Ms. Cynthia Carrion
Director of Community Development
Since 2000, Cynthia has worked closely with youth and community-based organizations throughout New York City and across the country. Most recently, Cynthia served as the Deputy Director at the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, committed to expanding access to legal immigration services, participating in policy making and community organizing from 2014 - 2018. Prior to NMCIR, Cynthia launched a national youth leadership series, mobilizing and training hundreds of youth behind human rights-centered programming as the National Youth Programs Coordinator at Amnesty International USA. On the international stage, she elevated the role of human rights education, facilitating a side event at the UN High Level Meeting on Youth and served as the Youth Producing Change Coordinator for Human Rights Watch, working with youth activists from across the globe advocating for human rights issues. In addition, she was the Partnerships and Programs Manager for The Urban Assembly, a network of over 20 public schools in NYC ensuring that over 10,000 students had access to quality enrichment opportunities.
Cynthia also served as the Director of Youth Channel, the youth serving division of Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) teaching youth storytelling and producing short documentaries. In 2012, she began “Border of Lights” a yearly volunteer initiative with author Julia Alvarez along the Dominican-Haitian border, working towards restorative justice from the 1937 Haitian Massacre. Cynthia is a former college soccer player and founder of Uptown Soccer, providing free soccer access to youth in Washington Heights. Cynthia believes that change begins at home and when her two-year-old only wanted to be a princess, she responded by starting a small clothing line in the Dominican Republic “Muchacha Power” that reflected Afro-Latinidad and called on all women and girls to be “bold, brave y fuerte”. However, she will acknowledge that changing the mind and behavior of a stubborn toddler is one challenge she has not yet overcome!
Cynthia received her BA from Hunter College with a dual major in Media Studies and Latin America and Caribbean Studies. She studied abroad in Spain, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. While abroad in Costa Rica, Cynthia backpacked from Mexico to Panama, visiting with student movements throughout Central America. During her senior year she served as President of Hunter’s Undergraduate Student Government. Cynthia also received her MA in International Relations from City College.
Cynthia is excited to be a member of the S2 team as Director of Community Development. Cynthia has dedicated her career to education and social justice and believes this position aligns with both her passion for creating positive change and professional experience. Although she is a seasoned program manager, leading strategic plans and initiatives, she is eager to learn and ready to listen to the needs of the S2 community and neighborhood. “Working at S2 feels like a homecoming, as it allows me the opportunity to give back to the community that raised me.”