Team 2019-09-30T21:29:28+00:00

AYCO has been utilizing grass-roots, strengths-based approaches to engage community members from underrepresented, culturally specific populations since 2009. While AYCO does benefit from the involvement of several interns from Portland State University and staff members who aren’t from the African immigrant and refugee population, most of AYCO’s volunteer and staff are from the very population we serve. AYCO staff and volunteers have experienced first-hand the challenge of family members adjusting differently to their new lives in the U.S. Our constituents are welcomed into a culturally and linguistically familiar environment at AYCO, where dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers and staff address the many gaps and challenges to family adaptation, that too often leave new immigrants feeling overwhelmed and marginalized.

The AYCO Board of Directors


AYCO Board Chair

Stephanie Roberson has 14 years of experience in education, clinical social work, and social change work. Stephanie has worked as a teacher, school administrator, and is currently a mental health practitioner with immigrant and refugee children. Stephanie’s experience in organizational development is grounded in restorative justice, decolonizing spaces, organizational equity, and cultural humility. Stephanie has undergraduate degrees in International Business and Romance Languages and Literatures, a Master’s degree in Social Work, and is bilingual in English and Spanish.


AYCO Board Cezanne Tyner

Cezanne Tyner is a former classroom teacher with a passion towards education success – especially with dyslexia. Her experience in teaching spans countries such as Kenya, Nicaragua, Romania and Japan. Cezanne has an undergraduate degree in Family and Human Services and a Masters in Teaching with an emphasis in English language arts and English as a Second Language. She has been able to assume roles with public, charter, alternative, and catholic schools in Oregon and abroad. Cezanne’s love for education includes her learning and growing as well. She is a product of a Portland Public Schools education and determined to give back.

Askina Sharif

Youth Development

I Askina Sharif acquired experience in healthcare administration as well as strong knowledge of medical terminology and medical insurance plans. Proficiency in MS Office Suite as well as database applications and EHR system. Strong management and leadership skills to oversee daily duties of healthcare staff as well as to ensure organization’s growth. Creative and strong problem-solving skills to handle issues related to staff and administrative duties. Effective communication and interpersonal skills to build and maintain strong relationships with healthcare personnel as well as with patients, families, and visitors. Strong organization and prioritization skills as well as ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and within tight deadlines. Strong data entry skills as well as ability to maintain high level of confidentiality of sensitive information. Ability to maintain a positive working environment as well as provide excellent customer services.


Raife Neuman

Legal Consultation Support

Raife co-founded AYCO and obtained 501(c)3 status for the organization. He serves as AYCO’s legal counsel , and has maintained AYCO’s compliance with state and federal agencies and taxing authorities, coordinated community events and fundraisers and composed grant applications. Raife is a member of the Oregon State Bar (OSB) and is certified to practice in the Oregon Federal District Court. He is currently co-chair of the OSB New Lawyer Division Pro Bono Subcommittee and is the former chair of the Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Service. Raife has worked with Portland’s Somali community on a diverse array of legal issues, from tenant rights to personal injury to family law issues.


Mahad Ahmed

Board Member

My name is Mahad Ahmed Community outreach and, I’m community development specialist I am also currently a department lead for Nike Air MI community leader and have invested my time and money such as AYCO organization. I’m the first few youth mentors back in 2009. 503-449-5315 I’m honoring to support many undeserved youths in our community.


Dalmar Ali

Board Member

My name is Dalmar Ali growing up Somalia and getting opportunity to settle in US gave me opportunity and gratefulness to give back to my own community. I’m community Engagement specialist I am also currently a department footwear Enovation lead for Nike. AYCO and its staff developed me and shape who I’m and is time to return that investment. 503-810-8718 I’m honoring to support many undeserved youths in our community.


Board Member

My name is Sulayman Nur former African Youth and Community employee. Lead the community organizing at AYCO. Currently Bilingual Resource facilitator at Beaverton School District. Studied City planning at ST. Cloud State University, education, and knows nonprofits. I am skilled in providing culturally appropriate services to undeserved communities with specialized expertise in Community Health. 320-282-4264

Roseline Jindori Yunusa Vakkai

Board Member

My name is Roseline Jindori Yunusa Vakkai Twenty years of education, social work, counseling, and public health experiences working for the government, higher education, and nonprofits. I am skilled in providing culturally appropriate services
to underserved communities with specialized expertise in Community Health. 513-362-9978

Seemab Hussaini

My name is Seemab Hussaini I’m currently County Organizer at Unite Oregon. Extensive communications background• Organized with strict time management• Co-ordinate commission meetings and committees for state equity programs and stakeholders• Interpreting, applying and communicating complex laws and regulations• Case Management through state program• Manage, recruit, outreach and retention • Develop and execute presentations• Cultivate relationships with stakeholders• Public speaker and presenter. I always enjoy giving back to our community in order to become independent., 320-948-2040.

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