MEET THE TEAM
JESSICA CHAKARJI M. ED
Founder & Director
As a mission based individual, my focus has always been to serve low income communities and providing quality STEM programming to everyone- not just those that can afford it. Education is proven to be the fastest and most effective way to close the gender and wealth gap. As a first generation graduate, I saw firsthand how educational resources can sky rocket ones access to opportunities. I wanted to create that same pathway for children of color, just like me. S.T.E.A.M. careers are projected to grow by 13% between 2017-2027, compared to 9% for non-S.T.E.A.M. related jobs. Educating communities and getting them excited about these employment opportunities is what I do!
Admin Director & Parent Liason
Heather is a founding member of Snapology NYC and has two young school-aged daughters who are obsessed with S.T.E.A.M. She has a positive, hard-working mindset and is passionate about helping find solutions to any challenges. After a shortchange of scenery she returned to support Snapology & The After School Collective in 2021 and handles the daily matters of the business such as banking, client billing, and serving as a contact point for families. She is most excited about introducing new and exciting programs and watching the children’s natural aptitudes flourish as they grow with us
MR. GABRIEL CHAKARJI
Musical Ears Founder and Director
Pianist, GRAMMY® winner, and Latin GRAMMY® nominee Gabriel Chakarji redefines the relationship between jazz and Afro-South American/Caribbean music with his innovative compositions and playing. As Venezuelan musician Juanma Trujillo notes, Gabriel's compositions are designed to operate within the intersection of jazz and Afro-South American/Caribbean idioms rather than a crude juxtaposition of something jazzy over an Afro-Venezuelan beat or vice-versa. Chakarji has gone to great lengths to find the structural relationships between these worlds in order to generate the musical resources he needed to create this book of music.
MS. TERSEA RAMOS
Afterschool Studio Manager and Art Instructor
B.S in Early Childhood Education from CUNY
Ms. Tersea is our afterschool studio manager and lead parent facilitator in safely executing local school and bus stop pickups. She is passionate about supporting the growth in the social, emotional and intellectual development of each child. Creative Expression through Art is Ms. Tersea's favorite subject at the studio. She loves making meaningful student connections over every artistic project and experiencing the growth of artistic talents and creativeness.
MR. KEVIN SIMS
Steam/Robotic Director | Mentoring Site Leader
Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta
Working with people and teams from all over the world has taught me the value of focusing different minds on the same problem and mutual support. Efficiency, a can-do attitude, and the ability to strategically prioritize allow for a maximized day both in and out of the classroom. I am currently the Mentoring Site Leader for Afterschool Collective, traveling to all our partnered locations to ensure our team is delivering the energetic, educational, and FUN experience we are known for.
MS. ALONDRA DURAN
Senior S.T.E.A.M Educator | Snapology Camp Teacher
John Jay College Of Criminal Justice- Major: Forensic Psychology/ Criminology
Museum of Natural History In-house Instructor
Passionate educator with a background in psychology and working with students with special needs. Alondra specializes in play-based STEAM programming using LEGO Bricks and technical compliments.
MS. LAUREN HAKKER
S.T.E.A.M Lab Robotics Instructor & Resident Tutor
I am a born educator and lifelong learner. As the founder of Victory Prep, I've provided unparalleled test prep, personalized private tutoring, and expert academic and admissions advising to thousands of students over a more than 15 year career. I truly love what I do, and want all my students to become confident, intellectually curious, creative problem solvers who always push the boundaries of what is possible. I hold a degree in music and am passionate about art, literature, music, social justice, engineering, and technology. I believe education is holistic, and enthusiasm is infectious, and I am so happy to be a part of the Afterschool Collective, where I can foster excitement, joy, and wonder in the next generation of brilliant innovators.
MR. SHORN GRANT
S.T.E.A.M Lab Engineering Instructor and Athletic Coach
BS Mechanical Engineering | Queensborough Community College
I am currently engineer student with a passion for robotics and automation. I am a track and field athlete who competes in the long and triple jump and won the national championship title in the triple jump. I am also a parkour athlete who's been coaching for 6 years.