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.
A group of Scholars and Steppingstone staff sit around a table, smiling in conversation.
Advancement
EmailLinkedIn

Olu Adeosun

Director of Data Systems

Olu Adeosun, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Olu joined Steppingstone in September, 2021. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Olu worked for an educational nonprofit, First Book, and recently at Ame...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

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
EmailLinkedIn

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
EmailLinkedIn

Lee Bernstein

High School Success Advisor

Lee joined Steppingstone in 2024 as a High School Success Advisor. Lee grew up in Massachusetts but attended college at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. She graduated in 2020 with a B.A....

Advancement
EmailLinkedIn

Ashley Calise

Senior Director of Communications

Ashley joined Steppingstone in 2021 as Director of Communications, bringing years of experience in nonprofit and educational settings. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Ashley was most recently Direc...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

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...

Admission
EmailLinkedIn

Cindy Chen

Admission Associate

Cindy was born in Boston and grew up in the Greater Boston Area. She earned her B.A. in political science and Chinese language and culture from Beloit College in 2022...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

Katie Cleary

Social Emotional Learning Associate

Katie moved from traditional education, and Long Island, to join Steppingstone in Boston as a Social-Emotional Learning Associate in 2023. She received her B.A. in History from Roanoke College...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

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...

NPEA
EmailLinkedIn

Bianca Diaz

Member Services Associate, NPEA

Bianca Diaz was born and raised in Boston. Her love of learning about new cultures led her to pursue a B.A. in International Political Economy and Diplomacy from the University of Bridgeport...

NPEA
EmailLinkedIn

Karin Elliott

Executive Director, National Partnership for Educational Access

Karin joined Steppingstone in 2008 to lead the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA). Bringing many years of experience in nonprofits, management, and professional development, prior...

Advancement
EmailLinkedIn

Monet Eugene '10

Corporate Relations Manager

Monet joined Steppingstone in 2024 and is part of the Advancement team as the Corporate Relations Manager. She is a Steppingstone Alumna from Boston and a graduate of Providence College where she...

Advancement
EmailLinkedIn

Andrea Fortner

Data Systems Associate

Andrea joined Steppingstone in 2024 as a Data Systems Associate, bringing a background of a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University. Prior to this role, she worked...

Operations
EmailLinkedIn

Kelly Glew

President & CEO

Kelly was first hired in 1990 as a consultant and joined the staff as Director of Development in 1992. After 18 years leading the development team, Kelly became president in 2010. Prior to Stepping...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

Amber Goad

Director of Social Emotional Learning

Amber joined Steppingstone in 2023 as the Director of Social Emotional Learning, bringing years of SEL and behavioral knowledge with her. She has previously worked for the Virginia Institute of...

Advancement
EmailLinkedIn

Jess Hamilton

Advancement Associate

Jess joined Steppingstone in June 2024. Prior to Steppingstone, Jess attended the University of Maine and graduated in 2022 with a B.S. in Elementary Education with an additional major in Child....

Advancement
EmailLinkedIn

Audrey James

Director of Annual Giving and Events

Audrey joined Steppingstone in 2022 as the Director of Annual Giving and Events. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, she attended Boston College and graduated with a B.A. in History and a minor in Hi...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

Sam Jean-Francois

Middle School Success Advisor

Sam is a first-generation Haitian American graduate of Bates College, where they earned their B.A in Africana Studies with a concentration in Racisms. They joined Steppingstone in 2023 as a Middle...

Advancement
EmailLinkedIn

Caitlin Kenly

Senior Director of Leadership Giving & Engagement

Caitlin joined Steppingstone in 2019. Prior to Steppingstone, Caitlin has held positions at various Boston organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

Tauryn King '12

High School Success Advisor

Tauryn first joined Steppingstone in 2011 as a Scholar, and commenced in 2012. Tauryn returned to Steppingstone as a High School Success Advisor in 2023. Being both a first-generation college student,

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

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
EmailLinkedIn

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...

Operations
EmailLinkedIn

Melodis Mejia

Office Administrator

Melodis Mejia was born in the Dominican Republic and earned a B.A. in Social Communication from Universidad Católica Santo Domingo. She joined Steppingstone in 2021 as Admin Coordinator, but has...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

David Meneses Ontiveros '12

Middle School Success Advisor

David Meneses Ontiveros is member of the Steppingstone Commencement class of 2012, and became a Middle School Success Advisor in 2023. After commencing from Steppingstone, David went to...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

Dan Montanez

Middle School Success Advisor

Originally from Fairfield, Connecticut, Daniel joined Steppingstone in October 2022 after teaching in the Greater Boston Area for several years. He graduated from Providence College, where he...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

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
EmailLinkedIn

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
EmailLinkedIn

Bianca Passero

Director of the Academy

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...

Admission
EmailLinkedIn

Danielle Rettinger

Director of Admission

Danielle received her Ed.M from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and her B.A. from Bates College. She has spent the majority of her career working at schools in New York and New England, and...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

Will Richardson

Director of High School Success

Will brings varied experience and expertise from over a decade in education to his role as Director of High School Success at Steppingstone. He has worked as a classroom teacher...

Admission
EmailLinkedIn

Ailyn Rivera '09

Program Operations Coordinator

Ailyn joined Steppingstone in 2023 and supports both the Admission and Academy teams in her role. She is a Steppingstone Alumna and first-generation college graduate, receiving her B.A. in Feminist...

Operations
EmailLinkedIn

Jennifer Sudol

Accounting Manager

Jennifer Sudol joined the Steppingstone team in 2023 as the Accounting Manager. Jennifer grew up in Illinois and graduated from Illinois Central College. Before joining Steppingstone...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

Mary Sullivan

Vice President of Enrollment Management

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 Steppingstone for three years as...

NPEA
EmailLinkedIn

Carrie Tate

Director of Programs, National Partnership for Educational Access

Carrie first joined Steppingstone in 2011 as the NPEA Member Services Associate and currently serves as NPEA’s Director of Programs. Prior to Steppingstone, Carrie worked in a community action agen...

Operations
EmailLinkedIn

Kerry Tavernese

Chief Finance & Operations Officer

Kerry Tavernese joined Steppingstone in 2008 and has spent the entirety of her 20+ year career working in the non-profit finance field. She graduated from Bentley University with a B.S. in...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

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
EmailLinkedIn

Jane Ventrone

Vice President of Academic Programs

Jane joined Steppingstone as an Advisor in 2006. She later served as Senior Director of Teaching and Learning and then became Vice President of Academic Programs in 2019. Prior to joining...

Advancement
EmailLinkedIn

Francesca Viazzoli

Advancement and Grants Associate

Francesca joined Steppingstone in May 2022. Prior to Steppingstone, Francesca worked as a Family Engagement Coordinator and Site Director at Tenacity, a Youth Services Specialist with Youth Options...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

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...

Operations
EmailLinkedIn

Christina Watson

Human Resources Manager

Christina Watson joined the Steppingstone team in 2018. She serves as the first point of contact for all prospective employees at Steppingstone, and enjoys spreading the word about Steppingstone’s...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

Kylie Webster-Cazeau

Director of Middle School Success

Kylie joined Steppingstone in 2023. Kylie graduated from Boston Latin School in 2016. While a student at Boston Latin School, Kylie, along with her classmates, led and participated in a student led...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

Dess Wilson

Academy Advisor

Dess is a first generation Guyanese American graduate of Hampshire College, where they earned their B.A in Black History, Psychology, and Theatre. They are currently pursuing an MFA in Drama...

Advancement
EmailLinkedIn

Kate Wood

Chief Advancement Officer

Kate Wood joined the Advancement team at Steppingstone in 2007 and has held several roles throughout her tenure. In 2017, Kate was promoted to the Chief Advancement Officer. Prior to joining...

Scholars Program
EmailLinkedIn

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
EmailLinkedIn

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...

617-423-6300