Tamir Harper, Founder & Executive Director

Tamir Harper is a senior at Science Leadership Academy. At 17 Tamir serves as the longest serving member of the Philadelphia Youth Commission, and a four year member of Superintendent Hite’s student advisory council. Serving in those roles allowed Tamir to grow to being an education advocate. In 2016, Tamir served as a panelist for the U.S. Department of Education which was moderated by previous Secretary John King Jr., and most recently got the opportunity to join the Student Voice team as the Policy Director.

Luke Risher, Co-Founder & Programs Director

Luke Risher is a 17 year old young man born and raised in Germantown Philadelphia and in the Philadelphia school system. He stays involved with the diverse communities around him whether it's through art, activism, dialogue, or advocacy. He is committed to helping better the world and works towards justice on issues including environmental, racial, gender, economics, LGBTQ+, and especially in this part of his life education. he has worked with different groups to address education and felt called to help start UrbEd to really promote student voice and to connect the disconnected fields of education in Philadelphia.

M. Samuel Dennis, Finance & Operations Director

Samuel Dennis currently attends Science Leadership Academy, Samuel is working as the Finance Director for UrbEd.  While striving to obtain a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering, Samuel has been around the Philadelphia tech scene as an intern for Technical.ly Media. While he's not busy with a number of academic enrichment and mentorship programs, Samuel can be found in the Overbrook section of West Philadelphia getting coffee, showing interest in Japanese culture, or coding within his home.


Zoey Tweh, Policy & Advocacy Director

Zoey Tweh is a junior at Science Leadership Academy who has been passionate about social justice since Trayvon Martin's murder. She was raised in West Philadelphia by her Liberian mother and attend Penn Alexander. Since then she has joined countless organizations and clubs that have helped her grow as a budding activist fighting for a range of social justice issues.

I. Jerome Mack, Development Director

Isaac Jerome Mack is an aspiring STEM researcher and practitioner, he believes the state of  education will change when more people stop waiting for someone and just be that someone. Currently a Penn State toxicology major, born and raised in Philadelphia.

Elani Gonzalez-Oritz, Communications Director

Elani Gonzalez-Ortiz is a Philadelphia youth activist who cares about societal injustices especially involving the youth. She is a senior at Science Leadership Academy. She participates in many clubs and two varsity sports. She is eager to sharing her perspective on how to make change through the eyes of a young female of color.


Sondra Fiorella, Social Media Associate

Sondra Fiorella is from Philadelphia and attends CAPA a Philly public school. She runs UrbEd’s social media and helps with artistic design work. Bettering education in Philly is important to her because a quality education is one of the most important things and she feels everyone should have access to one.

Thea Risher, Communications Associate

Thea Risher is a 15 years old, sophomore at Science Leadership Academy. She is a Philadelphia native who loves writing and doing many forms of art including acting, singing, and more. Thea is passionate about social justice and is always willing and ready to make advocate for change.

Ishmael Brown, Multimedia Coordinator

Ishmael Brown is a freshman at Penn State University and Science Leadership Academy alumni studying Political Science. He is deeply concerned with issues surrounding race relations and the state of our education systems around the world , especially within inner city communities. In his other time, Ishmael works with the YUMEN clothing brand, as well as with his peers, to try to bring about new innovation to help make the world a more enjoyable place. 

Destiny Payton, Social Media Coordinator

Horace Ryans III, Special Projects Coordinator

Horace Ryans III is a young, African-American student in the city of Philadelphia. He is currently a sophomore at Science Leadership Academy. He is highly involved in the improvement of his local school and the upbringing of his fellow students. He is the special projects coordinator for UrbEd Inc., working to bring about an equal urban education for all students. He hopes to one day teach in Philadelphia, the city in which he worked to better education.