Executive Director: Marsha Tom
Marsha Tom joined Kids X-Press in April 2015 as the new Executive Director following a career filled with service to children and families in the education and non-profit worlds. Most recently she served as Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Westchester for five years and twenty three years in the New York City Department of Education. Driven by her passion, sensitivity and caring, Ms. Tom's educational career began as an Art Teacher which led her to working in the NYC Board of Education. Working as a Substance Abuse Specialist in 1987 and serving the South Bronx community for seventeen years, her passion to work with children and families was welcomed and nurtured. Having created programs for parents, she was transplanted and became the school district's Educational Parent Liaison. Her belief that all children have the potential to be academically successful was founded with her outspoken mindset that we as leaders and educators are obligated to transform education by developing methodologies to strengthen the foundation of families by teaching them how to help themselves. By providing the necessary opportunities and support in order to progress, she set high standards and expectations for them to reach their goals. Having gained the respect and trust of administrators and parents of this challenging community, she was able to introduce the understanding of educational standards and correlate them to parent workshops empowering parents to expand their capacity to help their children with schoolwork and homework.
The New York City Department of Education began to notice that something special was happening in that small classroom devoted to parent involvement/accountability in the South Bronx. Her mantra of “Helping families to help themselves” became the new approach to supporting education at home. As a result of her work which was recognized in school districts throughout New York City, she was promoted to Regional Director for the Office of Family Engagement. Entrusted with the responsibility of increasing parent engagement for the 150 schools in Region 3 in Queens, Ms Tom developed professional development for Superintendents, Principals, Parent Coordinators, teachers and parent leaders and educated all on best practices for increasing parent involvement and leadership through optimal use of federal funding and strategic planning while building strong partnerships. Creatively using resources, she established essential parent lending libraries in the South Bronx and Queens which gave families local access to books, learning manipulatives, educational research materials and weekly parent workshops which engaged and motivated hundreds of families so that learning became a natural part of their daily lives. In 2007, Marsha was acknowledged for her leadership, bold thinking and impactful results and became Borough Director of Queens for the Office of Family Engagement and Advocacy. While supporting 315 schools, Marsha Tom continued to develop solid models of parent involvement practices and policies which to this day are still executed as standard operating procedure throughout schools in the five boroughs of New York City.
Having served in Big Brothers Big Sisters, she transformed programs into educational opportunities for children and highlighted the need for children to gain insight about themselves in order to nurture self esteem and self worth. Developing relationships with the private and corporate sector allowed her to increase awareness and funding in support of Big and Little matches and the need to engage more positive mentors to help just one child by becoming a mentor.
Design & Production: Gabriela Melul de Madrid
Gabriela Melul de Madrid is our Kids X-Press artist and began working with Nivia Viera, founder of KXP in 2006. Gaby as we affectionately know her was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she earned her architectural degree from Universidad de Morón. She made the decision to relocate to New York with her family and continue her career. A highly motivated and talented artist, Gaby’s expertise and passion to support children developed into the look and feel of the Kids X-Press magazine today.
Though Gaby has returned to Argentina with her husband and five children, she continues to provide her professional expertise to KXP as our graphic artist. She also shares her passion for the arts in her local community by serving as the Vice-President and member of the board to “Casa Matienzo”, a nonprofit organization that provides emergent artists in the community an opportunity to showcase their work in a cultural art space in Buenos Aires. As an artist herself, she enjoys many artistic hobbies including glass art which also serves as a therapeutic outlet that motivates her self-expression in a 3 dimensional format.
Program & Production Manager: Lauren Stevens
Born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut, Lauren Stevens came to Kids X-Press as an eager intern interested in discovering how to make a difference with children. She quickly became a critical member of the team and developed an important operational perspective for Kids X-Press. Lauren presently serves as our Program and Production Manager since 2014. Though she is the youngest of four children, she found her voice and made it clear to her family and friends that she had goals and was determined to make them come true, not by dreaming, but by hard work and commitment to a cause. Lauren graduated with her B.A. in Business Administration in December 2014 and aspires to eventually become a successful entrepreneur which will allow her to travel the world as she explores the challenges of life and creates ways to help others.
In her free time Lauren likes to read, write, create art and of course shop! Lauren enjoys working with her team at Kids X-Press as we collectively continue to strive to reach as many children as possible so they too can have the chance to express their opinions of the world from their point of view.
Kids X-Press Intern: Michael Luckett
Michael Luckett has served as an intern with Kids X-Press since his senior year at Woodlands High School. He enjoys working with children in our educational workshops and is grateful that he has an opportunity to serve as a caring and giving role model. Michael also works behind the scenes providing office support to Lauren Stevens, the Kids X-Press Program and Production Manager. His skill and talent is shared with thousands of delighted readers as Michael creates many of the games and puzzle sections of our magazines.
Michael is active at Youth Mission of Life church located in White Plains.NY and serves as an usher, clarinet player, saxophone player, vocalist and serves in the church senior orchestra. He is a Christian Day Camp Junior Youth Counselor during the summer and has a passion to work with supporting youth with sports time, and other youth group activities during the Christian Day Camp. He coordinates outings and events for the youth during the year, and encourages the development of spiritual, musical, artistic, and technical gifts of children in the community and surrounding areas. Michael will be attending Westchester Community College in the Fall of 2015.
Kids X-Press Intern: Kaitlyn Luckett
Kaitlyn Luckett was chosen as an honoree in 2014 for the Kids X-Press Touch the Sky Award. Her writing detailed her focus on housing discrimination which opened the doors to her internship with, Mark C. Fang, Esq., Executive Director of the Westchester Human Rights Commission. Kaitlyn was also chosen to present at the YWCA’s “Annual Stand Against Racism” event on Thursday April 25, 2013 at the Jay Heritage Center in Rye. She is presently attending Roberts Wesleyan College and is pursuing a degree in Biology.
While attending Woodlands High School, she was a member of the National Honor’s Society and received a New York State Regents Diploma. Her credits also include graduation from the YWCA GEM’s Program, and the “Today’s Student Tomorrow’s Teachers Scholarship Program. Besides being awarded the NYSSMA Award for vocal music, she was cited as a “Women to Watch” honoree at the 6th Annual YWCA, “In the Company of Women” Benefit Luncheon on May 9, 2014. Being gifted with intelligence and musical talents, Kaitlyn serves as an usher at Youth Mission of Life Church and is also the Youth Song Leader at the YMOL Christian Day Camp – where she encourages the development of spiritual, musical, artistic, and technical gifts of children in the community and surrounding areas.
Kids X-Press Intern: Matthew Gordineer
Matthew Gordineer, started his internship at Kids X-Press in June 2015. Presently attending Mercy College as a film major working towards a B.S. in Television/Radio Production, Matthew supports Kids X-Press with his extensive knowledge in web design and production.
Matthew has earned recognition at Mercy College with a Quill Award in TV Field Production. Upon graduation, Matthew hopes to use his knowledge to eventually work at a studio utilizing his skills in production and film/television editing. He has amassed great experience working at Eastchester High School within their computer technology department; in addition to filming and editing school events and meetings. His abilities, though young, led him to accept responsibility as an intern in the Dobbs Ferry School District where he was responsible for recording and editing school events such as sports events and school concerts.
In his free time Matthew likes to create screenplays for short movies. He also enjoys watching independent films and enjoys drawing and photography.