About Our Team

Back to Who We Are

Noam Brenner

Volunteer, Development
Joined helpNYC in March 2021

Professional Affiliations

Repair the WorldVot-ERHunger Free AmericaGeorge Washington University

Noam Brenner is a social justice advocate based in Montclair NJ, and recent graduate of the George Washington University. After graduating, he worked on voter registration and civic engagement as a Pressman Social Action Intern and as a project manager at Vot-ER.

Wanting to help those in need suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, he began volunteering as a researcher for Hunger Free America. From his experience at Hunger Free America and helpNYC, Noam has become passionate about social policy and food justice and will soon start a two year service fellowship in Brooklyn with Repair the World.

Connect with Noam on LinkedIn

Neli Ekeji

Intern, Summer 2022
Joined helpNYC in May 2022

Professional Affiliations

New York University - School of Global Public HealthDuke UniversityAmeriCorps

Neli is a current graduate student at NYU's School of Global Public Health. Prior to NYU, she pursued her degree in International Comparative Studies from Duke University, with a minor in Global Health, and served with AmeriCorps upon graduation. Her identities and lived experiences inform and inspire the work she does in advocacy, organizing, and social justice. Most specifically, her passions include education, health equity, and eliminating health and social disparities amongst marginalized populations (such as women of color, queer and trans communities, disabled populations, and more).

Adam Ignotofsky

Advisory Board
Joined helpNYC in July 2021

Professional Affiliations

Humbler.coIBMUniversity of PittsburghCMDS

Biography coming soon.

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Jill Levey

Advisory Board
Joined helpNYC in April 2021

Professional Affiliations

Levey Consulting

Jill Levey is the Principal of Levey Consulting, founded in 2000, which provides top-notch grant-proposal writing and research services.

Jill has worked in the nonprofit sector since 1992. She has worked with clients in a variety of fields including education, youth development, health, human service, disability, arts, infant safety, and therapeutic horsemanship.

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Fidelina Mena

Volunteer, Development & Communications
Joined helpNYC December 2021

Professional Affiliations

WebMDBaruch College

Fidelina has a bachelor’s degree in Business Communication from Baruch College, NY and has worked in the Digital Media field for many years. She is based in the Bronx, and enjoys volunteering her time, technical skills, and expertise in any way that would improve the lives of marginalized and stigmatized groups, and for the betterment of her community in general. She also loves spending time with family and close friends over delicious food and wine, reading, yoga, traveling, exercising, and dancing.

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Tahreem Nawaz

Joined helpNYC in May 2021

Professional Affiliations

Boston University

Tahreem is a sophomore at Boston University studying biology. She is passionate about helping people and organizing resources for those in need. She has volunteered for the Red Cross throughout her four years of high school, which has helped her realize the different ways she can connect with communities to make big differences. Tahreem hopes to work with the Communications Team in order to make New York a more welcoming city.

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J. RueMel Parkin

Executive Director
ChairBoard of Directors
Founded helpNYC in October 2018

Professional Affiliations

New York Crystal Meth Anonymous Intergroup, Board MemberNew York Peer Specialist Board, MemberNational Youth Advocacy Coalition, Former CouncilorMental Health America, Advisory MemberNYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Peer and CHW Workforce Consortium

Schedule a Meeting with Rue

Rue has served on the boards and councils of charities and advocacy organizations such as the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, National Youth Pride Network, Outright of Maine, Southern Maine Pride, Folsom Street East, Capital Area AIDS Network, and New York Crystal Meth Anonymous. They have also served on advisory committees and was a community advisor for the City of New York: Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They are a credentialed New York State Peer Specialist with experience in crisis intervention, peer bridging, overdose intervention, and peer counseling. Rue holds an NYSPS-P with extensive training in Intentional Peer Support. Before their mental health and community organizing in New York City, Rue spent over twenty years as a union stage manager working for companies such as the Macy’s Parade and Entertainment Group, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broadway Green Alliance, Walt Disney Entertainment, Busch Gardens, and Seaworld Adventure Parks. They also toured with several theatrical, dance, and musical artists on major tours. Rue grew up in Maine and now calls New York City home.

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Richard Perkins

Secretary, Board of Directors
Joined helpNYC in April 2022

Professional Affiliations

Housing Works, Inc.Aldelphi UniversityEmpire State CollegeFashion Institue of Technology

Biography coming soon.

Connect with Richard on LinkedIn

Reverend Cassandra Perry

Board of Directors Governance CommitteeChairperson
Joined helpNYC in August 2020.

Professional Affiliations

Duke UniversityNew York Theological SeminaryGarvin School of International Management163rd Street Improvement Council, Executive DirectorNeighborhood Preservation Coalition, Board MemberWilliams Institutional CME Church, Associate Pastor

The Reverend Cassandra G. Perry is the Executive Director of the 163rd Street Improvement Council. She also serves as Associate Pastor of the Williams Institutional CME Church, and is an Adjunct Professor at New York Theological Seminary. After studying in Spain and at the University of Oxford in England, she graduated from Duke University as an Angier B. Duke Scholar. She earned an MBA in International Marketing from the Garvin School of International Management in Glendale, AZ; then worked in the private sector for companies such as Honeywell, Pfizer, and Goldman-Sachs. Continue Reading

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Stacey Rose-Blass

Food Assistance Collective of New YorkExecutive AssistantVolunteer
Joined helpNYC in December 2021

Professional Affiliations

U.S. Department of StateAmerican Federation of Government EmployeesCongregation Romemu, NYC

Having been involved in social justice work since a teen in high school, Stacey comes to helpNYC with a keen desire to affect positive change in all her interactions. She spent the majority of her adult life in the Washington, D.C. area, professionally at the (former) U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. Department of State primarily in international exchange programs. She also served as Union President of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1812 from 1993-1996, a critical time of “the reinvention of government” under the Clinton/Gore Administration. More recently Stacey was a founding member of the renewed Social Action Steering Committee at Congregation Romemu, NYC.

Connect with Stacey on LinkedIn