Eric Gurna founded DWL in 2000 with the vision of supporting youth programs and schools to improve the quality of their work and create more youth-centered environments. Eric led the organization until January of 2015, when he accepted a new position as President and CEO of LA’s BEST Afterschool Enrichment Program, a partnership between the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the private sector that operates in 195 schools.
While at DWL, Eric designed and facilitated staff development, curriculum, and other resources for community organizations and schools on topics including youth development, experiential learning, literacy, leadership, communication, and organizational development. In addition, he designed and directed youth programs, including Project Unity, an internship program during which teenagers create and perform plays based on their own experiences and ideas.
Previously, Eric served as Director of Staff Development for LA´s BEST After School Enrichment Program in Los Angeles, CA, where he cofounded the LA Partnership for After School Education. Eric also worked for Educators for Social Responsibility and Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families (now Harlem Children’s Zone).
Eric has presented workshops and keynote addresses for dozens of organizations and conferences nationwide, including Children’s Aid Society, The After-School Corporation, LA’s BEST, and more. Additionally, he hosted the podcast, Please Speak Freely: Honest Conversations About Youth Development and Education, during which he interviews leaders and practitioners to shed light on key issues and explore different perspectives.
Eric holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Irvine and an M.S. in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from the New School for Social Research. He lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife Elia, who is an artist, their two children, Rosalie and Rafael, and their two cats.
Photo by Jesse Banks
Chief Executive Officer
As the CEO of Development Without Limits, Jennifer Brady sets the overall vision for the organization’s work, develops and guides new projects, and represents Development Without Limits in the national education and youth development arena. Jennifer develops how-to guides, online tools, and resources to support high-quality program design. She has led DWL’s team to support subcontracts with the U.S. Department of Education including the You4Youth website and the Family Engagement Resource Providers (FERP) project. Prior to joining DWL, she was Vice President of Program Quality and Member Services at the National Summer Learning Association, providing leadership and strategic direction for program improvement initiatives and working passionately to build a strong professional community by providing exceptional learning experiences and resources.
Jennifer taught elementary school in Baton Rouge, LA, where she also led an enrichment-based summer program for third graders. She earned a Master’s degree in public policy from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, with a self-designed major in creativity. Jennifer lives in Portland, Maine, with her husband, son and daughter.
Belinda has served in the educational field as a leader, educator, advocate, program director, and consultant. As Vice President, Belinda advises the organization’s NYC work and develops new projects. With over 20 years of experience, Belinda provides professional development, program development, and technical assistance to directors and staff of youth-serving agencies in New York City and in cities across the country. Belinda possesses special expertise in designing and facilitating content-based, interactive workshops that range from youth development, creative literacy programming to management and leadership development for non-profit and faith-based organizations. She offers workshops at local and national conferences.
Belinda is a graduate of Brooklyn College with a Master’s Degree in Bilingual Education, and she also completed Columbia University’s Middle Management Program at the Not-for-Profit Institute in 1998. Belinda graduated from Union Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity degree in May 2013.
Director of Professional Development
As the Director of Professional Development, Hanaa develops professional development, trainings, and technical assistance opportunities for youth development professionals throughout New York City. Prior to joining DWL, Hanaa was the Managing Director of High School and College Bound Initiatives at the YWCA of the City of New York, where she was primarily responsible for the strategic development and implementation of mission driven high school programming. She led the growth and expansion of high school programs, which have served more than 5,000 high school youth during her 11 years of service. Her experiences have fueled her passion to create rich learning experiences for youth and youth development professionals.
Hanaa received her BA in English Literature and Women’s Studies from the University of Minnesota and her MA in Near Eastern Studies with a concentration on gender studies and history from New York University.
As Contracts Manager at Development Without Limits, Mike is responsible for the administrative management of our larger initiatives including those funded by the New York City Department of Youth & Community Development. He provides project management and logistical support for professional development initiatives and works to ensure the smooth execution of conferences, special events, and individualized support to youth-serving organizations.
In his 13 years working with New York City schools and youth-serving organizations, Mike has gained a wide variety of experience including youth program management and design, nonprofit governance and finance, outcomes measurement and quality improvement, reporting and compliance, grant writing and administration, and strategic planning. He has worked as a consultant as well, providing services in the areas of strategic planning, organizational development and change, board development, professional development, and strategic partnerships. Mike has also taught a number of different courses in the social sciences and public policy, most recently in the Children & Youth Studies Program at Brooklyn College. He has a Masters degree in sociology, and is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Professional Development Specialist
As Professional Development Specialist, Andrea designs and leads training and technical assistance with youth workers and educators throughout New York City and beyond. Andrea has extensive experience developing curriculum and facilitating programming related to youth workforce readiness, literacy, life skills, health and wellness, and gender-based programming. Andrea is a seasoned educator with over a decade of experience working with young people in grades Pre-K through 12. She has also worked with college students and adults in the private sector, leading workshops on effective facilitation, diversity in the workplace and professionalism.
Andrea earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Oberlin College, where she was involved in running after school programming in the local public elementary school, and holds a Certificate in Professional Coaching from the International Coach Academy.
As Business Manager, Alyse Driscoll is responsible for DWL’s fiscal operations. With over 20 years of financial experience, Alyse Driscoll has spent her career helping business owners achieve their goals and better understand their financial models. She began her career with Ernst and Young, LLP, as a member of their Entrepreneurial Services Division, focusing on small and midsized companies seeking to expand their impact. From there, she went on to private industry working with several multinational corporations, studying a variety of business structures, and helping CEOs and other senior managers better understand the financial complexities of their companies.
Today, Alyse brings her extensive technical knowledge and expertise to Development Without Limits, helping us navigate the intricacies of financial reporting and tax regulations so we can better serve our clients. Alyse is a licensed certified public accountant in New York State and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She volunteers her time with several local organizations and is currently a member of the board of directors for the Melvin Yahr International Parkinson’s Foundation.
Learning Designers & Facilitators
Social Media Specialist
As Social Media Specialist, Jennifer Brevoort uses social media platforms to help DWL build vibrant learning communities. Jennifer embraces the frequent innovation in online learning and works with our online learning team to contribute to training development. Her experience includes developing and running an annual Virtual Career Fair for parents, students, educators, and business professionals; creating online community networks for youth workforce development professionals across Pennsylvania; designing frequent webinars and creating an Online Curriculum Builder for career educators at www.workreadyclassroom.com.
She has developed and delivered instructional materials and trainings for afterschool providers across the country with the Center for Afterschool Education, and created and led nationally recognized youth programs at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. She is the author of Integrating Teens into Your Museum Family, a publication for children’s museum educators. Jennifer holds a BA in Psychology from Gettysburg College and a Master’s degree in Urban Education from Temple University.
As a senior consultant, Rebecca provides training, technical assistance, and curriculum writing that draws upon her extensive background in curriculum development, direct service, training, and program administration for youth development programs. Recently, Rebecca was the Senior Director of Capacity Building at the Philadelphia Youth Network, in Philadelphia, PA. In this role she designed and oversaw professional development strategies for PYN staff and its provider network, including the development of curriculum and other resource materials to assist community-based organizations with youth workforce preparation.
In 2003, Rebecca was selected as a Robert Bowne Foundation Fellow and participated in a yearlong fellowship to conduct research about after school programs. She documented her findings in a paper called Developing Social Capital in Youth Programs. Rebecca is a former high school teacher, and prior to teaching, she held the position of Senior Staff Trainer of the Adolescent Education Program/Teens Helping Each Other, part of the SUNY Research Foundation. Rebecca is also an adjunct professor at The Community College of Philadelphia and teaches a course called Foundations of Youth Work. Rebecca has a BA from the University of Hartford and completed her Master’s in Secondary Education at Brooklyn College.
Carlos Feliz, Senior Consultant for Development Without Limits and Director of Early Start Fitness, designs and facilitates staff and youth development for community-based organizations and afterschool programs. He specializes in the area of youth physical fitness and well-being. He also facilitates many workshops for youth development program staff focusing on how to successfully work with young people. Carlos also works with incarcerated youth to help them to improve their literacy, math, and social skills, and is a Certified Personal Trainer by the American Council on Exercise.
Kiran Handa Gaudioso
Kiran brings 20 years of experience in staff and leadership development, fundraising and budgeting, and program management, including evaluation and monitoring. As a consultant, she provides training and technical assistance in these areas. Most recently, Kiran is a founding staff member and Vice President of Program Operations for New Jersey After 3. Her responsibilities include creating, promoting, and implementing a comprehensive professional development program for more than 6,000 afterschool staff throughout New Jersey. In this role, she has assisted in numerous fundraising, event planning, and community organizing projects. She also has worked with school districts and community-based partners to design and implement an evidence-based afterschool program that was aligned with the goals of the school day.
Kiran received a BA in Political Science and Policy Studies from Syracuse University, cum laude. She earned an MA in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy from The Eagleton Institute of Public Politics at Rutgers University. She serves on the Board of the Christopher M. LaVallee Foundation for Brain Cancer Research. She lives in Livingston, NJ, with her husband and two children.
Development Without Limits was founded by current President and CEO Eric Gurna in 2000. The organization is a team of dynamic staff and consultants suited to various projects. In 2011, the organization expanded to better serve the West coast and provide new expertise, forming Development Without Limits West. The Development Without Limits team brings expertise in staff, program and youth development, the arts, literacy, parent outreach, health, equity and English Learners.
Development Without Limits West
As Co-Executive Director of Development Without Limits West, Jhumpa Bhattacharya helps lead the overall management and development of the organization. Her expertise includes a comprehensive understanding of the afterschool field; creating interactive trainings and developing curriculum and tools to support English Learners and diverse youth; facilitating complex dialogues on race, culture, and immigration; and eliciting and using student voice.
A former Senior Program Manager and Director at California Tomorrow, Jhumpa has refined skills as a field researcher, writer, curriculum developer, facilitator, and trainer. She has provided her leadership, deep equity lens, and analytical thinking on various national research and capacity building projects that helped build high-achieving educational systems and programs that honor the languages and cultures of their students, promote personal reflection to unearth bias and assumptions, and name and address inequities. For over 11 years her work has included providing professional development and coaching to practitioners, working directly with youth, advocating for and helping create policy and system changes, and identifying and highlighting promising practices for youth of color, immigrants, and English Learners.
Jimena Quiroga Hopkins
As Co-Executive Director of Development Without Limits West, Jimena Quiroga Hopkins designs curriculum and trainings and delivers technical assistance and other services to schools, afterschool programs, and organizations. She also helps lead the overall development and management of the organization. Jimena has a decade of experience in the youth development arena as a technical assistance provider, field researcher, and curriculum/tool developer. Her work focuses on supporting English Learner and immigrant populations, low-income youth, youth of color, and other marginalized youth.
In her prior position at California Tomorrow, she played a key role in the organization’s Equity and Diversity in Afterschool project. Her capacity building efforts have ranged from facilitating youth development leadership programs to providing professional development to hundreds of afterschool professionals and teachers. As a field researcher, she has lent her expertise to a number of national research projects on topics such as equity and diversity in after school and preparing staff to work with immigrant youth.
Jimena is currently a Co-Chair of the English Learner Committee for the California Afterschool Network and serves on the Bridge Conference National Advisory Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is also a certified Hypnotherapist and Holistic Healing practitioner.
Media Designers & Editors
As a designer and developer, Randy develops online learning tools, manages our constantly evolving website, workshop registration system, podcasts, and blog. Having joined us in New York after moving from Santa Cruz, CA, he’s helped us stay quick and current as we’ve grown. Randy has been running his own design company since 1998 with clients from all over the world. Design, strategy, consulting, and code are all part of the daily routine. It’s a lot of technology converging at one small screen with a trusted iterative and collaborative process. He’s able to chase down the right answer to complex questions.
His work with Community Centers, schools, and other educational organizations has focused on extending the power to publish and communicate. Randy is interested in creating opportunities for people with powerful messages to get their voices heard and magnify their abilities more than simply getting text to the screen.
Kirsten is an energetic creative with 16 years of design experience. She has designed for Times Mirror Magazines, MasterCard, Inc., Lifetime Television, and Sharp Electronics as well as worked closely with many small businesses and start-ups to develop their positioning strategies, marketing communications, and brand identities. More recently, she has worked along side many non-profit institutions creatively helping them to reach their goals and successfully promote their messages. She has received awards for her work from Mohawk Papers as well as the Graphic Arts Guild. Kirsten graduated from The School of Visual Arts with honors in 1992 with a Bachelor’s in Media Arts.
Nancy Linnon is a teacher, editor, and writer. She has worked for several educational change projects, including the Educational and Community Change Project at the University of Arizona and Ted Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools at Brown University. For over five years, she served on the planning team and board of directors of a charter high school in Tucson, AZ. She has been a freelance writer and editor for LA’s BEST Afterschool Enrichment Program, a journalist with U.S. News & World Report, and a director of education for a nonprofit. She is currently a writer for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). Nancy has taught writing in a variety of venues, including high schools, community colleges, and universities, and she has led women’s writing groups in her home. Nancy has a Bachelor’s in English and Journalism from Syracuse University, a Master’s in Teaching from Brown University, and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Antioch University.
As Managing Editor, Jennifer Weaver-Spencer oversees the project development process, manages production timelines, and provides high-level content editing, as well as detailed copyediting. Jennifer has worked as an editor and manager in educational publishing since 1997. She has extensive experience leading publishing teams and managing projects from concept to finished product. She has developed and edited books, games, and other products for classroom instruction and student use.
Most recently, Jennifer has authored and managed the production of several supplemental educational resources for teachers and parents of children in prekindergarten through grade 3. She earned a Master of Arts in English and Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Jennifer lives in Charlotte, NC, with her husband and daughter.