Westchester, NY


Vivian Guo

Analytical Writing, Spanish

Vivian Guo is a rising senior and teaches the Fundamentals of Philosophy, Analytical Writing, and Spanish. She is an avid member of her school’s debate team and mentors students around the nation. In her free time, Vivian enjoys eating and philosophy podcasts.

Sam Hurwitz

Songwriting and Recording, Creative Writing

Sam is a senior and teaches Songwriting and Creative Writing. He is a singer-songwriter who has been writing and performing songs since the age of nine, and has been recording and producing songs since middle school. Sam has won numerous awards for his songwriting and musical performances, as well as writing awards regionally and nationally in the categories of novel writing, poetry, and short story. In his free time he enjoys writing and playing music.


Sora Oba


Sora is a sophomore and the instructor of Cryptography. In school, she is also an active member of the Math Team and took Computer Science. Since she was first introduced to Cryptography in 5th grade, she has continued to read on the subject. During her free time, she enjoys playing percussion instruments, listening to music, wall-climbing, and sleeping.

Sam Lippmann

Stand-up Comedy

Sam is a senior and has performed stand-up comedy since he was ten years old, primarily at Gotham Comedy Club in New York City, on the same stage where comedy idols like Jerry Seinfeld, George Carlin, and Chris Rock have performed. Also passionate about writing, Sam has received awards in the genres of humor, sci-fi, and short fiction. He is thrilled to share his passion in Stand-up 101. In his spare time, Sam likes to read and walk his dog, Murphy Brown.


Simran Ruta

Social Activism, Acting

Simran Ruta is a senior and the Social Activism and Acting instructor. She is currently the Vice President of the school and has been involved in school government for over 5 years. She has also worked on various political campaigns and interned in political offices. Additionally, she has been doing theater since she was 3 years old and is now Vice President of the Drama Club. In her free time, she plays with her poodle!!

Krissh Bhargava

Coding in Python

Krissh Bhargava is a rising sophomore and has a passion for both math and science and loves to read. He discovered his love of coding while teaching himself how to code in the seventh grade with courses offered by Coursera and Edhesive. Currently he is teaching himself AP Computer Science A. He is also an avid tennis player, D&D enthusiast and an excellent mentor.


Natalie Dowd

3D Modeling

Natalie is a senior and instructs both of the 3D modeling courses. She began learning the program Fusion 360 as a middle schooler, and has since taken several classes on 3D modeling, engineering, carpentry, and product development. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, baking, and spending time with friends.

Joanna Wang


Joanna is a rising senior who teaches Forensics. She has competed in Forensics in her high school's Science Olympiad team and has won numerous regional and state awards in the subject. Apart from Science Olympiad, for which she serves as the current President, she is a part of her school's Tri-M Music Honors Society and dance team. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano and being active outdoors.


Tom Gibney


Tom Gibney is a junior and serves as a close-up magic instructor. Tom has studied and performed magic both casually and professionally for the past seven years. He attends Tannen’s Magic Camp yearly, where he makes connections with the best magicians alive today. At the camp, he has won second place in the strolling magic competition against fellow young magicians, a few more experienced than Tom. Now he is setting back the clock to guide those starting out in the craft.

Evann Penn Brown

Playwriting, Painting

Evann is a senior who is passionate about theater and art. She takes painting and drawing classes at The Art Students League of New York, as well as regularly painting by herself. She’s painted murals and has sold a few of her paintings. She has also taken theater classes all through high school. She’s studied playwriting and has written a play produced by her school. In her free time, she enjoys going to productions at the Public Theater as well as doing photography and listening to music.


Ethan Gu


Ethan is a senior and a chess instructor. Along with chess, he is also part of the math and debate team. Ethan is very passionate about chess and competes in tournaments regularly. He is a USCF Expert and is currently ranked 27th in the nation for his age group. Ethan previously placed 8th at the 2018 National Junior High Championship. He hopes to share his passion with others through YPP.

Courtney Guastafeste


Courtney is a senior and an art instructor. She has taken many art classes where she has gained experience in drawing with charcoal, as well as painting with oils and acrylic. Courtney also has a passion for animation and film. She has won a Presidents Award for her short animated film at a Lower Hudson Valley film festival. Aside from art, Courtney volunteers at a local hospital, enjoys to cook, plays volleyball, and is the outreach director for her school's robotics team.


Janet Kuskin


Janet is a rising senior and the instructor for the piano class. She has been playing piano since she was 7 years old and has competed in the NYSSMA competition at the highest levels. While she is classically trained, she also participates in the school’s Jazz Ensemble as both a pianist and a bassist on the keyboard. Aside from music, Janet is also interested in studying law and is on the school’s Mock Trial team. In her free time, she plays softball, reads, and dog-sits her friends’ pets.

Nolan Bansal

Book Club

Nolan is a senior and runs the YPP Book Club. He learned how to read in 1st grade but really only learned to like it in 5th. Since then, he found a love for fantasy, horror, and mystery novels. His favorite book is The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy, although this changes weekly. He also likes to run, cook, play guitar, and build models.

Curtis Chang


Curtis is a senior and serves as an origami instructor. He has done origami for many years since he was a child, and has learned to design or recreate models from scratch, often spending hours folding a single design. He is a nationally ranked debater and has been successful with math and chemistry olympiads. He is additionally part of organizations such as Students for Refugees or PepTalk debate. During his free time, he enjoys playing the piano, cooking, and spending time with friends.

Karen Lee

Music Theory

Karen is a senior and teaches Introduction to Music Theory. She has been learning the cello for 9 years and won various music competitions. Karen has played at the Lincoln Center as well as performed a solo at Carnegie Hall. She is the principal cellist of her local orchestra, and she received a perfect score from NYSSMA, taking 2nd chair of the Area All State Orchestra. Besides music, Karen is a debater and officer of the JV team. In her free time, she exercises and discusses critical theories.


Anya Voit


Anya Voit is a rising junior as serves a a German instructor. She has grown up speaking German her whole life, and visits Germany regularly. She received a 5/5 on her AP German test, and is excited to teach others the language. In her free time she enjoys baking, reading, hiking, and spending time with friends and family

Minori Nakazawa

Japanese, Psychology

Minori is a senior and is the instructor for Japanese and Psychology. She is fluent in Japanese and has lived in Tokyo for half of her life, which gave her first-hand experience on the culture and education system of the country. She has also taken psychology courses in and outside of her high school. In her free time, Minori likes to read and draw.

Cheryl Zhang

Positive Psychology

Cheryl is a sophomore and she will be teaching Positive Psychology. She is passionate about how we have the utmost potential to change our own lives through our thoughts and actions. She has taken professional classes and done research about these topics. She loves playing soccer and working out, traveling, spending lots of time with others, trying new things, and learning to better herself everyday.

Justin Lofaso


Justin is a rising senior who teaches Spanish. He speaks the language frequently at home, participates as an active member of the Spanish Club at his school, and teaches GED classes outside of YPP entirely in Spanish. In his free time, he enjoys traveling to Latin-American countries.

Zoe Alter

Sports Broadcasting

Zoe is a junior and aspiring sportscaster. She is the leader of the Press Box club at her high school, so she announces for multiple varsity sports teams. She also runs a weekly podcast with another member of her club. In terms of experience, she has been on ESPN in front of more than two million viewers as a sideline reporter for the Little League World Series. She spends her free time playing softball, obsessing over her fantasy football team, or just simply hanging out with friends.

Justin Walker

History of War

Justin is a senior and an AP European History and AP US History student. He will be teaching the History of War. Having had a passion for history for years, Justin has spent years learning varying aspects of history, from ancient Japan to Mesopotamia. In his free time, Justin goes bouldering, surfing, and explores his passion for photography.

Ryan Jiang

Fitness and Kung Fu

Ryan is a Sophomore and is the instructor for Fitness and Kung Fu. He has over 8 years of competitive Kung Fu and has won many trophies and medals during this time. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and reading.

Carly Gelles

Public Speaking, Baking

Carly is a rising sophomore and an instructor in Public Speaking and the Art of Baking. An avid member of her school's Speech team, Carly has won several tournaments in Oral Interpretation and Declamation, and she qualified to attend both the state and national championships this year. A talented chef, Carly has trained with professionals at the International Culinary Center. She constantly perfects recipes for family and friends. Carly enjoys dancing and learning languages such as ASL and Mandarin.


Max Almeida

Video Game Design in Scratch

Max is a junior and is one of the STEM instructors. He is the programming officer for the Scarsdale Robotics club and has over four years of programming experience. As sophomore, Max completed the AP Computer Science class in Scarsdale High School. In his free time, he enjoys chess and history.

Sylvi Stein

Art History

Sylvi is a rising senior and an AP Art History and Art Studio student. She is the editor-in-chief for her school’s literary and photography magazines. Sylvi is a part of the several writing and activism organizations, including Girls Write Now, Climate Speaks, and Girl Be Heard. Her work has been recognized by the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, Gotham Writers Workshop, and the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Sylvi enjoys spending her free time reading, writing, and wandering around the Met.


Aanya Schoetz

Analytical Writing, Philosophy

Aanya is a senior and teaches philosophy and analytical writing. She is currently in the process of writing a book on the origins of historical conflict, which will be published this summer. She is also a varsity officer on the speech and debate team. Aanya loves reading, writing poetry, and listening to philosophy podcasts in her spare time.

Sam Singer

Survey of Mathematical Challenges

Sam is a senior and a STEM instructor for the Youth Passion Project. His interests lie at the intersection of social justice, public health, and medicine. He has designed and led award-winning research on cancer treatment of minorities and is also a First Responder, the Editor-in-Chief of an ASPA-award winning science magazine, the founder of a program bringing science experiments to South Bronx communities, and in his free time, a volunteer French pastry chef.


Megan Niu

American Sign Language

Megan is a rising senior and language instructor. At school, she is a varsity tennis player, an elected student government representative, and co-captain of the Mock Trial team. This summer, she is taking an undergraduate linguistics course and an international relations course. In her free time, she enjoys learning languages. She is approaching fluency in Mandarin and Spanish while learning French, Portuguese, and American Sign Language.

Ilan Eisenberg

Modern Hebrew

Ilan Eisenberg is a rising senior. He is passionate about Jewish and Middle Eastern studies as well as playing any instrument with strings. He recently represented the United States in the International Bible Contest. Ilan enjoys running, reading classic fiction, and learning new languages in his spare time.


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