Boston 2015 Fellows

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Jennifer Apps, In Home Therapist, Children's Services of Roxbury


Jennifer Apps is an In Home Therapist at Children’s Service of Roxbury. Jennifer works with low income families and utilizes a strengths based approach to assist families with addressing their behavioral health needs. Jennifer often integrates mindfulness techniques and art therapy ideologies into her work and believes in empowering individuals to understand the impacts of class and race on their own mental health. Jennifer is currently developing a participatory photography curriculum for youth development programs as well as a photoessay project documenting the lives of those impacted by community violence. Jennifer’s commitment to these projects is fueled in great part by her work in the community and her love for the families she works with. She spent time over the summer as fellow via Project Social Impact further developing these projects as well as collaborating with other individuals who believe that art can create social change.

Additionally Jennifer serves as the Program Coordinator for Adoption Community of New England (ACONE). ACONE provides support to all members of the adoption triad by means of support groups, seminars, workshops, policy statements, legislative advocacy and other measures. As an adoptee herself, Jennifer often speaks on panels about the transracial adoption experience as well as co-facilitates workshops to help empower youth to answer questions about their adoption. Jennifer received her MSW from Boston University where she concentrated in macro social work with an interest in youth development. She is originally from California though considers Chattanooga, TN as her hometown. Jennifer loves art, writing, nature, dance and any opportunities to learn and or be playful.


Jaclyn Barbarow, Director of Development, Bird Street Community Center


Jaclyn Barbarow is a feminist from Georgia, a New Jersey-Italian spitfire, and a proud auntie of the world's best kiddos. When she's not nerding out about nonprofit policy and social movement structures, she writes, crafts, knits, bakes, reads, DIYs things that should be done by professionals, listens to public radio, sends snail mail, and strings together grammatically poor sentences of Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, German, and Koine Greek. Two of her proudest moments are when the United Way of Greater Atlanta called her a rabblerouser, and when she was awarded a scholarship by the Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL) for her essay about grammar.

Jaclyn is a 2006 graduate of Emory University and the proud holder of a Bachelor's Degree in religion, which her parents said wouldn’t get her anywhere. She also holds a Master's Degree from the University of Georgia Institute for Nonprofit Organizations -- which her parents thought was a good idea, though they still thought the concentration in Community Organizing was silly. She is currently the Development Director of Bird Street Community Center, a youth development organization in Dorchester.


Joseph Browne, Program Coordinator, MIT Sloan School of Management

"Why can't we do better?" If a single question could epitomize Jo Browne's journey to the present, it would have the flexibility to be naively curious, supremely arrogant, self-righteously indignant, and hopelessly self-flagellating. It would capture the struggle of a young, secondary school boy from Tampa, Florida who didn't know ""The Struggle"" and extend its grasp to the unexpected, head-first, all-in Negresence of a Brown University Computer Science Concentrator trying to hack Life with computer code. It would rackishly crown a post-graduation, self-serving rescue mission in Higher Education to save STEM Diversity with the same purple haze it guiltily hid the transcripts of wont-be scientists of color. And with deeper reflection, a growth-mindset, and a discarding of the silver-bullet mentality of a monster-obsessed age, it would smooth its edges, change its stance, and naturally evolve to a more compassionate and humble inquiry. "What can we do better?"


Tam Emerson, Program Director, Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program/Brandeis University


Tam Emerson is the Program Director of the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program at the Center for Youth and Communities at Brandeis University. Tam is a 2008 Eli J. Segal City Year Fellow, after winning the Eli J. Segal Bridge Builder Corps Member of the Year award and joined the Segal Program Team as a Management Fellow in 2012. The Segal Program supports and engages emerging Citizen Leaders across the nation with a track record of action. Through trainings, events, mentorship, networking, experiential learning and knowledge development, the Segal Program offers Segal Fellows collaborative and skill- and network-building opportunities to make a difference in their communities.

Prior to her work with the Segal Program, Tam served for two years at City Year Boston and was part of the start-up team for the City Year London site. Tam earned a B.S. in an interdisciplinary program with Math/Science as well as Elementary Education with a minor in Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy from Wheelock College. Additionally, Tam completed a research fellowship through the American Cancer Society at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the Pediatric Oncology Department. She is also on the Young Education Professionals - Boston Chapter board, a mentor to City Year Boston Corps Members and assists with major Project 351 events.


Danielle Kim, Director of Policy and Communications, Boston After School & Beyond


Danielle Kim currently serves as Director of Policy and Communications for Boston After School & Beyond, a public-private partnership that seeks to expand learning and skill development opportunities for students. In this role, she oversees the development and implementation of a strategic outreach plan to further engage the public, civic leaders, and other stakeholders in the team’s many projects.

Danielle began her career in education policy as a Fulbright Fellow in South Korea, where she taught over 1,300 students at an urban, all-girls high school and saw firsthand the complex nuances of a high-performing, high-pressure school system. Danielle then served as a community organizer in her home state of New Jersey, most notably as a Regional Field Director for the 2012 presidential campaign. She continued working in the government sector as a Communications Specialist for the New Jersey Senate Majority Office, where she managed the legislative press for six state senators. Previously, Danielle was a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School on the Data-Smart City Solutions initiative, examining how city officials can leverage new technologies to address social problems and to increase civic engagement. She earned a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Psychology from Smith College.


Lisa Klane, National Manager of Student Engagement Initiatives, City Year


Lisa Klane is the National Manager of Student Engagement Initiatives at City Year. In this role Lisa works to develop tools, resources, and trainings around social and emotional learning, youth development, and whole school culture and climate to be implemented at sites across the country. Lisa also supports the student engagement team’s work in the areas of attendance, college and career readiness, parent and family engagement, afterschool, and extended learning time. Lisa has a Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College in Government with a minor in Law and Society. During her academic career she studied abroad in South Africa and Switzerland and then used her field research for her thesis. She compared South Africa, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Northern Ireland and explored the role that young people can play in post-conflict reconciliation. After graduating college, she served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Chicago where she tutored and mentored elementary and high school students before teaching English as a foreign language abroad. She taught at the university level in rural China and then received a Fulbright grant to continue teaching in Bosnia-Herzegovina, working with university students as well as adult learners. Lisa returned stateside to continue her career in nonprofit work focusing on education reform and national service.

Before returning to City Year she spent a year working with communities across North America and leading them through an asset-based approach of community development with the construction of playgrounds as the catalyst event. Lisa is passionate about both national and physical service and looks for opportunities where service and education intersect. Lisa enjoys taking photos and traveling. When she’s not entertaining or being entertained by her black lab, Sable, Lisa also enjoys reading, baking, and sporadically knitting.


Marisa Lopez, Senior Teacher Counselor, Cambridge Housing Authority


Born in Bogota, Colombia, Marisa Lopez grew up in the Greater Boston area and has dedicated her life to making educational and professional opportunities accessible to the most vulnerable communities of youth in Cambridge and Boston. She graduated with a BA in English and Spanish from Bowdoin College and embarked on a year of independent travel and research as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow studying marginalized and high risk youth in Latin America, an experience which would inspire her professional career. Upon returning to the United States Marisa began teaching high school Spanish, first at Arlington High School and then to the high performing Community Charter School of Cambridge. However, serving as a Spanish teacher and student adviser, Marisa saw that the needs of her students were much greater and more fundamental than her focus on Spanish language instruction.

From the charter school, Marisa was recruited to teach in the Little House Alternative Middle School, a partnership between Dorchester non-profit, College Bound Dorchester, and Boston Public Schools. At The Little House, Marisa taught math, science, enrichment and professional skills to high risk and court-involved youth who had become disengaged with school. Simultaneously, Marisa was also working for the City of Cambridge as Director of Teen Programs overseeing the West Cambridge neighborhood. During her time there, Marisa helped transition into the newly constructed Russell Community Center. She also innovated programming centered around providing 21st Century Skills training for under-served youth in centers throughout the city including: Web & graphic design, audio & video production, and digital screen printing, all with an emphasis on academic and career planning.

Four years ago, Marisa joined the nationally recognized Work Force Program, an initiative of the Cambridge Housing Authority. As Senior Teacher Counselor of her site in the heart of Cambridge’s two largest public housing developments, Marisa educates and advises students in grades 8-12 living in public housing, providing them with the knowledge, skills and efficacy to avoid the achievement gaps and collegiate under-matching that commonly afflict low-income, urban youth and stand in the way of their economic mobility. Marisa currently also sits on the Cambridge Middle School Network and the Cambridge Expanded Learning S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Committee. In her spare time, Marisa has also maintained a small business teaching private Spanish lessons for over 10 years.


Luisa Peña Lyons, Chief of Staff, Field Leadership, New Profit Inc.

Luisa Peña Lyons grew up in Lawrence and Methuen, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Northeastern University, where she was a La Communidad Latina en Accion (LaCLA) scholar. At Northeastern, Luisa completed a double major in Political Science and International Affairs. She served as Vice President of External Affairs and President of Northeastern's Latin American Student Organization (LASO). Luisa studied abroad in Cairo, Egypt where she participated in election monitoring and pro-democracy work. Her junior year, she participated in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' internship program in Washington D.C. and is currently the CHCI Alumni Association's Boston Chapter Vice President.

After graduating in 2007, Luisa went to work at MassVOTE, where she served as the Coalition Organizer and was responsible for helping nonprofit organizations register, educate, and mobilize voters in Greater Boston. She also coordinated recruitment for the Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership, which helped prepare individuals of color to run for office or participate in government. Luisa left MassVOTE to work as Deputy Field Director for Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz's first successful campaign and later went on to be her Legislative Aide at the State House. In the summer of 2009, Luisa embarked on a three-year trip to Asia where she worked as an educator and studied the countries she visited focusing on education, government and business. Luisa served as Deputy Director of Personnel for Governor Deval L. Patrick for the past years. Currently, Luisa is Chief of Staff for the Field Leadership team at New Profit Inc., a nonprofit social innovation organization and venture philanthropy fund. Luisa enjoys traveling, reading, rock climbing and dancing. She is passionate about issues such as racial and educational equity, civic engagement and entrepreneurship/small business.


S. Atyia Martin, Director, Office of Public Health Preparedness, Boston Public Health Commission

Dr. Atyia Martin is the Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness at the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC). In this role, she is responsible for coordinating emergency management across internal BPHC programs and services, as well as across public health and healthcare system partners. This includes oversight of the Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center which coordinates response and recovery efforts across public health, medical, and public safety partners during emergencies that impact public health.

Dr. Martin is on the Executive Committee of the Boston Healthcare Preparedness Coalition, which is an emergency preparedness collaboration among public health, EMS, healthcare, and public safety entities. She has a diverse set of experiences in emergency management, intelligence, and homeland security. Dr. Martin was most recently the director of the DelValle Institute for Emergency Preparedness. Among her previous positions, she served as a Senior Analyst and later the Homeland Security Supervisor and Acting Director at the Boston Regional Intelligence Center at the Boston Police Department. Additionally, Dr. Martin served as a regional planner for the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management where she coordinated critical infrastructure and information sharing projects for the Urban Area Security Initiative Homeland Security Grant Program. In this role, she also managed public-private partnerships, emergency notifications, and emergency operations planning. She was also a civilian at the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in the Boston Field Intelligence Group (FIG) and active duty Air Force assigned as a Serbian/Croatian linguist and analyst to the National Security Agency.

Dr. Martin holds an Associate of Arts in Serbian Croatian from the Defense Language Institute (DLI), Bachelor of Science from Excelsior College, a Masters in Homeland Security Leadership from the University of Connecticut, and a Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University. She is also adjunct faculty at Northeastern University, a certified Emergency Medical Technician, and a Basic Life Support Instructor. Dr. Martin currently lives in Boston with her husband and five children.


Arthur Natella, Community Organizer


With more than seven years of experience in the political and public sector, Arthur Natella, also known as Arturo, began his career as aide to Governor Deval Patrick in 2007, and later went on to become an organizer for the Massachusetts Democratic Party. During his tenure at the Party, Arthur began his work organizing communities of color, which later propelled him to be part of Governor Patrick's core team tasked with organizing communities of color during his reelection campaign in 2010. Arthur continued his role as a community organizer by working on Senator Elizabeth Warren's historic campaign, and later on the Martha Coakley's gubernatorial campaign.

As a member of the Coakley campaign staff, Arthur was Deputy Constituency Director. Arthur developed and implemented the campaign's community of color outreach strategy, allowing the campaign to engage thousands of people color throughout the state. In addition to his political work, Arthur is a founding board member for the organization Chica Project (Chica). Chica is a state-wide organization focused on closing the opportunity divide for Latinas by empowering them with the skills and confidence needed to succeed. Arthur is on the strategic planning team for the organization, and has aided with development of its technical and programmatic infrastructure.


Jennifer Near, Advisor, Strategic Philanthropy, ltd.


Jennifer Near is an Advisor with Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd., a global philanthropic advisory firm. With her background in international human rights law and community and international development, Jennifer supports the firm's clients on a wide range of social justice issues and in the development of multi-faceted grant making and giving strategies. In this role, Jennifer serves as the Sr. Program Officer for The Libra Foundation, a Chicago-based family foundation committed to supporting and building the capacity of the U.S. human rights movement to advance progressive social change, and she oversees the Foundation’s grant making across three priority areas-Social Justice and Drug Policy, Women’s Rights and Environmental Justice.

In addition to human rights and social justice issues, Jennifer's background includes work in corporate social responsibility, program management, fundraising, and serving on a community task force to develop integrated approaches across service providers. Prior to joining the firm, Jennifer worked for ActionAid International, United Way, and the Deputy Vice Chancellor’s International Portfolio at the University of Sydney. She holds a B.A. in International Development from Tulane University and a M.A. in A Human Rights-Based Approach to Development from the University of Sydney in Sydney Australia. Jennifer grew up on a farm in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and enjoys volunteering for progressive political campaigns, horseback riding, and hiking in the mountains with her dog, Dixie.


Lisa Peterson, Boston/National Program Director, The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship


Lisa Peterson is the Program Director of the Boston Chapter of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program (ASF) and is ASF’s National Director of Program Development, Training, and Evaluation. ASF strives to improve health and create change by developing leaders in service. There, Lisa is able to apply her expertise in social determinants of health, trauma-informed programming, and community capacity building in the leadership development of graduate students in health/health-allied fields. While pursuing her degree, she served as a 2010-2011 Schweitzer Fellow in Boston, working with Sociedad Latina on a youth-led advocacy project focused on reduction of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. Currently, Lisa spends some of her free time working as an SAT prep instructor/tutor with Revolution Prep.

Previously, Lisa worked at the Boston Public Health Commission, providing program management and policy advocacy for violence prevention and trauma-informed system change efforts in the City of Boston. Lisa has also assisted with research and evaluation at Health Resources in Action. Dedicated to service work, she has been a volunteer and Peer Advisor with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s Community Awareness and Prevention program since 2009, and was proud to earn the Janet Yassen Award for ‘the BARCC public educator who displays great sensitivity and leadership’ in 2011. Lisa was awarded an S.M. from the Harvard School of Public Health, in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. As a student, she worked on a committee to develop a social media campaign to improve health, access, and well-being of pregnant and parenting teens. For her practicum project, Lisa volunteered at AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, developing sexuality education activities, and designing and leading workshops in sexuality education for teens in Boston. Lisa holds an A.B. in Psychology from Bowdoin College, and Brunswick, Maine will always be her home away from home. Her childhood home is in Pembroke, Massachusetts, where she is fortunate to have her family close by. A beginner salsera and amateur shutterbug, Lisa values her creative outlets.


Ashani Petrizzi, Assistant Director of Development for the Annual Fund, Stoneleigh-Burnham School

 Ashani has worked at Stoneleigh-Burnham an allgirls independent International Baccalaureate school since 2012, first as the Assistant Director of Alumnae Relations, and now as the Assistant Director of Development for the Annual Fund. Ashani has a passion for front-line fundraising, especially when she feels closely tied to the mission and purpose behind the organization. Ashani holds a Bachelor’s Degree in American Government from Smith College, where she played basketball for the Pioneers. She eventually plans to pursue a degree in Business Administration. Originally from Greenfield, MA she now resides a few towns over in Deerfield. She enjoys any type of exercise or physical activity, especially a friendly game of pick-up basketball.


Abhishek Raman, Graduate Student, Harvard University


Abhishek is a Master of Divinity degree candidate at Harvard University. In particular, Abhishek is interested in business ethics and the role of business enterprise in promoting peace and recovery in conflict zones. Immediately prior to starting graduate school, Abhishek served as an Engagements Manager at Interfaith Youth Core, a social enterprise in Chicago where he executed strategy consulting engagements in the higher education sector to make interfaith cooperation an institutional priority. Before his non-profit consulting role, Abhishek worked with the U.S. Department of State to implement federally-funded grants to promote interfaith youth service projects globally.

Abhishek holds a B.A. in Government and Sociology from Clark University where he was the student body president. In 2013, Abhishek was selected by the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper, a group of leaders under the age of 30 charged with catalyzing positive social change in their respective communities. He is a leadership team member of the Faith and Values Caucus of the Democratic Party and serves as a Young Professional Ambassador of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.


Nathalie Rengifo Alvarez, Public Advocacy and Spanish Fellow, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts

 Nathalie Rengifo Alvarez is a Public Advocacy and Spanish Language Fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. She has worked as the Bilingual Senior Assistant for Massachusetts State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, where she served as a liaison to the Latino community. Prior to that, she worked for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)- Millennium Development Goals Fund, Integral Program against Gender Violence, Colombia, as a Public Policy Officer. In this role, she lobbied for women's rights in public policy, working with the Colombian Vice-President, Congress, and Supreme Court. Nathalie interned at the Women's Rights division of Human Rights Watch and served as a United Nations Volunteer. She is the co-founder of a foundation called FUNDDECI, dedicated to vocational training for internally displaced women.

Nathalie holds a Graduate Certificate in Women in Politics and Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, a Postgraduate specialization degree in Culture of Peace and International Humanitarian Law from Javeriana University, Colombia, and a J.D. Law Degree from San Buenaventura University, Colombia. She is a dual MA degree candidate in both Coexistence and Conflict and Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University.


Jonathan Rodrigues, Civic Engagement Coordinator, Sociedad Latina

Jonathan is a Civic Engagement Coordinator at Sociedad Latina, a youth development nonprofit based in Boston. He works engaging youth in organizing campaigns around education, progressive taxation and anti-gentrification. Jonathan is a proud first-generation Brazilian-American, growing up in the vibrant immigrant community in South Florida before attending the University of Chicago. Previous to relocating to Boston, Jonathan worked as an immigrant rights organizer in Illinois and Florida.


Sonia Sarkar, Special Advisor, Health Leads

 Sonia Sarkar serves as Special Advisor to Health Leads, a national organization that envisions a healthcare system that addresses all patients' basic resource needs as a standard part of quality care. She previously served as Chief of Staff to the CEO of Health Leads, overseeing the CEO's internal and external initiatives as well as advising on sector leadership and strategy development. As an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University, Sonia co-founded and served as campus coordinator for Health Leads' Baltimore site, and also completed a term as a student member of the organization's national Board of Directors. Subsequently, Sonia joined the Health Leads staff team as a Baltimore Program Manager, where she built clinical relationships and oversaw the development and management of Health Leads' undergraduate workforce.

A 2008 Truman Scholar and Member of the USA Today All-Academic Team, Sonia has worked as a Mayoral Fellow with the Baltimore City Health Department, where she studied the effects of inadequate housing on health outcomes in urban neighborhoods. In 2009, Sonia was named SAALT's South Asian Changemaker of the Year, and also received a Rotary Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarship to conduct work with local paramedic teams in San Jose, Costa Rica. Sonia is a World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, a Boardsource Judith O'Connor Emerging Nonprofit Leader, and has served as a founding board member for the Boston Young Healthcare Professionals as well as the Healthworks Foundation Young Professionals Board. She holds B.A. degrees in public health and international studies from Johns Hopkins University and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is also a published poet, with work appearing in the American Journal of Nursing and the Bellevue Literary Review, among others.


Minney Varghese, Legislative Director, Senator Jamie Eldridge-Massachusetts State Senate


Minney Varghese is the legislative director for State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton). From her work in the State House, Minney has experience in many social justice issues that are relevant to the Commonwealth, such as, housing, mass incarceration and environmental justice. During her time with the Senator’s office, she has seen two major pieces of legislation, one dealing with public housing authority reform and the other, water infrastructure, come to fruition from the drafting stage to being signed into law. Working in Senator Eldridge’s office has been an incredible experience for Minney and every single day brings her into a new policy area. Minney received her Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Neuroscience at Northeastern University where she completed internships in pharmaceutical and medical literature research and special needs education. After her undergraduate studies, Minney worked at a small medical publishing company called Natural Standard. After graduation and during her time at Natural Standard, she became interested in the role of policy within the medical and sciences fields.

Minney decided to return to Northeastern for law school because of her amazing co-op internships. At NUSL Minney gained a variety of legal experiences. She worked in various states throughout India assisting the Human Rights Law Network in fact-finding missions to investigate human rights violations. Minney worked in the disability rights and reproductive rights initiatives. After returning from India, Minney began to focus more of her coursework on human rights, health law, civil rights, economic development and international law. During her time in India and because of her prior research work in neuroscience, she maintained an interest in mental health and this led her to a legal co-op with the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC) in Boston. Minney's experience at MHLAC is what ultimately encouraged her to find a position at the Massachusetts State House after law school. She witnessed and participated in the lobbying efforts of advocacy organizations and now desired to be ‘where it all happened.’ Minney hopes to remain in Massachusetts working on various policy issues and in the future, would like to focus on children’s development, health and education policy through work in a service nonprofit or advocacy organization. Minney Varghese is a lifelong Massachusetts resident, growing up in Uxbridge, and currently living in Malden.