"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead
P.S. 305 Team
Yannell Selman Founder Yannell Selman is an education organizer, former teacher, and Miami native with a decade of experience in the fields of education and advocacy. Yannell began her education career as a 2nd grade (bilingual) teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Richmond, California. As a teacher, Yannell saw major systemic issues in the school system, compelling her to get involved in education advocacy. .She became an education organizer and organizing director, winning on issue campaigns at the local, district, and state level toward educational equity across Oakland, Richmond, San Jose, and Sacramento. After years of teaching and organizing, Yannell returned home to launch P.S. 305 in 2016. Yannell is Cuban-American who was born and raised in Miami and graduated from Coral Gables Senior High. She has a 5 year old sister currently enrolled in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Mina Hosseini Education Organizer Mina Hosseini currently serves as an Education Organizer for P.S. 305. Mina is a Miami native with an Executive Master of Science in Taxation from Florida International University who worked with Deloitte Tax LLP servicing domestic and international clients before joining P.S. 305. Mina is a passionate advocate for children and is also a Guardian Ad Litem volunteer for the 11th Judicial Circuit. Serving as a voice for children in foster care, Mina is appointed to represent the best interests of abused, neglected, and abandoned children. A resourceful and dynamic connector, Mina joined P.S. 305 to bring her background in professional services cultivated at Deloitte to a mission-driven organization of like-minded individuals in her local community. Mina is an advocate for all children and wants to inspire, engage, and activate members of the community in this pursuit.
Wilson Mejia Education Organizer Wilson Mejía was born and raised in the Dominican Republic before migrating to New York City with his family at age 13. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in History from City University of New York’s Lehman College, he became a Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization offering after-school enrichment activities to socioeconomically-disadvantaged middle schoolers. In this position, he also served as the primary point of contact between parents and teachers as the Family-Student Engagement Lead at Bronx Writing Academy. In 2015, he joined Teach for America’s Dallas-Fort Worth Corps, where he developed leadership skills to become a community advocate. While in Fort Worth, he taught kindergarten at W.M. Green Elementary. In his classroom, he empowered his students to become future community leaders by emphasizing the importance of education and college readiness. Wilson is passionate about early literacy and parent involvement in the early stages of language development. He is now pursuing a M.S.Ed. in Community & Social Change at the University of Miami and organizing families with P.S. 305.
Jesse Dong Jesse Dong is an Assistant Public Defender in Miami Dade County. He previously worked at other public defender offices including with the Orleans Public Defender's Office in New Orleans, The Defender Association in Seattle, Washington and Legal Aid Society in New York City. Prior to going to law school at NYU, Jesse was a middle school math teacher in North Minneapolis with the Minneapolis Public School District.
Matt Campbell MattCampbellisDirectorofAdmissionsatWyncodeAcademy,acodingschoolfor adultsthatprovidesvocationaltraininginwebdevelopmentandotherprogramsforskill setenhancementinthedigitalspace.OriginallyborninMiami,Florida,Mattspentmost ofhislifeinMichiganandearnedhisBachelor'sinBusinessAdministrationfromThe UniversityofMichigan.In2013,hereturnedtoMiamiasaTeachForAmericacorps memberandtaughtmiddleschoolLanguageArtswiththeMiamiDadePublicSchool District.
Luisa Santos Luisa Santos was born in Bogota, Colombia, and has lived in Miami since she was eight years old. She attended the Honors College at Miami Dade College and later Georgetown University where she graduated with a degree in political economy with a minor in education, inquiry, and justice. During the summer between her junior and senior years, Luisa learned about the process of making ice cream using liquid nitrogen. Luisa has always had a business bug and the inclination to start her own venture, so she began to think that maybe this fascination with liquid nitrogen was not just a fleeting interest. She merged her passions for sustainable, value-driven business and a mission to reinvent the way America thinks of ice cream by launching Lulu’s. In May 2015, Luisa decided to bring Lulu’s back to her hometown and opened Lulu’s first shop in downtown Miami. Lulu’s quickly gained popularity and was voted “Best Ice Cream in Miami” by the Miami New Times. Lulu’s now operates a wholesale and catering business in addition to the shop at 2001 Biscayne Blvd. Luisa’s story has featured in top publications, including Forbes, Glamour, The Miami Herald, and in a Hillary Clinton campaign ad during the 2016 presidential election. She even spoke at the White House for the Latinas in the U.S. Summit. Luisa’s unstoppable approach to life and inspiring achievements make her one of the most well-rounded millennial leaders.
Ryan Pontier A native of New Jersey, but at home in Miami, Ryan is Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Education & Human Development at Florida International University (FIU). His work is inspired by his belief that all young children deserve quality care and education. As such, he constantly asks, “What are we doing to support children’s learning, especially their language development?” He provides on-site support to teachers, plans and implements strategic workshops for various educational organizations, engages in research around teachers’ instructional practices with bilingual students, and helps prepare future teachers through his teaching at FIU.
Evian White De Leon, Esq. Board Attorney LongbeforegraduatingfromtheUniversityofMiamiSchoolofLaw,Evian’spassionhas beenelevatingdisenfranchisedvoicesinherhometownofMiami.AtFlorida InternationalUniversity,EvianstudiedInternationalRelationsandSpanishLanguageand Literature,bothinMiamiandinSpain.SheleveragedthoseexperiencestoworkatLegal ServicesofGreaterMiami,Inc.forsevenyearsasacommunitylawyerand litigatortoempowerherclientsfacinginstitutionalinequities.Currently, EvianistheExecutiveVicePresidentofStrategicPartnershipsandProgramsatMiami BeachCommunityHealthCenter,anonprofitandfederallyqualifiedhealthcenter.Part ofherworkisrepresentingtheinterestsofMBCHCtoimproveoperations,qualityof patientcare,andtomitigaterisk.Theotherpartisdevelopingrelationshipswith communitypartnerstoexpandaccesstoquality,affordablehealthcare.Outsideofthe office,sheisthenextPresident-ElectoftheDadeCountyBarAssociationYoungLawyers SectionandvolunteerswithJuniorLeague.Evianwasalsoselectedtoparticipatein ClassIIIofTheFloridaBarLeadershipAcademyandClassIXoftheMiamiFellowswith TheMiamiFoundation.
P.S. 305 Board of Ambassadors
Our Board of Ambassadors serves as an operational and programmatic advisory body for P.S. 305. Through this group, we engage a large, diverse group of stakeholders in our work of improving Miami's education ecosystem.
Ambassadors: Kristopher Budi, Director at Catalyst Miami Natalie Castellanos, Assistant Professor at FIU Wertheim College of Medicine Phillip Jerez, Congressional Aide at the U.S. House of Representatives Dr. Blanca Correa-Cespedes, Assistant Principal at Miami Beach Senior High Julian de Lavalle, Former MDCPS Teacher and Analyst at Royal Caribbean International Tiffany Brave, Teacher at North Miami Senior High Katie Sparkes, Teacher at Palmer Trinity School Sandra Almeida, Teacher at Jesse J. McCrary Elementary Tifanny Burks, Organizer at Femme Collective, Former Organizer at PowerU Karen Veras, Instructional Coach at Eneida M. Hartner Elementary