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Who We Are
Youth Communication equips and empowers educators and youth workers with real teen-written stories and a literacy-rich training model to engage struggling youth and build their social and emotional learning skills. [more]
Our Magazines
YCteen (teen magazine)
(foster teen magazine)
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Board & Staff
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William Josephson
Retired Partner
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson

Vice President

Peggy Farber
Asst. Attorney General
New York State Charities Bureau

Leah Modigliani
Senior Vice President, Neuberger Berman

Lizbeth S. Adams

Foundation for Justice Through Education

Mohamad Bazzi
Associate Professor
Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

Duffie Cohen
Executive Director
Invest in CUNY Campaign

Pilar Conde
Retired, Chief of Proprietary
Positioning Business & Member
of the Executive Committee

J.P. Morgan and Co.

  Angelina Darrisaw
Senior Manager, Digital Business Development, Viacom

Doris Gonzalez
Director Americas
Corporate Citizenship &
Corporate Affairs, IBM

Caroline Hodkinson
Vice President and
Philanthropy Advisor
Bessemer Trust Company

Lisa K. Winkler

Advisory Board
Michael Bailin

Neil Barsky

Gordon Berlin
Ric Burns
Chiara Coletti
Barry Ensminger
Arthur Klebanoff
Jonathan Kozol
Lee Kravitz
Eric Latzky

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Keith Hefner
Keith Hefner founded Youth Communication in 1980. He won a MacArthur Fellowship in 1989, and he was a 1986-87 Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of New York City at Columbia University. He is a 2004 graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, Institute for Non-Profit Management, Executive Level Program. In 1997 he received the Luther P. Jackson Award for Educational Excellence from the New York Association of Black Journalists. He is the executive editor or co-author of several dozen Youth Communication books and programs, including Real Men and The Teen Guide to Sex (without regrets). []
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Holly St. Lifer
EDITOR & PROGRAM MANAGER, YCteen magazineHolly St. Lifer
Holly St. Lifer has written about health and fitness for, AARP The Magazine, Shape, More, Self, Prevention, Psychology Today, and AOL Health. She is also the author of "Feeling Your Best," a wellness primer for baby boomers. St. Lifer began her career as a television producer; her work has appeared on ESPN, USA Networks, MTV, VH1 and Lifetime. In 2011, she was a volunteer mentor at New World High School in the Bronx where she worked with ESL students on improving their writing and communication skills. She holds a BFA in Film and Television from New York University where she teaches journalism. She has been an editor at Youth Communication since 2013. []
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Virginia Vitzthum

EDITOR & PROGRAM MANAGER, Represent magazine
Virginia Vitzthum

Virginia Vitzthum has written for publications including Elle, the Village Voice,,, Time Out New York, Ms., and, where she was a columnist. She is the author of a book about Internet dating, I Love You, Let’s Meet, and a humor book, My Blind Date Went Blind! She was managing editor of a book series on substance abuse treatment and has edited many other publications. She is a contributor to Beautiful Trouble, a book about creative activism. She has a BA in English from the University of Maryland. She has been an editor at Youth Communication since 2008. She is the editor of Youth Communication’s books on drugs, disabilities, sexuality, and other topics. []

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Luisa Tucker

Maria Luisa Tucker has covered crime, courts, politics, and housing for the Village Voice,, and several other publications. She began her journalism career as a stringer for a small town newspaper in Texas and went on to win several awards for her investigative reporting at The Santa Fe Reporter, an alternative newsweekly in New Mexico. She holds a BA in journalism from Texas State University and an MA in American Studies from Columbia University. She has been an editor at Youth Communication since 2009. She edited Youth Communication’s books on growing up Asian, growing up black, and sexual decision-making. []

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Elizabeth Johnson
Elizabeth Johnson has been engaging teens in youth development programs, classrooms, and community organizations since 1998. While working at Open Meadow Alternative School Elizabeth earned her Master's Degree in Education from Portland State University. In 2005 she joined the staff at the Trillium School as an Upper School Teacher/ Advisor and Student Support Specialist. As the Curriculum and Instruction Specialist at The Native American Youth and Family Center's Early College Academy, she led an educational program committed to best practices in social and emotional learning, literacy development, and culturally responsive teaching. Elizabeth most recently brought her expertise from the West Coast to the New York Public Library, where she designed and managed Literacy Leaders, an after-school program for teens in the Lower East Side. []
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Jillian Luft
Jillian Luft has worked as a classroom teacher, learning specialist, and tutor in elementary, middle, and high school settings. Her areas of interest include differentiation, literacy instruction, and social justice. She also has a background in writing and publishing. Jillian holds a BA in Literature/Gender Studies from New College of Florida and an MS in General Education/Special Education from Bank Street College of Education. Prior to joining Youth Communication, she was the Education Coordinator for the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program at an all-girls middle and high school in downtown Brooklyn. []
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Laura Longhine
Laura Longhine has a BA in English from Tufts University and an MS in Journalism from Columbia. She is a 2008 graduate of Columbia University Business School's Institute for Non-Profit Management's Middle Management Program for Youth Service Organizations. Before joining Youth Communication she taught English as a Second Language as an Americorps Volunteer in California, and was a staff writer at the Free Times, an alternative weekly in South Carolina. She has freelanced for The New York Times, and Legal Affairs, among other publications. Laura was the editor of Represent magazine from 2005 to 2009. She is the editor of more than a dozen Youth Communication books on topics including juvenile justice, sexuality, domestic violence, work readiness, and more.  []
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Joanne Pendola
IMAGE EDITORJoanne Pendola
Joanne Pendola is a freelance illustrator whose work has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, the Wall Street Journal (classroom edition), Ms., and other major publications. She also illustrates books. She was an editorial assistant at Out magazine and has a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has worked at Youth Communication since 1997. []
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Tom Brown
Prior to joining Youth Communication in March, 1989, Tom Brown worked for several years at the DOME Project, a community based youth development program where he was assistant director. He has a BA in Political Science from the City College of New York and an MA in that subject from Yale. []
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Anthony Buissereth
Anthony Buissereth

Anthony Buissereth joined Youth Communication in 2014. A native New Yorker, he has built a career in fund development at youth-serving organizations including Variety the Children's Charity of New York, Good Shepherd Services, Groundwork, and Cool Culture and developed expertise in grant writing, special events management, donor relations, stewardship, marketing, social media outreach, and government and community affairs. He holds a BA in African American Studies from Syracuse University. Anthony is a member of Brooklyn's Community Board 3, representing Bedford-Stuyvesant.  []
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Efrain Reyes, Jr.
Efrain Reyes, Jr.

Efrain Reyes was a student artist (1982-84) for New Youth Connections (now YCteen) while attending Morris HS in the South Bronx. He later graduated from Pratt Institute with a BA in Communication Design and in 1988 was hired to run our desktop publishing operation and to handle bookkeeping. He has since taken charge of many other tasks, including: IT, installing and maintaining our 40+ computer network; Web development and design for our various sites; in-house photographer and art director: photographing and/or designing many of our magazine and book covers. []
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Loretta Chan
Loretta was a teen writer at New Youth Connections (now YCteen) from 1992 to 1995. Prior to returning to Youth Communication in 2006, she worked as an editor for Longitude Books, education program associate for The New York Council for the Humanities and paralegal for Cravath, Swaine & Moore and The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey. She has a BA in Art History from New York University. She is the co-editor of Youth Communication’s book Strong Teens, Strong Neighborhoods.[]
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Elena Autin-hefner
Elena Autin-Hefner graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in Film and Television. She previously worked in New Media at the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network.[]
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FORMER STAFFAttention Youth Communication Alumni: If you would like to reach your former editor for a recommendation or any other reason, send an e-mail to and in most cases we can forward it to him or her. (We’ll let you know.) Former editors we are in touch with: Al Desetta, Marie Glancy, Autumn Spanne, Rachel Blustain, Sean Chambers, Sasha Chavkin, Duffie Cohen, Andrea Estepa, Sheila Feeney, Clarence Haynes, Lynda Hill, Katia Hetter, Kendra Hurley, Philip Kay, Carol Kelly, Donna Lawson, Stephanie Liu, Vivian Louie, Nora McCarthy, Tony McGinty, Abiodun Oyewole, Alexandra Ringe, Tamar Rothenberg, Tony Savino, Hope Vanderberg.

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