OUR TEAM

Aaliyah Nyetera

WILLOW Program Mentor

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Aaliyah was born in Portland, Maine, but grew up in the Cumberland/North Yarmouth area. She spent the last two years of her high school career at Lewiston High School. Aaliyah started at Tree Street as a Mentor for the WILLOW Elementary Program in 2022. She loves to draw, listen to music, and spend time with family and friends.

Ashley Kendrick

WILLOW & StreetLeader Program Assistant

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Ashley was born and raised in Lewiston, Maine and is a Tree alum! She currently attends Central Maine Community College, majoring in graphic communications. She wants to then to pursue a Bachelor’s in Psychology. She enjoys making art and painting and also dancing and traveling. She believes Lewiston has so many talented young students, and says, “I joined Tree Street because I wanted to be someone any child can feel comfortable going to, just to have a conversation to make them feel better. I want to get to know the people in my community better, so I could help more now and in the future.”

Cristina Simba Domingos Gomes

Pre-K & WILLOW Program Mentor

Cristina is from the Cabinda province of Angola. She also lived in Brazil for 9 months. Cristina says, “I want to be a doctor and I have two branches of medicine that I have in mind: Surgery or Psychology/Mental Health.”

Cristina arrived in the U.S. in November 2022. She started studying at Lewiston Adult Education in January 2023 and started working at Tree Street in September 2023. She says, “Working at Tree Street has been a good experience and I’m learning every day. I’m improving my English. Every day I’m loving working, I love the children, and when I’m without them for a long time I get sad and miss them. I’m loving it, so I feel more certain that I’d like to go into the field of mental health after my experiences working with children at Tree Street.”

Julia Sleeper-Whiting

Executive Director

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Julia is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Tree Street Youth Center. Born and raised in Bangor area, she initially moved to Lewiston as an undergraduate at Bates College. During her time as a student, she began connecting to the Downtown Lewiston community youth through service learning opportunities afforded to her as a Psychology and Education major. Over the past 10 years, Julia has continued to build on the relationships formed as an undergrad, seeking to provide valuable programming to at-risk youth in Lewiston-Auburn. After completing her Masters in Leadership and Organizational Studies at USM-LAC, she began the present-day Tree Street Youth Center.

Kevin Cass

PINE Workforce Assistant and Mentor

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Born in North Carolina, Kevin (he/him) grew up in the Cumberland/North Yarmouth area after a childhood spent living in many places, including New York, Virginia, and Germany. After graduating from high school, Kevin attended the University of Maine, Orono, where he dual majored in Social Work and English while also remaining highly involved in the University’s music program. In his senior year, Kevin interned at Food AND Medicine where he worked to build community gardens and expand food access in the Bangor area. After graduation, he worked as an Ed. Tech and librarian at Auburn Middle School before joining Tree Street in 2024. When not at work, Kevin is an avid music listener and percussionist; his other hobbies include reading, writing, and going on walks.

Mary Acheson-Field

Development Associate

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Mary (she/her) was born in Washington State, but moved to Maine when she was three. She has lived in various parts of the world growing up, but considers Maine home. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Community, Youth & Education Studies and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. In addition to working as the Development and Marketing Associate at Tree, Mary is also the Administrative Assistant at Next STEP. She is passionate about both the meaningful and silly parts of working with youth, especially in alternative educational spaces. When not at work, you can find Mary indulging in all sorts of food, being outside, dancing, and spending time with friends and family. Mary is excited to be part of the Tree Street team and to continue working and supporting the incredible youth of Lewiston! 

Sophie Moreau

WILLOW Program Mentor

Sophie was born and raised in Maine. She enjoys traveling and exploring new scenery. During her leisure time, she also enjoys cooking and trying new cuisines. Sophie began her journey with Tree Street as an intern, as a prerequisite for her Human Services degree. During this time, Sophie discovered that she was passionate about working with youth. She says, “It is immensely rewarding to work with children, and watch them grow, develop and flourish.”

Alli Nolan

Communications Anchor & Pre-K Program Lead

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Born in Southern California and raised in Western Maine, Alli has lived in many places including Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Panama, but Lewiston is her favorite! She has a Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies with a minor in Education from Colby College, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Education in Early Childhood Education. Alli joined Tree Street Youth in 2014 first coordinating the BRANCHES College Access Program. Since then she has taken on different roles at Tree including Development & Marketing, Elementary Program Director, Operations & HR, and is now leading a Pre-K Program for the littlest learners at Tree! Alli loves cooking, hiking, music, and spending time with family & friends.

Boni Kabongo

BRANCHES & MAPLE Program Anchor

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Boni, a proud native of Portland, Maine, holds a degree in Business Management from Wheaton College, MA, with a special focus on Equality, Diversity, and Social Responsibility. He’s a versatile individual with interests ranging from music and writing novels to reading books and enjoying anime.

Boni strongly believes in the significance of youth voices, recognizing them as key drivers for shaping the future. His community activism, including involvement with organizations like Seeds of Peace and the Boys and Girls Club, highlights his commitment to identifying and solving community issues. This passion ultimately led him to Tree Street Youth, where he continues to drive positive change.

Deanna Legere

REDWOOD Program Coordinator & RootED Ed Tech

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Hey there! I’m Deanna!
I was adopted from Romania at a young age but I grew up in Auburn, Maine! I have always had a passion for working with children and youth at risk and I am so thrilled to be a part of tree street and their mission! I am currently an ED-tech for the Lewiston public school system and work with tree street’s rootED program and I am also the Redwood program manager during our after school hours! In my free time, I enjoy spending time listening to country music around a campfire with friends, scouting out new bakeries and drinking coffee!

Flor Amaya Soto

RootED Elementary Educator

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Flor is a proud Latina Mom of three. She grew up in Chile and Belgium where she developed her love for multicultural settings and people. Originally a large animal veterinarian, Flor moved to Colorado where she got her Master’s degree in Animal Sciences at Colorado State University and eventually found her way to Lewiston, Maine in 2017. Since then, she has formed part of the Tree Street Youth family, first as a parent, then as a board member in 2021, and currently works as a teacher for the elementary kids of the RootED program.

Flor is a strong advocate for families with neurodivergent kids and she is an avid cook and baker and enjoys entertaining the people she loves.

Justin Morin

WILLOW Program Anchor

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Justin joins Tree after being in New York City for the past 10 years. During his time there, he worked with various children’s programs throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens as a teacher, director, and trainer through various organizations. He is originally from Massachusetts and went to college at the University of New Hampshire. He is the proud dog dad to a tiny chihuahua named Poppy and is looking forward to being a part of the Tree Street and Lewiston communities.

Lanyha Spearman

Next STEP Mentor 

Lanyha, born and raised in Lewiston, ME is a Tree Street Mentor at Next STEP. She graduated from Lewiston High School in 2020 and is currently attending University of Southern Maine pursuing a Social and Behavioral Science major. From a young age, Lanyha has always known she wanted to work with adolescents as they navigate through life. She says, “I joined Tree Street because of all the amazing things the organization does for the community. I love music, food, traveling and I am always down for deep, meaningful conversation. I believe my purpose is to be the honest adult I needed as a child for the kids I encounter day to day. I will always do my best to fulfill it!”

Oren Stevens

Operations Anchor

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Oren Stevens, Iowa born and raised, but has called Maine home for the last twenty-five years. For the past decade, Oren has been dedicated to social and emotional learning and advocacy for at-risk youth in educational settings. With an MFA and extensive training in Motivational Interviewing, expressive arts and deep listening are his tools of choice. An acting member of Portland Playback theater, Oren can be found improv singing, dancing, or telling a story just about anywhere.

Taheim Brimage

Nature & Novel Experiences Coordinator 

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Ty is one of our astounding alum. Born and raised right here in Lewiston, Maine, Ty has had an important influence in shaping many programs at Tree Street from their beginning, including the SEQUOIA Program and Next STEP. Ty is passionate about traveling and hopes to move to New York City in the near future. He serves as a mentor to many of our youth; Ty is often the first smiling face they see after school and his uplifting spirit is a warm welcome after school.

Angela Eustache

Middle & High School Program Anchor

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Angela is originally from Lynn, Massachusetts, a small town notably characterised for its unique urban style, culture, and music. After attending high school, Angela moved to Maine to pursue higher education at Bates College. During her time at Bates, Angela became an active member not only on campus, but also in the greater Lewiston community. Angela has worked with various community organizations, identifying public problems and creating constructive approaches to address them. Her activism eventually led her to Tree Street Youth, where Angela initially worked as an intern. It was through her work that Angela developed a passion for empowering individuals. Now, as the Redwood Program Manager, Angela seeks to engage the full participation of young girls and women in the decision-making processes that affect their lives.

Chad Gray

Athletics Anchor [email protected]

Bio coming soon!

Deeqa Nur

StreetLeader Program Manager

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Born and raised in Portland, ME and being a child of Somali immigrants has deeply influenced her perspective and drive to make a difference in her community. 

Deeqa’s dedication extends to advocating for families in the Lewiston and Auburn Area, where she works to ensure their needs are met and their voices are heard. Deeqa is currently finishing up her degree in Social Work and is planning on utilizing the skills to make an impact in the community. 

Hawa Abdi

WILLOW Program Assistant

Bio coming soon!

J'Quita Rembert

ACACIA “Tweens” Program Assistant

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J’Quita has been coming to Tree Street as a youth since it first opened in 2011. Throughout the years, J’Quita says that she has learned a lot, including learning how to manage and control her emotions, and learning to think before she speaks. She began working as a CEDAR intern in 2022, and was promoted to a staff position as a WILLOW Program Mentor. J’Quita says, “There’s so much more for me to learn as a young adult!”

Keenan Shields

RootED Program Anchor

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Keenan (he/him) grew up in Maine, moved to Rochester, NY for middle and high school, and found his way back to Maine to go to Bates College. After graduating in 2018, he started working at Tree Street in the BRANCHES program. He lives in Lewiston with his cat, Kitty Jeep, AKA Beepers. When not at work, he’s immersed in his passions, cooking and reading. Food is his love language: it’s one of the ways he most shows his care. Keenan also loves dance, hosting, and being outside.

Mohamed "Mojo" Hassan

RootED Program Mentor

Originally from Sudan, Mojo grew up in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Mojo has a long music career. In 2003, Mojo joined the first Arabic hip-hop label, NAS JOTA – a label established to test and practice free speech and expression within the limited landscape of civil rights offered in Sudan. The label opened the door for a new generation of artists and paved the way for MOJO’s 2004 release of his first Arabic album, Al Shabaab, while living in the U.S.

In 2007, MOJO returned to Sudan to learn more about Sudanese history and engage with the growing artistic community. By 2013, he released his third album, Ma People – a compilation of rap, reggae, soul, and R&B dedicated to the support of the youth voice in his home country.

Mojo currently resides in Lewiston. He began working at Next STEP in 2018 for two years before moving across the street to Tree Street. Currently, Mojo works as a RootED Program Mentor as well as oversees the recording studio during after-school programming for middle and high school students.

Roy Goodale

PINE & CEDAR Workforce Initiative Anchor

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Roy was born in Haines, Alaska but grew up in the midcoast area of Maine. After college he spent several years working as a musician, traveling and living in Austria, Texas, Wyoming, and finally back in Maine. This is where he began working with youth at an arts-based summer camp, teaching music and wood-working. He spent the better part of the next decade continuing this work with teenagers in the mental health, education, enrichment, and career readiness fields. Roy joined Tree Street in 2022 to help launch the PINE Program, assisting young people with learning new skills to be successful in their work and career goals.

Zach Knight

WILLOW Program Mentor

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Zach grew up in the Midcoast Maine area and graduated from Rockland High School. Zach started working at Tree Street as a CEDAR intern 2015 and left in 2018, which was his first time working with children. In December 2021, Zach returned as a part time staff member, a Mentor on the Littles side. Zach enjoys playing sports and video games.

Looking to join us?

We are periodically expanding our team from AmeriCorps members to professional staff to summer interns, we’re looking for you!