Shenee Omuso, MAT, MA, CCC-SLP
ELP DEWN Fellow ‘23
Shenee Omuso brings over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector to the RAY Team as Program Manager. Her expertise lies in child, youth & adult development, curriculum/program design and nonprofit leadership. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Kean University in Communication Sciences & Disorders, her Master’s Degree in Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a second Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Kean University.
She has been an educator and consultant locally and abroad, traveling to the countries of Ghana, Spain, Haiti, Belgium and Guatemala for community development and service opportunities. Prior to joining the RAY team, Shenee was the Director of Education & Career Pathways at The Opportunity League, a NJ nonprofit focused on community health and equity. She has served on local and state boards for food security, economic & workforce development and education reform.
Shenee also currently serves as an elected official for the Board of Island Managers in Burlington, NJ, a 300 acre island dedicated to providing cultural, educational and recreational experiences as well as leading conservation efforts on the Island.
Shenee believes it is through true human connection, compassionate service and genuine relationship that lives are transformed. Because of this, she has dedicated her life to helping youth and adults find their voice, forge their own path and make a lasting impact in the world. She currently lives in NJ where she is a wife and mother of 3 children. For fun, Shenee enjoys spending time with her family, watching basketball and cycling.
|ma (she/they), RAY Fellowship Partnerships Manager, is a halfrican and southern(US)-raised, western(US)-born environmental experientialist. Their current skill-set includes roles such as sustainability specialist, waste stream coordinator, program facilitator, and artisanal crafter. Her experiences have given her a well-rounded, socially-minded view of the environmental field -often with a focus on bolstering/involving/increasing the presence and capacity of historically excluded groups. That in mind, Ima seeks to incorporate humanist-naturalist-wholistic environmental awareness, conservation, and sustainability into much of their day-to-day life.
They have a bachelor's in Wildlife Conservation Biology from the Fort Valley State University and a master's in Natural Resources and the Environment with a focus on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan. She also has topics such as sustainable development, food access, and renewable energy "under her belt."
She enjoys reading and listening to a variety of media, dancing around her apartment and sometimes in public, volunteering with local community orgs, catching up on the latest news with family and friends, and trying to get in at least a small bit of nature daily.
Nia (she/they), RAY Communications Manager, is a proud Caribbean woman who calls both St. Thomas, USVI and Atlanta, Georgia home. Growing up with such a strong connection to her people, she always felt moved to fight for sustainable and equitable change in her community.
Her journey in communications began once she realized how the right messaging can move thousands to action. Upon receiving her degree in Communications: Public Relations from Columbus State University she understood where her newfound skills belonged. Nia has gained her experience working to amplify the voices of small business and nonprofits that aim to improve the position of Black people across the diaspora. In addition to her communications knowledge, Nia has spent time leading instruction in youth agricultural education programs in both Michigan and Arizona. This work led her to becoming a part of the RAY Fellowship team.
When she is not so busy, Nia enjoys painting and filling her home with colorful canvases, listening to music or podcasts, and exploring the world around her.
Tia (she/her/hers), is a Black woman raised in a small town in Georgia, where sustainability was and is an integral aspect of her life. In fact, before the tagline of, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” was ever thought of, its components were already ingrained within the daily life of her culture. From utilizing every part of the animal to reusing containers, the objective from the start was to make every bit count, as in doing so commemorated the work and sacrifices that allowed us to have those items. As she’s matured and developed further into adulthood, Tia’s realized just how much of an impact she has in her community and has aimed to engage others in conversations around many topics.
With a background in management and library and information science and working as a Librarian at a public university, she couldn’t have been in a better location to actively participate in creating a more informed public. Knowing from experience that the most emphasized hindrance for wider participation was the lack of information, whether it be lack of access and/or them not knowing where to start, Tia’s goal as the head of her department was to understand those shortcomings and meet the students where they were. Being that most of her experience is with higher education and her local population, Tia has served a very diverse demographic. Being a researcher and learner at heart led Tia to the RAY Fellowship. Admittedly having a rudimentary understanding of clean energy and conservation; Tia hopes to gain a better understanding for the fellows and her community
Outside of the RAY Fellowship, Tia spends the majority of her time being bossed around by the 8 wild beasts in her home (her amazing, cute, and so so adorable domesticated wolves).
Mona (they/them/theirs) is a Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Program Coordinator at ELP. They are a proud, black non-binary queer (with roots from Cuba and the Dominican Republic) who was born and raised in the Soundview/Parkchester neighborhood of the boogie-down Bronx. Growing up in a densely populated, urban community exposed them to the realities of inequity when it comes to environmental conditions and how it all ties in together with other socioeconomic realities. Through lots of time, research, and life experience in and outside of The Big Apple, they have discovered not only how to live life authentically but also how to find ways to build community and draw others together who are values-aligned to do the good work.
Mona has over nine years of professional experience and over five of those years working directly in non-profit organizations that focused on supporting the needs of marginalized communities. They previously helped launch and co-lead the RiseOut Activist-in-Residence fellowship program at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City, supporting the needs of Black LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. This program was created in connection with RiseOut, The Center’s statewide LGBTQ+ advocacy initiative. Now located in Atlanta, Georgia, Mona continues to work in the nonprofit world to help ensure that BIPOC folks feel seen, safe, and empowered to become the next future leaders.
When not thinking of ways to build equity for all, you can find them tending to their three cats–Olivia, Archie and Rain–and their bearded dragon Lucy. You will also find them obsessing over the latest Star Trek episode, spending numerous hours farming on Stardew Valley, and most likely singing a song from Grease at karaoke.