Laura M. Camarena 

Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director

Laura is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator with an affinity for engaging, fostering and nurturing community through culture and the arts. As a Peruvian-American in Garfield, she has strived to be a leader for positive change amongst all the communities she belongs to but especially in the one she has called home for over twenty-five years. 

 

Since graduating from Garfield High School, Laura has worked both as a community outreach coordinator and audiovisuals producer for a myriad of brands, startups and institutions based in New York City. While studying at NYU, she dedicated her time to founding and leading collaboratives that highlighted and elevated the artwork of students who belonged to underrepresented communities. As an advocate for Equity and Inclusion, Laura has always sought to create safe-spaces for all and is currently working as a Youth Development Professional at the Boy’s & Girl’s Club of Garfield. 

 

Laura holds a BFA in Film & Television Production from New York University.

Paweł Maśląg

Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director

Paweł was born in Poland and immigrated with his parents and brother at the age of one to Garfield. Throughout his life, Paweł has been active in Garfield through community service. In high school, Paweł was president of the Keystone Club and Interact Club, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Garfield Public Library. 

 

His professional experience stretches across multiple non-profits ― including City Year, Habitat for Humanity, and the US Fund for UNICEF. Most recently, Paweł served as the Corporate Social Responsibility Officer of DOGPOUND. 

Paweł graduated from Columbia University (B.A., '18) and most recently finished the Dartmouth College Business Bridge Program ('20). 

Nicole Encalada

Director of Finance 

Nicole is a devoted advocate and activist for equity and justice for all people in Garfield. 

Nicole spent her time during college tutoring children in grade school and working in a legal office. Through her devotion to community, she has focused on community organizing since graduating from college. She hopes to build on community empowerment and create a network of Garfield residents who are there for each other in times of hardship. 

Nicole graduated from Seton Hall University (B.A. '18) 

with a degree in Finance and a minor in Economics.

Selena McCracken

Director of Community Enrichment 

Selena is an advocate, an artist, and a leader for change in Garfield and everywhere she goes. While a student at Farleigh Dickenson University, Selena spent her entire four years with the LGBTQ+ advocacy club as president and one of the founding members.

 

She hopes to bring her passionate energy to Garfield, her hometown, to help create sustainable change through education. Through her tireless efforts, Selena hopes to leave a positive mark on Garfield through creative initiatives that will blossom the movement for change in Garfield. 

Selena graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University (B.S., '18) with a degree in Computer Science major and a minor in Studio Art.

Raymond Rivas

Director of Operations

Raymond is a passionate champion of social justice issues.

 

Currently serving on the Historical Society of Garfield, Raymond hopes to bring his academic and professional experiences to make Garfield a better place for all. Through his work, Raymond hopes to provide aid, share knowledge, and level the playing field when it comes to resource allocation. Most recently worked at the Legal Aid Society of New York. 

Raymond graduated from Bergen Community College (A.A. '18) and Montclair State University (B.A., '20), and he hopes to pursue a career in law. 

Brenda Robles

Director of Public Health

Brenda is a committed healthcare advocate that hopes to make Garfield a more equitable community.

 

Brenda found her calling of being able to provide medical services while always remaining empathic, especially to populations most marginalized. She has always been an advocate for environmental rights and animal welfare, and is currently working as an ambassador for victims of interpersonal violence at Bergen Community College. 

Brenda graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick (B.S., '19) with a degree in Animal Sciences. 

Christopher Shupenko

Director of Humanities & Culture

Christopher is a life-long resident of Garfield and is passionate about sharing all that Garfield has to offer, with hidden gems included. 

Following his passion for local history, Christopher joined the Garfield Historical Society in 2011. In 2016, he was appointed by the Garfield City Council to serve as the Garfield City Historian. He has also interned at the American Museum of Natural History and Morris Museum. Most recently he was a research assistant at the Ellis Island Foundation and is currently working at the Garfield Public Library.

Christopher graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University (B.A. '17) and is currently pursuing a master’s degree from Rutgers University in Library & Information Science.