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.


Michael Partis,


Michael Partis is a Bronx-born educator, researcher, and social entrepreneur. Prior to joining South Bronx Rising Together, he was a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at CUNY Brooklyn College and Assistant Adjunct Professor of Urban Studies at LIU Brooklyn.


Veronica Cuellar,

Data Manager

Prior to joining SBRT, Verónica Cuellar served as the operations associate for Family Rewards, a conditional cash transfer program in the Bronx and Memphis, TN designed to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Cuellar graduated from the University of Redlands and earned her master’s degree in human development and social intervention from the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.


Carlos Rosales,

Network Manager

Carlos Rosales supports South Bronx Rising Together as the Network Manager for its All Are Ready for Kindergarten goal. Rosales also serves as the Board Co-Chair for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, and holds a Masters of Science in Nonprofit Management with a focus on Organizational Change from The New School.

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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.


Abe Fernandez,

Senior Advisor

As Director of Collective Impact at Children’s Aid, Abe Fernandez provides strategic support to SBRT and leads the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative in the Bronx, a statewide effort to plan and implement strategies to mitigate poverty. Abe was a founding co-director of SBRT and formerly the Deputy Director of the Children’s Aid National Center for Community Schools.