Our Founder


Dr. Samarth Joseph

Founder/Executive Director of ESPOIR Youth Program Inc.

   Dr. Samarth Joseph graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 2001 and earned her Masters degree at D'Youville College in 2003. She is responsible for starting an after school program for the Choir Academy of Harlem, helping struggling minority students with dedicated tutoring while eliminating truancy and doubling college applications. She has worked with the New York City Board of Education, The After School Corporation (TASC), the United Federation of Teachers and various community organizations to help improve education for underprivileged children. 

Dr. Joseph earned her Ph.D. in Geography, and specializes in International Economics and Business Development at the University of Buffalo. She founded Espoir International Youth Program in May of 2012 following her dream of bringing her expertise and the opportunities that come with it to developing countries across the world.

Our Board of Directors


Dr. Clarence Wilson Jr.

Chair of the Board 


Dr. Clarence Wilson Jr. has been employed with Volunteers of America – Greater New York since February 2012.  Currently serving as the interim Director of Internal Audit, he is responsible for performing financial, operational, and information systems audits, ad hoc projects, and investigations for all programs and division lines of the agency.  Clarence was previously employed as an internal auditor with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (six years) and with the Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General as a staff auditor (one and a half years).

Clarence was born in Vicksburg, MS to Clarence Wilson, Sr. and Annie Wilson.  Clarence received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from Kent State University. Currently he serves as Stewardship Assistant, Men’s Ministries Assistant and Sabbath School teacher at Ebenezer SDA Church in the community of Brownsville, in Brooklyn, NY.  Clarence has also served as an ordained Elder, Deacon, Treasurer, Sabbath School Superintendent, and Adventist Youth (AY) Leader. He is very much involved with AY Ministries, as he assists with the AY programs at Ebenezer and is currently serving his second consecutive term as Pathfinder Club Director.

Clarence is married to Kathy Cornwall-Wilson; they have one daughter, Saraiyah Lillianne Wilson.  In his spare time, Clarence enjoys watching and playing basketball, football, reading and studying bible prophecy.   


Gopal M. Burgher

Chair of Fundraising and Development Committee
Gopal M. Burgher is a Partner at Burgher Gray Haile & Jaffe LLP (New York). Mr. Burgher’s principal practice area is capital markets/finance, with a concentration in structured finance and securitization. His finance experience is quite extensive and also includes banking and institutional investing, public finance, real estate finance transactions.

Mr. Burgher has represented issuers, underwriters, arrangers/initial purchasers, lenders, borrowers, asset managers, credit enhancers, liquidity providers and other transaction parties in various capital markets public and private debt and equity finance transactions. Other areas of practice include real estate and community development, mergers/acquisitions, joint ventures, and general corporate and commercial transactions. 

Prior to joining Burgher Gray, Gopal was Counsel in the structured finance/capital markets group at McKee Nelson LLP (New York), before which he spent approximately 10 years at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (New York). He studied at SUNY Fredonia and New York University Law School.


Dr. Sean Semper

Chair of Marketing/Communication Committee

Dr. Sean Semper is an Aerospace Engineer currently employed at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He has six years’ combined experience in engineering research and teaching experience in various institutions from elementary to the graduate school level, and has received awards for outstanding service, leadership and diligence from varied church, educational and community organizations. Born in the United States to parents originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Sean has reaped the benefits of being raised within two cultural influences allowing him to serve the needs of those from different societies and backgrounds.

Presently, he is working on an intuitive handbook for communication directors at small churches that are seeking to move into the 21st century on a minimal budget with the spiritual ministry being the focus. He also has led a growing communication department from over 400 miles away and now supports two church's departments to assure effective service within each church and to their surrounding communities.


Dr. Estelle Weinstein

Board Advisor

Dr. Estelle Weinstein holds the rank of Special Full Professor in the Department of Health Professions and Kinesiology (HPK). Over her career at Hofstra, she served as the Chairperson of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Sports Sciences as wellas the first Chair of the then newly formed Health Professions and Family Studies. Her administrative activities also included directing the graduate programs in both health education and health administration and her teaching responsibilities include a range of graduate courses in both majors. She has published several textbooks, chapters in texts and an array of journal articles that cross a variety of disciplines including teaching health, delivery of health services, and sexual, couple and family therapy. She has presented numerous papers and workshops at national and regional professional conferences. Her primary research interest is in the area of human sexuality across the life cycle and her primary educational interests are in teacher preparation in health. Dr. Weinstein is a NYS licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.