Erin Friedman and Rayda Márquez
Drawn together by our shared passion for exploration, education, and service to others, our professional careers and personal friendship have led us to this moment. We are honored to continue the legacy of AWTE.
Rayda brings a wealth of experiences, relationships, and success to our current organization. A former Y volunteer turned seasoned Y professional, Rayda managed a large portfolio of projects and global Y-to-Y partnerships in her role as Director of International Relations at the YMCA of Greater New York. Key responsibilities included: advancing educational programming, international partnerships, volunteerism and youth exchanges for almost 20 years. In this role, Rayda cultivated and maintained institutional partnerships in over 80 countries, providing global leadership development resulting in impactful cultural exchange, local and global service-learning experiences, leadership training opportunities and purposeful programming to 10K young adults annually.
In Erin’s former role, she led strategic partnership initiatives for the National YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) as the Director of YMCA Relations at Springfield College, a private institution of higher education. This role included directing the YMCA Professional Studies Program which integrated academics, leadership development, career exploration, international studies, internships, service-based experiences and employment placement services. For nearly 20 years, Erin served both Y-USA and Springfield College.
Rayda and Erin assumed several key leadership roles for the National YMCA of the USA during their tenure. Appointments included: service to the Women’s Leadership Resource Network Steering Committee, the Diversity, Inclusion, and Global Steering Committee, and International Coalitions. In these committee roles, they provided thought leadership and strategic direction around global best practices to local associations around the country. International Coalition work focused on building the capacity of YMCA’s outside the US by providing technical and financial assistance.
Witnessing the power of relationships and the impact of cultural exchange, we see how connections can be transformational.