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Office Address:
Bard Early College in New Orleans
3820 St. Claude Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117
504-439-0122 (office)
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Our Staff

Nicole Young

Executive Director

Nicole Young graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2007 and immediately began work on the Obama Presidential Campaign. After 2008, she lived in Washington, DC for four years working at the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Before coming to BECNO, Young served as the Associate Director for Social Justice at the College Board where she worked to evaluate, support, and expand the College Board’s work for students of color. Young received her Master’s Degree in Education Policy at The University of Pennsylvania.


Jessie Morgan-Owens

Academic Director

After receiving her doctorate in American Literature at NYU in 2009, Jessie Morgan-Owens served as an Assistant Professor of English at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. In 2012, Morgan-Owens returned to the US, and joined the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College. Of the thirty recipients of the Dean's Award at NYU, Morgan-Owens was one of two graduate students chosen to join the research community at the Humanities Initiative. Her current book project Another Ida May illuminates the influence of photography in the anti-slavery campaign by focusing on a daguerreotype of one seven-year-old girl. Originally from Louisiana, Morgan-Owens moved to New York in 2000, after earning her BA in Photojournalism at Loyola New Orleans, to begin a career in magazines at Travel + Leisure. She continues to shoot professionally with her team Morgan & Owens.

Justin Lamb

Program Director

After graduating from Boston University in 2007, Justin Lamb spent the last seven years working with New Orleans middle and high school students in and outside of the classroom. In 2007, Lamb became a founding writing teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, where he also served as a New Orleans Outreach program manager from 2011 to 2013. Before arriving at Bard Early College, Lamb taught spoken word elective courses and worked as an interventionist for John Dibert Community School. Lamb is also a poet and a four-time member of Team Slam New Orleans, winners of the 2012 and 2013 National Poetry Slam.


Ava Kerr

Director of Student Services

Ava Kerr graduated from Middlebury College in 2012 with a B.A. in History, and from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an Ed.M. in 2015. Ava is a native of New York City and has previously worked at College Track New Orleans in their Academic Affairs department, as well as at the Making Caring Common project at Harvard.


Jessica Jones

Alumni Support Coordinator

Jessica Jones is a current member of Louisiana Delta Service Corps. She is a New Orleans native who holds an A.S. in Paralegal Studies from Nicholls State University and a B.A. in Family and Consumer Sciences, which is also from Nicholls State University. Soon she will be graduating with her Masters in Social Work from Southern University at New Orleans. Jessica has worked with at-risk youth in different communities by being their mentor. Jessica is passionate about youth today who face adversities within communities. She loves to empower youth and provide resources so that they can have a better future and accomplish their goals.


Mariah Mcknight

Campus Coordinator

Mariah Mcknight is a current member of Louisiana Delta Service Corps. She was born in Hot Springs, AR and raised in New Orleans, LA. Mariah attended KIPP Central City, Metairie Park Country Day, and University of Southern Mississippi for college. She finds working at Bard in New Orleans exciting and different.