RICHARD SOUTO, Executive Director, has years of passionate experience serving youth and families in NYC’s most underserved communities with engaging and impactful educational programs.  Prior to joining LeAp, Rich was the Chief Operating Officer of Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School, a community-based organization and school serving over 2,000 young people from pre-k to college. Rich was previously Executive Director of New Heights Youth in the Bronx and Associate Executive Director of Groundwork in East New York, Brooklyn. Rich also volunteers time to many initiatives important to him both in the city and near his upstate home and he was an Adjunct Professor at the New School University.  Rich spends his free time biking, gardening and hanging out with friends and family. 
Richard Souto
Executive Director
(212) 769-4160 ext. 107
ALEXANDRA LEFF, Deputy Director, has had over 20 years of experience in the field of arts and education, creating and directing programs, overseeing staff, developing curricula, managing media relations, and coordinating student projects and exhibitions. She came to LEAP in 2006 and oversees much of LEAP’s in-school programming, hires teaching artists, leads professional development workshops for staff, and manages public relations and marketing initiatives. Alexandra is the creator and director of LEAP’s high-profile Public Art Program, a youth and social action program that culminates each year in the largest student exhibition in NYC parks history. This program has gained citywide recognition and support from the NYC artist community, and city dignitaries and agencies, and has been featured by citywide TV, print, and online media outlets. Alexandra received her B.A. Cum Laude in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Albany, and attended CUNY Graduate Center and Hunter College, completing all required coursework towards an M.A. in Anthropology.
Alexandra Leff
Deputy Director
(212) 769-4160 ext. 105
JIM PUGLIESE, Supervising Director of Afterschool Programs, As an educator Jim Pugliese has worked for LEAP for over 25 years. Jim has worked in hundreds of elementary, junior high and high schools. He has conducted workshops for thousands of students, their parents and teachers. He has taught science, math, cultural studies and language arts through music and percussion and created and designed curriculum, integrating music into the academic subject areas. For many years he worked at Project Concern’s Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention program at P.S. 285 in Brooklyn. In 2005 Jim was given the opportunity to begin his “Dream” After-School Program. Presently he is the brainchild and supervising director for LEAP’s award winning Radical Arts Venue and Education Center (R.A.V.E). at CIS 22 middle school in the Bronx and five other Compass/Sonyc After-School Programs. Jim has also been BMI’s Composer-In Residence at La Guardia high school of Music, Drama and Art in New York City for the ten years. Three of Jim’s music composition students have had their Compositions selected to be performed by the New York Philharmonic on their School Day Concerts.
Jim Pugliese
Supervising Director
of Afterschool Programs
​(212) 769-4160 ext. 104
DIAMOND ST. THOMAS, Director of Evaluation, has worked with a variety of nonprofits in the area of strategic planning, survey design, database management, research and evaluation. Much of her work has been in the realm of education, youth development and in the arts. She is committed to strengthening nonprofits through demonstrating their impact. Currently, at LEAP (Learning through an Expanded Arts Program), Diamond is the Director of Evaluation. Her work includes designing and implementing an evaluation strategy to measure the impact of the organization. LEAP supports participants through the arts from grades K-12 in the New York City area. Prior to joining LEAP Diamond was the Director of Research and Evaluation at Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation. She also consulted for organizations such as Young Audiences New York, Project Bully Free Zone, Youth Bridge and Cool Culture. She completed her M.S. at The New School in Nonprofit Management and a postgraduate certification in Organizational Development. Her B.A. is in Criminal Justice with a focus on Juvenile Justice.
Diamond St. Thomas
Director of Evaluation
(212) 769-4160 ext. 115
SETH GOLDBERG, ​Program Director, has been with LeAp for over 16 years.  As LeAp’s new Program Director, Seth draws on years of experience as a Teaching Artist, Mentor, Manager and Afterschool Site Director.  Seth’s roles and responsibilities include providing leadership, support, design and direction for the Program Department.  Seth has Master’s degrees in both Childhood Education and Jazz Studies.  He has also been involved with the creation and implementation of the ALLL Program (Active Literacy Leads To Learning) and the Summer Quest Programs. In addition to working for LeAp, Seth is an active musician in the NYC community.
Seth Goldberg
Program Director
​(212) 769-4160 ext. 117
SAMUEL DOYON, Operations Manager, has been with LEAP for over three years and in a variety of roles, most recently in the Programming Department, where he oversaw the August Wilson Monologue Competition and the LEAP OnStage Program. Today Sam oversees LEAP's Human Resources, IT, and general office logistics to make sure everything "behind the scenes" at LEAP is running smoothly. Before coming to LEAP, Sam was a Recruiting Administrator for a high-profile executive recruiting firm. Sam received his B.A. in World Politics and Anthropology from Hamilton College.
Samuel Doyon
Manager of Operations
(212) 769-4160 ext. 101
ERICA GARBER, Program Manager, is a lifelong student, artist, educator, and yogi, with a commitment to producing innovative programming that empowers students. She has been supporting artists, children, and non-profits through her work in NYC for the past 18 years. Erica is an NYC DOE Certified Teacher, with an MA in Art and Art Education from Teachers College Columbia University; continued Graduate level work from Rutgers University with a focus on Art History from ancient civilizations to Modern art movements; holds a BS in Object Restoration, and an AAS in Studio Art from the Fashion Institute of Technology. At LEAP, Erica works with a talented team of Program Coordinators and an elite pool of LEAP Teaching Artists to provide the quality programming schools and families across NYC have come to expect. She brings to her role a fresh look at LeAp's foundational pedagogy, curriculum design, and professional development, with the aim of strengthening academic standards alignment, delivering serious arts instruction, and supporting the social and emotional growth in all LEAP students. 
Erica Garber
Program Manager
(212) 769-4160 ext. 109
MICHAEL PERRECA, Artistic Director of Theater Programs, is a longtime theater professional and arts administrator. He was recently the Executive Director of the Times Square-based Royal Family Productions. He has served as Producing Director and Other Stages Producer of the acclaimed Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass.; Managing Director of Making Books Sing in New York; and Artistic Director of Bristol Valley Theater, a professional theatre located in Naples, N.Y. He also served as Director of External Relations for the York Theatre Co. and Development Director of TADA! Youth Theater. He has directed dozens of productions throughout the United States and in New York City. As an Adjunct Professor for Brooklyn College, he teaches a unique course titled “Performing Arts Techniques for the Classroom Teacher" and Theatre classes for the S.T.A.R. Early College Program. He has been associated with LeAp Onstage and the August Wilson Monologue Competition since their early years and is proud to be LeAp's Artistic Director of these programs.
Michael Perreca
Artistic Director of
Theater Programs
​​(212) 769-4160 ext. 108

Our Staff

Gabe Gordon

Program Coordinator- Queens

(212) 769-4160, ext. 113

Naisha Solomon

Operations Assistant

(212) 769-4160, ext. 100

PJ Bailey 

Afterschool Program Director, JHS 022X

Christine de Castro

Accounts Payable

(212) 769-4160, ext. 102

Kathy Harrison

Afterschool Program Director, MS 323X

Michael Yates

Afterschool Program Director, MS 129X

Alexandra Constas

Executive Coordinator

(212) 769-4160 ext. 106

Claude Joseph

Afterschool Program Director, MS 088K

Laura Craft

Program Coordinator- Manhattan/SI

(212) 769-4160 ext. 114

Sabrina Kemp

Afterschool Program Director, MS 228X

Tara Daniels

Program Coordinator- Brooklyn

(212) 769-4160, ext. 112

Suzannah Longval

Program Coordinator​- Bronx

(212) 769-4160, ext. 110

Amara Davila

Afterschool Program Director, PS 163M

Olivia Luna

Afterschool Program Director, Teller Avenue Campus

Tricia Frazier

Afterschool Program Director, MS 125X

Rebecca Olivo

Afterschool Program Director, PS 67K

Jessica Francisco

Finance Manager

(212) 769-4160, ext. 103

Denise Piña

    Office Manager, LEAP Afterschool Collaborative Campus

Jeneen Garcia

Afterschool Program Director, MS 51K

Madleen Santana

    Assistant to Supervising Director, LEAP Afterschool