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Aarian Pope-Punter comes to Rucker Park Prep with ten years of nonprofit management experience.  Prior to her past role as the Program Manager for BronxConnect; an anti-gun violence initiative at BronxConnect; Aarian was the Director of the Navy Yard site for Madison Square Boys and Girls Club.  In 2007, Aarian received her first Masters of Science Degree in Communications, from the College Of New Rochelle and worked in Case Management as a Supervisor for H.E.L.P USA; a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help those who are homeless and others in need to become and remain self-reliant. Her ability to be a flexible and professional leader helped to increase staff morale and expand the service delivery of several departments under her leadership.  In 2010, Aarian would transition from working in the shelter system to working at New York City Mission Society as a Program Manager for Restorative Justice Services in collaboration with New York City Opportunity, Young Male Initiative, and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. In her five year tenure, Aarian worked with to ensure the services for court-involved young adults to reduce recidivism, and improve satisfaction with the justice system through transformative mentoring, educational attainment and community.

As an artist for over 20 years, she is a member of SAG-AFTRA and has landed national voice-over commercials and taught spoken word and basic theatre arts classes within the New York City Public School System. As a professional performance poet and improve actor with NACA (National Association of College Activities) Aarian performed at over 50 colleges and universities throughout the United States as far as the University of Alaska at Anchorage. Several of poems have been published in various poetry anthologies including Random Houses’ “Bum Rush the Page; a Def Poetry Jam” edit by the late urban griot Louise Reyes Rivera forwarded by world-renowned poet Sonia Sanchez in 2000, and Old Fire, New Flame, an anthology of poetry with work and forward written by the late poet laureate of New Jersey Amiri Baraka published in 2003.

In 2013, Aarian completed a post-graduate certificate from the NYC CEO (Center for Economic Opportunity) Program in Management and Innovative Leadership forum at CUNY School of Professional studies. In 2017, Aarian received her 2nd Master's degree in Social work from the Silberman School of Social work at Hunter College in New York City, New York.  Aarian is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and resides in Harlem with her Husband and two children. 

Aarian R. Punter, MS, LMSW

Executive Director:

Rucker Park Prep Foundation