The old adage says "it takes a village to raise a child."
We have decided to be that village for young people.
We are committed to being the bridge to a more promising future.
Meet our Leadership Team
Founder & President
Jessica Toussaint is an influencer, inspirational speaker, coach, and an agent of change who provides guidance in all sizes—she helps individual men and women link their purpose and passion to allow holistic success, and she also helps strengthen organizations at ground level, providing a sturdy foundation for their futures. Having been extremely active in nonprofits for more than ten years, Jessica has contributed to The New York Call, State of Black Long Island Equity Council of the Urban League of Long Island, and Perfecting Faith Church, among many other organizations.Inspired and encouraged by her parents who migrated from Haiti with goals
of building a bright future in the US, Jessica earned her Bachelors of Science in Special Education and her Masters in Business Administration with a focus in Management in Leadership, both at Dowling College. She then became certified in Organizational and Community Leadership and as a Life and Success Coach. Jessica’s success is due to her love of people—Her passion is to inspire and share with others. But when it comes to inspiring herself, she is driven by her faith in God, and by her desire to lead by example. In Jessica’s free time, she does all she can to benefit her church and community, serving on several committees. Jessica’s work has been featured in Queen Size Magazine, The Westbury Times, and LI Herald Elmont.
Vice President & Founding Member
LaShan Brown has earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Dowling College, and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Adelphi University. She also holds a Certificate in Organizational and Community Leadership. She is skilled in Mental Health, Chemical Dependency, Youth Counseling and Development, Event Coordination, and Project Management. LaShan has already packed a lot into her passion-fueled career spanning five-plus years. Currently, she is a Day Program Therapist and Intake Coordinator with Friends of Bridge, Inc., where she provides individual and group therapy services to culturally diverse, adult,
and the adolescent chemically dependent population--this includes creating treatment plans, discharge plans, and making referrals. Her three Social Work Internships strengthened LaShan’s passion and devotion to helping others and making a life-long difference. Before her current position, LaShan served as a Case Management Coordinator for two years, with the South Shore Association for Independent Living. Before that, she has worked as a Social Worker with Elmont Memorial High School, and as an Assistant Site Coordinator with Bright Future Children’s Center. LaShan intends to earn her PhD with the goal of one day opening up her own Social Work practice.
Secretary & Founding Member
Nicole Bryan, MLS, is skilled and passionate when it comes to interdisciplinary collaboration, creating strong teams, and leveraging community-driven decisions and library policies to design innovative library services to a diverse population. Her diverse educational journey spans several years. She has earned her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Nassau Community College, her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from C.W. Post, and her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science, also from C.W. Post. With over 14 years of experience in working with diverse public library settings, Nicole's career history includes the Brooklyn Public Library,
where she currently serves as Neighborhood Library Supervisor, and has previously served as Library Information Supervisor, and Senior Librarian I for a combined five years.In addition to her library experience, Nicole also served as Social Services Manager with the Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County, Inc., a community action agency dedicated to developing social relationships between individuals, families, and organizations. Nicole’s status as a Registered Behavioral Therapist sets her apart from others in her field, allowing her to make an even more profound difference in her work.
Simone A. Eason is a CPA with over 30 years of financial experience. She has a dual master’s degree in Accounting and Organizational Management. Simone’s career journey began with Deloitte, one of the Big Four accounting organizations. Subsequently, she worked in the cosmetic industry for 10 years, the music industry for 2 years, and retired from the cable industry after 19 years. In her last assignment she worked for Altice USA (formerly Cablevision Systems Corporation) as Vice President & Assistant Controller. Her responsibilities included overseeing the monthly financial reporting process. This process included coordinating all the accounting
functions for assigned business units, including review and completion of financial statements, tax and regulatory reporting.
With the support of a motivated team and oriented staff, implemented procedures to streamline workflow between business units delivering results in a timely manner. Since Simone’s retirement in 2017, her focus has been to serve her community. She has volunteered as an ESL teacher for Literacy Nassau Inc. and with International Volunteers HQ. She currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Bridge to Promise. She actively looks for opportunities to be of service and to help others. This past tax season, she volunteered with the AARP as a tax preparer. She was also approved earlier this year by the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Long Island to mentor a young child.Simone lives on Long Island with her husband and sister- in- law. She has one daughter who is currently a college student of the arts.
Lester Adams is the Vice President, Global Business Development – Location Based Experiences for ViacomCBS. In this role, Mr. Adams strategizes plans, develops brands and negotiates license agreements with entrepreneurs/companies/funds for hotels, theme parks, mall and family entertainment centers, among others. ViacomCBS as a premier content entertainment company provides extraordinary brands to license including, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central, Paramount and CBS, etc. Lester Adams has more than 16+ years of experience in commercial real estate development, primarily in hospitality and public private partnership development.
As Director, Franchise development – Emerging Markets for Choice Hotels international, Mr. Adams identified, educated and prepared minority entrepreneurs for hotel development franchise opportunities. Choice Hotels International has a dedicated program with incentive and a dedicated resource is the best way to grow minority ownership within hotel franchise ownership in the United States. As owner of Conduit Mediation and Advisory, Lester oversaw hospitality development consulting, franchise consulting and business to business mediation for small to medium sized firms. Additionally, Lester contracted with Encore Enterprises to raise capital for office, hotel, multifamily, land and retail opportunities. Lester also contracted as Vice President, Franchise Relations for Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) where he managed franchisor, industry partner and member issues and opportunities for the Association; Director, Market Planning for InterContinental Hotels Group where he managed the impact study, owner relations and co-managed the development strategy process for the franchisor; and Senior Manager, Global Talent Management for Lucent Technologies where, as a global senior leader, he initiated a complete globalization of employment policy, high risk deployment and university relations for Lucent’s Talent Management and provided support to global Diversity, Social Responsibility and Recruitment for corporate and business unit leaders.
Previous to his tenure at Lucent, Lester held various positions with different organizations. These positions included his role as Law Clerk for the Occupation Safety and Health Review Commission, Law Associate for Marriott International, Financial Strategies Analyst for the CIT Group and Corporate Credit Analyst at ABN AMRO North America. Lester earned his Bachelors of Science in Management-International Business from Hampton University, his Masters of Business Administration from Fayetteville State University and Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law.
Jamie Cox is an accomplished HR executive with experience in multiple industries including manufacturing, hospitality, and healthcare. Jamie has spent over 15 years in the HR field. She has spent that time in leadership and team support roles in all aspects of the employee experience. Jamie has been a leader while serving on the executive teams within the organizations she has served. Jamie’s experience has expanded to the strategic and complex HR activities with a focus on people and the success of employees. In her work with HR, Jamie has provided a collaborative and problem-solving sprit to the organizations she has worked
with in her career. Jamie graduated summa cum laude from Limestone College with a bachelors degree in Human Resource Management with a double major in Training and Development and a minor in business administration. Jamie is also a Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources. Jamie has served on the board of directors for Greenville Society of Human Resource Management and is an active participant in the HR Thought Leaders program. Her specialty is the support of people while providing lifelong skills to support their personal and professional growth.
Natalya Niewdach Ellis
A Long Island native, Ms. Ellis received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her master’s degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she also studied History and Education in pursuit of her Ph.D. Since 2000, Ms. Ellis has worked in education and non-profit administration in various capacities. After working as a GED instructor for 2 years, she began her career as intern with the Office of Diversity at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Subsequently, she became a Program Coordinator and then the Associate Director of the Office of Diversity.
Following 8 years with the Office of Diversity Ms. Ellis went on to become the Director of Grants and Programs with Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY). Ms. Ellis has also been employed as an Advising Dean with Columbia University, a Student Advocate with the Harlem Children’s Zone, and as an Academic Advisor with Spelman College, Georgia State University, and Miami-Dade College. As an academic operations consultant, Ms. Ellis most recently worked with a small mentoring foundation and served as its Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Ellis has spent her career working to ensure the success of her students and clients. She brings her knowledge of grant writing, fundraising, and programming initiatives to Bridge to Promise with great enthusiasm.
Kevin D. Jordan, EdD
Kevin D. Jordan is currently Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Office at Farmingdale State College. He holds degrees from Princeton University in psychology with a Certificate of Proficiency in African American Studies, Union Theological Seminary in the Practical Theology. Additionally, he holds a doctorate in Educational Administration Leadership and Technology from Dowling College. With 35 years of experience in higher education, he has held administrative positions in both the private and public sectors. Additionally, he has served as faculty on all levels of the higher education spectrum.
He has a life of activism and serves on a number of community organizations among them are Urban League SOBLI (State of Black Long Island). Trusted Voices of the Community, and is honored to serve as a member of the Suffolk County Sheriff Community Advisory Board. Throughout his career he has been the recipient of countless awards and recognitions. In addition to his secular profession, he is an ordained minister with over 30 years of experience in urban ministry with a particular passion for youth of all ages and walks in life.
Angela Tuck is a native Long Islander, who is an accomplished professional with over 20 years management experience in the technology sector. Starting out as a technical support representative, Angela worked her way up over 20 years through various promotions as Manager of Technical Support and Training, Director of Client and Product Implementation to her most previous role as Director of Client Services. Angela was able to gain valuable experience working in various facets of the organization such as human resources, mentoring, conflict resolution, performance development, organizational management and more, that allows her to be used by
Bridge to Promise in a variety of ways, to aid in reaching the vision set by the executive board members. Angela’s experience in leading teams with varied ages and backgrounds allowed her to develop the ability to see the fruit in the seed or the future potential in the person by coaching and mentoring them to reach their full potential. This ability echoes the commitment of Bridge to Promise to the members they serve, by providing the tools and resources necessary to be successful in various facets of their lives. However, Angela’s biggest accomplishment is being the proud mom on 3 awesome kids. Two of whom are in the age category served by the Bridge To Promise mission. This was one of the many reasons Ms. Tuck sought to be part of this progressive, forward thinking organization. Knowing first hand as a parent the challenges 18 to 35 adults face in today’s world, was a strong motivator to be part of an organization who mission was to empower them with the tools and resources necessary to navigate successfully the challenges they face. Coupled with the belief that her own children could benefit personally from Bride TP vision, made her desire to be an active participant as a board member a must have. In addition to furthering the Bridge to Promise initiatives, and spending time with her family, Angela enjoys aromatherapy, auctions, numismatics and growing her relationship with God.