Development Director, New Urban Arts
Hi! I’m Vethlie and I’m one of the Coco’s at Youth In Action. I’m currently a senior in high school and am very grateful for all the time I’ve spent surrounded by my YIA fam! In programming, me and my peers have made so much change that I’m very proud to see. I’ve learned so much about my own identity and how my social location influences my experiences in the world, and hope to be able to help others learn more about themselves as well!
Hey guys. I’m Favour, youth participant and Co-Co at Youth In Action. I am a sophomore at Classical High School and I’m really excited to work with Youth In Action this year and learn new skills.
Treasurer, YIA Alum; Institutional Portfolio Manager, AVP, Bank of America
Tolu is currently an Institutional Portfolio Manager at Bank of America. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island and has held several roles at Bank of America in the areas of investment risk and portfolio oversight. Tolu is passionate about supporting youth in understanding finance, money and how combined with their power can create change in their communities; and is excited to be a part of YIA family to continue this work. He received a Bachelors of Science degree & a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island, and just recently completed his CAIA designation examination. Tolu enjoys walking around Providence taking photos (or a city he is visiting), reading, hanging out with friends and beating people at Uno.
Adult Co-Chair, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships for Mission Programs, Mystic Aquarium
University of Massachusetts Amherst 2006
BA in Communications with a Film Certificate
White-Riley-Peterson Fellow 2020-2021
Ayana Melvan is the Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships for Mission Programs at Mystic Aquarium. Ayana is responsible for cultivating strategic partnerships that will substantially grow Mission Programs reach, revenue, and impact with a strong focus on environmental justice and racial equity. Ayana Melvan came from the United Way of Rhode Island. Ayana has worked in the field of youth development and education for over 20 years in several capacities, including most recently heading up the Youth Development work at United Way, and leading the Rhode Island Afterschool Network, with a heavy focus on environmental justice with a racial equity lens. Ayana has led work with local and statewide initiatives including the Rhode Island Working Cities Challenge from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on ending racism and helping the City of Cranston create more equitable opportunities for youth and families. She has also led the work on eliminating the school to prison pipeline in Rhode Island for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) youth with national and local entities. Ayana has worked as a partner with Mystic Aquarium for over a decade in Connecticut and Rhode Island to help bring conservation-focused STEM education opportunities to lower income and BIPOC youth in out-of-school time. In her spare time, Ayana enjoys hanging out with her family at the beach, pool side, or outdoors and loves living in Westerly, RI. She spends most of her free time with her husband Mark, father Dwight, and two beautiful and amazing children Phoenix and Kingston along with Percy and Pippin’ the furbabies of the house.