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Zendilli Depina, Program Manager, is responsible for overseeing and planning our in school workshops and summer internship. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she studied Public Health with minors in Sociology and Psychology. Zendilli has her Masters in Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health with certificates in Health Communication and Promotion and Maternal and Child Health. She has extensive experience working with youth and her background includes being the Head of the Arts and Crafts department at the Aloha Hive summer camp and working as the Youth Coordinator for the Needham Department of Public Health.
Associate Director of Partnerships, Kelly Parrish: Ms. Parrish is responsible for strategic partnerships and corporate engagement. She has extensive experience within non-profit management and higher education, including Year Up for eight years, Boston Scholar Athletes for four years, and Wentworth Institute of Technology for four years. She has been an adjunct professor at Cambridge College for 13 years.
Director, Bain Capital
Chris Schultz is a Principal at Churchill Asset Management having joined the firm in 2021. Prior to Churchill, Mr. Schultz held various roles at Bain Capital and State Street Global Advisors. Mr. Schultz earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in History from Holy Cross and his Master of Business Administration from Boston College. He joined the Apprentice Learning Board in 2019.
Paige Whalen is one of the Program Coordinators at Apprentice Learning. After graduating from North Carolina State University in 2019, Paige served as a City Year Americorps member at the Lila G. Frederick Middle School in Dorchester. During her service year, she also served as a Project Coordinator for the Civic Engagement team at City Year Boston. Throughout college, Paige worked at Overland Summers, an outdoor adventure company, leading bike tours for young people across the world
Elizabeth Walczak is an independent consultant in nonprofit management and philanthropy. She was formerly a Donor Services Officer and Program Officer in Education to Career at The Boston Foundation. She has also served as Director of Partnerships for Boston After School and Beyond, and has worked at New York University and as a graduate fellow for the Boston Public Schools. Ms. Walczak serves as a career coach/mentor for the Posse Foundation and is on the Advisory Board of the Noonan Scholars. She holds an MPA from New York University and a BA from Hamilton College. Ms. Walczak joined the Apprentice Learning Board in 2018.
Chief Program Officer, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
Elizabeth Santiago joined the board of Apprentice Learning because she believes in our mission. She had her very first paid, summer job at the age of 14 when she was in the 8th grade. That job taught her the value of work, gave her skills I still use and exposed her to career options. Ms. Santiago wants that for other middle-schoolers in the city of Boston. She is on the board of Apprentice Learning because she can further support Apprentice Learning achieve our goals to spark growth and ignite a sense of purpose as we open doors to success from summer jobs to high school, college, and eventual careers.
Letta Neely, Program Director, is responsible for guiding program delivery and expansion. Letta has extensive experience managing community-based programs for youth including supporting middle school students and teachers at the Mission Hill School for eight years. Additionally, she is an acclaimed local playwright and poet and has taught in community settings with both youth and adults. She is a parent of an Apprentice Learning alum and a resident of Dorchester.
Cinqué Dunham-Carson is the Program Manager of Student Development and Leadership Programming at Northeastern University’s John D. O’Bryant African American Institute. Along with supporting scholarship and mentoring programs, he leads workshops and projects for the Institute. He has many years of experience working at and volunteering for nonprofit organizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a certificate in nonprofit management from the Institute of Nonprofit Practice. Mr. Dunham-Carson joined the Apprentice Learning board during its founding year of 2012.
Sara Katz is Director of Program Operations for Apprentice Learning. She has taught at both the early childhood and middle school levels and has experience doing technical research for think tanks. Sara specializes in curriculum development, data analysis and interpretation, and family engagement strategy. Sara holds a B.A. in Education and Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University Graduate School of Education | Email
Sophie Samdperil grew up in Jamaica Plain and is excited to reconnect with her hometown through working with Apprentice Learning, its partner schools, and businesses in her role of Program Coordinator. Sophie recognizes the power of career exposure and training for young adults, and is fully embracing her role in leveling the playing field for opportunities for success. Sophie graduated Bates College in May 2017 with a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish, with a focus on socialized identity development and education. | Email
Hannah Wilson is the Director of External Affairs where she focuses on building partnerships with the private sector and expanding opportunities for students to participate in the economy of Boston. She has experience designing corporate social responsibility initiatives, employee and volunteer engagement, marketing, and public-private partnership . Hannah has a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing Communications from Simmons College and a M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) from Northwestern University. | Email
Helen Russell is the Founder and Executive Director of Apprentice Learning. Over the past 30 years, Russell has advocated for connecting students and schools to their communities using hands-on learning experiences. She spent over a decade in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) in external affairs, program development and fundraising at Boston Arts Academy and the Mission Hill School. Prior to working with BPS she was an instructor and program director for Thompson Island Outward Bound and is a senior trainer at Project Adventure. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Boston College and a Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. | Email
AVP, HR Manager & Senior Business Partner
Brenda Kirouac is the Human Resources Manager for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (FHLBank Boston), a role that primarily includes talent acquisition and management, workforce development, diversity and inclusion, in addition to various other responsibilities. Her professional experience includes financial & professional services, advertising, engineering, manufacturing and the staffing industries. Brenda’s passion for ensuring that students see a path to their future takes many forms, including leading a local Girl Scout Troop and involvement with a local Cub Scout Den, establishing employment partnerships with local organizations that serve underrepresented youth and professionals and creating career exploration opportunities at her place of employment. Brenda is an alumna of Cornell University with a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations and holds an MBA from Emmanuel College. Brenda enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband and two children, both Boston Public School students. She joined the Apprentice Learning Board in 2019.
Chief Development Officer, Brookview House
Mercedes Tompkins has twenty-five years of experience as a community activist, organizer and fundraiser. She has served as Chief Development Officer at Brookview House since 2008. In previous positions she has developed and maintained community partnerships and cultivated relationships with individual donors, public and private foundations. Prior to her work at Brookview, Ms. Tompkins was the Executive Director of the Dorchester Community Roundtable and Director of National Outreach for Oxfam America. She also spent ten years as the Executive Director of Casa Myrna Vasquez, a domestic violence sheltering program in the Boston area. Presently she serves on the board of directors of Boston Community Capital and the Northeastern University – Institutional Review Board. Ms. Tompkins joined the Apprentice Learning board in 2015.
Attorney, Litigation Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Mathilda McGee-Tubb is an attorney focusing on commercial litigation and arbitration, as well as education law. She has an active pro-bono practice helping non-citizens with immigration issues, survivors of sexual assault, and others. In 2016, Ms. McGee-Tubb received the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice Associate Pro Bono Award. She holds a JD degree from Boston College, an MA from Columbia University, and a BA from Oberlin College. Ms. McGee-Tubb joined the Apprentice Learning Board in 2016.
Head of Middle School, The Meadowbrook School of Weston
Justin McLean was named Head of Middle School at Meadowbrook School of Weston in 2016, and has been on faculty since 2007. During his tenure at Meadowbrook, Mr. McLean has served as a history teacher, a basketball coach, a sixth grade advisor, and as the Director of Multicultural Affairs. Mr. McLean has also served as chair of People of Color in Independent Schools of New England. In 2016, he was selected for the National Association of Independent Schools Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and a master’s degree from Columbia University. Mr. McLean joined the Apprentice Learning board in 2016.