BronxWorks Community Health Programs are leading some interesting new initiatives, and Ailsha Sepulveda, Program Coordinator for CHP, is at the heart of many of them. From infant mortality reduction, to Teen Battle Chef, to intergenerational programming, participatory budgeting, leading focus groups, and more, Ailsha supports many of the ways BronxWorks is working to
improve health outcomes in our communities.
The most important thing is to create a safe environment through our very first interactions and let our participants share their stories.”
Ailsha was born and raised in the Bronx. She attended the Bronx Dance Academy for middle school and the Bronx Theater High School. Ailsha earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Anthropology from John Jay College. She also earned her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, with a dual specialization in crime and deviance and policing administration, from John Jay.
Ailsha joined BronxWorks in 2018 as a Case Manager in an eviction prevention program, and in 2019 she joined the Community Health Programs. As the Program Coordinator for CHP, Ailsha has her hand in almost everything the team is doing. As a part of the Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative, Ailsha helps to create and facilitate the curriculum of infant and maternal health workshops. She also leads our Intergenerational Programming that brings together our youth participants and seniors from our older adult centers for shared learning and activities. She helps organize Teen Battle Chef for students in our afterschool and summer programs to learn culinary skills, how to utilize the food in their pantry, explore different cuisines, create healthier recipes, and compete in cooking competitions against their peers.
This year, as BronxWorks opened new programming on Saturdays at our Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center, Ailsha was integral in facilitating early focus groups to determine the most needed resources and curriculum. Additionally, this year BronxWorks became a borough partner in the first ever city-wide Participatory Budgeting process. Ailsha has been our community lead and point of contact through the first two phases of the process, responsible for community outreach and engagement, facilitating conversations and idea generation, and working with other partners to vet and develop ideas, and eventually place them onto a public ballot for New York City residents to decide on how to utilize public funding.
Whenever I am speaking with members of our community, I always keep in mind that we are all unique in our own way, and that comes through in how people present themselves and in how we communicate.”
In her work with the community, Ailsha draws heavily on her psychology coursework from her undergraduate and Master’s degrees. She uses techniques that help her better engage with members of the community and effectively convey valuable information to participants of all ages.
Outside of work, Ailsha enjoys going to the gym and hanging out with family. She is a life-long dancer. She hopes to do more traveling and creating new memories.