The SBRT Backbone Team is made up of a group of staff from Children’s Aid and Phipps Neighborhoods that builds and maintains the infrastructure needed for collective impact, including communications, engagement, measurement, and sustainability.


James (Jaime) Rivera, Community Organizer

James (Jaime) Rivera is a Bronx-born Puerto Rican and has been involved in activism, organizing, and advocacy for over 25 years. Prior to joining SBRT he organized campaigns for Environmental, Social, and Food Justice, Prisoners' Rights, Healthy Home Products, and Climate Change. Jaime has also been involved in coalitions advocating against jail expansions in the South Bronx, Coalitions to End and Prevent Gun Violence and the Self-Determination of Puerto Rico.

headshot (2).jpg

Lara Kyriakou, Early Learning System Manager

Lara Kyriakou has over 10 years of experience in the early childhood field, with a particular focus on parents and children in the first three years of life. Prior to joining SBRT, she was most recently a project manager at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Lara earned her Master’s Degree in Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania.


Kendall Lewis, School-Age Network Manager

Kendall Lewis has made a career in human services, with a particular focus on non-profit management, youth advocacy, and leadership development. Prior to joining SBRT, he worked as an Writing Instructor for high school students and earned his Juris Doctor from the City University of New York School of Law.


Rose DeStefano, Senior Advisor

Rose DeStefano was the Director of Business Initiatives and Job Quality at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, where she worked with entrepreneurs, business leaders, community-based organizations, and change-makers to unlock innovation and expand equity for NYC workers. Before working in NYC, Rose spent 10 years in the nonprofit sector across a broad range of systems and issues.


Kate Ford,

Senior Advisor

As Chief of Staff for Phipps Neighborhoods, Kate works with management to implement agency-wide strategic projects to ensure staff members achieve results related to our mission: to empower children, youth, and families in the South Bronx overcome poverty by creating opportunities for community members to access education, career programs, and vital community services.