Our Staff

Break the Cycle's staff is comprised of talented, passionate individuals committed to ending domestic and dating violence. With a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, the staff makes up the "bricks and mortar" of the Break the Cycle community. Learn more about our remarkable team and contact individual staff members.

Jon BlankenbergJon Blankenberg

Digital Strategies Coordinator

Jonathan Blankenberg began working with Break the Cycle in 2009. As the Digital Strategies Coordinator, he is responsible for the development and implementation of Break the Cycle's social media and digital presence, in addition to supervising the organization's overall web portfolio. Jon graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers College in 2008 with a Bachelors degree in psychology.

Contact him at jblankenberg@breakthecycle.org.

Erin ClarkErin Clark

Program Specialist

Erin is a Program Specialist with the Training and Technical Assistance program at Break the Cycle. She utilizes her background in advocacy and public health to facilitate trainings and encourage capacity building in youth serving organizations and schools that work with teens experiencing abuse. Erin holds an undergraduate degree in English and American Studies from Wesleyan University, and MPH and MBA degrees from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a sexual assault advocate in both South Dakota and Connecticut, and was an intern with the Office on Violence Against Women.

Contact her at eclark@breakthecycle.org.

Jasmine CejaJasmine Ceja

National Youth Organizing Manager

Jasmine Ceja graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and a Certificate in Youth Agency Administration. A strong advocate for healthy relationships and the well-being of children and adolescents, Jasmine engages diverse youth populations in public and private schools, juvenile justice and parenting teen programs as well as afterschool groups. In addition, she provides direct training to school districts and educators to improve their response to incidents of abuse. Jasmine joined Break the Cycle in 2010 as Youth Programs Coordinator, moved up the ranks to Sr. Education Coordinator and now serves as National Youth Organizing Manager. She also serves as the Supervisor of the Loveisrespect National Youth Advisory Board, working with young people across the country to raise awareness and promote help services through loveisrespect.org. As National Youth Organizing Manager, Jasmine manages Break the Cycle’s youth education and outreach programs, with the responsibility of ensuring that all young people reached nationally are inspired and supported to create cultures free from abuse.

Contact her at jceja@breakthecycle.org.

Megan Challender

Staff Attorney

As a Staff Attorney at Break the Cycle, Megan Challender provides legal representation to survivors of domestic violence. Megan is happy to be back at Break the Cycle after serving as a legal intern in Fall 2011. Megan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Kansas State University with a BA in Political Science and Women's Studies in 2006 and earned her JD, Cum Laude from the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law in 2013. Megan loves direct client services and brings a background in event coordination and experience at a variety of non-profits, educational organizations and grassroots campaigns to her work.

Contact her at mchallender@breakthecycle.org.

Grace DelgadoGrace Delgado

Development Coordinator

Grace Delgado graduated from Loyola Marymount University in the spring of 2010 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She began as a Development Intern at Break the Cycle after several years of service with the organization through the LMU Belles. After a brief stint away, she joined the BTC staff as Donor Relations Specialist in 2011. In January of 2013 she transitioned into her current role assisting in the coordination of all Break the Cycle fundraising endeavors.

Contact her at gdelgado@breakthecycle.org.

Cristina EscobarCristina Escobar

Deputy Director & Director of Loveisrespect

Cristina Escobar joined Break the Cycle in 2006 and has moved her way up the ranks to her current position. As Director of Loveisrespect, Cristina facilitates Break the Cycle's partnership with the National Dating Abuse Helpline, growing the ultimate source of support for teens and 20-somethings dealing with dating abuse -- loveisrespect. She graduated a Phi Beta Kappa member with honors from Occidental College.

Contact her at cescobar@breakthecycle.org.

Chad FinleyChad Finley

Graphic Designer

Chad Finley joined Break The Cycle in 2013 as Graphic Designer. As Graphic Designer, Chad assists in the design of print and on-line materials. With a work history including the US Army, various marketing companies and magazine publications, Chad has a wide range of experience in the design field. He also has a passion for photography. Chad graduated from Florida A&M University with a bachelors of science degree in Graphic Design.

Contact him at cfinley@breakthecycle.org.

Damien FriersonDamien Frierson

Program Specialist, Training and Technical Assistance

Damien Frierson began working at Break the Cycle in 2013 as a training and technical assistance program specialist. In addition to his background in youth development programming, Damien served as the assistant director for domestic violence services at Lutheran Settlement House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Damien holds a bachelors of arts from Fisk University, a master of arts in African American Studies from Temple University and a master of social work from the University of Pennsylvania.

Contact him at dfrierson@breakthecycle.org

Colleen GallopinColleen Gallopin

Deputy Director

Colleen Gallopin began working at Break the Cycle in 2007. As the Director of Training & Technical Assistance, Colleen works with local government and schools to create effective policies to address dating violence. Prior to that, she worked as a staff attorney for House of Ruth Maryland, legally representing survivors of domestic violence. Colleen has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Oberlin College and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Contact her at cgallopin@breakthecycle.org.

Kelley HamptonKelley Hampton

Program Manager, Training and Technical Assistance

 Kelley began working with Break the Cycle in 2010. As Manager of the Training and TA program, Kelley facilitates live and web-based trainings, develops resource materials, and offers individual consultations to service providers nationwide on various aspects of dating violence and the law. She also works to increase school and school district’s capacity to respond to dating and sexual abuse and stalking. Kelley formerly served as a law clerk for Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland and has worked with various education and youth-focused nonprofit organizations. Kelley received her JD from the Georgetown University Law Center and her MPP from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

Contact her at khampton@breakthecycle.org.

Darlene KiyanDarlene Kiyan

Executive Director

Darlene Kiyan joined Break the Cycle in 2014. She has more than fifteen years of professional experience in human service delivery and advocacy. She has extensive experience in the management of non-profit organizations and programmatic implementation strategies. Prior to joining Break the Cycle, Darlene was the Executive Director for Playworks, working with at risk youth, reducing bullying and developing leadership skills. Originally from Canada, Darlene graduated from the University of Alberta before moving to Japan to study language and culture. As a mother of two, Darlene understands the importance of empowering youth to have healthy relationships and is excited to continue the education.

Contact her at dkiyan@breakthecycle.org.

Laila Leigh

Legal Services Manager

Laila Leigh is extremely proud to be back with Break the Cycle in 2014 as the Legal Services Manager. Laila oversees our legal services program, providing direct, holistic legal services to young survivors of dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Laila is responsible for collaborating with our community partners to provide a coordinated response to abuse and to develop effective prevention strategies. Prior to joining Break the Cycle, Laila worked at Maryland Legal Aid where she represented clients in contested domestic relations and domestic violence cases in three counties. She also served as co-chair of the Family Law Task Force. During law school, Laila worked, interned or volunteered with several domestic violence organizations in Washington, DC, including Break the Cycle. She began working on domestic violence in 2002 during her undergraduate studies. Laila received her Honors BA from Loyola University of Chicago and her JD from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.

Contact her at lleigh@breakthecycle.org.

Quincy O'NealQuincy O'Neal

Administrative Coordinator

Quincy joined Break the Cycle in 2011. At university, Quincy collaborated with a bevy of organizations supporting the New Haven community, including the Office of New Haven and State Affairs and the Dwight Hall Center for Public Service and Social Justice. Quincy graduated from Yale University with a Bachelors degree in African American Studies.

Contact him at qoneal@breakthecycle.org.

Diane SantanaDiane Santana

Director of Development

Diane Santana joined Break the Cycle in 2014. She has more then ten years experience working within the non-profit sector. She has extensive experience in identifying and attracting various funding sources including foundation and corporate partnerships, public funding and individual donors along with coordinating and implementing an annual fund development plans in order to meet development and budgetary goals. Diane graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Communication/ Cultural Studies from the University of Phoenix. She has three children ranging in age from 13 to 21 and understands how vital it is to educate our youth about the importance of healthy relationships.

Contact her at dsantana@breakthecycle.org.

Christina-Marie SantillanChristina-Marie Santillan

National Community Organizer

Christina-Marie graduated from Cal State Long Beach University in 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a minor in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She has always loved working with young people and advocating for healthy relationships. In 2011, Christina-Marie began as a Programs Intern at Break the Cycle and then returned after some time studying overseas. Now as the National Community Organizer, she educates and engages youth through the coordination of workshops, in-school residencies and outreach events, youth leadership trainings, and other campaigns within the Youth Organizing department.

Contact her at csantillan@breakthecycle.org.

Airelle SmithAirelle Smith

Administrative Coordinator

Airelle Smith began her work at Break the Cycle in 2013 as an intern for their Training and Technical Assistance Program. Now she is their Administrative Coordinator. She graduated from Georgetown University’s College in the Spring of 2013 with an AB in Philosophy. During her time at Georgetown, Airelle worked within different aspects of student affairs including Residence Life, the LGBTQ Resource Center and United Feminists. She also became the Facebook facilitator for an online-based body positivity movement called “The Body Is Not An Apology” shortly after graduation. She is happy to be able to continue her work empowering youth to live healthy, happy lives and looks forward to impacting her community positively through her work at Break the Cycle.

Contact her at asmith@breakthecycle.org.

Monica Trigoso

Staff Attorney

As a Staff Attorney at Break the Cycle, Monica Trigoso provides legal representation to survivors of domestic violence. Before joining Break the Cycle, she was a Legal Fellow at Ayuda and has interned with the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office and the United States Attorney's Office. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Women's Studies from the University of California, Irvine, and her Juris Doctorate from American University, Washington College of Law.

Contact her at mtrigoso@breakthecycle.org.

Nicole VarmaNicole Varma

Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator

Nicole Varma joined the Break the Cycle team in 2010 as Development and Administrative Coordinator, helping to manage fundraising efforts in the DC office. Nicole graduated from the University of Florida in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a specialization in public affairs and a minor in sociology. Before joining Break the Cycle, Nicole worked with many local and national non profits and campaigns including the Hillary Clinton Campaign, Democratic National Committee and Best Buddies.

Contact her at nvarma@breakthecycle.org.