From Marcia Levy: exciting staff changes at VOLS

June 27, 2019

There are so many people who enable VOLS to help anchor the safety net available to low-income New Yorkers across our city. I am inspired by our staff, volunteers, and community partners, who work hard every day to offer a sense of dignity, security, and opportunity to children and families, seniors, immigrant youth, mothers in prison, veterans, microentrepreneurs, and others.

Today, I want to share with our VOLS community some of the important changes taking place within the VOLS staff team to expand our capacity and to best advance our work.

  • Our Associate Director, Sara Effron, is assuming new responsibilities as Director of Pro Bono and Strategic Initiatives to strengthen our collaboration with law firms and community partners.

  • Our Elderly Project Director, Peter Kempner, is taking on the additional role of Legal Director to facilitate collaboration and coordination across VOLS’ projects, which often share common elements across external partnerships, delivery models, and populations served.

  • Sin Yen Ling recently joined as VOLS’ new Immigration Project Director, bringing two decades of experience as a public interest attorney and advocate, with extensive expertise serving immigrant youth in New York and across the country.

  • The VOLS Immigration Project will soon be joined by a new attorney, Emma Morgenstern, serving as a Justice Fellow, awarded by Immigrant Justice Corps.

  • Jon Grabelle Herrmann recently joined as our first-ever Director of Philanthropy & Development to expand VOLS’ funding base and leadership development.

  • Our Immigration Project coordinator, Cecilia Cortés Vila will now be serving all VOLS legal projects as Manager of Data, Impact, and Community Outreach, particularly to strengthen our ability to identify, assess, and report on trends within our portfolio and in the field.

  • VOLS thanks Taylor Washing, an Americorps VISTA with our Immigration Project, who is soon completing her tenure as part of the VISTA year of service.

  • The VOLS Elderly Project will soon be joined by an Americorps VISTA, Gloria Rosario, awarded in partnership with the Feerick Center for Social Justice at the Fordham Law School.

  • In the coming weeks, VOLS will be announcing a new staff attorney position to serve veterans of military service, as part of the VOLS Elderly Project. The emerging VOLS Veterans Initiative is made possible with the generous support of New York Community Trust.

  • VOLS thanks Olga Medyukh for her four years of service leading the VOLS Unemployment Insurance Advocacy Project, and we wish her the best in her next endeavors. Following Olga’s departure at the end of June, VOLS will be closing out our Unemployment Project. Launched at the height of the Great Recession, the project has reached a natural transition point when unemployment claims are at a significantly lower volume.

I often describe the VOLS team as small but mighty. Our work would simply not be possible without the talent, creativity, experience, collaborative approach, and dedication of each and every member of our staff. Thank you!


Marcia Levy, Executive Director