Rev. Wendy Andrea Calderón-Payne, a Colombian-American, graduated with honors from Brown University with a B.A. in Latin American Studies. In the year 2000, Rev. Calderón-Payne graduated from the Executive Level Program of the Columbia Business School Not-for-Profit Institute. She is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and currently resides in the Bronx. Rev. Calderón-Payne is married to Shayne Payne, a Lehman College honors graduate.
Upon graduation from Brown, Rev. Calderón-Payne began serving with Urban Youth Alliance as the organization's College Coordinator, then as the Assistant Director. Finally, in 1994, Rev. Calderón-Payne became the Executive Director.
Under the leadership of Rev. Calderón-Payne, the revenue of Urban Youth Alliance has increased five-fold and the reach of the organization has greatly expanded. Leadership School has grown to include a yearlong schedule of training events. In just seven years, the number of students involved in Seekers has grown from 400 to 1,200, and the faith-based program BronxConnect was initiated.
Since 1989 Rev. Calderón-Payne has participated in multiple Technical Assistance programs. She attended the Latina Managers Training Program with the Non-Profit Coordinating Committee as an Assistant Director. In 1995 she also received a Technical Assistance scholarship from Community Resource Exchange (CRE) to improve the financial base of the organization. CRE was also integral in creating the database that monitors our students.
In 1997 Rev. Calderón-Payne graduated from the LPAC Fundraising Institute, held in partnership with the Indiana University Center for Philanthropy, the Fundraising School. Currently, Rev. Calderón-Payne is part of the high-risk youth Public/Private Ventures learning community, and has presented at their 1999 cross-site conference. She is also a member of the Jericho Project, the Fund for the City of New York's faith-based collaboration.
Rev. Calderón-Payne is well known throughout the church community of New York City. She is widely recognized as a leader by a wide cross-section of racial and ethnic groups. In 1996 she served as the conference speaker for the Youth Missions Conference of Bethel Gospel Assembly, a community-based African-American church in Harlem. She also served as the opening night speaker for the 1997 Korean Youth Conference, reaching over 700 youth of the Council of Korean Churches of Greater New York.
Rev. Calderón-Payne presented Urban Youth Alliance as the National Youth Model in the 1997 Gatekeepers Urban Consultation. In 1998, she served on the Gatekeepers panel on cross-cultural unity. These urban consultations gathered over 400 urban leaders from over 50 cities. In 1997 Rev. Calderón-Payne received the Latino Pastoral Action Center Youth Ministry Award. In 1999 El Diario named her on of the top 50 Latina Women of New York City.