Page 1



The 35 AMBYESE Conference Saturday November 10, 2018 @ The UConn Stamford Campus in Stamford, CT “35 Years of Diversity”


Affiliates and Resources

Company Name American Express The American Express Company, also known as AMEX, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in New York City. PepsiCo PepsiCo Inc. is an American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation headquartered in Purchase, NY, with interests in the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of grainbased snack foods, beverages and other products.




Affiliates and Resources


Affiliates and Resources



The 35th AMBYESE Conference is dedicated to Praxair

The AMBYESE organization would like to dedicate the 35th annual conference to its title sponsor and supporter: Praxair. Over the years, Praxair has ensured the success and growth of the AMBYESE program through sponsorship and through providing networking, field trip and business opportunities for our students. Vanessa Abrahams-John, Esp., the Executive Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Talent Acquisition at Praxair, has worked closely with AMBYESE as a board member to provide invaluable opportunities for our staff and students. AMBYESE would like to thank Praxair for their generosity and servitude to our great program, and for making a difference in the lives of students and young people.



Please use the below link to view Praxair’s “Praxair Proud” video: Praxair_Proud_Global The “Praxair Proud” video is a representation of Praxair’s employees around the world, but it reinforces that they are all Praxair Proud of what they are accomplishing day in and day out. They are thousands of employees in 50 countries working together toward one mission – making our planet more productive. They pride themselves on being hard working, resultsdriven people who are always pushing the limits of their ability and their knowledge. They are constantly seeking out projects that will challenge them. And they are passionate about the quality, creativity and impact of their work.

The following are reflections from YES I Can Students regarding their visit to Praxair: The Praxair Field Trip and Y.E.S., I Can Student’s Reflections:

At Praxair, it was nice to finally see something, and experience it in person, as oppose to be reading about it online. Honestly, it was my favorite trip. More specifically, because I learned about the roles females had in industries in which they are perceived not capable of. One of the presenters was “Praxair Proud” to announce that Praxair was named one of the best employers for women by Forbes magazine. I was amazed to see how far women have come and how good it must feel for them to be recognized. Moreover, I enjoyed the trip because for the first time in my life, I got into the driver's seat of a truck, and gladly honked the horn in the parking lot! This program allowed me to become aware of the endless possibilities that I could one day take advantage of. Without a doubt, I went home knowing I had learned more than what I knew prior to the trip. L. P.


Praxair is an American worldwide industrial gases company. Praxair always starts with the safety of their employees. It takes them 300 million miles away to travel the gas product. A merger is two companies combined into one. Why do companies merge? They merge for three reasons: growth, diversification/ sharpening business focus and synergy. Synergy is creating opportunity increase performance while reducing cost. Branding and social media help to sell the product at hand financially. By using social media, you are able to promote the brand and substantially increase the income for your business. Praxair employees wear their brand on their uniform to promote their company. Social media help gets the word out about your business and provides you with the opportunity to grow relationships with your target audience. Some people wonder why Praxair keeps nitrogen as a liquid? Well, there are two reasons: less space and it cools faster. For example, we all know that rubber can’t be nailed into a piece of wood, but when you place it in the liquid nitrogen for a few minutes the rubber will go through the nail. Another example is when you want to hammer a nail and you can’t use a banana right? But, when you put the banana in the liquid nitrogen it will freeze and act as a hammer. These companies are very useful in the future because there are many skills you can apply to these jobs, you just need to know how you want your future planned out. V. R.

I had never heard of Praxair before the trip was mentioned, but it has a lot more influence than I would have thought. Praxair is a company that handles industrial gases. Industrial gases are far more present than most people know in today's society. Praxair presents themselves as a company that values the planet. I have learned about merging, cryogenics, and trucking with gases. Merging is when two companies combine to become one company to each other’s benefit. The only problem with this being that the company can become a monopoly. Governments have problems with this because monopolies control the prices of their market. The solution to this being to sell assets so the governments are more lenient. This was a presentation because Praxair was merging with Linde. Cryogenics involves materials at ridiculously low temperatures. In the presentation we were shown how materials reacted with liquid nitrogen. Organic material would become more solid.


The volume of a balloon would condense in liquid nitrogen. Food companies would require liquid nitrogen to freeze food. They require cryogenics to store gases and transport them to save space. The trucks they send would transport gases. Employees would have two months of safety training and six months of practice with a superior. After that they would have a safety cam so the companies know what happens with the truck. The company has trucks travel 300 million miles per year. The driver has to pull over when they are tired to nap or they just book a hotel. I have a really clear perspective on what Praxair does now. Most fields require Praxair at a certain level. Praxair is more essential to modern life than most people know.


We visited Praxair. What I loved the most about our visit to Praxair was how so many topics and aspects of the company were covered. We got to learn about the life of a deal, marketing, the science behind Praxair, the process of transporting the products and recruitment. I don’t think I could choose a favorite part of the trip because there were so many enjoyable moments. I loved the cryogenics demonstration, visiting the truck and learning about Santiago’s life as a driver and learning about how Praxair uses social media to recruit employers. Overall, the whole day was fantastic, and I thank all the members of the Deloitte and Praxair team for making the day possible and enjoyable, and for making the Y.E.S., I Can program a possibility. C. V. Praxair has over 26,000 employees and really focuses of safety and efficiency, as well as giving the best service possible to its clients which is something I really value. As I got to speak with one of the truckers for Praxair Santiago Cruz says “Praxair Cares About Its Drivers” as he showcases all of the safety features for his everyday life driving for Praxair. I can definitely say I learned a lot about how Praxair functions and how it controls their markets by giving the best quality service to its clients. I can definitely say I really look forward to seeing Praxair’s employees in the future and I really appreciate the hospitality. E. P.

Praxair created an experience very similar to a career festival but much better and more in depth. The program for the day cycled through several different jobs at Praxair, each explaining their department, what they do, and their importance. I was incredibly fascinated with the legal representative and his work with the merger. This experience truly opened up my eyes to being interested in international law.

The demonstrations were incredible. I absolutely loved the cryogenics and tour of the vehicles. I learned a lot about chemistry and thermodynamics during the cryogenics demo. The presenter had explained the laws of thermodynamics in a very easy and insightful way that will definitely aid me when I go back to school. The overall experience was incredible and has definitely helped me learn more about myself and the career opportunities available. J. B.


Conference Welcome Letter

November 10, 2018 Dear Students, Educators, Parents and Corporate Participants and Distinguished Guests: The extended family of the Annual Multicultural Business Youth Educational Services Embarkment (AMBYESE) welcomes you to the 35th Conference. The 35th AMBYESE conference is dedicated to “Praxair, Inc.” Why? In so much that oxygen is the key element responsible for a healthy life, then indeed Praxair has been and continues to be AMBYESE’s “O.” As reported in the media, on October 22, 2018 it’s official: Praxair, Inc. and The Linde Group completed a $90 billion merger of equals, creating the single biggest player in the global industrial gases business. At today’s conference, you will learn how to apply your present-day school knowledge towards developing career objectives. The Conference is made available to all students by way of funding and-inkind services from AMBYESE’s partners and supporters. They are featured in the conference journal. A conference schedule is included in this journal that sets forth the agenda for today and the professional careers you will learn about. AMBYESE provides programs for a number of qualifying students. They include annual initiatives consisting of four program phases: 1) AMBYESE Conference, 2) S.T.A.F.F. - Student Tracking & Academic Fulfillment Force, 3) Y.E.S., I Can-Youth Endeavoring to Succeed, I Can Summer College Prep Program, and 4) AMBYESE’s Student Job Shadowing Program. The conference’s corporate partners, their employees, its partnering schools, and parents are all working with AMBYESE to pave the way for you very deserving college-bound students and future leaders. By your attendance, you are joining the thousands of former AMBYESE students who have already earned undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. We’re passionate and honored to assist our nation by working in concert with schools, parents, corporate and nonprofit partners in preparing students for the challenges ahead in the twenty-first STEM driven subjects’ century.

12 AMBYESE remains steadfast in its commitment to making a measurable educational difference in the lives of multicultural college-bound participants from schools across Connecticut and Metropolitan New York who participate in the 35th AMBYESE conference. It’s noteworthy to mention that since its inception, in excess of $17 million dollars in scholarships has been awarded to AMBYSE's participating students, which has allowed them to earn their undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. As a final note, to speak to AMBYESE’s progressive approach to education and non-profit design, an online pilot program was developed this year for the ELA portion of the YES I Can program where instruction was delivered 100% online using Google classroom. When surveyed, students gave extremely positive feedback in terms of the course’s design and learning outcomes. We look forward to using this style of virtual learning in the future to expand our reach.

God Bless America! Sincerely,

Wendell L. Johnson - Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jayme Beckham - Conference Chairperson and Secretary of the AMBYESE Board of Directors

13 The AMBYESE Organization and the YES I Can Program Receives Support from State of CT Senator Michael McLachlan




We are delighted to be partnered with such a wonderful institution, and wonderful people, in a concerted effort toward providing our students with the most prestigious educational experiences available across the nation. Students who are applying for admission to the University of Notre Dame's Summer Programs must be sure to send an email to stating that they are applying so he can inform UND that the student is from the AMBYESE organization. They must also mention the same when they submit their application.


The 35th AMBYESE Conference Schedule/Agenda November 10, 2018 Start Time End Time 10 a.m. 10:10 a.m. 10 min. presentation 10:10 a.m. 10:15 a.m. 5 min. presentation

Location Auditorium

10:15 a.m. 10:20 a.m. 5 min. presentation


10:20 a.m. 10:22 a.m. 2 min. introduction


10:22 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 8 min. presentation


10:30 a.m. 10:35 a.m. 5 minutes 10:35 a.m. 11:20 a.m. 45 min. presentation


11:20 a.m. 11:25 a.m. 5 minutes 11:25 a.m. 12:10 p.m. 45 min. presentation


12:10 p.m.

1:00 p.m. 50 minute lunch

1:00 p.m.

1:45 p.m. 45 min. presentation 2:15 p.m. 45 min. presentation

Auditorium and lounge area Auditorium

1:45 p.m.

2:15 p.m.

3:00 p.m. 45 min. wrap up session






Activity Welcoming remarks: Mr. Wendell L. Johnson, CEO & Founder of the AMBYESE program Viktoria Wulff-Andersen: YES I Can Student – presenting an overview of her experience in the program Abishek Panigrahi: Former YES I Can student and program alumni – presenting an overview of his experience in the program Ms. Vanessa Gomez Esq., Mistress of Ceremonies – introducing Kim Bornstein, admissions at UConn Stamford Kim Bornstein – admissions at UConn Stamford – presenting an overview of the university and admissions process Participants take a movement break IBM (International Business Machines Corp.) Role Model Presentation – Dureseti Chidambarrao, Ph.D., STSM, Master Inventor Participants take a movement break PepsiCo, Inc. – Role Models talk about Marketing, Product Development and Innovation, and Finance at their company: Esperanza Teasdale, senior director and Carolina Quintana Bringas, PBC FP&A Analyst LUNCH

Praxair Inc., Role Models talk about careers at their company: John Sirman, Ph.D. Stamford Hospital – presentation about healthcare – Presenter: Mary E. McKiernan, MSN, RN-BC, NEA, BC – director of professional development. Overview of the YES I Can Program (Power Point), recognition and next steps. Presenters: Victoria Gomez-Small, alumni; Spiro Milas, Westhill Guidance Counselor; Power Point presented by Viktoria WulffAndersen and Vanessa Gomez.


Annual Multicultural Business Youth Educational Services Embarkment

~Board of Directors~ Jayme Beckham, Henry Abbott Technical High School Crystal N. March-Brinkley, M.D., Best Now Dr. Paulette G. Curtis, University of Notre Dame Leslie F. Daniel, Community Activist John H. Howell, CPA, Retired Partner, Ernest & Young Vanessa Abrahams-John, Esq., Praxair Inc. Wendell L. Johnson, Cofounder and CEO Dr. Colin Parris, GE Software Research Dee Raffington, Wells Fargo Terry Reilly, UCONN-Stamford Dr. Brenda L. Smith, United Nations / Retired School Superintendent, Mount Vernon, NY Esperanza Teasdale, PepsiCo Michelle J. Wheeler, Diageo


The 35th AMBYESE Conference Steering Committee • Jayme Beckham, 35th AMBYESE Conference Chairperson • MAJ (R) William Weber SAI Westhill High School JROTC Dept. Steering Committee Chairperson • Vanessa Abrahams-John, Esq., In General Counselor • John H. Howell, CPA, Logistics Chairperson • Bailey Brown-Chang, President, AMBYESE Alumni Association • Kathy Harrison, Conference Coordinator • Juan Peguero, Emmanuel and Lisbeth, Student Conference Registration Leadership Team • Vanessa Gomez, Esq. Mistress of Ceremony • Spiro Milas, Westhill High School, Coordinator of Schools • Viktoria Wulff-Andersen, Y.E.S., I Can Student presenter • Abhishek Panigrahi, Member / Speaker-AMBYESE Alumni Association • Darnel Pittman, Bentley University ’17, AMBYESE Alumni Association • Victoria Gomez-Small Mount Vernon H. S. Flight School presentation

• Wendell L. Johnson, ex officio 

Colin J. Parris, Ph.D; GE officer and member of the AMBYESE board

Ralph Valenzisi

Jessica Benkert

Callie Valenzisi

Abishek Panigrahi

Darnel Pittman

Margery Tymula

Lori Hancock

Dee Raffington

Bob Yager

Messiah Brown


The 35th AMBYESE Conference is especially grateful to Jayme Beckham for designing the program journal.

AMBYESE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD Bailey A. Brown - President PhD Student, Department of Sociology Columbia University U of Penn,'13 Michaela Anderson, Drexel University,'14 Stacey Baradit, President, Williams College,'09 Charly Almonte, University of Mass,'12 Aamir Aziz, UConn,'14 Madiya A. Aziz, UConn,'11, NY College of Podiatric Medicine, ‘15 Evan Bailey, Drexel University,'11 Morgan Bartz, Swarthmore College,'14 Bailey A. Brown, U of Penn,'13 March-Brinkley, M.D., Northwestern, '01 Mayo Clinic,'05 Naggie Bozzuti, Saint Michael's College,'14 Fatima Butt, Pace U.’12 Samantha E. Colon, Indiana U,'14 CDT Julian Christe, United States Military Academy,'11 Likuvi K. Chebelyon-Dalizu, Wooster PolyTech Institute,’11 Jacqueline Coraizaca, Central CT State University,'15 Leslie Duran, Boston U,'13 Melissa Duren, Fordham U,'08 Jose Espinosa, Amherst College,'11 Paloma Ferreira, Bentley College,’10 Julia H. Gelissen, Junior, Itacha College,'14 Gerardo Gandara, Western CT State University,'15 Minuette M. Griffin, AZ State U,'13 Andrea Hajj, Western CT State University,'15 Jaleesa Harrigan, Howard U,'14 Jacqueline Hermes, Mount Saint Mary,'09 Shaquella Howard, UConn,'14 Leslie F. Johnson, Florida A & M, School of Business,'95 Terry Randell Jones, Jr., U. S. Merchant Marine Academy,'13 Kevin L. Kendall, RPI,'14 Courtney Mannino, Brown University’11 & Medical School,'15 Eshan Mehta, Indiana University,'15 Navadi Men, Western CT State University,'15 Sarah Menichelli, WCSU,’10 Sarah Michalka, Siena College,'14 Esti Nof, UConn,'14 Quynh T. Nguyen, University of VA,'10 Paige Pavone, Harvard University,'11

21 Ashley G. Reazer, Southern CT State U.,'13 Terrence Robinson, Hampden-Sydney College,'15 Christopher Rotante, Drexel University,'11 Christopher M. Shafer, Lafayette University,’10 Sana A. Samnani, UConn,'11 Carl Soares, UConn,'11 Christopher Soares, UConn’08 & UConn Dental School,'12 Catherine Trieu, Bucknell University,'10 Michelle Johnson-Wheeler, UMASS,'88Kimberly Williams, UCLA,'09 Catika P. Wright, WCSU,'13 Sarah Ballentine, Penn State,'16 Russell Fink, University of New Hampshire,'16 Abdullah Hasan, UConn, '16 Nelson Merchan, Jr. UConn,'16 Brian Michalka, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,'16 Katie Olyha, UConn,'16 Brook Ferraro, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, ’17 Daniel Garvin, Bryant University, ’17 Jonathan Hart, Widener University, 17 Darnel Pittman, Bentley University, ’17 Tracey Raymond, New York University, ’17 Rejon Taylor, Becker College, ’16 Sarah Whalen, Quinnipac University, ’17 Rares Barbu, UConn, ‘18 Darcy Curillo, UConn, ‘18 Jhansi Edwards, UConn, ‘18 Hue Ha, Western CT State University, ‘18 Navia Hall, UCon, ‘18 Kersia LeFranc, UConn, ‘18 Merlina Escorcia, UConn, ‘18 Courtlen Oates, Case Western Reserve University, ‘18 Jasmine Patel, UConn, ‘18 Hector Reyes, Fairfield University, ‘18 Ashish Ramachandran, NYU, ‘18 Ozzie Acuna, UCONN, ‘19 Rafael Cardoso, WCSU, ‘19 Britney Reynolds, UCONN, ‘19 Drew Valentine, Cornell, ‘19 Akibo Watson, State U of NY at Binghamtom, ‘19 Abigail Curillo, Earlham College, ‘20 Lorena Curtis, Boston University, ‘20 Cheyenne Blake, Fairchild, Fairfield University, ‘20 Ivans Esperance, St. John’s University, ‘20 Pablo Idrovo, Fairfield University, ‘20 Tracey Raymond, NYU, ‘17 Rares Barbu, UCONN, ‘18 William Phillips, SUNY Buffalo Allan Quade, UCONN Shalini Shial, UCONN

22 Efrain Gonzalez, UCONN Anna Adebambo, WCSU Michelle Curtis, UConn, ‘22 Linda Thach, Yale ‘22 Trinity Jackson, SUNY LI, ‘22

Bailey Brown is a current Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at Columbia University. She also received her Master’s Degree in Sociology from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree (Cum Laude) in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Bailey Brown is a current Ford Foundation Award recipient. During her time as a graduate student she has taught courses in Sociology of Education and interned for the Office of Work/Life, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Academic Diversity. As a former AMBYESE student, Bailey continues to volunteer for the organization. Indeed, Bailey Brown is the best case scenario of how AMBYESE works in concert with its students and alumni association members to steadfastly strive for excellence. The following is has been retrieved from AMBYESE's archives: Bailey A. Brown Danbury High School Sophomore Reflections Assignment August 20, 2006 Field Trip to PepsiCo The trip to PepsiCo was very enlightening because I was unaware of all the different types of jobs and the amount of work that goes on in that type of corporation. I learned that, similar to Wachovia Bank, PepsiCo’s success is the result of the hard- work and dedication of many employees. In fact, I learned that PepsiCo is one of the fastest growing companies because the people at the company are experts at attracting customers to buy their products. Although I am not interested in advertising and product development as a career path, I still enjoyed both of the presentations. I learned from PepsiCo and from the Tracy Locke Advertising Agency that in order to grow, both companies must strive to satisfy the consumer’s changing needs. The slide shows were also very helpful in understanding the complete background of both types of work. I learned that Tracy Locke is a firm that offers services to promote the brands of different companies, and that PepsiCo is just one of many clients. The Agency also offers creative services in all branches of consumer communication, including broadcast and print media, and interactive marketing services. I really liked how the speakers from the Tracy Locke Agency actively engaged us as part of their presentation. It was eye-opening and fun to learn the skills needed to adequately complete a successful promotion. What I remember most is the amount of creativity and time that goes into forming advertisements for many types of brands. As a consumer, it was fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes perspective. Overall, I enjoyed hearing about both companies together, in one presentation; I gained a better understanding for how two companies can work jointly to gain tremendous success. Field Trip to Praxair I learned that Praxair, Inc. is a company that supplies atmospheric gases, such as oxygen and nitrogen, and specialty gases, such as carbon dioxide and helium. Praxair electronics serves the semiconductor industry and provides this industry with a strong source for process gases, materials supply and related equipment and services. This business works across the globe, in managing advanced gas systems in Asia, Europe, as well as in North America. The video included in the presentation provided a great summary and, along with the organized tour, was a great introduction to the company. I also learned that Praxair has remained a very important leader in the development of processes and technologies which have completely revolutionized the entire industrial gases industry. The most interesting part of the trip was learning how the entire company serves a wide range

23 of industries including, not only semiconductors, but food and beverages, healthcare, and chemicals, as well. My interest in the sciences was sparked by all the information provided on this trip. It was very exciting to learn about a field of study and an industry so specialized, but also such an important part of our everyday world. Field Trip to Clairol On the field trip to Clairol I learned that Clairol itself is a division of Procter & Gamble, specializing in personal care products. I also learned that P&G Clairol makes hair coloring, hair spray, shampoo and hair conditioner and is responsible for a number of familiar brands, including Herbal Essences, Nice ‘n Easy and Loving Care. Procter & Gamble is a huge and very successful company. On this tour, it was interesting to learn that at least 10 items in the average household have been produced by Procter & Gamble. The trip also provided me with a first-hand view of a factory and the normal day-to-day activities within a factory. I enjoyed seeing the process that all of the many products go through before they reach the store shelf. During this informative presentation, I also learned the many different positions of management that can be held in the company and the diversity among leaders of the company. It was inspiring to also hear about the employees’ experiences before they were hired in these particular positions. This background, as well as what they do on the job now, was interesting and gave me a better idea of the career paths I might enjoy. Overall, the field trip to Clairol was a worthwhile experience, providing me with insight into the company and important career information for my future. Great Hollow Wilderness Kick-Off The trip to Great Hollow was a perfect way to start off the program because it provided an opportunity for all of the participating students to bond and have fun before the intense SAT work started. The activities we took part in taught the importance of working together as a group and making sure everyone on the team gets involved to achieve a difficult task. Not only did I learn about teamwork, but I also learned about trust through the blindfold activities. Before starting off all of the challenges, we began with a fun name game and an activity where we had to fall into each other’s arms, trusting that the person would catch us. The trip to Great Hollow also made me feel more comfortable around the people with whom I was going to end up spending three weeks. Even though I had previously been to Great Hollow back when I was a Girl Scout, the trip with this group was different and better. I learned something new about each person in the group, making it a valuable experience.

Y.E.S. I Can College Transition Program Instructor: Bailey Brown Qualifications: PhD student, Sociology, Columbia University Program Length: 3 weeks of programming, 9 hours of college transition workshops, 4 hours of supplemental enrichment activities, and 7 hours of homework assignments Proposal Objective: The Y.E.S. I can College Transition program will center on helping students gain access and eventually enroll into competitive colleges and universities. The primary goal of this pilot program will be implemented to evaluate the success of focusing particularly on the academic and support services students need to enroll into colleges. The program will target high school students who have completed at least one summer of Y.E.S I Can classes. Through the three weeks of traditional Y.E.S I can classes, high school juniors and seniors will participate in hour-long workshops focused on critical aspects of the college application process. These workshops will be supplemented with a student panel, a financial aid and admissions representative, and a college trip. The workshops will focus heavily on essay writing, college selection, SAT registration, resume development and application completion. Additionally, students will receive long-term support in the academic year following their enrollment in the program through emails, conferences, and monthly check-ins.

24 College Application Essay One essential component of the program will focus on application essay writing. Students will receive a comprehensive overview of the type of application essay questions asked and learn about different strategies for brainstorming ideas and developing effective writing skills for the college essay. With my guidance and support from their peers, high school junior and seniors will have the opportunity to develop an essay focused on their current achievements and their future aspirations. Through a reflective and collaborative process, students will focus on improving their writing skills and developing an essay draft. Students will have the opportunity to participate in several writing activities and revision groups that will foster improved writing. Rather than focusing on lecture style teaching, students will be guided along the essay writing process in a seminar style format, which will help them to cultivate long- term creative writing success. Together these activities and strategies will lead to an essay draft by the end of the summer, which will help to motivate students through the rest of the application process. College Application In addition to working on the college essay, the college choice curriculum will also focus on helping students identify potential schools in order to develop a college list. This component will require computer access and outside student research. Through this process, I will guide students on comparing schools and deciding on their list of potential schools in an interactive format. I will approach this component from a mentoring perspective and share my own experiences throughout the college application process and give useful advice to students who may be anxious about the process. This section of the workshop will also focus on reviewing all the many components of the application package. This would include helping students register for the SAT and giving students advice about asking for letters of recommendation. The goals of this component of the college choice curriculum would focus on helping students identify schools and better prepare for the application process. This program could potentially conclude with a panel of admissions officers from local colleges who can discuss college admissions on a deeper level and delve into financial aid, scholarships and other monetary components of college. Additionally the college choice programming could benefit from several college trips, which would allow students to become more familiar with campus life. Program Needs • Computer Access • Printing Services • Folders • Student Roster • Permission for field trip • Alumni student information • Guidance counselor and college admissions contacts

Pilot Program Evaluation At the end of the session, students will complete a brief survey to provide feedback about how the program can be improved, if they would recommend it to a friend and if they would like to see the program continue into the future. Students will provide answers to questions on a scale from 1 to 5. As part of the program evaluation, I will analyze the results of the survey. Using this data the executive board can determine whether or not to turn the program into a larger initiative and focus on gaining access to additional funding to ensure its existence for future years.


The Establishment of the CEO's Parent / Student Executive Council Greetings: As we continue to focus on discovering new ways to strengthen AMBYESE's striving for excellence initiatives, I am reminded that within our extended AMBYESE family lies an abundance of very talented stakeholders we can utilize to accomplish our objective. You and your son have been actively involved in AMBYESE endeavors for a number of years, so that illustrates your interest and commitment. Thus, I am endeavoring to develop a select group of AMBYESE's parents and students to become members of the inaugural CEO's Parent / Student Executive Council. I am still in the process of formulating the specifics duties of the council, however, some of the items that I have in mind include: • Identifying and retaining a grant writer, so we can increase annual revenues. Additional revenues are needed in order to continue to provide basic student services. The goal is to expand student services and to hire a part/ time executive director. •Making sure we stay abreast of what academic qualifications and work skills students must possess to meet corporations workplace requirements of today and in the near future. By doing so, we can focus on making sure our students are prepared to meet the challenges of becoming successful as they matriculate toward earning their undergraduate degrees. •Establishing a core group of volunteers that we can depend on to assist the council with planning and implementing various projects, e.g. like the above, through the course of the year.

We are thrilled to announce that Ralph and Lisa Valenzisi have accepted the challenge of becoming members of our new outreach initiative. Their daughter Callie is a senior at Fairchild Wheeler High School and just completed her second-year of enrollment in AMBYESE’s renowned and very competitive Y.E.S., I Can College Prep Program. On behalf of QuestBridge, Jeremiah Quinlan Dean of Undergraduate Admissions of Yale University contacted AMBYESE in August regarding partnering with them for the purpose of referring qualified students for the National College Match. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact Mr. Johnson ( and Ms. Beckham (, in writing, with an explanation as to why you think you’d be a valuable member of this group, and what you think you could accomplish aligned with the overall objective. All the best, Wendell L. Johnson - Chief Executive Officer


Schools Represented at the 35th AMBYESE Conference Danbury High School Brien McMahon Immaculate High School Mount Vernon High School Stamford High School Westhill High School Woodlands High School Norwalk Early College Academy Iona Prepatory Henry Abbott Technical High School


2018 YES I Can Program Student Roster First Name

Last Name

High School



Danbury High School



Danbury High School



Platt Technical High School



Immaculate High School



Westhill High School



Fairchild Wheeler



Westhill High School



Danbury High School



Westhill High School



Westhill High School



Fairchild Wheeler



Brien McMahon High School



Fairchild Wheeler



MT Vernon High School



Westhill High School



Brien McMahon High School



Stamford High School



Stamford High School

Yes I Can Faculty 2018: Dr. Beena Ramachandran (Math/Science Instructor and Dean of the YES I Can Institute), Jayme Beckham (Business and Educational Consultant & and ELA instructor), and Bailey Brown (Doctoral Candidate and Columbia University).


Youth Endeavoring to Succeed (YES) I Can Program 2018 Overview The YES I Can Program is a three week intensive day program. The 2018 classes were held at the UConn Stamford campus for three weeks in August. The curriculum is designed to develop a sense of empowerment, victory over obstacles, and success through perseverance in all students. YES I Can students spend each day alternating between Science, Math and English classes, all with a focus on SAT preparation and student development. A new addition to the curriculum was a segment on College and Career Readiness. Field trips to Praxair and PepsiCo were provided to encourage students to learn as much as possible about the professional world during the three week program, and students also visited the CT Science Center.

The Y.E.S. I Can Program is for all students interested in pursuing careers in business, science, technology, and/or engineering, math, healthcare, law, or multimedia. Purpose: To enhance the academic skills of high school students in order to improve their likelihood of success in college, and ultimately in life. The program focuses on potential business, multimedia, engineering, and science careers, and includes basic to advanced math, science, and English/LA instruction. The program targets students who have been identified by their schools as having high potential, but who may not be motivated to pursue a post high school degree, as well as targeting students who are on the fast track and/or taking college level courses. This combination of students with eclectic goals has proved highly effective since the inception of this unique program.


Conference Presenter and Affiliate Biographies

Vanessa Abrahams-John Director of Global Diversity Praxair, Inc. Vanessa Abrahams-John joined Praxair in 2007 as Senior Legal Counsel of the Law Department, providing legal support to Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc., Praxair Distribution, Inc., Federal Government Contracting and Mergers and Acquisition. In 2012, she was appointed Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion for Praxair, Inc. Subsequently thereafter, her role was expanded to include Global Talent Acquisition. Recently, she was awarded the 2014 Diversity & Inclusion Leader of the Year Award by Southern CT, Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). Abrahams-John, a native of Jamaica, West Indies, earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario, Canada and a Law degree from Howard University School of Law, Washington D.C. Upon graduation from Law School in 1997 she practiced corporate law in New York City, specializing in Finance, Banking, Restructuring and Bankruptcy in the New York offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, Dewey Ballantine, LLP and Hahn & Hessen, LLP. She has successfully argued legal issues on behalf of her clients before Federal Courts in Delaware. She has also taught legal writing at Pace University Law School as an Adjunct Professor. Abrahams-John practices law in the states of New York and Connecticut. She is a director on the board of the Bronx Bethany Community Corporation and the board of AMBYESE.

Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2012 sales of $11 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and highperformance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at


Esperanza Teasdale PepsiCo Demand Xcelerator Senior Director of Shopper Marketing 700 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase NY 10577

MY WORK WITH PEPSICO: She is currently the Senior Director of Shopper Marketing for PepsiCo Demand Xcelerator. Esperanza leads the shopper marketing for the national customers and sets the “opt-in” strategy and plans that will multiply key customer growth. She has been in role since March 2015. She is an award winning marketer including internal and external recognition. Esperanza has an extensive history at Pepsi Beverages Company and began her career as a Brand Manager in 2003. Over the past 12 years she has demonstrated excellence in a range of roles, most recently as the Senior Director of Shopper Marketing for small format where her team won 3 vendor awards at 7-Eleven. She was also the Senior Director of Pepsi, Propel and held various other roles across Lipton and Sierra Mist. Esperanza started her career as an Industrial Engineer at Unilever where she worked for 5 years in manufacturing/operations in a bakery for Arnold bread. She then moved to a district sales manager role selling bakery products which led to her first regional marketing role. From there she continued her career in marketing across various brands and innovations.

MY CURRENT ROLE: Within my current role I have the privilege of leading the new DX shopper marketing team for national customers, focused on understanding customer strategies & priorities to influence the creation of shopper marketing “opt-in” plans. A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME: Esperanza is married to Jeff Teasdale and has two children Patrick 12 and Isabella 10 and resides in Stamford, CT. She enjoys traveling and spending time with family. She is a graduate from Rutgers University, College of Engineering and The University of Connecticut, MBA.


Callie Valenzisi (student) Callie Valenzisi is a senior at the Information Technology and Software Engineering High School at the Fairchild Wheeler Campus. She has been a part of AMBYESE since her sophomore year of high school. This past summer, AMBYESE gave her a scholarship te to participate in the Summer Scholars Program at the University of Notre Dame. She loved the two weeks she spent there and still keeps in touch with the friends she made there. She wants to pursue a computer science major in college and is extremely excited to hear back from the colleges she has applied to. She credits AMBYESE with a lot of her success and is so grateful that she was given the opportunity to participate in AMBYESE.

Carolina Quintana Bringas PBC HQ Bottling PBC FP&A Analyst 1111 Westchester Avenue White Plains, NY 10607

PEPSICO CAREER: Carolina is a Finance Analyst for PepsiCo’s FP&A Topline Team, supporting financial reporting analysis and forecasting for Pepsi’s beverage business. Her primary responsibilities include PBC Field Topline Forecast and Close process, as well as providing support for the PBC Field Annual Operating Plan. Carolina has had previous roles within PBC Finance where her primary responsibilities included Topline initiatives such as Brand P&L Forecast, Brand innovation, PepsiCo’s Allied business partnerships and competitive analysis. Carolina began her career at PepsiCo in 2015 after graduating from Manhattan College. She started as an Assistant Analyst on the Marketing Finance team, responsible for the management of A&M budgets for some of PepsiCo’s billion dollar brands such as Mtn Dew, Pepsi and PepsiCo’s Hydration Portfolio. ABOUT ME:


Carolina has a B.S degree in both Marketing and Finance from Manhattan College. She enjoys dancing, music, art, traveling and spending time with her family. She is originally from Mexico City and moved to upper Westchester New York when she was in high school; she currently resides in Bronxville, New York.

Spiro Milas (guidance counselor)

Spiro Milas was born in Yonkers, New York. He has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from the College of New Rochelle. He has been a Guidance Counselor at Westhill High School since 2006 and has been a proud liaison between Westhill High School and AMBYESE since 2008.

Lisbeth Peguero (student) Lisbeth Peguero is a sophomore at Brien McMahon High School that has built a strong educational foundation. She’s involved greatly in her school and her community. She’s had the opportunity to participate in the Gardening club, ESC Club, and Best Buddies Club. In addition, she’s associated with the Ambyese YES I CAN program. Not only has her active leadership ability been noted in her school work, but also on her Junior Varsity Field Hockey team. Lisbeth Peguero aspires to continue to grow academically and seeks to study law in the near future.


Colin J. Parris, Ph.D.

Colin J. Parris, Ph.D is a GE officer and a member of the AMBYESE board Please take a moment to view the below video titled: “Minds and Machines: Meet a Digital Twin�

Minds and Machines: Meet a Digital Twin


Emmanuel Peguero (student) My name is Emmanuel Peguero I am 16 years of age. I am currently studying at Brien McMahon high school and have a great passion for business.

Juan Peguero (parent and volunteer) Juan Peguero graduated from Central Dominican University of Professional Studies with a BS in Computer Systems Engineering, and went on to earn his MBA from Columbia Southern University. He recently obtained a Master’s Degree in Information Security & Assurance from Norwich University in Vermont, and is an honor graduate. Juan possess multiple industry certifications, including but not limited to: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Payment Card Industry Professional (PCIP), and Project Management Professional (PMP), among others. He currently serves as the Information Security Officer for Savings Bank of Danbury. Juan is a member of the following organizations: Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and its Connecticut Chapter; International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) and the Project Management Institute (PMI). Juan is currently an AMBYESE volunteer, willing to becoming a Board member, and continue helping.


Bailey Brown Bailey Brown-Chang is a current Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at Columbia University. She also received her Master’s Degree and Masters of Philosophy Degree in Sociology from Columbia University. She received her undergraduate degree (Cum Laude) in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Bailey’s senior thesis was awarded the E. Digby Baltzell Award for her work on low-income families in West Philadelphia. Bailey participated in the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement program and the Leadership Alliance research program as an undergraduate. Bailey Brown is a Ford Foundation Fellow, a Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow and a MDRC doctoral fellow . During her time as a graduate student she has taught courses in Sociology of Education and interned for the Office of Work/Life, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Academic Diversity. She has presented her work at numerous conferences across the United States and abroad. Bailey has also served as a coordinator for two sociology workshops including the Race, Ethnicity and Migration Workshop and the Wealth and Inequality Seminar Series. Bailey studies urban sociology, social stratification/inequality, race/ethnicity and education inequality and policy. Her dissertation focuses on school decision-making for parents across the socioeconomic spectrum in New York City. As a former AMBYESE student, Bailey continues to volunteer as program director for the organization. Each summer Bailey helps Y.E.S., I Can students with the transition from high school to college.

Mary E. McKiernan, MSN, RN-BC, NEA-BC EDUCATION: Pace University Graduate School Nursing Administration MSN 1992 Niagara University Bachelor of Nursing Science 1987 PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ACCREDIATIONS New York State Nurses Association 2005 New York Association of Home & Services Aging: NYAHSA: Down State Chapter: Secretary New York Organization Nurse Executive American Organization of Nurse Executives December 2012 Westchester Medical Center Valhalla, New York White Plains, New York Niagara Falls, New York 1988-January February 2005-April 2009 January 2007-December 2008 November 2009-present November 2009PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE SUMMARY April 2013-Present Stamford Hospital Stamford Connecticut Director Professional Development Department

36  Supervises, coordinates, implements and directs the ongoing strategic planning and administrative aspects of the Nursing Professional Development Department.  The Nursing Professional Development Department consisting of Nursing Staff Development Specialist Nurses who identifies, develops and provides all educational needs to Stamford Hospitals 700+ full time Registered Nurses.  Responsible for development and adherence to NPD department annual operating budget of 1.8million dollars as well as numerous contracted services.  Responsible for academic partnership including clinical placements, observations and mentorship experiences for 4 academic institutions nursing programs July 2012-April 2013 Good Samaritan Hospital Bon Secours Charity Health System Director Patient Care Services  24hour fiscal, clinical and operational responsibility for the medical surgical units, telemetry units, maternal child health division (labor & delivery, mother /baby and level 2 NICU), staffing office, same day infusion center and nursing supervision. 320+ FTEs.  Responsible for the development of and adherence to annual operating budget 22 million.  Responsible for the coordination and operation of institution wide nursing quality initiatives. Major Accomplishments.  Successfully co-directed Joint Commission accreditation survey January 2013.  Oversight implementation of electronic medication reconciliation process.  Facilitated fiscal improvement of in-patient units increasing productivity (5%), reducing overtime and FTE variance April 2009– June 2012 Westchester Medical Center Valhalla, New York Vice President Nursing Education and Quality  Supervises, coordinates, implements and directs the ongoing strategic planning and administrative aspects of the Nursing Professional Development Department.  The Nursing Professional Development Department consisting of Nursing Staff Development Specialist, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Wound Clinicians and Informatic Nurses identifies, develops and provides all educational needs to Westchester Medical Centers 2000+ full time Registered Nurses and 500 nursing assistants.  Responsible for development and adherence to NPD department annual operating budget of 4 million dollars as well as numerous contracted services.  Oversight for collaboration with Quality Management Program at Westchester Medical Center for the nursing department.  Program coordinator NDNQI  Primary member administrative labor relations team to re-negotiate NYSNA contract for registered Nurses for 2007 & 2011 Major Accomplishments  Westchester Medical Center by-law revision to permit Nursing Research at WMC with registered nurses as the primary investigators.  Development and Implementation of Nursing Research projects at WMC. DAISY Program, UHC Nurse Residency Program and NDNQI  Program Coordinator for Safe Patient Lift Program  Integration WMC Department of Nursing policy and procedure manual with evidence based on-line resource site.  Restructure and program enhancement of Pressure Ulcer prevention and treatment program, resulting in significant hospital reduction in acquired pressure ulcer rates. February 2005-April 2009 Westchester Medical Center Taylor Care Center Director of Nursing  Responsibilities include implementing nursing service administration programs, supervises, coordinates, implements and directs ongoing administrative aspects; evaluates areas of nursing practice; supervision is exercised over 250 professional and non-professional staff  Responsible for development and adherence to an estimated operating budget of 11 million dollars.  Coordinates the implementation of quality assurance and improvement activities for the nursing department.  Direct supervision of Nursing Care Coordinators, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Registered Staff Nurses implementation and participation in all quality assurance improvement activities. Direct accountability for Department of Health corrective actions as they pertain to nursing services. Major Accomplishments  Highly successful annual department of health surveys LTC  Pressure Ulcer program that was recognized by NYAHSA as a leader in the down state region for innovation and sustained results.

37 July 2000– February 2005 Westchester Medical Center Taylor Care Center Instructor of Nursing/Nursing Staff Development Specialist Under the general supervision of the Director of Nursing , responsibilities include conferring with administrative staff to develop and improve educational programs responsive to staffing needs; the planning, implementation and scheduling of orientation and in-service training programs; and providing consultative services as needed. April 1996-September 2000 Young Adult Institute Port Chester, New York Nurse Consultant Member of an interdisciplinary treatment team for developmentally disabled adults. Responsibilities included development, review and revision of client’s individual treatment and clinical plans. Additional responsibilities included staff training and continuous quality improvement programs. June 2003 -2005 Pace University Pleasantville, New York Adjunct Nursing Professor Responsible for instructing both theory and clinical courses within the nursing curriculum. Supervise students in classroom and clinical environments. Evaluate student progress and maintain records of student classroom and clinical experience. Develop teaching materials, activities, and handouts for each course. Participate in assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation activities to improve the instructional quality of the program. August 1992-July 2000 Registered Staff Nurse, Surgical/Trauma I.C.U. 1991-1992, 1988-1990 Assistant Nursing Care Coordinator, Medical Surgical Units 1987-1988 Registered Staff Nurse.

Drew Valentine (alumni) I have just started my senior year at Cornell University, I will be graduating with a Bachelors of Science in May! I am majoring in Biology and Society with a concentration in Science, Technology and Inequalities. I am minoring in Law and Society as well as Minority, Indigenous and Third World Studies. This semester, I was given the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for an Information Science class that focuses on designing technology for social impact. I am also conducting research in the Ithaca Area. Additionally, I am the staffing coordinator at Cornell’s first year resource center, this position gives me opportunity to give advice to young minority students who are navigating their first year at Cornell. Next semester, I am looking forward to taking more classes in the Asian Studies department, conducting research on youth homelessness in the Ithaca Area and studying for my LSAT. My time with AMBYESE gave the confidence to pursue all that I wanted to in college. I hope to be able to come see the students soon! Thank you to Mr. Johnson, Bailey, Jayme, Dr. R and everyone else who makes this program a success!

Dureseti (Chidu) Chidambarrao

Dureseti (Chidu) Chidambarrao is a Senior Technical Staff Member in IBM Systems and presently plays a key leadership role in the Product Technology Engineering team where he bridges the nexus between IBM’s design of chips and their manufacture at Global Foundries, our supplier. Chidu is a world-renowned expert in semiconductor R & D and over the past 25 years he has led

38 teams at IBM to deliver over 10 technology nodes and chip sets keeping pace with Moore’s law. Chidu has 70 publications and with over 200 US patents he has earned the title of Lifetime Master Inventor at IBM. Chidu got his B. Tech at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and his PhD at NC State in Civil Engineering. He parlayed his deep understanding of defects in metals from his PhD into getting a job at IBM looking at defects in silicon. Since then he has done Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mathematics, and Software Development. He has even been a manager for 3 years. Anything but Civil Engineering. C’est la vie, but, what fun. Chidu has volunteered for many years in various endeavors, but in 2015 he got lucky to find something that is both relevant to IBM and close to his house. IBM set up the PTech program in Connecticut called Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA). Chidu embraced this new-collar job mantra and he mentors 4 high school kids at NECA. He participates in many of the NECA events. This summer he hosted 2 interns from NECA at IBM East Fishkill. He finds great satisfaction in helping high school students understand corporate culture at a place like IBM and hopes to convey the wonderful fun that one can have doing engineering and solving problems.

VANESSA A. GOMEZ, ESQ. Ms. Gomez is a Trial Attorney and litigator for a Fortune 500 Insurance Company in Westchester County. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of personal injury defense, most notably working for national insurance companies and In-House defense firms both before and after being admitted to practice law in 1999. Since 1999, she has passionately defended clients in all phases of personal injury litigation and has won many trials on their behalf. She is admitted to practice law in the States of New York and Connecticut. She is a member of the Westchester Black Bar Association and the Defense Association of New York. When she is not defending her clients in Court, she actively participates in the community. She is the President of the PTSA at Mt. Vernon High School, a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and an active member in the Women’s Home & Overseas Missionary Society, Westchester District. She is a wife, and mother of 1 daughter, Victoria, who is a


student member of AMBYESE / Y.E.S., I Can Program. She is also an Iona college undergrad 1993 cum laude and Pace University school of law 1999.

Abishek Panigrahi (alumni) Abhishek is a senior at New York University's Stern School of Business majoring in finance and minoring in philosophy. He participated in AMBYESE during his time at Bethel High School. Professionally, he has experience in disruptive startups in FinTech and EdTech. He founded and currently runs a nonprofit initiative which gives seed grants and offers advisory capabilities to innovative social impact startups in rural India and works with departments in the Indian government to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems. Finally, for the past year, he has been interning part-time at KPMG Innovation Lab which helps clients identify how they can innovate and where they must invest to stay ahead of disruption.

Darnel Pittman (alumni) Darnel Pittman is an associate consultant at Cleary Benefits Group Inc., a strategic benefits consulting firm located in Danbury, CT. As a graduate of Bentley University, he received a BS in Finance May 2017. During his time at Bentley University, Darnel was an active member of the campus community. Taking on leadership roles including vice president of the Bentley Golf Association. He also was an active member in other clubs at school such as the Bentley Real Estate Group and Bentley Venture Capital Club. One of his most memorable experiences at Bentley was Sigma Chi Fraternity. Here he participated in volunteer works and raised thousands of dollars for different causes including the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Currently, Darnel works in Danbury as a consultant for Cleary Benefits Group Inc.. Through this position he had the opportunity to attend the Aetna Broker Underwriting Training. At Cleary, he has streamlined several data processes and has worked to update data representation. Darnel began participating in the Y.E.S. I CAN program in 2009. This was a great opportunity that allowed him to peek into the professional world and helped discover his career path. It opened the door to several opportunities that helped advance his career.


John Sirman (presenter) Director, Emerging and External Technologies Praxair, Inc.

John Sirman provides leadership for emerging technologies at Praxair, a leading industrial gas company serving diverse industries, including aerospace, chemicals, electronics, energy, healthcare and manufacturing, among others. John is responsible for identifying and analyzing innovative technologies that are developed into solutions for Praxair’s customers and drive growth for the company as well as reduce its costs. During his 20 years at Praxair, John’s work has spanned many products and end markets, including electronic materials and metal fabrication.

John’s most recent areas of focus include identifying innovative technologies relating to concrete production utilizing carbon dioxide as well as the production of hydrogen gas from a renewable source and in a cost competitive manner. More broadly, John’s work comprises many disciplines and functions, including R&D, safety, environmental sustainability, quality control, productivity and M&A. John earned his Ph.D. in Electronic Ceramic Materials from Imperial College, London University, where he completed his undergraduate studies in Materials Science and Engineering. John also earned an M.B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


Victoria Gomez-Small, 17, is now a Senior at Mt. Vernon High School. She has maintained an “A” average and has made the Principal’s Honor Roll during her entire 9th, 10th and 11th Grades. She is participates in after school programs such as S.T.R.O.N.G, the Bible Club, and the Writing Club, and is a member of the National Honor Society. For over 3 years, Victoria has participated in the Northeast Starter STEM Academy in their summer and winter programs. During the winter 2017 program she was awarded $10,000 scholarship to attend Flight School at the Academy of Aviation where she will obtain her private pilot’s license. In 2017, Victoria was accepted into the AMBYESE/Y.E.S., I CAN program and she has thoroughly enjoyed her experience. She was expecting to return the program in the summer of 2018; however, when a once in a lifetime opportunity of attending Aviation school under a full scholarship was presented to her, she asked and was granted to be excused from the AMBYESE / Y.E.S., I Can program.


Jayme Beckham Jayme Beckham has been involved with the AMBYESE organization since 2008. She started her journey with AMBYESE as an English/Language Arts instructor in the YES I Can program, and later became an Education and Business Consultant. As of September 1, 2017, she will take on a new role within the organization, filling a seat on the AMBYESE Board of Directors. In the professional arena, Jayme has a background in Secondary Education with an English specialization, and earned her undergraduate degree in teaching from Western CT State University in 2006. She went on to pursue her master’s in Instructional Technology from WCSU, graduating in 2008, and immediately sought her 092/6th year Administrative Degree from Sacred Heart University, graduating in 2011. During her studies, she worked as an English teacher and Athletic Director at Bethel High School in Bethel, CT, and served as an English teacher at Danbury High School in Danbury, CT for one year before becoming an assistant principal for the CT Technical Education and Career System. She started at Platt Tech in Milford, CT, in 2014 and is currently filling the assistant principal role at Abbott Tech in Danbury, CT. Jayme is an avid sports fan and athlete, and played basketball at WCSU for the Lady Colonials from 2001 - 2005. She also coached basketball and soccer at Bethel High School from 2007 - 2011. Currently, she coaches girls’ basketball at Abbott Tech and serves on the CT Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) state basketball committee. Her passions include sports, fitness, reading, writing, working with her students, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and being a mom. She lives in Newtown, CT with her 8 year old son Liam and bulldog named Jabba. She is also a doctoral candidate for an Ed.D. in General Education from Northcentral University.

Viktoria Wulff-Andersen (student) Viktoria Wulff-Andersen is a sophomore student at Danbury High School. Having been with the Y.E.S. I Can Program since the 8th grade, she is proud to be a presenter at the 35th Annual AMBYESE Career Conference. This is only her second time attending a career conference, but she has taken last year's advice of pursuing your ambition to heart. With an aspiration to pursue law, Viktoria currently participates in her school's debate team, Model UN, and more to get there.

In addition to her academic extracurriculars, Viktoria is also heavily involved with her passion for the arts. In addition to the violin, she annually partakes in local musical theatre at Richter. She hopes to continue pursuing music and drama recreationally.


The following are the 35th AMBYESE Conference’s Platinum Sponsors:

The AMBYESE family and organization would like to thank all their sponsors. Without your contributions, our programs would not be possible.

35th AMBYESE Conference  

2018 Conference Journal

35th AMBYESE Conference  

2018 Conference Journal