Youth Bureau Staff

ADMINISTRATION

Frank Williams, Jr.

Executive Director

Frank Williams, Jr. has had a long and distinguished career in human services. He is currently the Director of the Youth Bureau and has been with the agency for 29 years. Prior to his current position, he was the Director of Employment Services, for the Grand Street Settlement in New York City. In addition to providing leadership at the Youth Bureau, Mr. Williams sits on the Board of Directors of Good Council Academy, is a member of the Black Scholars Committee and a member of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He has received numerous awards for his community work.

Mr. Williams holds a degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi. He has a Masters degree in Social Work from Fordham University.

Dr Bhavana Pahwa

Bhavana Pahwa

Deputy Director

Bhavana Pahwa has worked with the Youth Bureau for the past 17 years and has more than 30 years experience as a social worker. Bhavana earned her Master’s in Social Work and PhD from the University of Texas at Arlington and also has a second Master’s Degree in Communications from Texas Tech University. Over the past 30 years Bhavana has worked with youth and families as well as with school districts and community based organizations. Bhavana has experience in program development, evaluation, and non-profit marketing/ PR.

Prior to being appointed as the Deputy Director, Bhavana has worked as a Program Director at the Youth Bureau and as a Intervention Specialist with the Arlington Independent School District in Texas.

DEPARTMENT SUPERVISORS

Raymond Tribble

Raymond Tribble

Program Director, Leadership & Counseling

Raymond H. Tribble grew up on Lake Street and is a product of the White Plains School System. He attended Post Road Elementary School, Highlands’s Middle School and White Plains High School. Ray has a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications with a minor in Business Administration and a Master’s of Science of Social Work from Columbia University. Ray has been the Supervisor of the Alternatives/ Leadership & Counseling Department for the for the past 25 years. Currently, Ray’s supervision responsibilities include: Bits N’ Pieces Tutorial Summer Camp, Saturday Academy for both boys and girls, Step-Up youth “at risk” program, Mayor’s Youth Council, Aviation Academy, Great Potential program, Mentoring program as well as the coordinator of the agency’s van transportation. Hobbies; Fishing/ Motor cycle riding/Bike riding/ Traveling

Byron Smalls

Byron H. Smalls

Program Director, After School Connections

Byron H. Smalls a lifelong resident of White Plains and is head of the After School Department. Prior to working with the Youth Bureau, Byron worked for the White Plains Public Schools at Ridgeway and Church Street Schools and holds degrees from Norfolk State University, State University of New York at Purchase and a Master’s in Public Administration from Metropolitan College. Byron has received endless awards for his work with youth, families and his community and has served as the President of the Westchester School Age Directors Network, National School Age Care Alliance, Institute for School Age Care, Head Trustee for Ridgeview Congregational Church, as well a member of the Gedney Farms Neighborhood Association, among other agencies. When Byron is not working in his community he loves to travel and traveling across the entire United States as well as over 30 countries.

Patricia Staffiero

Program Director, Youth Employment Services

A White Plains native and a graduate of White Plains High School, Patti fell in love with the work of the White Plains Youth Bureau while doing her undergraduate internship and never left!   She received her Bachelors in Social Work from Iona College and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Fordham University.  Over the past 20 years, Patti and the YES team have provided opportunities for White Plains youth to gain experience and skills in the workforce, and feel grateful for being able to provide many young people with their first jobs.  During her free time she loves crafting and spending time with her husband and daughter.   

Gina Covington

Program Director, Neighborhood Services

Gina Covington is the Director of Neighborhood Services and has been with the Youth Bureau since 2016. Gina started in a part time role as Coalition Coordinator facilitating grant programming for both Wellness Week and White Plains ComicCon events. She then moved into a full time position as the Director of the STEAM Academy servicing elementary students in 7 locations across the city. She has since been promoted to Director of Neighborhood Services and is responsible for afterschool and weekend programming to support the needs of middle school, high school students as well as their families. Please contact Gina if you are looking for something fun and timely for teenagers.  

Kassandra Mindingall

Kassandra Mindingall

Program Director 21st CCLC - S.T.E.A.M. Academy

Kassandra Mindingall is a lifelong resident of White Plains who began her relationship with the Youth Bureau when she was in elementary school attending the After School Connections program. Kassandra went on to attend University of New Haven and Mercy College where she earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice with minors in both Psychology and Health Sciences. She has taught high school chemistry and forensics at Our Lady of Victory Academy and Pre-kindergarten for Family Services of Westchester. Her love of serving youth has also availed her to many part-time positions in the Youth Bureau programs throughout the years. Kassandra is currently a full-time employee of the Youth Bureau, where she is the Program Director for the 21st Century Community Learning Center STEAM Academy. She is grateful to be serving the youth of the community in the agency that serviced her as a youth. Kassandra’s children are also active participants in the programs that the Youth Bureau offers.

Janet Spencer

Janet Spencer

Program Coordinator, Youth Employment Services

Janet Spencer started working at the White Plains Youth Bureau 13 years ago with the goal in mind to make a difference in the White Plains community. She has a degree in Psychology from Fordham Univ. and a Master’s in Social Work from NYU. Janet works in the Youth Employment Department running different programs including: The Greening Project, Babysitting, Junior Counselor Training, Hospitality, Culinary Arts and our Summer Youth Employment Program. During her free-time she enjoys being outdoors, smiling, laughing and being with family and friends.

Eric Rios

Eric Rios

Program Coordinator, Leadership & Counseling

Eric Rios is the father of 3 wonderful girls who helped him discover his love of enriching the lives of young people. After many years in the corporate arena, Eric joined the White Plains Youth Bureau team as the Church Street STEAM Academy Site Director. Eric now works with middle school and high school students by way of the Aviation Academy and the Mayors Youth Council. Eric has also played a role in bridging the gap between the YB and the White Plains Spanish-Speaking community with his outreach efforts.

Catherine Backes Valenzuela

Catherine Backes Valenzuela

Administrative & Program Coordinator, After School Connections

Catherine Backes Valenzuela was born and raised in White Plains and a graduate of White Plains High School.  She has been working for the White Plains Youth Bureau for over 20 years.  She was hired by the agency the same year she received her Masters of Social Work from Fordham University and has been there ever since.     When she is not working she loves to be outside, enjoying the sunshine. 

OTHER FULL TIME STAFF

Nicolette Johnson - Business Manager

Nicolette has over 30 years of experience in business administration and management with not for profit and government entities. Nicolette holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from Metropolitan College of New York and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Morgan State University. In her free time, Nicolette enjoys reading and volunteering her time with not for profit organizations devoted to social justice and empowerment.

Agnes Kadavil - Grants Manager

Laura was raised in White Plains, having emigrated from Colombia when she was 2 years old. She attended Post Road Elementary, Highlands Middle School and graduated White Plains High School in 1999. She has been the Youth Bureau’s Office Assistant for the last 16 years and aside from answering all calls that come in, she also helps with all translations, creating promotional materials, and assisting frequently with program implementation among other things.

Laura Montoya - Admistrative Asst. (Spanish Speaking)

Laura was raised in White Plains, having emigrated from Colombia when she was 2 years old. She attended Post Road Elementary, Highlands Middle School and graduated White Plains High School in 1999. She has been the Youth Bureau’s Office Assistant for the last 16 years and aside from answering all calls that come in, she also helps with all translations, creating promotional materials, and assisting frequently with program implementation among other things.

Sheila Foley - Program Coordinator, Leadeship & Counseling

Sheila Foley has a Masters of Science in Social Work, Columbia University. She has worked at the Youth Bureau for 34 years. Sheila manages the High School and Middle School Great Potential program, the Mentor Program, Young MENtoring Group, and Summer Career Academy. Her hobbies are staying active and physically fit!

Sherry Bannister - After School Connection Mgr.

Sheri Bannister has a Master of Science in Information Systems, Pace University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Berkeley College. Sheri has worked at the Youth Bureau for 13 years. Sheri manages and oversees registration for the After School Connection Program and Bits N’ Pieces Summer Camp. She also processes and manages New York State SACC licensing certifications for After School Connection Program and ensuring the Youth Bureau remains in compliance with regulatory requirements. Hobbies: Gardening and Exploring Nature

Hilary Blackman - Program Coordinator, WDAY

Hilary Blackman has served as the WDAY Program Coordinator for the Youth Bureau since 2008.  Hilary understands the significance of her leadership and the level of support required for young adults at this vital stage of development. As a self-described servant, advocate and mentor, she considers it an honor to collaborate with our future leaders. Hilary earned a BFA degree from the State University of New York at Purchase College and in 2019 began her journey towards the achievement of an MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness at New York University, Steinhardt School. Hilary considers life a continual classroom and enjoys creative writing, travel, arts & culture, community service, and believes that humor is life’s great equalizer.

Scroll to Top