The Team


Alycea Nightingale


Educate The Block (ETB) Founder & Director: Alycea Nightingale worked with the Workforce Development Program (WDP) @ Essex County College teaching and creating job readiness curriculum. With a corporate HR background, her focus at WDP was always concentrated on well-rounded training, job placement and career advancement for the participants. Ms. Nightingale also worked with the NJ Devils on hospitality, marketing and placement for the Prudential Arena Opening.  She worked closely with MOET (now Newark Works) to place Newark’s unemployed and TANF populations. She conducted orientations, training sessions and pre-interviews to identify, recruit and prepare candidates for permanent work.

Ms. Nightingale consults for the NJ Small Business Development Center of Hudson County at New Jersey City University. She provides training, education and long-term professional advisement to small businesses. She works on special projects which include grant writing, program development, curriculum design and impact tracking. She hires instructors, outlines modules, markets business programs to the public, packs classrooms and creates qualitative/quantitative outcome/impact reports.
Ms. Nightingale has created the ETB program to give those without access, the means to education, culture, art, literature, healthy balance, business, technical training and career opportunity. She, her staff and supporters are committed to changing the urban community through a progressive approach.

Director of Operations: Maria Soccor

As a producer and director on her recent documentary feature film “Lords of BSV,” (voted Best Director, Best Music Production & Best Documentary in Tribeca, San Francisco, Madrid, Venice & Long Island Film Festivals), Maria Soccor has demonstrated her outstanding talent behind the camera while simultaneously continuing to distinguish herself as a successful actress and model.

As an actress, Soccor has appeared in 20 movies including “Playmakers of New Orleans” starring Zoe Saldana and Boris Kodjoe in which she played Saldana’s sister, and “Jersey Justice” starring Emmy award winner Blanche Baker. She has also appeared in films featuring Matt Damon, Edward Norton, John Turturro, John Malkovich, Famke Janssen and Martin Landau (“Rounders”), Queen Latifah and Danny Glover (“The Cookout”), Danny Aiello and Joe Piscopo (“The Last Request”), and John Leguizamo (“Undefeated” on HBO).

Her television credits include “Cosby,” a recurring role on the NBC series “Another World,” and Caroline Diaz, “K-Ville” on Fox as Laurencia Leon starring Anthony Anderson and Cole Hauser, as well as appearances on ABC, CBS, PBS, and the Lifetime channel.

She is Head of Operations for the organization and manages our LEAP program at the Hudson County Correctional Facility,

She also oversees Educate The Block’s Media Program, is an active Board Member and provides internships for the Media students.  You can see her work at:

Director of Recruitment (Client Specialist/Analyst): Carlene McDonald

Carlene has 15 years experience managing, directing, recruiting and administered leadership and professional development for companies in the private sector.

At ETB she helps our underserved population to overcome their psychological barriers and regain confidence. She provides one on one counsel to assist students in the achievement of their employment goals, identifies opportunities and refers clients for Job Placement. She also provides incentive and non-incentive work placement assistance (job test, hire, full time/part time work, on-the-job training opportunities). This included focus on writing resumes, cover letters, thank you letters, reference letters, interview techniques, and fill out job and GED applications.

She also collects and enters accurate client data into designated reporting computer systems that detail participant placement, employment outcomes, and progress for 9 months of follow up. She responds to inquiries and complaints and handles overall Human Resource responsibilities.

Holds a degree from The Management Institute of National Development in Kingston Jamaica

Recruitment/Operations: Tracy Lopez

A former ETB student who completed our Media Production Program in 2015, began interning, then was brought on as a recruiter under the OJT grant. He has progressed into a full-time position as our operations manager and well-respected student advisor.

Media Program Director: Kevin Torres

Kevin has been a visual designer, video editor, and production manager for 5 years. He manages the media program and teaches videography, lighting, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects and Premier Cut Pro. He also teaches MS Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel), some CAD, Windows Mac applications, installing and troubleshooting. He provides structure, executes a quality product and thorough curriculums.

He has degrees from NJCU and NJIT.

Senior Instructor: Andreas Rosero-Viteri

A customer service professional and multimedia designer with 10 years of managerial experience who teaches a series of soft skills, life Skills & managerial development courses to our Hospitality, Logistics, Maritime and Correctional Facility students. He also teaches resume writing and computer literacy. Analyzes and develops thorough industry-specific curriculums.

He has a Bachelor’s in Interactive Multimedia and Business Management from The College of NJ.

Media Instructor: Christopher Rice

A professional editor and animator of Media Design. He teaches ETB students how to edit with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere and how to shoot with DSLR cameras.

He also facilitates skillful projects for students and provides internships for them. He has Bachelor degrees in Post Production and Media Arts from NJCU.

Media Instructor: Christopher Englese

A professional filmmaker who has worked with us to develop and facilitate our adult and ‘Out of School Youth Series’.  His knowledge of media production and expertise in the overall digital film industry are a huge advantage to the entire school. He has a Bachelor’s in Media Arts from NJCU and a Master’s in Film and TV studies from the University of Glasgow in the UK.

Computer Literacy/Resume Instructor: Andrew Washington

A professional web developer and network administrator. He teaches all the core courses at ETB, computer literacy, English, math and resume writing.

He has a Bachelor’s in Illustration from NJCU and Certificates in Computer Programming and Project Management.

Associate Director for Hospitality Programs: Corrine Statia

After relocating to the United States for England, Corrine Statia became a Corporate Executive with one of the Fortune 100 Companies. Corrine worked with a team that helped manage, plans and executes more than 600 meetings, conferences and special events in a single year.

Since then she has executed events for KPMG, BD, Novartis, Maersk Sealand, Victoria Secret Beauty, NJEDge Net, Time Warner Cable, and The National Hispanic Business Group.

Corine oversees ETB’s Hospitality Program, projects, and job placement.

Hospitality Instructor: Chef Thomas Mongiello

A professional chef with 10 years of experience.  He has managed daily operations of catering, banquet, and dining hall including the training, supervision, and hiring of catering, kitchen, and maintenance staff for meetings, room service, restaurant service, and events for a diverse selection of companies.

He has trained and managed kitchen staff at Hilton, Maritime Park, NYC caterers, and Gourmet Dining. He was a Food and Beverage, Cost Control and Labor instructor at NJCU. He holds an Associates degree from the Culinary Institute.

Office Assistant: Deanna Cabrera

A seasoned professional that teaches courses in, hospitality, event planning, customer service, and group communication. She has helped coordinate all of ETB’s events annual conference by providing class experience for students in event planning class.

She has her degree from Rutgers University School of Communication and Library Science,

All Instructors & Staff have a passion for:

  • Civil Rights and Social Action
  • Human Rights
  • Poverty Alleviation
  • Animal Welfare
  • Children


Meet The Team