CORE Fellows

CORE Fellowship Corner

What People are Saying

CORE Fellowship Corner

Many participants in CORE Fellowship program for 2022-23 recently shared their thoughts about what the program means to them. Below we share their thoughts for those considering a future CORE Fellowship with Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.

Jessica Escobar-Eck
Director, Business Development
LINC (Lehigh Valley Interregional Networking & Connecting Consortium)

“The CORE Fellowship is a brave space where all opinions are respected, people are thoughtful, and everyone has a vision for a more just and equitable community and world.  The members of the fellowship all come from a place of love and want to learn more.” said CORE Fellow Jessica Escobar-Eck, Director, Business Development, LINC (Lehigh Valley Interregional Networking & Connecting Consortium).

Mark Wilson
Executive Director
Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University

“The CORE Fellowship is a way for like-minded organizations to connect and support each other’s journey towards racial equity,” Mark Wilson, Executive Director of the Zoellner Arts Center, who participated as a CORE Fellow this year. 

Meg Dowd
Corporate Affairs Manager
JustBorn Quality Confections

“The CORE Fellowship is a uniquely brave space that allows participants the opportunity to explore new and vulnerable ideas and thoughts with support from all who enter the space. It’s an eye and heart opening experience,” said Meg Dowd, Corporate Affairs Manager, JustBorn Quality Confections, who participated as a stakeholder in the program.

Christina Graham
Data & Evaluation Manager
Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center.

“Relationships in the CORE Fellowship are a roadmap for building community,” said CORE Fellow Christina Graham, Data & Evaluation Manager at Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center.

Emilie Carlino
Career and Professional Development Coach

“The CORE fellowship is TRANSFORMATIVE. This program has served as an opportunity for me to self-reflect, reset, unlearn and refocus myself and my work in ways that allow me to better understand how I can show up as an advocate in our community,” said CORE Fellow Emilie Carlino, Career and Professional Development Coach, Emilie Carlino Consulting.

Veronne Demesyeux
Associate Executive Director
New Bethany Ministries

“Relationships in the CORE Fellowship are honest, direct, healing and genuine,” said Veronne Demesyeux, Associate Executive Director, New Bethany Ministries, who participated at a CORE Fellow.

Janine Carambot Santoro
Director of Equity and Inclusion
City of Bethlehem

“My vision for equity is having every person feel that they have agency and power in decision-making in their organization and community. It is about having access to opportunity and thinking innovatively about changing policies and programs that were originally designed to serve as barriers and not as invitations,” said Janine Carambot Santoro, Director of Equity and Inclusion, City of Bethlehem, who served as a stakeholder.

Katelyn Mack
President & Chief Operating Officer
LINC (Lehigh Valley Interregional Networking & Connecting Consortium)

“The CORE Fellowship program is a community of changemakers that seek to lift each other up and create a more equitable and just Lehigh Valley,” noted CORE Fellow Katelyn Mack, President & Chief Operating Officer of LINC (Lehigh Valley Interregional Networking & Connecting Consortium).

Julie Thomases
Board of Directors
Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley.

“My vision for equity is first, understanding that we do not all start from the same place. We must have the will, skill and courage to make adjustments to the existing imbalances. We must break down intentional and unintentional barriers arising from both bias and systemic structures in order to assure that those who have been and continue to be marginalized have the access to all resources according to their need,” said CORE Fellow Julie Thomases, Board of Directors, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley.

Dolores Singletary
Board President
Community Bike Works

“Relationships in the CORE Fellowship program are invaluable and have encouraged me to see myself differently and feel supported in that growth,” Dolores Singletary, Board President at Community Bike Works, who is a CORE Fellow.

Candi Staurinos
Director of Community Engagement & Impact
Zoellner Arts Center.

“Sharing our personal journey has impacted me profoundly throughout the program. I have a new context for seeing injustices in our world and workplaces,” said CORE Fellow Candi Staurinos, Director of Community Engagement & Impact at the Zoellner Arts Center.

Mariska Van Aalst
Public Engagement Officer
Congresswoman Susan Wild’s Office.

“My vision for equity is an environment where all people have access, opportunities, resources, and relationships that honor and celebrate their whole beings, an ecosystem where we relish and delight the wide diversity of our backgrounds in a way that enriches all of our lives,” said CORE Fellow Mariska Van Aalst, Public Engagement Officer, Congresswoman Susan Wild’s Office.

Sherri Brokopp Binder
Executive Director
Ripple Community, Inc.

“The CORE Fellowship is an opportunity to connect, explore, and create together, and to reimagine a more just and equitable future for our community,” said Sherri Brokopp Binder, Executive Director, Ripple Community, Inc.

Marci Martinez-Howey
Associate Vice President for DEI
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley

“My vision for equity is I want everyone to be able to show up as their authentic selves in any space and to have equal access to opportunities. I want that access to come just as easily for one as it does for another (remove the barriers,” said Marci Martinez-Howey, Associate VP, DEI, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, who serves as a nonprofit stakeholder.

Carrie Krug Nedick
Director of Donor Services
Lehigh Valley Community Foundation,

“The CORE Fellowship is a safe and nurturing space to be vulnerable, listen, and grow,” said Carrie Krug Nedick, Director of Donor Services, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, who served as a stakeholder in the program.

Charlene Smalls
Board member
Ripple Community, Inc

“In the CORE fellowship, not all relationships are easy but people come to the table open and willing to form meaningful relationships born out of love for all humanity,” said, Charlene Smalls, Board member at Ripple Community, Inc.

Learn more about the Core Fellowship Program