Mentors

KC Copeland

School Attended: Spelman College and GA Tech
Major: Dual Degrees in Engineering; Duke University, MBA
Employer: Morgan Stanley
Current Position: Vice President
Years with FT: 2007-present
FT Testimonial: As a mentor, I feel the students have as great an opportunity to make an impact on my life as I do on theirs. They articulate their perspective of our changing world while being taught conventional finance and business concepts. I’ll never forget the session where we were doing resume reviews and most of the students arrived with their documents on iPads, tablets and other e-devices. I was astonished, but realized that our FAST Track students are growing up in a digital world where even the practices and financial concepts that we teach must change.

Emile A. Viaud

School Attended: New York University
Major: B.S; International Business & Management
Employer: Cepres,GmbH
Current Position: Business Development Manager US,Canda &LATAM
Years with FT: 13 Years
FT Testimonial:The FASTTrack Program has surfaced in me, a conviction to service a community of young H.S. adults, who have willingly signed up to be mentored, intellectually, academically challenged, professionally groomed trusted stewards and I could not in good conscience turn away from that call to serve them justly, with all that I have and It has been the greatest satisfaction of my adult life and my honor to do so, along side the other mentors present and no longer with us.

Kyeshah Hines

School Attended: SUNY-Buffalo State
Major: Criminal Justice
Employer: Tory Burch
Current Position: Sales
Years with FT: 4 Years
FT Testimonial: It’s an honor to be a mentor to our FastTrack students, it’s refreshing to know a program like this exists. We take pride in providing financial literacy along with life long skills to NYC’s top students. I am happy to be additional part of a student’s support system in preparing them for their future.

Jerry Alexis

School Attended/Major: Buffalo State College
Major: English, Minor in Economics; University of Phoenix, MBA
Employer: JP Morgan Chase
Current Position: Compliance Analyst
Years with FT: 4 years
FT Testimonial: When the FastTrack Program was first introduced to me by my colleague I was in awe how it changes these young students’ lives. I saw it as a way to build the next group of elite of color and gender into our society. We challenge these young adults to seek opportunities, more so than what I was accustomed to growing up. They have the opportunity to work in hedge funds firms, investment management firms and as well as work overseas. It is an experience every child should have in his/her life.

Rashad Smith

School Attended: Lincoln University, PA
Major: Business
Employer: N/A – currently in CUNY School of Law
Current Position: Law Student
Years with FT: 2 as a student and 6 as a mentor
FT Testimonial: Paying attention in this program will put you ahead of the curve.

Mariana Bah

School Attended: Baruch College, NYC
Major: International Relations/ Global Communications (Minor: Psychology)
Employer: Yonder Music
Current Position: Operations Associate
Years with FT: 8 years strong (since high school)
FT Testimonial: I joined FT when I was a Junior at Notre Dame School (an all girls’ high school downtown) in 2006, and I knew I was with the right group. The mentors were all intelligent and cared about us. I never wanted to miss a FT meeting and I loved every second of it. I felt like it gave me an edge over my other peers who never attended to FT. Once I graduated in 2008, I decided I wanted to come back as a mentor and share my experience in undergrad and postgrad to the students. I love FT.

Derrick P. Haynes

School Attended: Morehouse College ’10
Major: Economics
Employer: Goldman Sachs
Current Position: Third Party Distribution / Analyst
Years with FT: Student for 2 years; Mentor for 1 year
FT Testimonial: Joining FAST Track in 2004 was a life-changing experience. The program is second to none in teaching high school students about the basics of financial literacy. The program size allows the mentors to provide the benefit of a small classroom setting where the pace is dictated by the students. I attribute all of my career success to my relationship with the FAST Track Family. Growing up in Harlem in the mid-90’s – early 2000’s, my parents did their best to keep me on the right path in education, and FAST Track took that foundation my family provided and constructed a personal step ladder I will use to travel to new heights both as a professional and a citizen.

Shamis Abdi

School Attended: University of Pennsylvania
Degree/Major: BA in Sociology; MBA, Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management
Employer: Yonder Music
Current Position: COO
Brief Bio: Shamis Abdi is currently the Acting Chief Operating Officer at Noodle Markets, Inc, an education technology company that is revolutionizing K-12 purchasing. She previously served as the Chief of Staff to the President of Florida A&M University and the Director of Operations at Girls Preparatory Charter School of New York-Lower East Side Elementary where she was responsible for finance, HR, IT, purchasing, compliance to the city and state, facilities management, school operations, and event management. Prior to joining the education industry, Shamis was a VP at Banc of America Securities in the Prime Brokerage Division and worked as a human resources management consultant at Towers Perrin and Hay Group. She can often be found at home watching Law & Order reruns or out and about in NYC doing karaoke with friends.

Gwendolyn Grant-Gallimore

Schools Attended: New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn College
Major: A.A.S., B.S. in Legal Studies, M.S.in Education
Employer: New York City Board of Education
Current Position: High School teacher
Years with FT: 2 years as a parent of a fast track student, presently serving as a mentor
FT Testimonial: I was introduced to the Fast Track program by my daughter. My daughter
participated in this program for the past two years. I noticed a transformation in my daughter
from her being a part of this program. By being an active and not passive participant she was
able to come to the realization of her leadership skills and other qualities that she possessed.
The fast track mentors played a significant role by assisting her in coming to this realization.
So I decided that I want to be a part of this change to encourage students with great skills and potential.

Albert R. Gladden

Schools Attended: Morehouse College; CUNY Baruch
Major: Computer Science; Masters of Public Administration
Employer: Citi
Current Position: Vice President
Years with FT: 2015 – present
FT Testimonial: It continues to impress me how FT can organize a meaningful curriculum that sits at the intersection of professional development and youth mentorship. Equally as impressive is FT’s ability effectively engage young professionals and cultivate such an accomplished volunteer base.

Taylor Strode

Schools Attended: Quinnipiac University
Major: Bachelor of Science in Finance
Employer: Dow Jones Company
Current Position: Financial Planning Analyst
Years with FT: First year
FT Testimonial: Even though I am new to the Fast Track program, I have been able to witness how essential this program is to our community, and how much it means to the students to have people rooting for them to succeed. I am honored to be apart of the program this year and hopefully for many years.

Teerra (TJ) Johnson

Schools Attended: Spelman College
Major: Political Science Major/ Spanish Minor
Employer: JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Current Position: Analyst (soon to be Associate)- Internal Communications / Marketing / PR
Years with FT: 3 years
FT Testimonial: As a mentor in the infancy of my career, it is essential to pass along the wisdom acquired from a millennial in corporate America to our next generation of leaders in the financial industry. FASTTRACK creates a highly energetic, educational, and relationship building environment in order to achieve optimal levels of growth and success amongst the students and dedicated mentors.

Tamara Laville

Schools Attended: University of Massachusetts, Boston
Major: Sociology, BA
Employer: Alchemy Global Advisors
Current Position: Principal
Years with FT: May 2016- Present
FT Testimonial: I have long aspired to become a mentor. The Fast Track program is an exceptional vehicle to participate and work in tandem with bright young people to identify their dreams and skill set as well as to inspire them to become the architects of their lives. As a guest panelist I had the opportunity to meet with some of the young people in the Fast Track program and was impressed and moved by their presence and palatable passion to improve their lives. I’m first generation American; I cherish my freedom and opportunities to engineer a life on my terms. As a mentor, in the Fast Track program I have the privilege to say thank you for all my blessings by empowering young people to achieve their best self according to their own skill set and make choices that they can be proud of and propel them towards a financially secure future.

Sheldon Sumpter

Schools Attended: New York University
Major: Economics, Minor in Philosophy
Employer: Hall Capital Partners
Current Position: Portfolio Management Group Analyst
Years with FT: 2016- Present
FT Testimonial: It is an honor and a privilege to be able to serve the students as an FT mentor. In this position it is my goal and desire to aid the students not only in their professional development and expanding financial knowledge, but also the soft skills that are instrumental in being able to maneuver through life. Empowering, motivating, and equipping the students with the tools to being all of the amazing individuals they already are is a great joy of mines. Having a tremendously positive impact in the lives of the students, and by extension the communities they have an influence on, is one of the greatest things I can do. On top of all of that my life is enriched by the inspiration they provide. I too find inspiration through them.

Steve Myrtil

Employer: New York Life
Current Position: Financial Representative
Years with FT: 2015 – present
FT Testimonial: Fast Track is a great program that allows me to educate the amazing students that want to enter the world of finance. This program is creating strong interest in communities that may not have otherwise been reached. Fast Track students are hungry for knowledge and it shows by their participation and questions they ask. This invigorates me to be part of something so much bigger than me. The future of our community is in these students and the legacy Fast Track is building.

Stephen F. Smartt

Schools Attended: Morehouse College; Hunter College (MS)
Major: Political Science; Urban Policy (MS)
Current Position: Private Client Banker
Years with FT: 2007 – present
FT Testimonial: I began as a mentor right before the height of the financial crisis. It was a time of uncertainty for not only the country but the mentors, students (parents);everyone was affected and looking for answers. We (mentors) discussed the different terms so much that the students could explain what occurred. I’m pretty sure that open forum assisted a number of students when it came to writing college essays as well as interviewing with the top firms.