Kenny Holdsman – President & CEO
Kenny has devoted the past two decades of his career to the empowerment of urban young people through education, leadership, and character development, mentorship, family involvement, and high quality opportunities both in schools and in communities. He has held senior positions in a major urban school district, a global nonprofit, and a local sports-based youth development organization, most recently serving as the President of Legacy Youth Tennis and Education (formerly Arthur Ashe) from February, 2009 to June, 2015. In addition to his passion for young people and social justice, Kenny has a proven track record in nonprofit leadership including strategic planning; fund development; board development and engagement; community partnerships; program design, implementation, and evaluation; budget and finance; and operations. Kenny is a co-founder of the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative, and for eight years served as a volunteer coach and program founder/coordinator of Rise Up Basketball in Mt. Airy. He also has spent many seasons coaching young people in the Mt. Airy Baseball program and the Phillies Reviving Baseball in the Inner City program. Born in Elkins Park, P.A., Kenny is a graduate from Cheltenham High School, Lehigh University, and Temple University School of Law.
Eric Worley – Program Director
A Philadelphia resident who grew up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Eric has served as an educator and principal in the Philadelphia School District for almost 15 years. He grew up playing basketball on the city’s playgrounds and has used the game as a vehicle to help him through life, playing on every level from recreational leagues, to Central High School, and then at West Chester University. For the past 10 years, Eric also serves as the Executive Director at Philly Triple Threat, a sports-based youth development program.
Diana Venezia – Manager of Fund Development and Operations
Diana Venezia has served as PYB’s Manager of Fund Development and Operations over the past year and a half. Prior to her time with PYB, she worked within Temple University’s Owl Club, the Athletics Development Department. Originally from Westfield, N.J., Diana attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and was a member on the Seahawk’s women’s basketball team. Raised in a family full of Villanova graduates and Wildcat fans, Diana is now finishing up her graduate degree at Temple University where she is studying Sport Business.
MaryKate O’Brien – Community Mobilization Coordinator
MaryKate O’Brien was first introduced to Philadelphia Youth Basketball as a senior at Williams College while completing research for her senior project as an Environmental Science major. Her research into environmental and community revitalization in Philadelphia led her to PYB’s President and CEO, Kenny Holdsman, to learn more about his plans to build a Youth Basketball and Education Center in North Philadelphia. A collegiate basketball player, Philadelphia native, and graduate of William Penn Charter, MaryKate moved back to Philadelphia after graduation and began working, first for the Environmental Defense Fund in Philadelphia before accepting a full time position as PYB’s Community Mobilization Coordinator in February 2017. In her position at PYB MaryKate is passionate about creating opportunities for all members of the community to engage with the organization to create an “all-in” movement that transcends traditional lines of race, gender, ethnicity, affluence, religion, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Kyle Lafferty – Program Operations Coordinator
A local Philadelphia native was born and raised in the Northwest section of Philadelphia. He grew up in the Philadelphia basketball community being apart of programs such as Hunting Park Warriors AAU program and Philadelphia Central High School boys’ varsity basketball team. His experiences with basketball has been a major contributor to his development in all areas of his life. After graduating from Central High School, he went on to study Sociology at Rosemont College as well as being a 4-year student-athlete in the Rosemont Men’s Basketball program. Kyle first became involved with PYB as a corporate and camp-based intern in the summer of 2016 and has been an integral member of PYB ever since.
Randy Butler – Development and Program Coordinator
Randy Butler started working for PYB in September 2017. Randy was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois before attending Colgate University in New York where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Education in 2016. Randy played Women’s Basketball for the Colgate Raiders and continued to play overseas in Ireland, while she simultaneously completed a masters program in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Ulster University Jordanstown in 2017.
Max Raiken – Marketing and Events Intern
Max Raiken is a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. His teenage years circulated around basketball; an avid player and fan. Max is currently a Marketing Major in the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University. He started working at PYB in 2016, where he served as an Academic Mentor in the Middle School Partnership Program. In June 2017, Max moved to the corporate end of things by joining us as our Marketing and Events Intern. He has now continued to work with us part-time while also pursuing his Bachelors Degree at SJU.
Peter Kaffenberger – Program Impact Analyst
Pete Kaffenberger went to college at Temple University after working in construction for several years. His time away from the classroom made him value his education much more once he finally returned. As a result, he feels an increased sense of purpose when it comes to the education of vulnerable middle school students, an age group that PYB places so much emphasis upon. He wants these young people to enthusiastically seize the opportunities that they have in the classroom and on the court the first time they get the chance. Pete’s intention when going back to school was to become a licensed counselor in Pennsylvania. Through tutoring his peers in different classes throughout his college career, he felt he’d been called to explore a career as an educator. As someone who additionally has a love for the game of basketball, he felt that the game would be a great tool to relate to students while guiding them academically. His time with PYB has only strengthened this belief.
Amanda Chandler – Academic Mentor Lead
Amanda Chandler serves as an Academic Mentor during PYB’s Middle School Partnership Program. During this program, she works with the boys and girls from Jay Cooke School in North Philadelphia during the off-court portion of the day. She facilitates conversations around topics that are at the crossroads of social justice and sports, urging her students to form their own thoughts and opinions on issues relevant in their own lives. She also organizes a math-based board game called NBA Math Hoops. Originally from California, Amanda now attends Temple University where she is studying education. She aspires to be a teacher and impact the lives of young people through academia.
Amanda Chandler is a senior at Temple University’s College of Education. She was born and raised in San Diego, California, however, has a deep appreciation for the East Coast. She has worked with Philadelphia Youth Basketball since she was a sophomore at Temple, first as an Academic Mentor and now as a Mentor Lead. She facilitates conversations around topics that are at the crossroads of social justice and sports, urging her students to form their own thoughts and opinions on issues relevant in their own lives. She also organizes a math-based board game called NBA Math Hoops. She has been working with children of all ages since she joined the education pathway at her high school when she was 17. She has worked in several mentoring and teaching programs for young people, most recently as an Assistant Director for the San Diego Girl Scouts Day Camp and as Co-chairwoman and Fundraising chairwoman at The DREAM Village Mentoring Program here in Philadelphia. PYB has been top on her list of passion projects, and something as a former student athlete herself, she appreciates greatly. She brings her own brand of creativity and passion to the position of Academic Mentor Lead, and is grateful for an opportunity to enrich the lives of more young people.
Middle School Partnership Program 17/18 Head Coaches
Middle School Partnership Program 17/18 Academic Mentors
Year 3 of the Middle School Partnership Program (MSPP) concluded last month. We were delighted with the level of participation at each school site, the energy in the school's gymnasiums and classrooms, the engagement during the off-court, educational modules, the team...read more