Get to Know The DCPS Persists Team

Looking for your coach? You’re in the right place!

Our coaches are assigned to specific regions across the US, so they can become experts in specific college resources.
Students looking to schedule time with a coach should select the person assigned to your college’s region.

BA in Psychology from SUNY Albany / MS in School Counseling from Long Island University

Asheley Sylvestre is originally from Brooklyn, NY and has spent the past four years living in Maryland. Regarding her educational and professional background, she attended SUNY Albany during her undergraduate…

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BA Political Science and Communication from University of California Santa Barbara / MA in Education Policy and Higher Education from Columbia University

Brianna Neal is originally from Oakland, CA. She is a first-generation college graduate, earning her Bachelor’s from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Political Science and Communications. She recently…

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BFA from Arcadia University/MEd from the University of Vermont/MBA from the University of Maryland Global Campus

Cait learned the difficulties of pursuing a college degree while watching her father pursue his Associate’s over the course of seven years. Her own journey to and through college was…

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BA in Criminal Justice from Delaware State University l MA in Educational Leadership and Policy from Boston College

Damaria Joyner is a dedicated professional from Boston, Massachusetts. She is a first-generation college student, with a BA in Criminal Justice from Delaware State University and a Masters in Educational…

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BA Political Economy and Sociology from The Evergreen State College / MA in Sociology and Education from Columbia University

Deborah P. Bitanga grew up in the Philippines and immigrated to Kodiak, Alaska at age 12. She is a first-generation master’s graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University in Sociology and…

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BS in Health Science from Howard University / MA in Sociology from George Washington University

Ertrell Harris boasts nearly a decade of dedicated service in the realm of higher education and college access. Hailing from South Carolina, Ertrell’s journey began at Howard University, where she…

BA Criminal Justice from Delaware State University / MA Strategic Communications & Public Relations

Francis is a native of Washington, D.C. and first-generation college student. Previously he worked at DCCAP where he served high school students with college advising, financial aid, program management and…

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BA from Texas Wesleyan University / MA from the University of Rochester

Karime Naime is the Director of College Prep and Persistence Programs at DCPS. As a first generation college graduate Karime’s professional career has been focused on providing access, choice, and…

BA in Sociology from Davidson College

Niara Webb is originally from Harlem and spent her adolescence in Asheville, NC and North Carolina’s Research Triangle region. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a concentration…

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BA in Communications and MSEd in School Counseling from Alfred University

Nichole is a recent D.C. transplant from Brooklyn, New York. On the Persists team, she serves as the College-Facing Specialist. Before joining Persists, Nichole served as the Alumni Engagement Manager…

BA in African and African Diaspora Studies from University of Texas - Austin / MA in Sociology from The University of Memphis

Octavian Moten was born and raised in Houston, TX. He is a first generation college graduate, earning his B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied African/African…

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BA in English from SUNY Albany / MA in Educational Policy and Leadership from SUNY Albany

Thairy Echevarria is from Ponce, Puerto Rico. She moved to the United States ten years ago to attend college as a first-generation student. She earned both her Bachelor’s in English…

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BA English Literature from New York University/ MFA in Fiction Writing University of Miami

Willa Reinhard is a proud DC native and product of DCPS, attending elementary through high school, graduating from School Without Walls. She attended New York University for undergraduate, earning a…

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