Our Team


Sarah Hirschman (1921 – 2012)


Sarah Hirschman was born in Lithuania into a  Russian Jewish family and educated in France and the United States. A reader fluent in several languages, she was always interested in the reception of literature by groups of different cultural backgrounds. After a five year stay in Colombia and work with urban community groups and development projects, she started People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos in Spanish in 1972 in Massachusetts. She developed a methodology that has allowed the program to grow, with trained coordinators conducting programs in both English and Spanish in various parts of the United States as well as in Argentina.

Read more about Sarah’s life.


Cheyenne Wolf

Executive Director

Cheyenne Wolf holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from William Paterson University. Cheyenne joined the People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos team in June 2014 as a Development Associate and worked closely alongside former Director Pat Andres through 2018. She occupied various, often concurrent roles during this time, including Development and Marketing Associate, Regional Program Manager, National Program Manager, and Associate Director of Grants and Programs. Cheyenne’s deep institutional knowledge, enthusiasm and growth mindset have helped advance the important work of People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos. Cheyenne was appointed Executive Director in October 2018.

Essence Scott

Program Associate

Essence Scott was born in Trenton, New Jersey. She holds an Associate of Arts degree from Mercer County Community College.  Essence assists with all areas of program development, including preparing line-numbered and “clean” master short story copies for easier reading by our participants. She is also responsible for collecting, inputting, assessing all program evaluation data. Essence is a writer and is working on her first novel, Comeback, as well as a collection of poetry to be published in the near future.

Patricia Andres

President, Advisory Board

Patricia Andres was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Hofstra University.  She studied American Literature at Rutgers University where she earned her doctorate in 1997.  Pat has coordinated People & Stories programs since 1987 and served as People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos’ Executive Director for nearly 20 years. She continues to be an invaluable asset to our organization as both an advisor and as an active program coordinator.

Program Facilitators

Alma Concepción

Lead Gente y Cuentos Coordinator and Consultant

ALMA CONCEPCIÓN was trained as a coordinator for People and Stories / Gente y Cuentos by founder Sarah Hirschman in 1991. From 1999-2000 she served as Assistant to the Director, and from 2007-2011 as Project Manager for Gente y Cuentos in New York. From 2012 to the present she has served as Consultant. Alma has coordinated many programs in Spanish and English throughout the years as well as trained and supervised new coordinators. She has been an honoree of the Latina Women’s Council, and a recipient of a special certificate from the Mayor of Trenton for community work.

Regional Program Coordinators

Pat Andres, Alma Concepción, Rachel Epstein, Scott Feifer, Liz Fernandez, Ted Fetter, Ellie Fisher, Ellen Gilbert, Anndee Hochman, Iwona Ionescu, Virginia Kerr, Sally Maruca, Scotia MacRae, Angelica Mariani, Ana Mejia, Assenka Oksiloff, Maria Saíz, Deborah Salmon, Marcy Schwartz, Pat Smith, Elena Uribe, Lunia Vera, Jenny Wilder, Richard Wilder

DC Public Library Program Coordinators

Wanda Jones, Faith Kelly, Chelsea Kirkland, Deborah McKinney, Megan McNitt, Emily Menchal, My Nguyen, David Quick, Myra Remigio-Leonard, Janice Rosen, Tatyana Safronova, Jayanthi Sambasivan, Janna Tanner, Alexis Waide, Eric White

California Dept. of Corrections & Santa Cruz Public Library Program Coordinators

Matthew Colvin, Patricia Estes, Darin Garr, Stefanie Gyles, Jennifer Hooker, Cristi Jenkins, Mitch Lindenbaum, Tanya Lindquist, Maudeen Martin, Scott McClure, Maile McGrew-Frede, Rachel McKay, Roxana Nessi, Susan Nilsson, Janis O’Driscoll, Robert Oldfield, Jameson Rohrer, Jesse Silva, Julie Ward

Board of Directors

Georgia Whidden, President

Andrea Honoré, Vice President

Anne Seltzer, Secretary

Michael Aaron, Treasurer

Bhaveen Jani

Alex Fajardo

Julie Denny

Barbara Flythe

Charlotte Friedman

Mimi Mead-Hagen

Advisory Council

Jeremy Adelman

Patricia Andres

Cathryn Clary

Mark Doty

Lynne Fagles

Claire Jacobus

Landon Jones

Paul Muldoon

Udi Ofer

Tracy K. Smith

Michael Wood