Staff Bio/Contact

Executive Department

James O’Neal
Co-Founder and Executive Director
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 105
In 1982, Mr. O’Neal received the Harvard Fellowship in Public Interest Law and co-founded Legal Outreach in 1983. He became a Columbia University Charles Revson Fellow in 1990. Mr. O’Neal attended Oxford College of Emory University, A.A., 1977; Emory College, Emory University, B.A.,1979, Political Science; and Harvard Law School, J.D.,1982.

Bethsheba Cooper
Co-Director and Managing Director of College Access
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 203
Ms. Cooper has been with Legal Outreach for thirty-four years and has served in numerous capacities in helping to build and establish the various components of the Law-Related Education and College Bound Programs. She is a recipient of the PASEsetter Award for excellence in After-School education. She is a 1981 graduate of Southern California College with a B.A. in English. Previous to her tenure with Legal Outreach, Ms. Cooper worked in ministry with Voice of Calvary, a community development organization in Jackson, Mississippi.

Pebbles Angella Byndloss
Director of Finance and Operations
Email Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 104
Ms Byndloss joined the Legal Outreach Family in Spring 2012, with over sixteen years of banking and accounting experience. She has worked in both corporate for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Ms. Byndloss believes job performance reflects the person, and takes great pride in performing all tasks – menial to managerial – with diligence, pride, and efficiency. Ms. Byndloss is a graduate of CUNY York College.

Massiel Ramos
Communications and Alumni Relations Director
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 206
Ms. Ramos received her B.A. from Emory University in 2011, and her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2015. While in law school, Ms. Ramos was the recipient of the Edward V. Sparer Fellowship and the Equal Justice America Fellowship allowing her to work with underserved communities in New York City. As an alumnus of the Summer Law Institute and the College Bound program, she has remained connected to Legal Outreach through volunteer work during college as a college access intern and as a debate coach during law school. Knowing the immense value that Legal Outreach has added to her life, upon graduating from lawschool, has returned to serve Legal Outreach students and alumni full-time.

Alfas Miah
Director of Information Technology
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 205
Mr. Miah began working with Legal Outreach in 2006 as Assistant for College Bound and Law-Related Education programs in Manhattan and Queens. In 2009 he officially became the Director of IT, managing the organization’s information technology infrastructure. He develops and maintains various applications and systems, providing technical and administrative support for programs. He graduated from John Jay College, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in Public Administration.


Development Department

Craig Livermore
Director of Institutional Advancement
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 102
Mr. Livermore received a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College, MTS from Harvard Divinity School, and JD from Columbia Law School. Mr. Livermore volunteered for Legal Outreach while in law school, and later worked as Law-Related Education Coordinator. In 2006, with Legal Outreach’s help, he founded NJ LEEP [NJ Law and Education Empowerment Project] in Newark based upon the Legal Outreach College Bound Program model. He has returned home to help Legal Outreach expand its programs to transform the lives of more youth and families.

Cesar Boc
Development Coordinator
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 103
Mr. Boc graduated from St. John’s University with a B.A. in Philosophy in 2006, and went on to obtain a Masters Degree in Theology from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, NY, and an M.Div. from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. His graduate studies focused on Liberation Theology, Immigration, and Human Rights. After graduate studies, Mr. Boc worked as an educator and counselor with underrepresented minority college and high school students in Boston, MA. Mr. Boc has also been an activist, advocate, and community organizer for marginalized communities. While working with these communities, Mr. Boc began to gain an interest in working on development and his experience in grassroots organizing gave him insight on securing funding for nonprofits. Mr. Boc also hopes to complete his studies in law school in the near future.

Claudia Kahindi
Development Assistant
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 106
Ms. Kahindi recently graduated from Wesleyan University with departmental honors in the College of Social Studies major and a minor in African Studies. While at Wesleyan, Ms. Kahindi was awarded the Newman Civic Fellowship for her contribution to civic engagement and public life, and the Mosaic Award for creating cross-cultural awareness and promoting inclusivity on campus. Ms. Kahindi is also the Kenya Scholar Athlete Project (KenSAP) alumni president. KenSAP is a college access program dedicated to helping gifted low-income Kenyan students gain admission to highly selective colleges in North America. As a beneficiary of KenSAP, Ms. Kahindi is committed to expanding opportunities for marginalized students through her development position at Legal Outreach. Her ultimate goal is to pursue international law at a top law school.


Special Initiatives Department

Tamika Edwards
Managing Director of Training and Special Initiatives
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 202
Ms. Edwards received her B.A. in Legal Studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1996 and her J.D. from New England School of Law in 1999. She worked at Legal Outreach from 1999-2009 in several capacities, including Coordinator and Director of Legal Education, Saturday Writing Program instructor, and Queens Site Director. From 2009-2012 Ms. Edwards worked at Advocates for Children as an Education Specialist and Staff Attorney before rejoining Legal Outreach in 2012.

Shayna Williams
Community, Law & Education Coordinator
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext 221
Ms. Williams received her B.A in English, magna cum laude and with departmental honors, from St. Joseph’s College in 2014, and her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 2017. At St. John’s, Ms. Williams was a Student Attorney for the Child Advocacy Clinic, and served as Articles Editor for the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development. After law school, Ms. Williams was an Associate Attorney at boutique family law firm Richardson Legal PLLC, and mid-size law firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, where Ms. Williams’ law practice focused on family law and matrimonial proceedings. Ms. Williams draws upon her diverse experiences to provide a broad range of knowledge and support to students and families.


Law-Related Education Department

Grace Pickering
Managing Director of Law Related Education
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 208
Ms. Pickering received her B.A. in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge in 2000; her Master of Science in History of Science, Technology and Medicine from Imperial College, London, in 2001; and her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 2008, graduating magna cum laude. Prior to law school, Ms. Pickering taught English in Barcelona, Spain. From 2008-2012, she was a general litigation associate at Arnold & Porter LLP.

Alysha Pizarro
Director Law-Related Education
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext 209
Mrs. Pizarro graduated, summa cum laude, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2007, with a B.A. in African American Studies and Political Science, and received her J.D. in 2010 from St. John’s University School of Law. While in law school, Mrs. Pizarro served as a Coordinator during Legal Outreach’s 2009 Summer Law Institute at St. John’s and continued to work with Legal Outreach through the remainder of her law school career. Prior to rejoining Legal Outreach, Mrs. Pizarro served for three years as an Assistant District Attorney under Robert T. Johnson in Bronx County.

Ana Apostoleris
Law-Related Education Coordinator
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext 210
Ms. Apostoleris received her B.A. in Psychology from Swarthmore College in 2013 and her J.D. from Duke Law School in 2016. During law school, she worked on various criminal and juvenile cases through Duke’s Wrongful Convictions and Children’s Law clinics, and was student director of the school’s Center on Law, Race, and Politics; prior to law school, her work included public education and community affairs internships with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball’s Commissioner’s Office. Before joining LO in 2017, she was a Legal Fellow with the Fair Punishment Project at Harvard Law School.

Samantha LaPenna
Law Related Education Assistant
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 227
Ms. La Penna attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she pursed a dual course of study in Legal Studies and English. Ms. La Penna has worked in legal aid offices for university students, advocated for the rights of students with children, and worked as a writing tutor focusing on multilingualism and the racializing of nonnative English speakers in academic circles. This focus, in conjunction with, an undergraduate thesis on the school-to-prison pipeline fostered Samantha’s continued passion for access to education in undeserved communities. In a few years, she hopes to pursue a J.D.

Josh Myers
Diversity & Inclusion Fellow
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 211
Mr. Myers received his B.A. in English, with minors in Sociology and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies, from Montclair State University in 2010. Prior to Legal Outreach, he worked as a non-profit Youth Program Director and as a high school English Teacher in Newark, New Jersey. During his teaching tenure, he completed Teach For America’s Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Fellowship and Leadership for Educational Equity’s Policy and Advocacy Summer Fellowship. Mr. Myers’ experiences made him realize how necessary it is for students and families from marginalized communities to understand the laws that enable our education system, and felt that Legal Outreach is uniquely suited to fulfilling that need.


Saturday Writing Department

Dan Bautista
Director of Writing and Academic Development
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 101
Dr. Bautista received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1991 and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Brown University in 2004, all in Comparative Literature. Prior to joining Legal Outreach in 2015, he taught as a Lecturer in the History and Literature program at Harvard University, as an Adjunct and Assistant Professor of English at Lehman College, CUNY, and as an Instructor for the Columbia University Summer High School Program.

Kenny Jean
Writing Coordinator
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext.
Mr. Jean received a B.A. in English from Williams College in 2014 and a M.A. in English Education from New York University in 2016. Mr. Jean began his educational career as a tutor before becoming a lead ELA teacher at Uncommon Schools for middle school students in Brownsville, Brooklyn. As a Legal Outreach alumni and educator, Mr. Jean remains committed to the mission of college success and is excited to serve this year as the Writing Program Coordinator.


After-School Department

Dwight Curwen
Director of After School Services
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 201
Mr. Curwen received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University at Albany in 2002. Dwight began as an instructor and eventually became the Director of Education for a Sylvan Learning Center site in the Bronx in 2005. He also taught English Language Arts and Math during a three year stint with Waterside School for Leadership Middle School in Far Rockaway, Queens. Before Joining Legal Outreach he served as a Director of Education for community-based organizations Friends of Island Academy and Phipps Neighborhoods. Dwight has a passion for education and working with residents of under-served communities.

Alexandra Irkaeva
Assistant Program Coordinator
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 220
Ms. Irkaeva graduated from Hunter College in 2015 with a degree in history. From 2013 to 2017, she taught and tutored for The Princeton Review on a variety of subjects, including the SAT and ACT exams. She has also volunteered and acted as an Education Coordinator for Generation Citizen, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing civics education to underserved high schools across the country. Her ultimate goal is to become a social studies and English teacher.


College Access Department

Darrius Moore
Academic Advisor
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 224
Mr. Moore graduated in 2010 with a B.A. in Sociology from Franklin and Marshall College. Mr..Moore works with the College Access Team as an Academic Advisor. As a Legal Outreach alum and Posse Scholar, Mr. Moore seeks to give back to the communities that propelled his success.

Monique Siaw
Academic Advisor
E-mail Me | 718-752-0222 Ext. 115
Ms. Siaw graduated in 2016 with honors in African-American Studies and Music from WesleyanUniversity. At Wesleyan, she was a part of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, which ignited her desire to obtain her PhD and become a professor at the university level. Ms. Siaw works with the College Access Team as an Academic Advisor to freshmen and sophomores. As an LO alumna, Ms. Monique is combining her love for the arts and teaching to inspire youth.