Nathalie Cerin, M.ed
Nathalie Cerin is a singer-songwriter and educator originally Haiti. Nathalie has worked in school administration, workforce development and vocational rehabilitation. She has also worked as a teaching artist in schools in the Bronx and Philadelphia for arts various arts organizations such as, The Dreamyard Project, The Center for Arts Education, MIMA Music, and Artwell Inc. where she designed and facilitated in-school and after school music programs for a wide range of ages. Focusing on folk and popular music, Nathalie believes in utilizing song to teach key life concepts such as active citizenship, global history, social justice, and self expression. She is passionate about music, social justice, education, and everywhere that these topics converge.
Janelle Junkin, PHD, Mt-BC
Director of COmmunity Programming & Research
Dean of Buildabridge Institute
Dr. Junkin is a board-certified music therapist and an independent researcher. Dr. Junkin provides support and coordination for BaB's community artists and creative arts therapists. She founded Orchestral Dialogues: Accepting Self, Accepting Others. She provides consultations on creativity, and community through therapy, coaching and research as wells as teaches anti-oppression and anti-racism education. Dr. Junkin has worked internationally is published in the Journal of Applied Arts & Health and the International Journal of Education & the Arts. Her areas of research include child and youth identity development, the role of the arts in conflict transformation, and understanding the community arts and creative arts therapies as vehicles that provide hope and healing to people and communities in crisis.
Ami Yares, MSSP
Ami Yares is a social activist and singer/songwriter. He joined BuildaBridge in 2018, following the retirement of BuildaBridge founders, Dr. Vivian Nix-Early and Dr. J. Nathan Corbitt. His experience in arts interventions ranges from research on the social impact of the arts to arts-based conflict transformation programming and design as well as being a socially minded folk musician who uses music as means to understand about society and culture. Ami holds a MS in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. He has toured internationally and continues peacebuilding work as a global ambassador for the Israeli and Palestinian youth music program, Heartbeat. BuildaBridge captures Ami’s passion for the necessity and urgency for the arts to play a more integral role in society.
Ebonye Holmes first encountered BuildaBridge while as a student of Eastern College, now Eastern University. Ebonye has been volunteering for BuildaBridge for over twenty years and provides administrative and organizational services for the development of BuildaBridge. She enjoys working behind the scene to assure the teachers and program directors have time to work closely with the community. Firsthand, Ebonye's children experienced the transformative experience of art-making, the impact of of hope and healing present in BuildaBridge's programming. One of Ebonye's great success was working with low income high school students of Philadelphia and helped provide a monthly stipend to stay in school. In the future, Ebonye hopes to help families transition from homelessness to permanent housing.
Kate Myers-COffman, PHD, MT-BC
Kate Myers-Coffman, PhD, MT-BC is a board certified music therapist and researcher in Philadelphia, PA. She has worked with BuildaBridge since 2015, facilitating creative arts therapies groups with refugees, survivors of torture, and women and children who have experienced domestic violence. With a long history of recording and performing as a singer/songwriter, Kate integrates therapeutic songwriting into her music therapy practice. As a research associate, she evaluates the impact of BuildaBridge programming on the communities and consumers served. Kate is also a postdoctoral research fellow and adjunct professor at Drexel University. Her areas of research involve developing and evaluating resilience-focused music therapy programs for youth who’ve experience trauma and/or loss, evidence-based practices in music therapy, and research methodology.
Graphic design & Curriculum Support
Stevie is an art therapist and illustrator with a passion for combining art with social justice. Stevie was inspired to become an art therapist partly due to her work as a BuildaBridge teaching artist, where she facilitated several projects starting in 2010 including the Bhutanese Elders Mural Project, where refugees used art-making to transcend language barriers and inspire healing and community. Stevie presented on trauma-informed community art at Jefferson University's THRIVE symposium and served on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Art Therapy Association . Stevie has conducted clinical art therapy in forensic, residential, inpatient and outpatient settings with youth and adults. As an illustrator she has published two children's books, Lizzie Fox-Top and Cousin Ann's Stories for Children. Stevie earned her MA in Art Therapy & Counseling at Drexel University, and her BFA in Communication & Design at Virginia Commonwealth University.