The APEX staff consists of skilled and experienced administrators and educators who share multi-ethnic backgrounds and diverse languages.
— EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Prior to joining APEX, Michael Lee, a native New Yorker, served as the Director of Development at the Committee of 100, an organization of Chinese American leaders that addresses issues concerning Asian Americans and U.S.-China Relations. In this role, Michael was responsible for executing the Committee's fundraising strategies and cultivating relationships with the organization's members and supporters. Michael received an M.S. in Fundraising and Philanthropy from New York University and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in East Asian Studies. He has also led the University of Pennsylvania Asian Alumni Network (UPAAN) in New York City since 2006 and teaches martial arts and lion dance at Norman Chin's Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu School in Chinatown. He and his wife Grace Lee reside in Brooklyn, NY.
— BUSINESS MANAGER
Derek is responsible for the general office administration, bookkeeping, financial management, government contracts, donor gifts, and the organizational functions necessary to support staff and board activities at APEX. Prior to joining the team, Derek worked for several non-profit organizations including the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (The International Emmy Awards), The Asian American Writers Workshop, IFP/New York, and Arts at St. Ann's. Derek's experience working with youth began at the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team in Los Angeles where he was the director of youth education programs, visiting high schools and community centers all over LA County educating young people about HIV prevention. He's a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Ji Yeon Yi
— MANAGER, EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Ji Yeon's primary responsibilities include developing curriculum for and coordinating APEX's education programs, including SAT Prep, 4th Grade Prep classes, College Prep and the Public Speaking Program; planning and implementing trainings for all education program volunteers; and assisting with volunteer and student recruitment. Prior to joining APEX, Ji Yeon worked as a Korean language tutor at New York University and at Hangul (Korean) school in Flushing. She was also an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher in Seoul. Ji Yeon received her M.A. from New York University in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and earned her B.A. from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, South Korea in Spanish. She minored in English Education.
— PROGRAM COORDINATOR, MIDDLE SCHOOL MENTORING PROGRAM
Jiyoon oversees and provides support to middle school mentoring pairs, assists with recruitment and orientation of volunteers and students, plans and implements student workshops, and facilitates group events. She has worked in youth development and event planning at several Asian American and other non-profit organizations around the city. Jiyoon also teaches high school students at St. Paul's Church in Flushing, where she has taught for 10 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and minored in Psychology and Sociology at SUNY Geneseo, where she learned about student activism and led several Asian American, cultural, and diversity initiatives. Jiyoon is passionate about empowering youth through positive mentoring and leadership opportunities and is continuously inspired by her students.
— PROGRAM COORDINATOR, HIGH SCHOOL MENTORING PROGRAM
Jennifer oversees and provides support to high school mentoring pairs, manages the College Prep and Arts programs, assists with the recruitment and training of volunteers and students, plans and implements student workshops, and facilitates group events. Prior to joining APEX, Jennifer worked in the public educational and non-profit sectors as an elementary school guidance counselor, character education teacher, and project coordinator. She received her M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and her B.A. in Anthropology from Tufts University.