Karen Feldman, Executive Director
Karen brings more than 20 years of experience in the field of youth leadership development. She is the Founder and former Executive Director of Youth In Action (YIA). Under her leadership, Youth In Action grew from just an idea into one of the most recognized youth organizations in Rhode Island. Karen earned Leadership RI’s prestigious David Sweet award for her achievements.
Karen co-founded Young Voices in 2006 to address the need for an authentic youth voice in policy-making in Rhode Island. Karen has extensive experience in successfully pushing for policy creation at the local and state level through her work at Young Voices. She also brings over twenty years of experience in the youth leadership field, including program implementation, organizational management, and financial oversight. Karen founded Youth In Action in 1997, and served as its Executive Director for eight years. Under her leadership, Youth In Action grew from just an idea into a nationally recognized entity, reaching more than 10,000 young people from its four-story building. Karen has a Bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, and a Master’s degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Peter Chung, Program Coordinator
Peter was born and raised in the Fiji Islands. He studied at the University of the South Pacific majoring in Geography and Demography. In Fiji, Peter started out as a young volunteer with Save the Children Fiji. His passion and enthusiasm for child development helped him establish Kids Link Fiji, Fiji’s first ever child led initiative. Peter worked at national and international levels to advocate for children’s rights in Fiji and its pacific island neighbors. In 2008, Peter represented his organization at an awards ceremony in New York City in which Kids Link Fiji was awarded UNICEF’s International Child Led Organization of 2008.
Most recently, Peter worked at the Providence Youth Services YMCA as a Site Coordinator, managing academically-aligned Out of School Time programs for school-age youth. Since joining the Young Voices team, Peter has initiated our Leadership Training Academy at a new Providence high school, supported the students to create an extensive research report to drive youth voice in school redesign, and partnered with the school leadership in the actual redesign of the school.
Emily Harris, Program Coordinator
Emily Harris brings experience in youth development, social science research, advocacy, and community outreach. She began her youth development career as an After-School Coordinator at the West End Community School in Providence. Since then she has continued her work with youth as a literacy tutor, while pursuing a graduate education at the Graduate School of Arts and Science of New York University. She returned to Rhode Island after graduating with a master’s degree in Humanities and Social Thought.
In her time at Young Voices, Emily has worked with the students at Central Falls HS to develop an Action Plan based on the research report they prepared during the 2010-2011 school year. Emily has worked with community partners to organize young people across the city in support of the students’ Action Plan, which is the basis for the students’ partnership with school leadership for the redesign of the school.