Our Team

We’ve Got a Top Notch Team!

Young Seh Bae, Ph.D.

President/Executive Director

Founder Dr. Bae is a mother of two young men. One of her sons, Eugene, is a person with autism. Ever since her son’s more

diagnosis, she has spent her life fighting for individuals with disabilities and their families. She earned her Ph.D. in special education from the Teachers College at Columbia University, and a MA in Business Education from NYU. She is the former President of KABHA and a faculty member of the Teachers College. Dr. Bae initiated the first parent education programs for Korean-American families with a NYS DDPC grant.

Joon Her

Program Coordinator

Joon Her graduated from Hunter College where he majored in Psychology. With an interest in pursuing more

child and adolescent psychology in the future, he hopes that CIDA will be a great learning opportunity. He has a strong background in data management and wants to make a positive impact in the community through his contribution to CIDA. In his free time, Joon loves to travel to eat all kinds of interesting foods and update his food blog.

Jiyoung Kim Ph.D.

Education Specialist

Dr. Kim is an education specialist with diverse knowledge and experience in the field of special education. more

After majoring in Special Education in Korea, she worked for students with disabilities as an early childhood and elementary special education teacher. She earned her MA in Educational Technology from Seoul National University and her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Texas at Austin. As the mother of a 26-year-old son with multiple disabilities (i.e., intellectual disability, seizure disorder, and cerebral palsy), she understands what difficulties exist for Korean-Americans with disabilities and their families, due to their cultural and linguistic differences. With the hope that her knowledge and experience could have a positive impact on society and change the community culture and system, Dr. Kim joined CIDA in October of 2018.

MiJung Kim

Field Associate

Mrs. MJ Kim has a son, Willfree, who is a person with a psychiatric diagnosis. She has played a key role in more

community outreach and developing after-school program resources for the Korean American Alliance for Families with Disabilities (KAAFaD), including the free Taekwondo lesson project for children with disabilities. Formerly, she worked in the advertising department in the New York Korea Times and Family Day Care for a number of years. Mrs. MJ Kim is in charge of family engagement in Queens, NY.

Frank J. Brescia

Vocational Transition Specialist

Mr. Frank J. Brescia has extensive corporate and nonprofit experience in New York City (staff and vocational training, more

welfare-to-work programs, recovery programs, and NYS ACCES contracts).  He was a Director of Vocational Services for Contemporary Guidance Services. He also managed Intake Services at the local NYS ACCES offices. He recently worked in vocational services for nonprofits in the NYC Shelter System – Department of Homeless Services. Frank has a BA from Hunter College and an MBA from Century University.  He has lived in Sunnyside, Queens for over 35 years with his wife, Zina, and was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Haewa Trakansook

Intake Specialist

Haewa Park (Intake Specialist) lives in Queens with her husband and two children.  After her second child more

was diagnosed  with autism in 2018, she participated in CIDA’s parent gatherings and became an active parent leader.  In Korea, she majored in print media and she completed her art history major at Queen’s College in New York.  Haewa has been trained to participate in IEP meetings and learned about special education through CIDA’s Volunteer Advocacy Project (VAP) 2019.  In Fall 2020, she will be starting her Master’s program in social services at Fordham University.

Kelly Hur

Development Associate

Kelly Hur is a mom of twin boys and lives in Long Island. Prior to joining CIDA, she worked in kids and family entertainment more

industry where she found her passion for education and curriculum development.

Kelly received a Bachelor of Business Administration from The George Washington University and a Master of Arts in Communication from Johns Hopkins University. She will be starting her second master’s degree in special education at St. John’s University in fall 2020.

Wendy Xia

Field Associate

Wendy Xia is a Chinese-American parent who is actively involved in her child’s school and other Chinese parents’ networks more

in New York City Public Schools in Queens. She speaks mandarin fluently and has a Master’s degree in Economics from Renmin University in China.
She also has a continuing education credential from Biola University and has received a Certificate in Integrative Counseling in 2018. Her tasks include: reaching out to Chinese parents and schools in Queens, coordinating parent training events, translating and interpreting, training and one-on-one assistant sessions.


2019 Interns

Kate Hwang

Program Associate

Kate is a student at St. Francis Prep. She is excited to work with CIDA over the summer to help make more

a positive impact in her community. Kate always tries to help with community service and volunteer work. She hopes to have fun and work hard this summer. She loves to play volleyball and hang out with her friends.

Kevin Chun

Program Associate

Kevin Chun is currently a junior in Binghamton University studying Finance. He appreciates learning more

about the different aspects and programs that involve people with disabilities and is willing to contribute to spreading awareness as well. His hobbies include playing the piano, watching documentaries, and waking up late.

2018 Interns – Shining light on the Next Generation of Leaders

Erin Park

Program Associate

Erin is currently a rising senior at Boston University, majoring in Severe Special Education. more

She is passionate about advocating for students with disabilities, especially as they transition out of the school system. In the future, she hopes to teach students with disabilities at the high school level, and then eventually work within education policy to bring about changes to this unfortunately broken field. In her free time, Erin loves to journal, go on runs, and explore new places, especially restaurants!

Charlotte Hutzler

Program Associate

Charlotte is a student at New York University majoring in Applied Psychology with minors in creative more

writing and American Sign Language. She is passionate about mental health advocacy and enjoys working with children and adolescent populations. She loves poetry, social justice, and cooking.

Lesley Jeon

Program Assoicate

Lesley attends New York University and is studying Foreign Language Teaching. She is looking forward to more

working with CIDA this summer and hopes to make a positive impact in her community. Lesley loves to bike, eat food, and look at pictures of cute dogs and babies.

Maria Gulino

Head Coder/Program Developer

Maria attends Johns Hopkins University and studies Computer Science as an undergraduate student. more

Ever since her two year adventure to Greece, Maria has loved soccer. She admits to not being the best player, but it doesn’t stop her from having fun! Maria also loves computers, Netflix, and food (food the most of the three).

Bella Hwang

Program Development

Bella Hwang is a high school student studying at Bergen County Academies with a focus in business. more

She is passionate about making a positive impact in her community. In her free time, Bella loves to read, play the piano, listen to new music, and play with her cat, Chorong.
Back to Top