L: Kylen Button, former Programs and Administrative Manager, R: Maria Eliades, new Communications and Program Manager
Astoria, NY -CIANA bids farewell to one beloved member of its family as it welcomes another.
Kylen Button, CIANA's Programs and Administrative Manager, is stepping down to pursue further education. Button, a talented anti-human trafficking and immigration specialist, will be studying at the Columbia University School of Social Work for her MSW, taking CIANA's famous canine mascot, Figgy, with her.
"We'll miss Figgy and Kylen's smile every day," says Emira Habiby Browne, CIANA Founder and Executive Director. "She has been actively involved in promoting CIANA, helping it grow, and in making all of our clients feel at home."
Button was instrumental in organizing CIANA's day-to-day operations and in increasing its social media and digital presence. CIANA was lucky to draw on her experiences in her previous work for Airline Ambassadors International, the VIBS Family Violence & Rape Crisis Center, and the United Nations. Her three-legged dog, Figgy, was an equally beloved member of our family, whom we also looked forward to seeing every day.
However, while we are sad to see Button go, CIANA is excited to welcome its newest staff member, Maria Eliades, as its Communications and Programs Manager.
Eliades isn't entirely new to CIANA. She came on as its communications volunteer in March 2018, working directly under Button in CIANA's "Learning for Life" fundraiser.
She brings nine years of experience in the fields of education, journalism, and PR. Born in New York City, she lived and worked in Istanbul, Turkey for six years and is fluent in Turkish and Greek. Though she was raised in
New Jersey, Eliades's parents both grew up in Astoria, so she is excited to have "come home" to serve Astoria and the greater New York community by working at CIANA.
"Before I left Turkey, I saw the refugee crisis unfold before me, and I wanted to do something about it," Eliades says. "Coming back to the US, I feel responsible, as many of us do, to make a concrete difference in my home country with those who have left their birthplaces to seek a better life, which I'm very excited to do as the Communications and Programs Manager at CIANA."
CIANA is exactly what immigrants need, Eliades adds, as the family waiting on the other side that will give them the tools and knowledge to succeed in American society.
Eliades will take charge of all of CIANA's press relations. digital media, and communications work, and will run all of CIANA's existing programs. She hopes to build on and live up to Button's successes.