Lysander is from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and attended the Cambridge School of Weston, where he served as a student representative to the board of trustees and ran the school’s Model UN organization. Lysander has a diverse range of interests, from politics and international relations to history and literature, but is especially interested in physics. In high school, he conducted research at an applied physics lab at Harvard on improving the efficiency of solar panels using lasers, and used a computer program to simulate the behavior of invisibility cloaks.
Lysander has a passion for teaching, partly inspired by his parents. His father is a college professor and his mother worked as a preschool teacher and administrator for several years. For fun, Lysander likes to windsurf, a skill he learned as a camper at YMCA camp fuller. In the past several years, he has worked as a counselor at the same camp and has taught children of all ages how to windsurf.
Leo Espinoza, who hails from Topeka, Kansas, is a sophomore in Saybrook College. Though he is undecided as to what he will major in, he has a deep interest in understanding the Middle East and the root causes to their problems. Outside of the Urban Improvement Corps, he is very involved with YIRA -- Yale's International Relations Association -- and also spends his time as a member of Saybrook's College Council. Over the course of his life, Leo says that it has been his mentors who have had the most meaningful impact in his life. As a tutor with the Urban Improvement Corps, he is most looking forward to establishing lifelong relationships with students as they go through the trials and tribulations of life. If you would like to contact him or ask him any questions, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jamie hails from the sunny Los Angeles, CA. 5 years ago, she co-founded Book in a Bag, an early literacy program that caters to toddlers from financially challenged backgrounds and/or who have learning disabilities. She created the program in an effort to reteach academia in an enjoyable and interactive manner as well as foster an early love for education. The non-profit organization is still operating today and has now served hundreds of children in her community. In 2012, she was recognized with the Points of Light Award and named the California State Volunteer Representative.
She is extremely excited to join the Urban Improvement Corps Team as a tutor. Having attended an inner city and overcrowded public school for most of her life, she recognizes the importance of one-on-one interaction between students and teachers. As a tutor, she is looking forward to providing that extra attention every student deserves, but cannot always receive.
At Yale University, Jamie serves as a member of the Spring Fling Committee and as a DJ with Yale’s Broadcasting Company. She also works as a Media Technician at the Bass Media Lab and the Equipment School of Art.
Lindsey was raised in a small, low-income community in a rural area just south of Lansing, Michigan. She participated in several mentorship programs in high school, worked extensively with the Red Cross, and served as her class and student council president. Her experience with tutoring comes from tutoring fellow students on her volleyball and track team who were slipping into ineligibility. What Lindsey has found to fill her with the most joy has been counseling students of all different ages at camps throughout her home state. Starting as a sophomore in high school, she sought out as many camps to serve, teaching children about subjects such as nature, faith, and cultural identity. Lindsey plans to continue to pursue these activities heavily in college and beyond. As mentorship and teaching are some of Lindsey’s greatest passions, she is greatly excited to work with the students who enroll in the UIC.
At Yale, Lindsey serves as a Director of the Yale Gospel Choir, as a Peer Liaison for the Native American Cultural Center, a Calhoun College Master’s Aid, and is affiliated with several Christian groups on campus as well as a mentorship program for New Haven seniors called REACH.
Denzell is from Brooklyn, NY. He went to a boarding school called St. Paul's School in Concord, NH, where he learned the importance and expansiveness of diversity. "It goes beyond race and ethnicity to encompass a myriad of categorizations such as religion, socio-economic status, sexuality, nationality, etc." In high school, he served primarily as a prefect, student admissions officer and captain of the Track and Field team. Denzell graduated Summa Cum Laude with distinctions in Sciences. In his free time, he took piano and voice lessons and also frequently fashioned ceramics.
As a tutor for UIC, Denzell is most interested to help facilitate the development of strong thinkers and engaged learners. Over the years, he has served with the Boys' Club of NY and Inspiring Young Minds to mentor youth. His ambition is to start an organization in his home community that will foster the growth of underprivileged youth through enrichment programs and extracurricular activities that will not only keep kids off the streets but build highly qualified candidates for elite high schools and universities.
On campus, he is a member of the Yale Black Men's Union, serving as the Community Outreach Chair where he hopes to diversify and expand the Union's outreach in regard to service in the New Haven community.
Alexandra Williams, known as Alex to her friends and family, was raised in New Rochelle, NY in a loving family and diverse suburban community. She had the privilege of living in an environment that stressed the importance of education, which has molded her into the person she is today. She recognizes however, that privilege comes with great responsibility, and she takes it upon herself each and every day to ensure that she works to her greatest ability and strives to “pay it forward.”
An extensive community service volunteer in high school and a tutor in Algebra and Biology for struggling middle school students, Alex welcomes the opportunity to engage with the New Haven community through the Urban Improvement Corps with open arms. Alex is determined to complete her Yale schooling and ultimately have a career in urban development, specifically focused on addressing problems pervading minority communities. As an outgoing and compassionate individual who has had much leadership and mentoring experience, Alex hopes to not only be an effective tutor for her students, but a relatable role model.
At Yale, Alex served as Secretary of the Freshman Class Council, Freshman Liaison for the Black Solidarity Conference, and dances with Groove Dance Company.