Guidance Counselor, Mt. Vernon High School
Peggy Williams is a School Counselor for the Mount Vernon City School District. Starting in 1999, she has been dedicated to supporting and guiding high school students through both the high school experience and the transition after high school to where ever their goals might take them including but not limited to college, the armed forces or entry-level employment. Peggy’s involvement with CBS started in 2014 when through the HerHonor Mentorship Program, Peggy began to refer students from Mount Vernon High School as applicants for CBS. As an Advisory Board member, Peggy will use her expertise in the college admissions and financial aid processes to support the selection of future CBS Mentees. Peggy received her BA and MS, Ed. from Iona College and the College of New Rochelle, respectively. She is a NYS Certified School Counselor and was recently awarded, the 2018 Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the Mount Vernon City School District. Peggy is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and the proud mother of one son.
Dr. Laura Vraney
Clinical Psychologist at LMV Psychological Wellness, P.C.
Dr. Laura Vraney is a licensed psychologist and has a private practice in New York. She also provides crisis consultation in the emergency department at Putnam Hospital in Carmel, NY.
Dr. Vraney received her BA from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology with a specialized focus on family systems. She pursued her post-doctoral fellowship at the Klarman Eating Disorders Center at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Belmont, MA, specializing with college-aged women diagnosed with an eating disorder and co-occurring diagnoses of anxiety, substance use, depression, and trauma. Dr. Vraney co-facilitated the Women's Recovery Group, which focused on the co-occurrence of eating disorders and substance use among college women. Dr. Vraney has clinical experience in a variety of treatment settings, including community mental health and college counseling working with students with issues of identity development, depression, anxiety, trauma, and life transitions. In addition to clinical work, she completed a certification program to work with the military and their families regarding deployment and reintegration. In addition to clinical work, as a military family member herself, Dr. Vraney has traveled with the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program for the United States Army Reserve and National Guard providing education on mental health and deployment for service members and their families.
Dr. Vraney is a member of the American Psychological Association, National Eating Disorder Association, and International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals. She is licensed in the states of New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Advisory Council, Mentor
Michelle is herself a first-generation college graduate. She immigrated to the US when she was 12 years old and attended Fox Lane Middle and High School. Michelle then went on to Brown University for her undergraduate degree and Columbia Business School for her MBA. She has more than 25 years of work experience in management consulting, executive recruiting and product management. Michelle has been heavily involved in the community through the Bedford Village PTA, Fox Lane Middle School FLMSA and various other local activities. She has been an alumna interviewer for applicants to Brown University for more than 20 years and served as the Area Chair for some time. Michelle knows first-hand the challenges of being the first generation to attend college and has never forgotten the many, many teachers, counselors, and others that helped her. Being a mentor for CBS is but a small way to say thank you to those who voluntarily took an interest in her and provided so much encouragement.
Advisory Council, Mentor
Doreen Gadigian has been a Special Education teacher for over 30 years. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Special Education and received her Master’s degree at The College of New Rochelle. Doreen has been very active in the community, serving on the Somers PTA for 16 years, while her children attended school in that district. She held the Assistant Director of Operations position at the Community Center of Northern Westchester in Katonah for two years, and volunteered there for four years. Doreen is the mother of three boys, all college graduates who have started in their careers. She is passionate about helping others and enjoys being part of this organization.
Advisory Council, Mentor
Laura Jaffe is a first generation college graduate from the University of Wisconsin who earned a Master’s in Education from Manhattanville College. After teaching in the Bronxville Public Schools and tutoring at the St. Vincent's Inpatient Adolescent Unit, she took several years off to start a family. A friend convinced her to return to the workforce at a gourmet food business where Laura worked for over 30 years, retiring in 2016. Her job included accounts payable, accounts receivables, payroll and human resource responsibilities, all excellent training for being both the CBS treasurer and a mentor to first generation students. Laura has also done volunteer work for Bedford Audubon, the Katonah Village Library and the Northern Westchester Community Center. Laura and her husband Jim have mentored numerous first gen college students through Campus Bound Scholars including a young woman who is now a graduate of SUNY Albany. Both Jim and Laura have found this experience to be extremely rewarding and worthwhile, and they are totally committed to the mission of Campus Bound Scholars.
Advisory Council, Mentor, Program Alumnus
William Phillips is a Software Engineer in the Space and Airborne Systems division at L3Harris Technologies, an Aerospace and Defense company based in Colorado Springs, CO. William is also a CBS Advisory Board Member, Mentor and past Scholar-Mentee. In 2021, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University at Buffalo, where he received the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program’s Student of the Year award, as well as being named Graduating Student of the Year. William is also the recipient of the 40 under 40 – Achievement in Technology Award by the Union of Jamaican Alumni Association. William’s passion for technology began at Mount Vernon High School where he learned to build and program robots, develop mobile applications and create submissions for technology advancement competitions. William’s drive to impact the lives of others through technology continued to grow during his college years, when he researched Brain Computer Interfaces, or headset devices enabling users to operate computers with their brains, for potential use by ALS patients. Throughout college, he frequently mentored other engineering students on career development topics; he now enjoys sharing advice on succeeding in college with his CBS mentee.
Nicole Moore is a first generation college graduate from Harlem, NY. She attended The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem. As an undergraduate she attended the University at Albany, SUNY where she earned a BA in English Literature with a minor in Women’s Studies. During her time at SUNY Albany, Nicole was part of the Residential Life program on campus. In addition she was a member of the Women’s Studies Teaching Collective where she facilitated courses for fellow undergraduates. During her senior year she applied for the Teach for America program and landed a slot as a 2014 TFA Corps Member in New York City. In 2016 she earned her Masters in Education from Relay Graduate School of Education in New York City. This fall she will being her sixth year as a 5th grade teacher at P.S. 5 Ellen Lurie in Inwood, NY.