Board of Trustees



JOSEPH SCIAME is one of the founders of the Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School and currently Chair of its Board of Trustees.  


Mr. Sciame is Vice-President for Community Relations at St. John's University, with campuses in Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, Oakdale and Rome, Italy.  In his current position, since 1994, he interacts with all local civic and community groups in keeping the communication levels open in terms of University related activities.  He is known for his keen awareness of establishing lines of strong communication with community leaders, and with all levels of municipal government as well.


An involved person in his own community of New Hyde Park, NY, where he resides, Mr. Sciame is involved with his church as a lector and is Chair of the Board of Ethics for the Town of Hempstead, one of the three towns of Nassau County.  


A graduate of St. John's University from its School of Education, Mr. Sciame commenced his earlier years working from 1962-1994 in the areas of registration, admissions and financial aid, which ultimately led to his presidency of the NYS, Eastern Region and National Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators.  


In addition, he has been a local, state and national president of the Order Sons of Italy in America and a national past chairman of its Commission for Social Justice, which fights bias, bigotry and discrimination.



PATRICIA BRAMWELL, MSW, CSW who was born, raised and still currently resides in Bedford Stuyvesant is a Graduate of Central State University and Fordham University.

Ms. Bramwell is Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and is a founding member of Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School.

Ms. Bramwell is retired Psychological Counselor, tenured Assistant Professor from City College Department of Special Programs, (SEEK Program). She also taught a New Student Seminar for entering Freshmen and Transfer Students and was responsible for a caseload of 200 students. Ms. Bramwell also chaired the S.E.E.K. Committee on Course and Standing and served as the Assistant Coordinator of Counseling.

In addition, Ms. Bramwell served as Vice-Chair of District 16 School Board and as a former NYC Commissioner of Human Rights as well as serving on numerous Professional and Community Organizations.





VICTOR RIVERA JR. was born and raised in the Sumner Projects in the same Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn which serves as the home of Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School. 

Mr. Rivera is a founding member of the Board of Trustees, a graduate of New York City's prestigious Regis High School (1980), Pitzer College (1984) and the Harvard Law School (1987).

Mr. Rivera has practiced in the area of commercial litigation for over 20 years in New York City.  He is presently affiliated with Rich, Intelisano & Katz, LLP, a law firm specializing in the areas of construction law, securities arbitration and general commercial litigation.  Mr. Rivera is married father of two and resides in Westchester County, New York.


KEVIN A. NESBITT is a Brooklyn native of Jamaican descent.  He is a husband and father of two children 4 years old and 2 years old, born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant. 

Mr. Nesbitt has a BS in English Education from NYU, MA in English Education with a focus on Higher Education Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an MS in Political Science from the New School for Social Research. His PhD in in Politics is in progress. 

Professionally, his interests and work involve educational programming and development, with a focus on providing innovation, access and equitable opportunities for faculty and students.  This work has spanned careers in both the private and public educational sectors, with jobs at the Director level or above at Columbia University, The NYC Department of Education, the New School University, and currently at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY where he serves as Director of Faculty Affairs and Academic Integrity Office.  His academic areas of interest involve immigration and the state's role in supporting single fathers to take more accountability and ownership over the lives of their children.  He loves traveling and any kind of cheese almost as much as he loves urban education and the BSNBCS.



MARLENA SALVANT-MONDESIR was born in Queens and raised in various communities in Brooklyn. She is a Kingsborough Community College graduate with a scholarship from New York University on the Community College Transfer Opportunity Program. Also being former military wife, Marlena has traveled throughout the United States and resided in Seattle, WA and Atlanta, GA.  She currently lives in Bedford Stuyvesant with her husband and daughter whose a student at Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School.

Marlena is currently employed at Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) as a coordinator in the Legal Affairs department. SNI owns and operated HGTV, DIY, Food Network, Cooking channel and the Travel Channel. During her free time, she volunteers as Girl Scout Brownie leader and enjoys creative writing.


CECELIA MARY RUSSO, a native of Brooklyn, not far from Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School, is one of its founding members and is currently Chair of the Education Sub-Committee.

Ms. Russo is the Director of Pre-Admission Programs at St. John's University and Associate Director of the Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP), which is a New York State Education Department co-sponsored program for 7-12 graders who are African-American, Hispanic, Alaskan and Native- American who have been historically underrepresented in the STEM-L fields. At the University she is responsible for five programs, which reach out to more than 4,000 junior high and high school students in the five New York City Boros, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and New Jersey.

Ms. Russo has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, permanent New York State Certification in teaching Kindergarten - Eighth grade, a Master of Science Degree as a Reading Specialist for elementary and secondary students, a Master's degree in Counseling and a Professional Diploma in Counseling/High Education.

During her thirty years in the field of education, she has taught at the elementary, junior high and college levels, concentrating mostly on the Language Arts area. She has tutored children of all ages and levels in English, Social Studies and communication/ study skills. She has also taught adults in a General Equivalency Diploma Prep Program. She has conducted workshops for students, parents, teachers and administrators.

Ms. Russo has served in many leadership positions for elementary, secondary and college associations and has been and will continue to be an advocate for a quality education for all.



LETICIA THEODORE-GREENE is deputy commissioner for external affairs at the New York State Division of Human Rights. In this role she works to promote the Division, which has the distinction of being the first state in the country to enact a human rights law. Leticia is responsible for managing and directing the Division's statewide outreach and education plan, special projects and media activities. 

Prior to joining the Division, Leticia served as vice president of public affairs at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.  In this role, she was responsible for the development and execution of the organization's public, media, government relations and marketing activities.  Leticia has also served as the Senior Press Officer for the New York City Council and a reporter for WNYC Radiowho also contributed to National Public Radio. 

Leticia holds a Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York and a Master's from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.  In addition to various community activities she sits on the boards of the Brooklyn Public Library and Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School. A native New Yorker Leticia spent much of her childhood in Trinidad, West Indies the birthplace of her parents. She has three brothers and proudly resides with her husband Winston and their two daughters in beautiful Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.