Karen Feldman, Executive Director
Karen 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 change 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, Operations Manager
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 youth development helped him establish Kids Link Fiji, Fiji’s first ever youth 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.
Gretta Schaaf, Program Coordinator
Gretta graduated from Providence College in 2015 where she studied the intersection of education, democracy, and justice. As an undergrad, Gretta was a student-worker in the Feinstein Institute for Public Service and helped coordinate and facilitate EXPLORE!, a college access program for local ninth and tenth graders. Gretta also co-taught a course on Community Organizing in her senior year and interned with the Providence Student Union. Gretta received the 2014 Newman Civic Fellow Award for her commitment to community engagement around issues of education equity.
Upon graduation, Gretta served a year as the Civic Engagement, College Access and Persistence AmeriCorps* VISTA with the Rhode Island Campus Compact. The position was shared between Providence College and Young Voices. In this role, Gretta increased college supports for Young Voices students by developing a mentorship program, senior workshops, and a free SAT prep course for juniors. She also engaged alumni through local college visits, a study on college persistence, and alumni gatherings and networking nights.
In her free time, Gretta enjoys baking, drinking coffee, listening to podcasts, and being outdoors.
She is thrilled to continue working with Young Voices in a new, full-time role!