Staff

Founder and Executive Director Lynn Schnurnberger was a Special Consultant in Education to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Founding Director of the Cloisters Summer Workshop Program. An artist whose work is included in worldwide collections, she has also written extensively about children’s issues for publications such as The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, and New York magazine.

Program Director Brittany Sommer Katzin is an Education and Youth/Family Development Consultant.  As Senior Curriculum Specialist in the Content & Curriculum and Community & Family Engagement departments at Sesame Workshop, Brittany developed the content and age-appropriate UI for websites, interactive games, and other digital assets for Sesame Street, as well as created educational content for multimedia outreach initiatives, including projects addressing childhood resilience, the needs of military families, children of incarcerated parents, and healthy habits. Brittany holds an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Child Development from Tufts University.

Program Manager Madeleine Kelsey is an artist, writer, and yoga teacher with extensive experience teaching acting and yoga to children. Madeleine is also a professional actress with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of the West of England.

Special Consultant Melanie Adsit has worked  in the education departments of The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Morgan Library, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Melanie holds a BA in Art and Psychology from Boston University and a MA in Art and Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where her thesis was on special needs children.

Evaluator Dana Freed, a certified school psychologist, is a doctoral candidate in Psychology at Rutgers University, and an Adjunct Instructor in the CUNY Brooklyn College School Psychology Graduate Program. She has also been involved as a mentor to a young woman in foster care for the past nine years.

“Children in foster care are just like yours—they’re talented, funny, smart, ornery—they just don’t have you for parents. But together, we can help them succeed!”

Lynn Schnurnberger, Founder Foster Pride

Governing Board

Ty Bhojwani is the President and CEO of Brilliant Global Limited, a Hong Kong-based design direct knitwear manufacturer.

Emily Blavatnik is a former film executive and philanthropist who serves on the Board of Directors of charitable organizations in both the United States and London.

Yoon Chang has been in the fashion industry for over 20 years, designing for Cynthia Steffe and her own label Whistle&Flute. Her work has appeared in WWD, Harper’s Bazaar Korea, T mag, and Elle. She teaches at Parsons the New School for Design and is co-founder of Fashion123, a program that educates young children in the art of fashion illustration.

Onyedika Chuke, a native of Nigeria, was a Foster pride mentee. Today, Onyedika, a graduate of Cooper Union and a recent Fulbright finalist, is a working artist and Foster Pride teacher.

Donna Harkavy, formerly the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Worcester Art Museum, is now an independent curator. She is on the board of trustees of Dorsky Curatorial Projects and on the advisory boards of RxArt and The Jewish Museum.

Rosanne Kang is the Founder and Creative Director of Enki, a branding, design and illustration firm based in Toronto, New York and Paris. She has been a teacher and mentor with Foster Pride for over 20 years.

Nedra Koplin was a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House for twelve years. In addition to her work on the Board, Nedra creates art projects and assists at I Made It Myself!, classes at the Foster Pride JCCA program in the Bronx.

Richard Koplin, MD, the Director of the Cataract Department of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, is also a researcher and inventor. He works with various worldwide foundations to improve medical eye care delivery in third world conditions.

Stefan Mailvaganam is the owner of Bar Carrera, Custom Wine Bar and Vanguard Wine Bar. Previously, Stefan opened Colors, New York’s first employee-owned restaurant on behalf of former workers from Windows on the World.

Sally Mandel, a best-selling novelist and Emmy Award-winning writer for day-time television drama and a long- time advocate of children’s rights, is a founding board member of Foster Pride.

Subash Mani, the Portfolio Manager of a large multi-strategy hedge fund, works with organizations both in the United States and abroad aimed at improving the lives of children through education.

Barbara Nessim, an internationally known artist, illustrator and educator served as Chairperson of Illustration at Parsons School of Design in New York from 1992-2004.

Nell O’Hara, an Emmy Award winning producer at ABC’s Good Morning America, Food Network and Martha Stewart Living, is currently a consultant to socially-conscious businesses and non-profits, helping with media, communication and event production.

Marcia Patmos, is a designer who launched her NYC-based Ready-to-Wear label M.PATMOS in 2011. This year, M.PATMOS won the prestigious International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear.

Susan Seliger, a writer and former Deputy Editor of Magazine Development at Hearst, has been on the board since its inception. She is the producer/co-founder/host of Out by 10, a monthly performance series featuring NYC’s best storytellers and musicians.

Michele Snyder, the Senior Major Gift Officer at the Whitney Museum of American Art, has spearheaded campaigns and initiatives for the SculptureCenter, the Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and College Art Association.

Rob Younkers, is a fashion designer, media personality and a Part Time Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design in the School of Fashion. He has designed and consulted for Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Patricia Field and Vogue Magazine among others and is a co-host of Secret Guide to Fabulous on LOGO and an on-air Style Correspondent for Yahoo Style. Rob is also the co-creator of the STITCHED Fashion Camp, where he mentors a generation of young designers.

Our Partners

Foster Pride is unique by virtue of the strong partnerships and long-term relationships we develop with our staff,
foster care agencies and most importantly,
the students that we serve.

Foster Pride programs allow students to return week after week and develop their talents, establish relationships, and build self-esteem in a supportive and nurturing environment. The significant, long-term relationships that Foster Pride educators develop with their students are a unique and powerful component of the organization. This mentoring is particularly important to young people who see countless adults drift in and out of their lives.

Volunteer architects, designers and more, as well as staff who join Foster Pride, stick with the program — many have been working with Foster Pride for over ten years.

The same is true for our agency partners – many of our weekly art classes have been running for more than a decade.

Foster Pride works with agencies throughout the city: Good Shepherd Services, Jewish Child Care Association, Graham-Windham Services for Families and Children; Edwin Gould Services for Children; and Families; Forestdale Inc and Sheltering Arms Childrens’ Services. Although Good Shepherd Services has no impact on funding or programming, they very generously act as our fiscal sponsor, free of charge, relieving us of the cost of auditing and distribution. Foster Pride classes become a part of the fabric of these agencies, and an important part of the lives of our students.

Foster Pride community partners are some of the most prestigious institutions in the city, including the Whitney Museum of American Art,  New York University’s Stern School of Business, the National Arts Club, and Lever House.

Two of our staff members are former Foster Pride students. This opportunity allows them to both maintain their relationship with Foster Pride and, importantly, to be peer mentors and role models for our younger children — examples of the success that they too can achieve.

Our Supporters

Foster Pride has received generous support from:

The Andrus Family Fund
The Andrus Family Fund/BETS
The American Eagle Foundation
The Blavatnik Family Foundation
The Bloomberg Foundation
The Catalog for Giving
The Carnegie Corporation of New York
The Cowperwood Company
Credit Suisse First Boston
The Crown Family Foundation
The Donald A. Pels Foundation
The Fifth Floor Foundation
The Hasbro Children’s Foundation
The Heckscher Foundation for Children
H&M
The Jean and Robert Stern Foundation
The Jim Jacobs Foundation
The Joelson Foundation
The Ann M. Martin Foundation
The Maurer Family Foundation
The Patrina Foundation
The Pinkerton Foundation
The Provident Foundation
The Reuters Foundation
The John A. Reisenbach Foundation
The Rockefeller Brother’s Fund
Signature Bank
The Strypemonde Foundation
The Thanksgiving Foundation
The Threshold Foundation
The Tianaderrah Foundation
The Tides Foundation
United Postal Service Workers
The Whispering Bells Foundation
The Wyomissing Foundation