Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!

YEA Camp YEA-Camp-2022-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!

One of the many things that makes YEA Camp so special is our amazing staff! Several of our staff this summer have been with us before, while others are with us for the first time!

So many of our campers have said that YEA Camp was one of the best experiences of their life, and this is the crew to help us replicate that experience for this year’s campers!

YEA Camp helps aspiring activists get started or get serious about making a bigger difference in the world, and these are the amazing humans who will be on our team making it happen!

Check out some of our amazing team members, and if you or someone you know are ages 12-17 and want to make a bigger difference, join us this summer in Hinsdale, MA, from August 6-14!

Nora Kramer, YEA Camp Founder and Director 

YEA Camp Nora-Kramer-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!  Nora Kramer founded YEA Camp in 2009 after 10 years as an activist, always looking to make a bigger difference. From working on political campaigns to handing out tens of thousands of leaflets and collecting thousands of signatures, to writing letters, giving talks, and training new activists, Nora’s been obsessed with activism since before our campers were born.

Through grassroots outreach, Nora met many young people who cared deeply about social issues but didn’t know what to do about them. She started focusing on working with youth, getting her teaching credential and teaching high school English, environmental education, at after-school programs, and — of course — at camps, where she is inspired by the idealism, silliness, honesty, and courage of young people.

Recognizing the need for aspiring activists to get training and support to become changemakers on causes they care about, Nora developed the idea and primary curriculum for YEA Camp. As a lifelong learner, Nora has pulled from her own activist education to develop YEA Camp’s unique curriculum, which infuses learnings from social justice, activism, leadership, mindfulness, and personal development trainings. She loves this creative way to combine her commitment to social change with her passion for working with youth, and spends all year looking forward to summer.

 

Alice Ragland, Assistant Director

YEA Camp Alice-Ragland-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!  Alice Ragland is a college professor and community educator with a background in environmental and racial justice activism. She has a PhD in Multicultural and Equity Studies in education from The Ohio State University. She teaches, writes, and researches in the areas of cultural studies, ethnic studies, and Black studies. She has facilitated hundreds of educational workshops for schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to help people understand systems of injustice. 

Alice was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where she experienced and witnessed injustices that sparked her activism at age 12.  After spending years deeply immersed in racial and environmental justice activism, she saw the many ways in which oppression takes a physical toll and leads to health disparities. Wanting to do more than just teach people about the systems that cause health inequity, she became a licensed community health worker and certified yoga instructor. She strives to combine her passions for education and health equity, two interrelated aspects of justice work that are too often separated. Alice also enjoys playing the flute, making recycled jewelry and crafts, and traveling with her family. 

Alina de Zoysa, Operations Manager

YEA Camp Alina-de-Zoysa-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!  Alina de Zoysa (they/them) is from New Jersey and is a rising sophomore at Washington and Lee University and planning to major in Sociology and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies as well as Poverty and Human Capabilities studies. They are extremely excited to be a part of the YEA Camp staff once again this year, and it is even more exciting that this will be their first time in person at YEA Camp! 

Alina is truly passionate about advocacy and community engagement, specifically focusing on racial justice, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, incarceration system reform, poverty, mental health, and many other pressing issues that are constantly affecting our world each and every day. Alina is looking forward to working with the outstanding campers and fellow staff at YEA Camp this year! 

 

Emmanuel Barchue Jr, Counselor

YEA Camp Emmanuel-Barchue-Jr-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!  Emmanuel Barchue Jr. is a graduate of the Urban Teachers Education Program at Rutgers University Newark, where he received a degree in mathematics and a K-12 teacher certification in mathematics. Professionally, Emmanuel has worked and volunteered with a variety of organizations including NJ PIRG, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Rutgers Future Scholars, a program for middle school and high school students. He currently works at the Burlington County Institute of Technology (Medford Tech) and teaches summer school with The Learning Point at Foundation Academy Charter School in Trenton, NJ. He plans on pursuing a master’s degree in education and mathematics.

When it comes to education, Emmanuel agrees with the quote, “We must Maslow before We Bloom.” He believes outstanding educators excel in motivating their students by getting to know them as more than just a name on a roster because educators have to show students that they care about them as a human being before they are able to teach them. As a first generation college graduate and a STEM educator, he hopes to give back to the next generation and instill a love for learning and an ambition to change the world within each and every student. He hopes to inspire, nurture, and cultivate the next generation of leaders.

When he is not in the classroom, he enjoys watching anime, playing basketball, eating, and spending time with his bunny rabbits. Some of his  favorite authors are Masashi Kishimoto, Tite Kubo, and Akira Toriyama.

 

Lydia Cohen Harris, Counselor

YEA Camp Lydia-Harris-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!  Lydia Cohen Harris (she/her) is over the moon about returning to YEA Camp as a counselor for the third time! Her foremost passion in life is taking action for all animals, human and nonhuman. She has worked and volunteered with animal rights organizations such as Mercy For Animals, The Humane League, Farm Animals Rights Movement, Vegan Outreach, and Farm Sanctuary. More recently, Lydia earned her MA from NYU in the spring of 2022. She looks forward to bringing her experience to YEA Camp, and she cannot wait to learn and grow with campers as they make action plans to help the world change for the better!

 

 

 

James McLaughlin McDermott, Counselor 

YEA Camp James-McClaughlin-McDermontt-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!  James McLaughlin-McDermott lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is a theatre teacher for the New York City Department of Education. He began his career as an actor and director in the greater NYC area. This eventually lead him into the world education where he spent 8 years working in special education. In 2020, James completed his Master’s Degree in Childhood Education, and was hired as a theatre teacher to a diverse population. James immediately knew that he had to do more, and received a certification for Human Rights Consultation. He uses this to create a diverse and inclusive curriculum within his classroom, because as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, he understands the importance of representation. James has a passion for learning, creating, and advocating. He is excited to be a part of YEA Camp this year to learn and grow with the campers! 

 

Nia Richardson, Counselor

YEA Camp Nia-Richardson-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!  My name is Nia Richardson and my pronouns are she/her and I’m from New Jersey. I recently graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. I am currently taking a gap year and plan to spend that year teaching English in South Korea. I then plan to get my Ph.D. in School Psychology and become a school psychologist. I love getting involved in different community service projects and I am also very interested in studying topics such as racism, privilege, mental health, and the education system.

 

 

 

Jeri Schneider, Head Chef

YEA Camp Jeri-Schneider-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!  Jeri is thrilled to have been a chef and head chef at YEA Camp for four years. She enjoys working with a kitchen team to turn out tasty and nutritious vegan meals for everyone. Her social justice activism goes back a long way: she has advocated for tenants’ rights; organized for systemic changes to end homelessness; protested wars and police violence against the Black community; served on the board of directors for a statewide nonprofit that promotes the benefits of a vegan lifestyle for animals, health, and the environment; marched for and celebrated LGBTQ+ rights; worked for racial equity in education and within the animal advocacy and vegan movement; and taught vegan cooking classes. She works as a high school librarian during the school year, so of course she enjoys reading, as well as running, hiking, and mountain biking.

Larry Sanchez, Chef

YEA Camp Larry-Sanchez-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!  Larry enjoys cooking vegan meals and organic gardening/permaculture. He also enjoys baking sourdough bread from scratch, fermenting and making homemade sodas. 

Larry and his wife Yena have three children and three grandchildren. Larry homeschools his two teen sons Samuel and Solomon, both raised vegan since birth and both YEA Campers. His wife works at the local homeless shelter in their hometown. 

Larry was a mess cook in the US Navy from 1987 to 1991 and has spent 5 summers as a camp chef, including a previous summer at YEA Camp.  Larry is the 12th born of 14 children in his family. His parents were migrant farm workers from Texas who later settled in Fremont, Ohio. 

Corri Sheehy, Chef

YEA Camp Corri-Sheehy-300x300 Meet Our Amazing YEA Camp Staff!  My name is Corri Sheehy (she/they), I’m an animal rights activist and a baker from Richmond, VA. I have a background in visual arts, cooking, and I opened a vegan bakery last fall with my family. I was a camper at YEA Camp twice and this will be my third year participating as a staff member! I’m so excited to be working as an Assistant Chef this summer, I can’t wait to meet everyone and make some wonderful food.

 

 

 

This is a partial list of our amazing team, so please check back as we update it!

These few paragraphs barely scratch the surface at how amazing these humans are! If only every young activist could have such outstanding and experienced changemakers supporting them in their world-changing endeavors! At least every camper at YEA Camp will!

If you or someone you know is 12-17 and wants to make a bigger difference in the world, there’s just 8 spots and a few weeks left to sign up! Hope to see you there!