance Management at Domus Kids in Connecticut where he directed all analytic projects and processes for the agency. He has a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Performance Improvement.
Director of Education
Llesenis has over 15 years of experience in youth development, program design, and program management. She has served as a Youth Development Specialist, Program Supervisor, and Senior Program Director, specifically serving in-school and out-of-school youth, and has a Master of Education from Mercy College. Llesenis ensures YBN’s partner schools Newark Leadership Academy and Fast Track Success Academy implement effective youth development practices, oversees professional development programming for YBN and transfer school staff, and ensures the three sites in achieving key benchmarks.
Senior Vocational Instructor
Senior Vocational Instructor
Development and Communications Manager
Newark Leadership Academy Staff
Director of Climate and Culture
UPLIFT Academy Staff
Director of Operations
YouthBuild Newark is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/ Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, national origin, or sex. YouthBuild Newark is. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.