Saeeda Lesley Dunston was appointed the Executive Director at Elmcor Youth and Services Activities, Inc. in August 2014. She is recognized among her peers and human service providers throughout New York State, as having the depth and breadth of programmatic, administrative knowledge- in developing and implementing culturally competent programs and services. Attributes significant in not only prompting transformative change within organizations where she was employed but through her professional skills sets, empathetic and insightful understanding of the challenges encountered by marginalized communities, empower individuals and families to become change agents and engaged participants in their communities.
Ms. Dunston has devoted her career to channeling and directing her commitment to service, unparalleled work ethic, laser-like ability to ascertain the bottom line to develop and implement strategies that ensure communities and most specifically communities and populations of color are provided with the tools to live productive, healthy and aspirational lives.
With her longevity and commitment to working in the nonprofit sector, Ms.Dunston’s leadership will not only secure Elmcor’s position as a vital service provider and advocate on the neighborhood level, but through ongoing capacity building efforts, she will be instrumental in building collaborative relationships with individual, public and philanthropic communities to support and invest in those around areas of mutual concern and priority.
Prior to Elmcor, Ms.Dunston served in senior management positions in Brooklyn multi-service agencies; served several boroughs and citywide advocacy and policy focused coalitions that address poverty, anti-racism, health care needs of marginalized populations and communities throughout New York City. These experiences mobilized and retrofitted at Elmcor in developing and enhancing new and existing programs: Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) Program, that provides exceptional learning and out-of-school time opportunities to youth to pursue post-secondary education and careers in STEM fields; launched the Queens Community Connection, a borough-wide consortium of service providers, leveraging organizational resources to address the prevailing socio-economic-health disparities that challenge Queens communities; and ; promote inter- and intra-agency collaborations around issues of behavioral health, health equity, social and economic justice, anti-stigma and community education.
Ms.Dunston is a graduate of York College, has post graduate certifications in program management, leadership/professional development, and fundraising. She is also a proud wife, mother, grandmother underscoring the deep personal and familial ties and connections to Queens and in particular the East Elmhurst/Corona communities.