Board Members’ Biographies

GABRIELLE APOLLON HOEKSTRA, Supervising Attorney and Haiti Project Deputy Director, NYU School of Law’s Global Justice Clinic

Gabrielle Apollon Hoekstra joined the St HOPE Board in 2015; and, she is our current Board Vice President. She is the Haiti Project Deputy Director and Supervising Attorney at NYU School of Law’s Global Justice Clinic. Previously, she served as a managing attorney of the Legal Services Center at The Door: A Center for Alternatives, a youth center that provides comprehensive youth development services to over 10,000 young people annually. She graduated from New York University School of Law, where she was an AnBryce scholar and a student advocate in the Global Justice Clinic and Children’s Rights Clinic. She earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of International Affairs at Columbia University, where she studied political science and international development. During her studies at Columbia, she worked for the Council on Foreign Relations’ Center for Universal Education and Haiti’s presidential working group on education. Gabrielle is a Harlem resident and cares deeply about the education that children are being given at St HOPE Leadership Academy.

ANKUR DALAL, Director and Tax Counsel, Société Générale    

Ankur Dalal joined the St HOPE Board in 2012; and, he is our current Board President. From 2014-2019, Mr. Dalal served on our Executive Committee as the Board Treasurer. Mr. Dalal has been involved with public schools for over ten years, developing literacy software for students in East Palo Alto, teaching high school mathematics in the Bay Area and New York City for four years, researching state education law and policy with the New Teacher Project and developing human resources software for the New York City Department of Education. Mr. Dalal is currently a tax attorney in the New York office of Société Générale. Mr. Dalal has a bachelor’s in computer science from Stanford University (2004), a master’s in education from Stanford University (2005) and a law degree from Columbia University (2011).

MAUREEN HIGGINS PIOTROWICZ, Recruitment Manager, New York City Department of Education

Maureen Higgins Piotrowicz joined the St HOPE Board in 2013; and, she is our current Board Treasurer.  Ms. Higgins’ involvement with charter schools began in college, when she served as a summer intern at North Star Academy in Newark, NJ. After graduating from Wellesley College, Ms. Higgins taught middle school ESL in the Bronx as a 2006 Teach for America corps member. She continued her career in education as a Manager of Instruction at Revolution Prep, and then as Director of Talent Recruitment for Ascend Charter Schools in Brooklyn. Currently, Ms. Higgins serves as a Recruitment Manager for the Office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality with the NYC Department of Education.

KRISTOPHER JOHN, Vice President of Product Strategy, New Meridian Corporation

Kristopher John joined the St HOPE Board in 2019. He is the Vice President of Product Strategy for New Meridian Corporation. Kristopher has over 15 years’ experience developing products and services designed to improve the educational outcomes of students. He has developed educational products for Curriculum Associates, Amplify, and the College Board. He has a BA in Economics from Columbia University.

SALONE KAPUR, Reputation Marketing Lead, YouTube

Salone Kapur joined the St HOPE board in 2019. She currently leads reputation marketing at YouTube, focusing on many of the company’s responsibility efforts. Prior to YouTube, she led brand partnerships for Google Cloud and also worked on Google’s Access projects where she was part of the founding team that launched Google Fiber in 2012. Outside of work, she has served as a volunteer middle school teacher through Citizen Schools in East Harlem. She received her BA with honors from Stanford University and a master’s from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Clarendon Scholar.

BIANCA PEART, Global Director, AP Capstone Diploma™ Program, College Board

Bianca Peart joined the St HOPE Board in 2019.  Bianca is a first-generation college graduate who is committed to providing access to educational opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students. She’s been working in education for eight years. Currently, she is the global director of the AP Capstone Diploma program, part of College Board’s Advanced Placement® program.  AP Capstone allows high school students to develop skills in academic research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting–positioning students to stand out in the college admissions process and earn college credit. Bianca provides implementation and curriculum support to AP Capstone schools and districts, globally. Through her role, she also works to help expand access to AP for all students.  Bianca earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business; and, she earned her Masters degree in Multimedia Journalism at Columbia University.  As an advocate of sports and education, in her spare time, Bianca works at the NBA for the Brooklyn Nets and directs the in-arena emcee during home games. 

ELIZABETH PHILLIPS, Associate, Analysis Group

Elizabeth Phillips joined the St HOPE Board in early 2018; and, she is our current Board Secretary.  Ms. Phillips is an Associate at Analysis Group, where she specializes in economic and quantitative analysis in complex litigation matters, including in the areas of finance and securities, commercial litigation, and intellectual property.  She has also worked in government, including serving as Director of Analytics and Performance Management for the Office of the Nassau County Comptroller.  Ms. Phillips received a Bachelor of Science in Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University and a Master of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, where she focused her studies on education policy and labor economics.

JENNIFER REYNOSO NG, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Waterlily Birthing Services

Jennifer Reynoso Ng joined the St. Hope board in 2020. She has always been passionate about issues of access, equity, and justice. For the first 10 years of her professional life, this took the form of working in the college access and success field, providing young people with the information, opportunities and support needed for them to make informed decisions about their futures. She started her career working with high school students at the YWCA, facilitating their transition to high school and also providing college application support. She also worked at StreetSquash Harlem for 5 years, where she supported high school seniors with their college applications and supported commuter college students through their studies. Jennifer currently works as a birth and postpartum doula, working with families through the duration of the childbearing year as they adjust to becoming new parents. Through her current work, she has the same desire to expose birthing families to the knowledge and options they have to make informed choices about their birth experience and health care. Jennifer received her BA in Neuroscience from Columbia University and earned her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

CAITLIN ROBISCH, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Children’s Aid

Caitlin Robisch joined the St HOPE Board in early 2018. She has worked in education and social services for over a decade, both in government and non-profit settings, and has an academic background studying the economics of education. She currently serves as the Director, Strategic Initiatives for Children’s Aid, a large child welfare and social services agency in NYC. Caitlin joined Children’s Aid in 2019 after opening WE Charity’s New York office and serving as the Northeast U.S.A. Director for school and youth programming. Prior to her work with WE Charity, Caitlin spent numerous years with the NYC Department of Education, where she worked as a Director of Analytics. She has also worked in program development for various non-profits and social enterprises, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Morocco. Caitlin has dual bachelor’s degrees in economics and history from the University of Virginia and a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University.

SARAH YAN, Independent Consultant for Education and Equity Issues

Sarah joined the St HOPE Board in 2019. She is currently an independent consultant who specializes in education and equity issues in the city of Newark. She has spent the majority of her career working towards supporting the growth of high-quality schools throughout Newark. She started her career as a Teach for America corps member in Newark, where she taught 9th, 11th, and 12th grade science classes. After her time in TFA, Sarah worked for Success Academy Charter Schools as a Business Operations Manager. She returned to Newark to lead talent and human capital work as the Director of Recruitment and Staffing for Newark Public Schools and later as the Deputy Director at the Newark Charter School Fund. She is dedicated to putting the interests of children first and is a fierce advocate for high-quality public education systems. Sarah graduated from Cornell University with a dual degree in Biological and Nutritional Sciences. She also has a Master’s Degree in Secondary Science Education from Syracuse University.