About Us:

Our Team

At Steppingstone, we take pride in the expertise and dedication of our staff. Learn more about who they are and how to contact them in our directory.
Scholars Program

Maria Aranibar Landeo

Middle School Success Advisor

Maria Aranibar Landeo was born in Peru, but raised in Cincinnati, OH. By their freshman year of high school, Maria moved to Somerville, MA and has stayed in the Boston area ever since. They graduat...

Scholars Program

Kristin Arcangeli

Senior Director of Social Emotional Learning

Kristin joined Steppingstone in 2006 and loves sharing her passion for social-emotional learning with the Steppingstone community. She has a B.A. in English from the College of the Holy Cross, and...

Scholars Program

Robert Arias-Nivar

High School Success Advisor

Robert joined the Steppingstone team in 2022. He received his B.A. in Sociology and Italian Studies from College of The Holy Cross in 2022. Robert grew up in East Boston, MA and currently resides...

Scholars Program

Louisa Balgassi

College Success Advisor

Louisa received her B.S.W. from Salem State University in 2020. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Louisa worked as Child Services Coordinator for Victory Programs Inc., a sober-living residential pro...

Scholars Program

Claudette Bautista

Academy Advisor

Claudette was born in the Dominican Republic but raised in Boston. She received her B.S. in Psychology in May 2021 at Lesley University in Cambridge. She joined Steppingstone in 2020, when she inte...

Scholars Program

Daniella Castillo Vasquez

College Success Advisor

Daniella Castillo Vasquez is an Advisor with the College Success team at Steppingstone. Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, she moved to the Boston area in 2018 to pursue a B.A. in...

Scholars Program

Leocadia DaSilva ’09

Academy Advisor

Leocadia graduated from Regis College in 2020 with a B.S. in Biology. She's lived in Boston her entire life, specifically Dorchester. Leocadia is a former Steppingstone Scholar! Outside of work, Le...

Scholars Program

Ashley Furze-White

Middle School Success Advisor

Ashley was born and raised in Windsor, Connecticut. Ashley joined Steppingstone in September 2022. She graduated from the University of Connecticut, where she received her B.A. in Allied Health...

Scholars Program

Phil Harris

Director of Middle School Success

Phil received his B.A. in Spanish and French along with a minor in Communication. From Plymouth, MA, he joined Steppingstone in 2019. Beforehand, Phil was a Youth Development Counselor at the Boys...

Scholars Program

Ja’Nell Henry

Program Director of the Academy

Ja’Nell is a long-time nonprofit and youth development specialist with nearly 30 years experience. Coming from a family of public servants, Ja’Nell has served in various communities including Newpo...

Scholars Program

Romina Kalmeijer

Social Emotional Learning Associate

Romina joined the social-emotional learning team in January 2022. Over the years, she has worked with various community organizations that serve children and families from predominantly Latine...

Scholars Program

Sage Kampitsis

Academy Advisor

Sage graduated from Marlboro College in 2019 with a B.A. in "Sociology: Education and Social Justice" after completing two undergraduate internships at Steppingstone in both Admissions and Advising...

Scholars Program

Thai Luong

College Success Advisor

Thai has been with Steppingstone since 2019. He graduated from the University of Hawaii with his B.A. and M.A. in English. He enjoys working with College Scholars and getting to learn more about...

Scholars Program

Sean Ly

Middle School Success Advisor

Sean graduated from UMass Boston in 2021 with a B.A. in Exercise and Health Science. Before that, Sean graduated from Boston Latin School in 2016. During undergrad, Sean started working at a nonpro...

Scholars Program

Katarina Ng

Vice President of Scholar Support Services

Kat joined Steppingstone in 2013 as an Advisor. She later served as the Director of Admission and the Senior Director of Middle School Success. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Kat interned at...

Scholars Program

Thanh Nguyen

Director of High School Success

Thanh received his B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is an alumnus of John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. Prior to joining Steppingstone, he worked as...

Scholars Program

Christopher Parris

Chief Program Officer

Chris is an experienced educator with a demonstrated history of leading start-up initiatives in the field of education. Skilled in program development, Chris' expertise lies in the development and...

Scholars Program

Bianca Passero

Academy Advisor

Bianca graduated from Boston College in 2019 where she earned her B.A. in Elementary Education and Applied Psychology & Human Development. She then went on to get an M.Ed in Special Education at Bo...

Scholars Program

Luisa Perez ’09

Data & Evaluation Associate

Luisa graduated in 2022 with her M.S. in Learning Sciences and Technologies from WPI. She also received her B.S. in 2020 in Psychological Science from WPI. Luisa was previously a class of 2009...

Scholars Program

Mary Lou Ponsetto

Data and Evaluation Specialist

Mary Lou joined Steppingstone in 2020. She graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Boston College and received her M.P.P. from Brandeis University with an emphasis on monitoring and evaluation. In...

Scholars Program

Mary Sullivan

Senior Director of Placement

Mary received her B.A. in Sociology and Spanish Literature from Colgate University and her M.A. in Elementary Education from Sacred Heart University. Mary worked at TSA for three years as a Reading...

Scholars Program

Yamiles Urena

Academy Advisor

Yamiles or “Yami” is an Academy Advisor for Steppingstone Scholars and families. She is Dominican, but New York born, and Boston raised. Yami graduated from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in...

Scholars Program

Jane Ventrone

Vice President of Academic Programs

Jane Ventrone began her career at Steppingstone as an Advisor with The Steppingstone Academy in 2006. Before moving into the Vice President of Academic Programs role, she served as the Senior...

Scholars Program

Ivy Wagner

Teaching & Learning Associate

Born in a storm in the Way-Back-When, Ivy Wagner spent her youth in the city, her twenties trying any and everything, and more than a few years teaching. When not helping Scholars advance on a path...

Scholars Program

Annie Wu

Senior Director of College Success

Annie joined Steppingstone in 2015 as an Advisor to middle and high school Scholars before transitioning to work with college Scholars. Prior to joining Steppingstone, she coordinated academic and...

Scholars Program

Joanna Yu

Director of Teaching and Learning

Joined in 2021, Joanna is a Boston native with a B.A. in International Relations and East Asian Studies from Connecticut College. After graduation, she explored her interests in teaching in China...

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