NYFC Staff

In March 2016, Saroya Friedman-Gonzalez joined New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) to serve as the Executive Director. New Yorkers For Children is a public/private partnership with New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) with the goal of improving the lives of children in foster care by engaging New Yorkers in that effort. NYFC is best known for its Guardian Scholars and Back to School scholarship programs, although it operates several small-scale pilot educational and vocational programs.

Prior to joining NYFC, Friedman-Gonzalez served as the Managing Vice President for the National Urban League’s (NUL) Workforce Development Division. Friedman-Gonzalez oversaw a $21 million dollar in federal and privately funded portfolio of workforce programs, including a Seniors Job Training program, a Re-integration of Formerly Incarcerated Adults program, an Urban Youth Empowerment Program. From 2012- 2016, Friedman-Gonzalez served on the United States Department of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships. In this capacity, Friedman-Gonzalez focused on promoting diversity in Registered Apprenticeship by utilizing local community-based organizations to deliver quality Pre-apprenticeship programs as an “on-ramp” for quality Apprenticeship. Friedman-Gonzalez is an Adjunct Lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work where she teaches a class focused on how to promote and retain diversity in the workplace.

Prior to joining NUL, Friedman-Gonzalez served as the Vice President of Community Based-Programs at Seedco. During her tenure at Seedco, Friedman-Gonzalez initiated and implemented several large scale and specialized workforce contracts- including Welfare to Work, Career Pathways, Wage Subsidy, Green Jobs and Fatherhood programs to name a few. She was part of the original roll-out and implementation team of the nation’s first conditional cash transfer program. Friedman-Gonzalez worked in Mexico City as a consultant for the UNFPA where she did research and data analysis on female and adolescent reproductive health in Latin America. Friedman-Gonzalez received her MPA and MSW from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Science from Skidmore College. She has over 18 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with expertise in overseeing employment, education and training programs.


Director of Finance. Yeymi is responsible for establishing financial policies, procedures, controls and reporting systems. She also oversees cost and general accounting, accounts receivable, and risk management. Yeymi brings 15 years of experience in the fiscal management arena. Prior to joining NYFC, she served as the VP of Budgets & Grants for the National Urban League, where she oversaw the fiscal management of a $55M budget.


Joi Campbell, Youth Academic Advisor, is responsible for providing direct support to the recipients of NYFC’s signature programs.
Joi brings over 13 years of wide-ranging experience working directly with New York City youth and young adults from at-risk communities. Prior to joining NYFC, Joi was the Life Coach Program Director for Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School. There she designed and implemented clinical programming that meet the social emotional needs of scholars and their families.
Joi received her BA in Psychology and her MS in Mental Health Counseling from Pace University.


Katie Bazyluk, Manager of Fund Development and Communications, is responsible for identifying and securing funding and partnership opportunities for New Yorkers For Children, and for all marketing, social media, and other external communications. She also plays a key role in developing and executing fundraising, partner, and donor cultivation events on behalf of NYFC.

Katie brings years of diverse nonprofit development and communications experience to NYFC. Before joining New Yorkers For Children in September 2018, Katie’s passion for social justice led her to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Oakland, CA, where she managed communications, development, and social media. Her background with vulnerable populations also includes work in these areas for the National Center for Children and Families in Washington, DC.
Katie received her BA in English Language and Composition from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Since May 2006 Debra has anchored the administrative work of NYFC, managing all the back office tasks necessary to provide support to the mission of NYFC.  Prior to joining NYFC Debra was the Executive Director of St. Frances Cabrini Shrine in Washington Heights for 12 years.  In that position she lead all aspects of the institution including program and development.  With a degree in Theology Debra taught religious studies for 15 years in Chicago and New York.  Debra earned her BA, cum laude, from Mercyhurst University in Erie PA, and her Masters in Theology, cum laude, from Loyola University in Chicago.


Roxanna Miller joined New Yorkers For Children as Program Development Associate in January 2019. Roxanna is responsible for providing program support to all of NYFC signature programs, including Peer Mentoring and the Youth Advisory Board (YAB). She also provides support on NYFC pilot initiatives such as YVLifeSet. When she is not providing programmatic support, Roxanna performs intake and analysis of programmatic data.

Roxanna brings a genuine passion about bettering outcomes for vulnerable populations through overall public health, education, and support improvements to her work at NYFC. This lifelong passion began seven years ago while Roxannawas working on a project in Manaus, Brazil with Ray of Hope Amazon, that brought health interventions to native villagers living along the Amazon and Rio Negro Rivers. She still volunteers with this nonprofit in various capacities.Roxanna’s prior experience also includes working with The Center for Global Health, a World Health Organization Collaborating Center. Due to her desire to help better the lives of vulnerable children, youth, and families, Roxanna decided to pursue learning about health program processes, implementation, and data outcomes and collection in college; and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Colorado, Denver.


Cassandra Rosser has been with New Yorkers For Children since May 2014 and is responsible for all administrative tasks.  Prior to that, she was employed in various positions in higher education.


Ellen Ampofo, Director of Programs, joined New Yorkers For Children in February 2020. She is responsible for providing day-to-day oversight of NYFC Signature Programs and leads program planning and implementation for pilot initiatives. She has extensive experience directing education programs and building capacity in non-profit organizations. She brings over 14 years experience in the field of higher education and youth development, serving diverse communities in need.


In her previous role at Educational Alliance, Ellen served as the Director of Edgies Teen Center and College Prep Program, where she oversaw all after-school programs and maintained cohesive partnerships with program stakeholders to ensure that youth and family needs are met. Before joining Educational Alliance, Ellen worked as the Youth Academic Advisor here at New Yorkers For Children and at SUNY Buffalo State where she worked in the Upward Bound Program for over 10 years focusing on college readiness and college success. Ellen is especially passionate about positive youth development, creating and expanding spaces for authentic youth voice, thoughtful and strategic youth engagement, workforce development on behalf of this population, and comprehensive support systems for foster youth and foster care alumni attending college. 

Ellen received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work and a Mater of Science in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from SUNY Buffalo State.