New City Kids wouldn’t be the success story it is without the tireless and passionate people who make it all happen. Come meet the men and women who come together to create this special world where young lives are forever changed.
Rev. Trevor Rubingh
Founder, New City Kids President
A graduate of Calvin College and Princeton Seminary, Trevor is a social entrepreneur and teacher who loves inspiring children to develop their God-given capacities. In 1994, he and his wife Linda followed their passion to bring transformation to urban children and found themselves in Jersey City. Trevor’s vision and high-energy style of leadership have attracted an incredible team. Together, this team has found a way to bring lasting transformation to the children who inspire them. Trevor has developed a long-standing relationship with the local community, where he has gained trust. He continues to love working directly with children, especially teaching music classes, leading worship, and teaching kids to sail.
Josh came to New City Kids in 2007 with an M.S.W. from the University of Michigan to serve as the Teen Life Internship Director. During his time overseeing the department the TLI program grew from serving 24 teens to 60 teens a year and solidified a college bound track record assisting 100% of graduating program participants in enrolling in college. In 2014 Josh assumed a greater leadership role at New City Kids serving as the Executive Director. He continues to be inspired by the staff, teens and alumni as he seeks to share New City Kids’ mission in Jersey City.
Like many in the Journal Square neighborhood of Jersey City, Nermin moved to the U.S. from Egypt two years ago. Nermin knew her own two daughters needed help outside of school to understand the culture and the language, and she loved what she found at New City Kids. After logging hundreds of volunteer hours in the After School Center and helping to translate between staff and parents in Arabic, Nermin joined our staff as Parent Coordinator. She loves how New City collaborates with parents, teachers, and administrators, so that students, including her own daughters, can excel in school and out.
Luke is a graduate of Calvin College where he played rugby. Luke brings with him a high level of energy and enthusiasm both for academics, and extracurricular activities. Luke is excited to work with the teen staff and loves to see high school students get excited about college. He has a passion for helping teens find and pursue their vocational passions as they build their professional network.
Worship Team Assistant
Gabriel Charles is currently a senior at Nyack College studying piano performance. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Gabriel has a passion for God, music, teens, and excellence. He is excited to be a part of the Worship Team and assist the teens’ musical development. He also loves arranging harmonies for vocals and songs for instrumentalists.
Alessandro Di Leonardo
After School Center Assistant Director
Alessandro, a graduate from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, bring a range of gifts to the New City Kids After School Center Staff, and will be leading a STEM class in Fall of 2014. He is also currently attending Alliance Theological Seminary in Manhattan with desires to one day becoming a pastor. He looks forward to being a teacher, a mentor, and a friend to the kids and teens of New City Kids.
Teen Life Internship Director
A Tufts graduate, Daymiris is a strong leader who loves to work with teens through mentoring, coaching, developing leadership abilities and life skills, and fostering their sense of self-worth. Daymiris also is an accomplished singer and strong worship team leader and has used these talents to help harness the creative and musical abilities of the New City community. She spearheads both the Worship Team band and the Spring Production team.
Building and Equipment Manager
George is a master handyman who can fix anything from plumbing to electrical to roofing issues and has been known to solve car problems as well. George has endless energy and loves to use his gifts to support the mission of New City because he cares about God’s kingdom. If you stop and ask him about any Bible verse, you will find yourself involved in an interesting, well-informed discussion.
George does not believe in email.
Keisher was born in Jersey City and has always had a heart to serve the people here. Since graduating from St. Peters University she has served at organizations throughout the city – currently as a board member for Partners in Prevention and as a CASA volunteer. Keisher came on staff at New City Kids as College Coordinator to use her gift for working with youth to help teenagers capture a vision for attending college, and work with them through the difficult process of turning that vision into a reality.
After School Center Director, Fairmount Ave. Site
Jeremy puts a strong emphasis on academic excellence as the Director of the After School Center. He leads by example as Valedictorian from Bayonne High School and a Calvin College honors graduate. He also is a gifted musician who uses song as a vehicle to teach grammar, geography, and math to his students. Jeremy also helps facilitate New City’s teen-directed hip-hop worship experience known as the X-Change.
Sandy Johnson, LCSW
Brighter Day Therapist
Sandy received her master’s degree from New York University and her yoga certification from Integrative Yoga Therapy. Sandy has worked extensively with families involved in the child welfare system and also maintains a private practice in Hawthorne, NJ. Sandy is a past member of the New City Kids board of directors and has volunteered in various programs. Sandy currently serves as Clinical Director of the Brighter Day program, the therapeutic component of New City Kids. Sandy believes that children have so much to teach us and she is committed to honoring each child’s individual gifts and abilities.
An accomplished pianist, choir director, bass player, and drummer, David is an outstanding teacher who connects with students of all ages. He brings a high energy, can-do attitude to his work and leaves a trail of inspiration in his wake.
Deborah Lemmen, LSW
Deborah joined New City Kids’ staff in 2008 as the After School Center Director. After a year away to complete an MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work and a field placement in a juvenile alternatives to incarceration program, Deborah now serves as the Program Director. Deborah is a Licensed Social Worker and launched the CityReins program in 2014, which introduces teenagers to horses and builds communication skills through Equine-Assisted Learning. Deborah is passionate about working with teenagers and families and loves New City Kids’ strengths-based philosophy.
Office & Grant Manager
Kate graduated with a B.A. in Media Communication from Taylor University and brings her passion for creativity to the team. As a grant writer, Kate will be focusing on furthering the amazing growth happening at New City. She is a thorough and analytical thinker with a gift for discovering unique solutions in challenging situations. Her warm character and her ability to make others feel at ease make her an integral part of New City family.
Creative Ministries Coordinator & Job Coach
Sarah is a mentor and job coach in the Teen Life Internship program. In addition, Sarah works with the X-Change, integrating art, drama, and music into small groups and performances at New City Kids. With a strong background in performance, stage management, large scale creative production, and a variety of performing arts mediums, Sarah loves to use performance as a way of engaging kids in their development. Sarah is also a Bible quizzing expert and enjoys using her expertise to “Bring Magic” to kids engaging with Scripture.
After School Center Assistant
Kaneisha Smith is a Jersey City native and a graduate of Saint Peter’s University with a degree in Sociology. In her role as receptionist and administrative assistant, Kaneisha is the first person most people see when the come to New City. She brings a warm and smiling presence that sends the message to the kids and the community: “We care about you!” Kaneisha brings organization and calm in the sometimes chaotic environment of a busy after school center.
After School Center Assistant Director
Tia is a New Jersey Native and graduate of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. She has a strong desire to make learning fun and get kids connected to Christ. She will be helping out at the Vroom Street After School Center Site.
Gabriel holds a BFA in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and brings an array of artistic and technical abilities to New City’s staff. In addition to being an accomplished photographer and videographer with several films to his credit, Gabriel is a creative strategic thinker with an unusual ability to connect with people from various backgrounds and bring them together to serve a common mission.
After School Center Director, Vroom St. Site
Jackie first came to New City Kids in high school as a teen staff. She quickly rose through the leadership of the Teen Life Internship program and has worked for New City Kids in a variety of capacities since her high school graduation. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English from New Jersey City University in 2013 and is pursuing her Masters degree at St Johns University in Global Development and Social Justice. She currently serves as the After School Center Director at Vroom St where she gets the chance to invest in the kids and teens she loves.
After School Center Assistant
Malika is a social work major at New Jersey City University. Her internship focuses on assisting in the After School Center directing kids through the afternoon, handling discipline issues, and supporting students with homework completion. Malika also assists with parent communication and creating events for parents and students. Formerly a Teen Life Intern, Malika has a deep knowledge of different aspects of New City. She loves working with the middle school students, holding them to a high standard of responsibility and maturity.