Meet our new board members of 2022!

By November 21, 2022May 3rd, 2024Blog

As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, The Sylvia Center, which continues to be at the center of the movement of youth-led change in health education, elected three new leaders, Jean-Robert Andre, Danielle Colen, and Phillip Grant, to our board in 2022. These professionals bring a diverse set of expertise to The Sylvia Center’s leadership in the areas of food access, preservation of traditional culinary knowledge, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  With the addition of these members, The Sylvia Center’s board is poised to make even more impactful changes to create healthy, brighter futures for young people in their communities in 2023 and beyond. 

“As we became more nutrition literate at my school, we dove into connections between food and family stories, and confronted social justice issues around access to food. The Sylvia Center offers a perfect intersection for my passions as an educator, my motivations as a DEI practitioner, and my interest in exploring the ways food can empower individuals and communities,” said Jean-Robert Andre.

Jean-Robert Andre is currently the Dean of Equity and Inclusion at the Grace Church School in Manhattan, where he oversees programming and strategic planning around diversity, equity, antiracism, and belonging for all constituents of the school community.

“My hope is to inspire kids to have a lifelong love of food, cooking, creating and sharing with friends and family in the kitchen and around the table. I’m excited to introduce chefs and others in the food industry to the incredible work The Sylvia Center does to promote health, confidence, independent life skills, and to create new opportunities for our young people to gain knowledge, access and opportunities for enrichment,” commented Danielle Rehfeld Colen.

Danielle Rehfeld Colen is the founder and curator of The Inherited Plate and Take a Fork, LLC. She caters, teaches private cooking classes, and cooks with professional chefs and home cooks from all over the world to preserve and share their authentic family recipes, stories, and special culinary knowledge.


“For children, eating nourishing and healthy meals can mean the difference between success and failure in the classroom. The more children we reach and impress on the notion that ‘health is wealth,’ the healthier and more sustainable our collective future will be. I believe the Sylvia Center’s hands-on approach to nutrition is an excellent way for children to learn for themselves, their families, and their communities,” said Phillip Grant. 

Phillip Grant is the Chief Executive Officer of the Hunts Point Produce Market. The Market is composed of 29 merchants with a deep history in supporting New York City’s essential food infrastructure and spanning multiple generations of expertise. 

Learn more about The Sylvia Center board of directors here.

Don’t Miss #GivingTuesday! 

Next Tuesday, 11/29 is Giving Tuesday! This day helps us to kick start the end-of-year giving that is necessary to keep The Sylvia Center programs running. Your donation will help us reach our fundraising goal of $100,000 to go towards our work in teaching young people the connection between food and health. 

Make a donation today to help build generational wellness.