Ana was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the South Bronx. She is a product of New York City public schools. Her experience training for and completing a 3-day 286-mile bike tour from Boston to NYC as a novice cyclist and non-athlete planted the seed for I Challenge Myself.
A former high school teacher and educator, Ana set out to design a similarly demanding endurance fitness challenge that would allow public high school students to tap into that “deep in the belly” strength that we all possess but oftentimes are unaware of. She recognized the importance of helping youth connect with their inner strength during the critical period of adolescence in which they make formative decisions regarding lifestyles, identities and their futures.
Under Ana’s leadership, I Challenge Myself has grown from a seasonal after school program with two part-time staff to a thriving in-school and after school program that challenges and supports public high school students to push outside their comfort zones. Since its launch in 2005, I Challenge Myself has provided one-of-a kind experiences to over 3,500 high school students to strengthen their bodies, minds, spirits and develop habits and life skills that prepare them for college and the workforce.
Prior to starting I Challenge Myself Ana was involved in the largest reform of NYC secondary schools through her work at New Visions for Public Schools. This initiative resulted in the creation of over 80 small quality public high schools that have replaced the most under-performing comprehensive high schools in NYC.
Ana holds a B.A. in English from George Mason University and an M.A. in Secondary Education from George Washington University. She has taught English and Spanish at high schools in Washington D.C and at a private high school and college in Culiacan, Mexico. Ana has been recognized as NY1’s New Yorker of the Week, Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator 2014 Rising Stars Award, and the Hearts on Fire 2015 Visionary of the Year award.
Ted Kirshenbaum, CPA
Staying calm and levelheaded is a philosophy Ted Kirshenbaum brings to his clients. No matter what the situation, Ted remains open and easy to talk to, while being accessible and responsive to what is needed at the time.
Ted specializes in conducting audits for charitable organizations, private schools, pension and health and welfare plans and limited scope 401(k) plans. He provides audit and assurance services, including preparation of Form 990, Form 5500 and Form LM-2 for non-profits, defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans and labor unions.
Like all of the partners at Buchbinder, Ted is out in the field during an audit, either conducting procedures or supervising staff. He especially enjoys visiting client locations to answer questions and provide guidance to help solve complex issues. Ted works diligently to ensure filings are done in an efficient and timely manner and that his clients are in compliance with government and industry regulations. He also welcomes the opportunity to train Buchbinder staff and encourages them to ask questions to facilitate the audit process the first time.
Ted began his career at Buchbinder as a staff auditor, became a manager in 2002, and then was promoted to partner in 2009.
He received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Baruch College. Ted is licensed to practice in New York and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.