Christine Kwon is a poet and fiction writer in New Orleans. Her first book of poems, A Ribbon the Most Perfect Blue, won the Cowles Poetry Book Prize and was published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in 2023. Her work has been published by the Harvard Advocate, Copper Nickel, and the Columbia Review, among others. She enjoys working with young people in New Orleans—especially passing on a love of literacy and creative writing. She is currently a Community Leader for Community Works.
Sensei Dre is a Teaching Artist Coach, Youth Development Consultant, and Martial Arts Instructor. He has worked in youth development for nearly three decades, building youth and community development programs in New York City and New Orleans. His work with Community Works, for the past decade, has been in multiple capacities — as a Community Leader, Teaching Artist, Teaching Artist Coach, and Community Leader Coach. He has lead numerous professional development trainings on multiple topics in youth development to both small and large groups alike. He believes in using positive energy to build self esteem, confidence, communication, and community, which contributes to positive change in everyone.
ISL – Olivier St. Campus
Nessa Wheatley is a musician, educator, and audio engineer from San José, California. She relocated to Louisiana in 2014 and volunteered with the inaugural session of Girls Rock New Orleans, later becoming a GRNO organizer. In 2016 Community Works hired her as a substitute, then a regular instructor teaching music theory and songwriting. As Community Leader at ISL Westbank she continues her work of empowering youth to creatively express themselves, collaborate, and counteract all forms of marginalization.
ISL – Camp St. Campus
Todd Shaffer is a 25 year veteran Teaching Artist and has been with Community Works since they began. He is a specialist in early education working in multiple schools, museums, and Head Start programs throughout New Orleans when not running the Enrichment program at ISL sites. His background is in visual and preforming arts. He is trained to work with students from 6 months to college freshman (Tulane University) and spent a year working at the ARC of New Orleans . In his free time he enjoys theater, art, family and his dog Daisy!
ISL – Dixon Campus
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Kenner Discovery – DJOD Campus
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Kenner Discovery – KDHS Campus
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Plessy – French Quarter Campus
Corey Williams: Artist, Educator, Musician has been with Community Works as a site leader for 3 years. Embarked on his leadership journey as an educator with Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools, modeling curriculums in programs to boost children’s motivation to read and generate positive attitudes towards learning, while connecting the needs of children and families to the resources. The training he received there inspired his path as an educator to work in communities and use art as a tool to connect children to learning and finding greatness within themselves. That experience molded his teaching style of what he describes “make learning fun for youth without them realizing they’ve learned so much”. This journey led him with Urban Arts Alliance facilitating a journalism-based writing program that challenges students to excel at writing and produce published media content. From 2011 to 2015, he launched his own organization Freedom Arts and Education Center in St.Louis, Missouri. Providing a program for youth to be creative, developing leadership through training, and academic enrichment programs. After transitioning to New Orleans in 2016, Corey has worked in education led programs facilitating music and creative writing workshops. Corey is also currently an on-air radio host for WWOZ 90.7 FM. His latest collaborative effort as an artist featured in the cast of “Living Like Kings” an immersive multimedia film colliding chess and hip hop culture. Through the work as an educator he finds his passion through making a difference in his community, family and himself.
On-Site Inclusion Coordinator
Jade Bronte-Bullard is a teaching artist and after school professional who has been creating community spaces in New Orleans for nearly a decade. Born and raised in South Louisiana, Jade is a three-time AmeriCorps alumni, with a passion for serving her community. Jade joined Community Works in 2017 as performing arts instructor and has since held numerous rolls including Instructor Coach, Community Leader and now Inclusion Coordinator. Outside of community works she has worn numerous hats in youth development, working as an Education Interventionist, Director of Programming, Event Coordinator, Logistics Coordinator and even at one time Piper The Pelican, the mascot for the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center. Jade has a passion for Social and Emotional Learning and Trauma Informed Practices. When she is not at Community Works you can find her on stage, producing events or spending time with her family and community. She is currently continuing her education at The School of Business at Western Governors University.
CW Community Leaders are professional artists, musicians, performers, entrepreneurs, and educators within the CW community selected for their ability to engage students, support the goals, mission, and values of CW and support a team of CW Enrichment Instructors. Community Leaders’ core responsibilities include direct oversight of the Community Works’ Afterschool and Summer programs within their designated location and to act as the liaison between the program, school, families, and Community Works.