Buffalo Prep Welcomes New Board Members, Strengthens Alumni Representation

[Buffalo, NY – August 16, 2023] – Buffalo Prep, an educational access nonprofit organization, is excited to announce the appointment of four individuals to its board of directors. Among the new members are two Buffalo Prep alumni who bring a wealth of experience and a deep connection to the organization.

The addition of these dedicated and passionate individuals will greatly enhance Buffalo Prep’s ability to fulfill its mission of advocating for educational access and equity for academically ambitious scholars of color. The new board members bring diverse expertise and invaluable perspectives to the organization, making them well-suited to contribute significantly to the continued growth and development of Buffalo Prep.

Introducing the new Buffalo Prep Board members:


John Baldo, Owner/Founder of SelectOne John has 40 years of employment recruitment and consulting experience and has been actively engaged in the start-up ecosystem in Buffalo since its inception. Additionally, John is an active partner in S2 Venture Partners, a Buffalo-based venture firm bringing 50+ local investors, advisors, and capital to local founders to help in the collective effort of advancing Buffalo’s entrepreneurial profile.

Monique Cooper ‘04, Agency Operations Manager, OneBridge Benefits: Monique is an Operations professional and Air Force veteran with a passion for problem-solving and implementing high-level leadership vision across teams within tech organizations. During the last five years of her tech career, she’s worked in e-commerce, fintech, and the Bev/alc space. 


Mark Graczyk, President, Military Aircraft, Moog: Mark joined Moog in 2010 as a Finance Manager in the Aircraft Group supporting the Military & Commercial aftermarket businesses. Prior to joining Moog, Mark spent six years working at Ernst & Young LLP in Buffalo, NY. Mark is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.  Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Canisius University and a Master’s degree in Finance from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Mark lives in Orchard Park, NY with his wife Amie and their daughter Isabelle. Outside of work, Mark enjoys golfing, cooking, and rooting for the Buffalo Bills.


Sarah Washington ‘04, Senior Attorney, National Fuel: Sarah Marie Washington is a native of Buffalo, NY, and a proud alumna of Nichols School. She pursued her undergraduate studies and juris doctor degrees from the University at Buffalo and is a 2016 graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law. Sarah is the inaugural chair of National Fuel’s Ethnically Diverse Group of Employees (EDGE) Employee Resource Group. Sarah was recently elected as the Deputy-Treasurer/Treasurer-Elect of the Bar Association of Erie County. She volunteers her time and talents at local organizations, including Nichols School, Buffalo Prep, and The Minority Bar Foundation.

Monique and Sarah join fellow Buffalo Prep alumni on the board, Luis Rodriguez, Jr. ‘97, board president, Hon. JaHarr Pridgen ‘94, board treasurer, and Matthew Becton ‘01. “We are thrilled to welcome these outstanding individuals to our board of directors,” said Patti Stephen, President at Buffalo Prep. “Their unique experiences, coupled with their unwavering dedication to our mission, will undoubtedly propel Buffalo Prep to new heights. The increased presence of alumni on our board reinforces the vital role our graduates play in shaping the futures of our current scholars.”

These individuals join a distinguished group of board members, all of whom share a common goal: to empower scholars and equip them with the tools necessary for success. The increased representation of Buffalo Prep alumni on the board signifies the organization’s commitment to inclusivity, as well as its recognition of the transformative potential within its own community. 

For more information about Buffalo Prep and its Board of Directors, please visit buffaloprep.com.

About Buffalo Prep

Founded in 1989, Buffalo Prep is a nonprofit organization that advocates for educational access and equity for academically ambitious scholars of color. Through its comprehensive pipeline of programs, Buffalo Prep supports nearly 750 students and alumni annually. Many of these students begin their journey with Buffalo Prep in 5th grade, dedicating their summers, evenings, and weekends to rigorous preparation for higher achievement. Buffalo Prep’s innovative programming and culturally relevant curriculum illuminate the brilliance of its scholars, promoting a more inclusive, equitable, and just society for all.