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About Us



Cynthia Templeton

Cynthia Templeton

Founder & Community Partnerships Coordinator

Cynthia Templeton, an experienced entrepreneur and administrator, founded Push to Walk in January 2007 with her son Darren, who sustained a C5 Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in July 2004. Since the opening until now, Cynthia has been responsible for the daily operation of Push to Walk, including finances, development, and marketing. She continues to stay involved and maintain regular contact with clients and family members, assist with building collaborative partnerships and work on special projects to build the Push to Walk brand in the community. 

Ariana Hawkins

Program Director

Ariana started at Push to Walk in 2021 as an intern at William Paterson University.  Upon completion of her internship, she was hired as an aide and has progressed to a Neuro Exercise Trainer and now Program Director.  She completed her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and has aspirations to attend PT School.  Ariana is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, and Health Coach.

Kate Wolfe

Executive Director

Kate is excited to start her new journey as the Executive Director at Push to Walk. Joining PTW in 2016, Kate has already worn several hats, starting with her role as a part-time Administrative Assistant, which evolved into her becoming the Client and Event Coordinator in January 2020. Kate attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She then worked as an event planner for various organizations such as Meeting Partners, planning corporate special events. She has been an active volunteer in the school community since 2006. Kate’s new role as the Executive Director will focus on Fundraising, Donations, and Outreach while continuing to build important relationships with our clients.

Program Team

Matt Lasky

Neuro Exercise Trainer & Education Manager

Matt started interning at Push to Walk in January 2012 and transitioned into a part-time training position in July 2012. He successfully completed the Certified Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Apprentice program at Project Walk in California in June 2012. Matt earned his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Rutgers University and currently holds a certification in Strength and Conditioning through the NSCA, as well as in CPR training.

Ashley Pauly

Neuro Exercise Trainer

Ashley began as an intern for Push to Walk in the fall of 2020. After completing her hours, Ashely was hired as an aide. In November 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from William Paterson University. Ashley is continuing her education at William Paterson in the fall of 2021 to obtain a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. Ashley is certified in CPR & AED. Ashley was promoted to Trainer in July of 2021 and hopes to receive her doctorate in the future.

Karla Ruaya

Neuro Exercise Trainer

Karla began working at Push to Walk in May 2010 and left to work full time in NYC in December 2013. She remained involved with the organization during her hiatus by volunteering for fundraising events and conducting adaptive tennis workshops for Push to Walk clients each year. Karla returned to Push to Walk in February 2018. She graduated with a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Northern Michigan University and is an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist. Karla completed the three-day NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) Locomotor Training Workshop in March 2018 and maintains her CPR/AED certification. She is also certified in Pilates, yoga, and spin, and is a USPTA certified Tennis Professional.

Brittany Smith

Neuro Exercise Trainer

Brittany started as an aide at Push to Walk in September 2019 and is now a Neuro Exercise Trainer at Push To Walk. She earned an associate degree from the County College of Morris in biology in August 2018. She is now attending Montclair State University and is working towards her master’s in Nutrition. Brittany intends on becoming a registered dietitian upon graduation. She maintains her CPR/AED certifications. Brittany is also a NASM certified personal trainer.

Leo Montoya

Neuro Exercise Trainer

Leo started interning at Push to Walk in January 2022. He graduated from William Paterson University in May of 2022 with a Bachelors in Exercise Science and Minor in Psychology. He became an Aide once he graduated from William Paterson, and then in September of 2022, he became a Neuro Exercise Trainer. Leo is certified in CPR and AED and plans to obtain his ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP) certification in the near future.

Jennifer Madia


Jennifer started with PTW in October 2022 as an Aide. She received her B.S. in Exercise Science from Bloomsburg University before pursuing her Master’s in Exercise and Wellness Science at Slippery Rock University. After working as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Manager for several years, Jennifer pursued her teaching certification and is currently employed as a Teacher of Health and Physical Education. She is currently working on a second Masters in Special Education.

Program Team

Hope Edelman


Hope Edelman started working at Push to Walk of Oakland in the Spring 2014 as the organization’s bookkeeper. She has worked for various companies including ITT World Communications as a Senior Accounting Analyst, The Law Firm of Gibney, Anthony & Flaherty as the Legal Administrator and the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen as the Accounting Manager.  Her focus is on automating and updating accounting and office systems to improve daily operations and efficiency. She is responsible for administering Push to Walk’s daily accounting.

Julia Swajger

Development Assistant

Julia is a new addition to the PTW team, joining us in October 2021. A recent MBA-Marketing graduate from William Paterson and former intern at Susan G. Komen North Jersey, Julia is excited to share her flair for marketing and passion for non-profit work as Push to Walk’s new Development Assistant. Julia’s role here includes keeping you informed through PTW’s social media channels, blogs, and newsletters and helping the team create and host our annual fundraising events.

Vivian Kiggins

Grant Writer

Vivian joined Push to Walk in April 2018 and brings experience as a grant writer/development associate for several organizations. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University and numerous years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. Her current role at PTW will encompass a range of development duties including researching new funding opportunities as well as applying and completing grant applications. She will continue to promote the mission and vision of Push to Walk.