Boston Celebrates Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week 2017

Boston is proud to participate in Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, a week-long celebration of the individuals that power high-quality out-of-school time experiences for youth nationwide. This year, in honor of Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, Boston After School & Beyond provided local program leaders with an opportunity to shine a spotlight on outstanding members of their organizations via our social media platforms.

Below you will find the complete list of this year’s honorees. Boston After School & Beyond is pleased to congratulate all 20 individuals that were highlighted this week and would like to thank them sincerely for their dedication to fostering the growth and development of Boston’s youth. From the voices of their colleagues, here’s why these nominees are deserving of this recognition:

Jesenia Cortes

Youth Programs Coordinator, Brigham and Women’s Hospital- Summer Science Academy, Project TEACH and SSJP

“Not only does she do an amazing job with program logistics, she develops very strong connections to the students and their families. It is these relationships that make the program so strong and at such a high quality…. [S]he goes above and beyond to get to know each student and personally connect with them and support their individual needs. She brings so much to the program and supports our students in such a special way that makes all the difference.”

Adrian Heneveld

Program Director, Harlem Lacrosse-Boston

“Adrian is a tireless advocate for the student-athletes that participate in his program at Young Achievers. In addition to being at school all day offering academic and behavioral support, he plans and executes daily study halls and lacrosse practices, while also scheduling off-site community engagement trips to places such as Tufts University, Google, Bowdoin College, St. Sebastian’s, and Groton….[H]e always strives to be a role model for his students and is consistently professional.”

Sandy Quispe

Site Manager, St. Stephen’s Youth Programs

“Sandy…stands out for her unflagging kindness with youth as well as her care for and support of parents. As an alumna who spent many summers and years as a young person in St. Stephen’s Youth Programs, she continues to stretch and try new things….She consistently steps up to fill gaps, such as rising to the challenge of overseeing the Literacy Program when another staff member left. She genuinely believes in the best of people and her kindness has spread through the entire culture of the program.”

Katie Lyons

Site Coordinator and Coach, America SCORES Boston

“Katie became interested in coaching as a student teacher because it gave her the opportunity to develop her skills as a teacher, work with colleagues and also see her students work and have fun together in the classroom and soccer field. She is an avid SCORES supporter because she ‘believes that SCORES encourages students to be responsible, builds confidence and leadership skills and motivates students to make positive choices in and outside of school.’”

Emily Miller

Education Program Coordinator, Zoo New England

“Emily is committed to giving children get the best experience possible, often carrying heavy bins of activity materials and carriers of animals to her programs. She helps those children lucky enough to have her teach their afterschool and fosters an appreciation for wildlife in an urban setting that can often feel removed from ‘the wild.’”

Jen Bodde

Education Director, Courageous Sailing

“Jen is committed to providing lifelong learning opportunities to sailors at all levels, using sailing as a platform for teaching academic and life skills, and making sailing accessible and welcoming to all.”

Nadine Pankins-Houston

Director of Enrichment Programs, Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center

“Ms. Pankins-Houston was instrumental in growing the Afterschool program from a handful of students to 75 students who enter our doors each week. She meets these young people where there are academically, socially, and emotionally; and, strives with her team to improve the quality of their lives. A long time Boston resident, Nadine Pankins-Houston is indeed a gifted educator, and one of the best mentors for young people.”

Jessica Rosario

Director of Youth Services, Action for Boston Community Development

“Jessica Rosario has emerged as an exceptional leader who demonstrates vision and commitment to Boston’s most disadvantaged youth every day. In adeptly managing ABCD’s youth programs, Jessica manages her staff to ensure that the young people we serve – those who face significant barriers – have access to career-building and life skills that enable them to believe in their dreams and achieve their potential.”

Cat Kershaw

Development Officer, Achieve

“Cat Kershaw is an absolute dynamo. Her work ethic, organization and willingness to do whatever is needed for the betterment of our program and our scholars never go unnoticed….Under Cat’s leadership over the last 3 years, Achieve has secured foundation grants that support 30% of our budget and increased the number of individual donors by 50 percent, while always keeping our students at the center of her work.”

Shannon Hayes

Afterschool and Summer Learning Program Coordinator, Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion – Afterschool and Summer Learning Program

“Shannon uses her skills and education to integrate arts education into the literacy learning process, as evidenced most recently by the comic book superheroes project [her students] just completed. Shannon has developed great relationships with the students, their families, teachers, and school administrators. The students love the program and their progress shows!”

Lyndsea Arikian, Jocelyn Coo, Shoko Fox, Kelly Alfaro

Middle School Program Team, Breakthrough Greater Boston

“Jocelyn, Kelly, Lyndsea and Shoko work tirelessly to support students on their path to college and young teachers on their path to becoming urban educators. This amazing team of individuals collaborate to ensure our students develop a love of learning as well as the skills necessary to be successful in college and beyond….This team is driven by an intense focus on student success and a deep commitment to equity in education.”

Kimberly M Marshall

Before/After School Director, Mather Elementary School

“Kim is a caring thoughtful and friendly teacher that is attentive to all children’s needs. She treats parents with respect when addressing challenges with their children. Kim provides a safe fun atmosphere and children are drawn to her outgoing, enthusiastic qualities.”

Ryan Thomas

Program Coordinator, Playworks

“During the after school hours Coach Ryan works with individual classes teaching social and emotional skills through kinesthetic learning. Additionally, Coach Ryan….works with 15 fourth and fifth grade students to teach them leadership, conflict resolution, and communication skills – the Junior Coaches then use these skills at recess leading games for their peers. Coach Ryan helps make sure that students have a safe, healthy, and inclusive place to go during the critical afterschool hours.”

Nancy Kelly

21st Century Kenny/BELL Liaison and After School Teacher, BELL

“Every day, Ms. Kelly is committed to making sure that students learn how to find their own “voice” when it comes to communication with peers, adults, or teachers. Our scholars love Ms. Kelly because they know that she deeply cares for them and that her class is always a safe place to learn and grow.”

Jasmine Lee

Education Associate, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

“[Jasmine] tirelessly works with high school immigrant youth to make sure that they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to be great leaders in their school and community. As a child of immigrants and a proud Asian American womxn, Jasmine grounds her work in social justice, the creative arts, and authenticity. Jasmine is a committed youth worker and community activist. She recently completed the Community Fellows Program through the Institute of Nonprofit Practice.”

Zeena Mohamed

Afterschool Coordinator, ACEDONE

“Since joining our organization years ago as student, it has been evident that Ms. Zeena is very passionate about helping the community. Ms. Zeena is dedicated to ensuring each student in her program excels academically and socially. Her passion is clearly helping kids along with being enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Boston.”

Joe Hartigan

Teaching Artist; Percussion Specialist, Community Music Center of Boston

“Joe is a natural teaching talent with a passion for percussion…. He is a dynamic, engaging instructor who truly values the relationship-building aspect of teaching, and the transformative power of music making that can have a huge positive impact on a young person’s life as it did his.”