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 and worked alongside former Director and mentor Pat Andres for 4 consecutive years. During this time, she occupied various roles, including Development Associate, Regional Program Manager, National Program Manager, and Associate Director of Grants and Programs. As she learned the ins and outs of the organization, Cheyenne developed various marketing and program initiatives that have streamlined organization operations and amplified the resources 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 President of the Advisory Board and as an active program coordinator.


Alma Concepción

Lead Gente y Cuentos Coordinator and Consultant

ALMA CONCEPCIÓN was trained as a coordinator forPeople and Stories / Gente y Cuentosby founder Sarah Hirschman in 1991. From 1999-2000 she served as Assistant to the Director, and from 2007-2011 as Project Manager forGente y Cuentosin 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 Coordinators

Ian Davisson, Melissa DeGezelle, Roxana Delbene, Scott Feifer, Liz Fernandez, Ted Fetter, Ellie Fisher, Ellen Gilbert, Anndee Hochman, Iwona Ionescu, Sally Maruca, Scotia MacRae, Angelica Mariani, Ana Mejia, Assenka Oksiloff, Deborah Salmon, Marcy Schwartz, Pat Smith, Elena Uribe, Lunia Vera, Jenny Wilder, Richard Wilder

National Endowment for The Humanities: Reading Deeply in Community Coordinators

Josie Andrews, Kelly Cardenas, Dorothy Hodder, Amanda Jackson, Wanda Jones, Faith Kelly, Deborah McKinney, Meryle Leonard, Ruth Mahaffy, Elsie Martinez, Maile McGrew-Fredé, Megan McNitt, My Nguyen, Aida Quiñones, Myra Remigio-Leonard, Jayanthi Sambasivan, Janna Tanner, Alexis Waide, Cindy Welsh, Eric White

Board of Directors

Ellen Gilbert, President

Connie Hassett, Vice President

Frank Castellana, Treasurer

Virginia Kerr, Secretary

Julie Denny

Sherri Garber

Liz Fernandez

Barbara Flythe

Charlotte Friedman

Andrea Honore

Mimi Mead-Hagen

Anne Seltzer

Toby Taylor

Georgia Whidden