Primary Role: As Manager of National Programs, Rebecca is responsible for many aspects of the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program, including student and teacher customer service, writing adjudication, student and teacher notification, and national events. Rebecca also manages the National Student Poets Program (NSPP), a partnership between the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services honoring youth poets whose original work exhibits exceptional creativity, promise, and dedication to the craft.

Secret Fact: Rebecca grew up in London, England where she lived with her family until she was 14.

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From L to R: Kat Hendrix, Director of National Programs & Partnerships and Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director

Guest post from the Alliance’s Executive Director Virginia McEnerney

Yes, it’s true: Kat and I were invited to a holiday party at the White House! Because we’ve been working with so many awesome Washington-based organizations on the National Student Poets Program, we’ve made some good friends in our nation’s capital, and one of them arranged for us to get this invitation.

We headed to the White House on the evening of Dec. 2. After passing through a few security checkpoints we entered the famous building. Everybody who works at the White House is very gracious and warm, so we were welcomed and guided up the stairs to the Central Hall where the U.S. Marine Band was playing. Read More

Primary Role: As Manager of Affiliate Services, Mariana is responsible for all aspects of affiliate support. Her job is to ensure that the wonderful men and women who promote and drive our regional programs are equipped with as many resources as possible. She also contributes to program development through implementing strategies that strengthen our mission as well as recruitment and retention efforts.

Secret Fact:
When Mariana was 18 years old, she co-wrote the documentary, Assignment Education: Teen Stories, which won a Regional Emmy Award!

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Primary Role:
Michael works as the Assistant of Art & Production at the Alliance. He lends his help in the design and production of printed and web-based materials, including designing annual publications like SPARK and The Best Teen Writing.

Secret Fact: Michael is a vegan and loves to experiment with new recipes and learning to cook foods from various cultures.
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Primary Role: As Manager of External Relations, Nora works on events such as the annual Gala, Now Showing, and ART.WRITE.NOW. She is also involved in alumni-related efforts like the Atelier, in which six alumni artists created work in a downtown storefront for two weeks. In addition, Nora manages the Alliance’s archive and oversees all of the Alliance’s blog and social media efforts. Every time you see a Facebook update, tumblr post or tweet – that’s her!

Secret Fact: Nora continues to practice photography, which she studied in college. You can see her work at Aside from her own site, she runs a website about the history of rock in New York City, Nora is also currently learning how to play the mandolin and how to pickle.
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Alexandra Franklin at the Andy Monument in Union Square

Primary Role:

Alexandra Franklin is the editor of the upcoming anthology The Best Teen Writing of 2011, which will feature a selection of award-winning writing from this year’s Awards. Alexandra spends her days in the Alliance office reading and talking to young writers, which is her favorite part of the job. She also does little things around here, like preparing letters and mailings for the award winners and helping out wherever she’s needed.

Secret fact:

Alexandra collects and restores manual typewriters. Her favorite typewriter is a 1920 Underwood Standard No. 5, which weighs more than a desktop computer and is way more fun to use!


The Alliance has been a major part of my life for more than three years. I won my first award—a Gold Medal and an American Voices award—for a short story in 2009, when I was a junior in high school. The next year I prepared a general writing portfolio, submitted it, and won a Portfolio Gold award! Read More