Our TAP Team
"We're all working together; that's the secret"
Our Fiscal Sponsor
MCU (Monroe County United)
Monroe County United works to raise awareness and ease tensions within the community of Monroe County, PA, by addressing diversity issues in our schools, colleges, places of worship, and the wider community; responding to and mitigating the proliferation of religious/racial discrimination and hate in all its forms; and preventing violence precipitated by bigotry related to race, religion, and other prejudices. All people are welcome to attend our meetings, and our membership continues to grow in the spirit of acceptance and understanding of all.
Meet Our Team Members
Founder and President
Taha Vahanvaty is a 2021 Stroudsburg High School Graduate. His primary passion is to create and facilitate civil dialogue between students with completely different opinions and beliefs. He is currently pursuing that passion through his club, "The Acceptance Project," where High School students come together to discuss the controversial issues facing our world, nation, and most importantly our community. Creating change through dialogue is Taha’s mission, and he hopes to continue fulfilling it in the form of an international affairs major sometime in the future.
Reverend Cynthia Crowner is a retired Presbyterian minister who completed her career as chaplain at Blair Academy after almost a decade. Prior to that, she was the Director of Kirkridge Retreat Center where for ten years she served as co-trainer for annual “10 Day Peacemaker Training Institutes” for college-aged student-leaders from around North America and a number of other nations in partnership with the Fellowship of Reconciliation. In addition, she has worked in ministry from coast to coast and led numerous missions of service around the world. Currently, she is actively engaged in volunteer work and as such is the advisor of The Acceptance Project at Stroudsburg High School.
Lead Grant Writer
Carlena Back has taught English/Language Arts at Stroudsburg Junior High School for 24 years. She is a graduate student at ESU in Professional and Digital Media Writing, which will be her second master’s degree. As part of her graduate program, she is acting as the grant writer for TAP into Summer, and she will be volunteering as a chaperone/staff member for the event because she is committed to the project. Mrs. Back believes in the mission of The Acceptance Project and sees it as a way to improve the environment of her school, as well as all the other schools in the county.
"I had decided to join one TAP meeting, just to see what Taha was always talking about, and after that, I was hooked. I knew I had to get more involved and that's how I joined the TAP team."
"I like hearing and learning new things every day, especially if they are things I do not agree with."
"I joined TAP because I understand the productivity of civil discourse. I am excited to be introducing political culture to young adults"
"I joined TAP because I believe every student should have a voice...no matter their background or opinion."