Learn more about the people behind our organization.
Daniel LeboFounder / Presidentdaniel@healthynewyorker.org
In 1998, a computer changed my life. I was working part time in a youth summer program and part of my training exposed me to web development. In the years that have followed, I have had the privilege of gaining hands-on experience in Web Development, Audio Engineering, Film Editing, Computer Aided Drafting, Digital Marketing, Computer Networking, Computer Programming, Cloud Computing and Machine Learning. That same year, 1998, I arrived in New York City as a visitor. I had no idea that the two (Technology and NYC) would have such a profound impact on my future.
‘”A computer saved my life” is a bold statement, but its true. I grew up with my own share of challenges. From growing up in the inner city of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, to living in low income neighborhoods in four different states. So for me, technology not only changed the world, it personally changed my life in a positive way. In over twenty years of exploring what computers are capable of, for me, the most fascinating aspect of all of this technology is it’s effect on society.
That is the Healthy New Yorker. A nonprofit focused on combining the tools and resources of our staff with the power of technology to improve the quality of life for our fellow New Yorkers. I believe many would agree, New York is a special place. That is why I consider being involved in the work of a nonprofit focused on this city to be one of the greatest honors of my life.
Both sides of my family are immigrants that were processed at Ellis Island, I was baptized and confirmed at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, I’ve worked on advertising campaigns that have been seen in every borough and subway, and I’ve been on both sides of the classroom at the City University of New York. I truly believe that life is about people and through it all New Yorkers have always had my back. This is why I dedicate my time, my expertise and my heart to the people of New York.
Sarah AllendeVice President / Treasurersarah@healthynewyorker.org
Hello fellow New Yorkers! My name is Sarah Allende and I would like to share with you a little bit about me and my journey to becoming a Healthy New Yorker!
I was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1981. My father was an immigrant from India via Pakistan and has been in America since the 1970”s. He worked as a Stock Reconciliation Specialist for over 30 years in the Wall Street area ( I have no idea what a Stock Reconciliation Specialist is..). My mother was born under strict Italian-American Immigrants. My mother worked as a Secretary in the World Trade Center and my parents met at the lobby bar. It does not get more New York than that!
I attended John Jay College and graduated in 2003 with a Bachelors in Legal Studies. I was aspiring to become a Criminal Lawyer. I started an Internship and quickly changed my mind that the path was not right for me. I enrolled in Hunter College to become an Elementary School Teacher. Helping others was always the foundation of my spirit and something that I was inherently drawn to. I applied to be a Graduate Fellow as I finished my Master’s Degree. This experience changed my life and my journey began!
I started as an Assistant in The Career Center at Kingsborough College. I loved working with the students, helping them with their academics and career paths, the event planning, and I also worked with an amazing team! A year later I was offered another position at a private college. I worked with strict goals to “place” students in jobs as soon as they graduated. The concept was very scary to me. How can I control how someone performs at an interview and how can I market a student to a company in one of the country’s biggest job markets? My job was contingent on the outcome so I hustled! I worked hard with the students and was very persistent with connecting my students to the job market. Relationship building was the foundation to my success. I did not take no for an answer. I was offered more job opportunities as the word traveled that I can “actually get these kids jobs”. I worked 2-3 jobs at a time. I worked on several local, city, state and federal contracts. I worked in the engineering field, IT, medical and management sectors. I worked night and day to help my students or clients find the job they were destined for. Ensuring that they had the proper tools to succeed.
For the past 5 years I have been working with CUNY under several grants, helping people that are unemployed or underemployed secure employment in the career they choose. I built curriculum to blend students of all cultures and ages to come together as one. I wanted everyone to have a fun and pleasant experience as the job search process can become frustrating. It was here that I met my forever friend, Daniel Lebo, and we came together to eventually find out we had the same fundamental lifelong goals – to simply help people that needed help.
My expertise is in Workforce Development per my resume. My personal life expertise is Autism Advocacy. My 10-year-old son was diagnosed with Autism at 18 months old. I had to learn to be a working mom of multiple jobs plus navigate a life shattering situation. I was dismissed my many doctors and did not know where to turn. I had to push for help. You can read more about my journey with my son in the Autism section of the website. If I was to give my all to my students, I was going to give even more to my son. Now, I am able, ready and willing to help other families with the same issues; academic, financial, socially and mentally. We are here for you!
Aytakin AsgarovaFounder / Secretaryaytakin@healthynewyorker.org
Aytakin started her journey in Europe in her home country, The Republic of Azerbaijan. At an early age she excelled in her studies and went on to receive her Medical Degree from Azerbaijan Medical University. Eventually she would move to the states where she attended Ramapo College of New Jersey and earned her Master’s Degree in Sustainability Studies. Aytakin has worked closely with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and is a member of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. An extremely intelligent woman with a heart of gold, she has given her time and volunteered with many organizations including Y-Peer Youth Network and Womenists, a global network of professional woman and entrepreneurs. A born Leader, Entrepreneur, Communicator, Teacher, Community Leader and Philanthropist. Aytakin has been a Healthy New Yorker long before this organization was even thought of.