Our Team

The Steppingstone Foundation
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    Olu Adeosun, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Olu joined Steppingstone in September, 2021. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Olu worked for an educational non profit, First Book, and recently at American Constitution Society in Washington, D.C. Olu obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Towson University.

    Olu AdeosunAdvancement Systems and Data Manager
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    Kristin received her BA in English from The College of the Holy Cross and her MA in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling from Lesley University. Prior to joining Steppingstone, she worked in a therapeutic program at Arlington High School.

    Kristin ArcangeliSenior Director of Social Emotional Learning
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    Isabel Banda joined the Middle School Success Team at Steppingstone in November 2021. Isabel received her BA in International and Global Studies, Film, and Sociology from Brandeis University in May 2021. In addition to her Community Coordinator role with the Steppingstone Foundation, she is also currently serving as a City Year Americorps Member at the English High School. She has previously worked as a mentor and educator with non-profit organizations like Breakthrough Collaborative, Momentum Education and Let's Get Ready. In her free time she enjoys watching documentaries, picnics at the park, and hanging out with friends and family.

    Isabel BandaCommunity Coordinator
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    Hi! I was born in the Dominican Republic, but raised in Boston. I received my BS in Psychology in May 2021 at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. I have been with Steppingstone since summer of 2020, where I started with the organization's first virtual summer as an intern. I continued interning through the Academic Year and now I am so excited to be an Advisor! I look forward to making connections with scholars and families, and partnering with them on their way to success!

    Claudette BautistaAcademy Advisor, (857) 201-0311
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    Hi! My name is Caroline Bittrich and I am the Social Emotional Learning Associate. I have had a life long passion for education, graduating from Providence College in 2017 with a B.A. in History and Business Certificate. After graduation I moved to Chicago to work in the public schools, and eventually found my way back to Boston where I worked in international education. My passion for student emotional support and growth pushed me to pursue my M.Ed in School Counseling at Providence College and graduated in 2021. I am so excited to be supporting Scholars and staff at Steppingstone!

    Caroline BittrichSocial Emotional Learning Associate
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    A Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Angela joined Steppingstone as a Counselor in 2004. She went on to become the Senior Director of Support Services and then VP of Programs. Committed to staff development, Angela pursued a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification in 2017. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Angela worked in the Canton Public Schools and for several nonprofits in Portland, Maine. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern Maine and a MSW from Boston College. Outside of work, Angela can be found planning outrageous theme parties, cooking like Martha Stewart, talking everyone’s ear off about her love of her home state of Maine, or cheering loud and proud at her children’s sporting events.

    Angela BouchardChief Talent Officer
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    Ashley Calise joined Steppingstone’s Advancement Team in 2021. With years of experience in nonprofit and educational settings, Ashley most recently served as Director of Marketing and Communications at Wellan Montessori School. In that role she coordinated a full rebrand and institutional name change, implemented community events and professional development focused on equity and belonging, and mentored students in middle school. Ashley holds a BA in English and Graphic Design from Stonehill College.

    Ashley CaliseDirector of Communications
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    Makeda received her B.A. in the History of Science, with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy from Harvard College in 2019. Prior to working for Steppingstone, Makeda was a scholar of the Foundation (Class of 2009!), and a volunteer and programming coordinator for The Phillips Brooks House Association, a student-lead nonprofit organization in Cambridge. Outside of work, Makeda is probably listening to music, and is the Special Projects Coordinator for Harvard’s HipHop Archive & Research Institute.

    Makeda DanielAlumni Relations Manager, (857) 201-0523
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    Karin has her MSW from Boston College and her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Karin was the Executive Director of Summerbridge Cambridge and led the training and technical assistance program at Horizons for Homeless Children. Outside of work, Karin enjoys traveling, sharing great meals with friends, and listening to live music.

    Karin ElliottExecutive Director, National Partnership for Educational Access
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    Kelly received her B.A. in English from Colby College and her M.A. in English at University College London. Kelly joined the Steppingstone staff as Director of Development in 1992. Prior to Steppingstone, she worked in the development office at Dana Hall School.

    Kelly GlewPresident
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    Tramel received his BA from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in English/Communications. Prior to joining Steppingstone, he served two years as an educator at a charter school through an AmeriCorps program in Bridgeport, CT. Outside of work, he is most likely writing, reading, watching old films, and enjoying time with friends.

    Tramel GriffithProgram Associate
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    Tewahedo joined the Steppingstone team in 2021. Prior to Steppingstone, Tewahedo worked as an ABA Behavioral Technician at Behavioral Health Works. Born and raised in Boston, Tewahedo graduated from Umass Amherst with a B.A in Sociology. Outside of work he is probably spending time with family and friends, or his dog.

    Tewahedo HaimanotMember Services Associate, National Partnership for Educational Access
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    Phil received his B.A. in Spanish and French along with a minor in Communication. Prior to joining Steppingstone, he was a Youth Development Counselor at the Boys and Girls Club of Plymouth dedicated to helping young people realize their full potential. Outside of work, you can find him running through the streets training for his next marathon.

    Phil HarrisDirector of Middle School Success, (857) 201-0514
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    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 Newport and Bristol Counties (RI) Southcoast Massachusetts and most recently Providence, RI. Ja’Nell’s goal is to be of service to those in the community who are most vulnerable and in need. Living by the motto “ If I can help somebody.”, she has worked with a number of populations including youth, college students, adults with disabilities and children on the Autism Spectrum. Ja’Nell is an accomplished dancer in both West African and Middle Eastern dance forms. For the past 12 years she has used this talent to help support victims of domestic violence by participating in a global “Shimmy Mob” event with dancers from around the world. In her free time she also enjoys reading, gardening, her pet snake and spending time with her 2 adult children and 4 grandchildren.

    Ja’Nell HenryProgram Director of the Academy
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    Audrey joined The Steppingstone Foundation in 2022 as the Director of Annual Giving & Events. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, she attended Boston College and graduated with a BA in History and a minor in Hispanic Studies. She comes to Steppingstone from The Park School, where she worked in the Development Office for 4.5 years. Before starting work at Park, she volunteered with the Steppingstone Advancement Office to assist with the annual Gala. When not working she coaches a Greater Boston Girls on the Run team, and loves to read, cook, and ski!

    Audrey JamesDirector of Annual Giving & Engagement
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    Elena received her BA in Sociology and Spanish from Bates College. Prior to joining Steppingstone’s Admission team, Elena served as the Family Center Coordinator at Family Life Education in Hartford, Connecticut, a nonprofit dedicated to providing comprehensive support, advocacy and leadership programs for first-generation, immigrant families. In high school and college, she worked for Steppingstone’s Hartford affiliate, Hartford Youth Scholars, as an intern and Executive Assistant to the Dean of Programs. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, drawing, going to folk concerts and trying new Boston restaurants.

    Elena JayDirector of Admission
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    Romina graduated with a Masters degree from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Social Work in 2021 with a certificate in Children, Youth and Families. Over the years, she has worked with various community organizations that serve children and families from predominantly Latinx backgrounds. Romina also has a passion for community organizing, social justice movements and sustainability. In her free time she enjoys hiking, listening to music and working on her next arts and crafts project. Romina is honored to be joining the Steppingstone Foundation in this new year!

    Romina KalmeijerSocial Emotional Learning Associate
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    Sage graduated from Marlboro College in 2019 with a degree in "Sociology: Education and Social Justice," after completing two undergraduate internships at Steppingstone in both Admissions and Advising. Coming into this position with experience in education, youth mentorship, and social work-related roles, Sage approaches youth work through a lens of supporting children in being critical- and independent-thinkers who feel confident in both their self-concept and ability to navigate the world around them. In xyr free time, you can find Sage reading, hiking, or enjoying a podcast.

    Sage KampitsisAcademy Advisor
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    Halle enthusiastically joined Steppingstone in June 2019 to embrace a dynamic equity & access support services role. Ms. Katz is a Brown University graduate who worked as a college admissions officer at Bentley University; her work with Steppingstone scholars is informed by her time spent with prospective college students as well as her experience teaching dance to teens. Halle values individualized learning and the opportunity to cultivate challenging yet warm spaces for growth.

    Halle KatzHigh School Success Advisor, (857) 201-2172
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    Caitlin joined The Steppingstone Foundation in 2019 as the Manager of Donor Relations. Prior to Steppingstone, Caitlin held positions at various Boston organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and in her spare time she likes to travel, read and experience new restaurants.

    Caitlin KenlyDirector of Leadership Giving & Engagement
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    Thai was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Oahu, Honolulu at the age of six. He is a recently graduated with his Masters in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2019. Besides being an advocate for higher education, Thai is a die-hard Lakers fan. He also loves spending time with his dog, Hero.

    Thai LuongCollege Success Advisor, (857) 201-0671
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    Sean graduated from U-Mass Boston in 2021 with a degree in Exercise and Health Science. Before that, Sean graduated from Boston Latin School in 2016. During undergrad, Sean started working at a non-profit in Dorchester called Viet-AID where he developed his passion for helping youths prepare academically for their future. Outside of work, Sean loves finding new restaurants to try with his friends, watching Boston sports, and reading any and all genres of books.

    Sean LyMiddle School Success Advisor, (857) 201-2107
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    Virginia earned her BS in Psychology and Criminal Justice at Salem State University in May 2020, where she graduated as a Commonwealth Honors Scholar. After graduation, Virginia joined the AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellowship and served at La Vida Scholars, a non-profit college access organization in Lynn, MA. Virginia is passionate about the social inequities within our current structures, education and healthcare policy, being intentional & creating spaces for healing and self-expression, and most importantly, working with youth. In her free time, she enjoys listening to 80s music, spending time with her dad and grandma, painting, and exploring new cities.

    Virginia MartinezCollege Success Advisor, (857) 201-2289
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    Since commencing from The Steppingstone Academy in 2011, Mary has continued to come back to the Steppingstone community and give back. She served as an Admissions Ambassador in high school along with other volunteer roles and then as an Advising Intern summer of 2019 and 2020. She then worked as the Community Coordinator at Steppingstone in between summers. Mary recently graduated from Lesley University with a BA in Psychology. She has developed a passion for working with children and families healing from trauma, after her time as an intern at The Boston Youth Sanctuary. Outside of work you can find her spending time with her loved ones, watching movies, or dreaming of places to travel.

    Mary MedranoMiddle School Success Advisor, (857) 201-0286
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    Melodis Mejia, born in the Dominican Republic. Melodis has a bachelor’s degree in social communication from Universidad Católica Santo Domingo. For more than 8 years she has worked in customer service and event coordinator in Banco Popular, Dominican Republic. Upon arrival in the United States, Melodis worked as a manager/event coordinator at Dona Habana restaurant and then as Assistant Manager/Purchasing Supervisor in Levy restaurants from Compass group. Melodis really likes helping others and working on organizing events. Outside of work, Melodis enjoys reading (especially Isabel Allende Novels), and is in love with the beach and enjoy hiking and taking photos with her family.

    Melodis MejiaAdministrative Coordinator
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    Kat began her time at Steppingstone as an Advisor to middle school Scholars. Before moving into the Vice President of Scholar Support Services role, she served as the Director of Admission and the Senior Director of Middle School Success. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Kat interned at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center's youth program, and at the Museum of Science conducting K-12 engineering education research. She first served Boston Public School students through Project Destiny ministries at the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church. Kat received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University. Outside of work, she participates in ballet classes, mentors college students at her church, and listens to BTS.

    Katarina NgVice President of Scholar Support Services
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    Thanh received his BA in English from The University of Massachusetts Boston. He is an alumni of John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. Prior to joining Steppingstone, he worked as the Youth Program Director at The Vietnamese-American Initiative for Development in Dorchester, MA. Outside of work, Thanh enjoys rooting for his Boston sports team, playing basketball, eating good food, watching movies, listening to K-pop and traveling with his family.

    Thanh NguyenDirector of High School Success, (857) 201-2308
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    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 management of innovation within ​the social sector. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Chris served as Academic Dean for the Trinity Boston Foundation's TEEP program, as well as band and orchestra director at the Boston Arts Academy. Chris received his B.M. in Music Education from the Berklee College of Music and M.S. Ed. in Education Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania.​ Chris sits on the Board of Directors of the Trinity Boston Foundation and is a member of the Advisory Team of Neverbore.​

    Christopher ParrisChief Program Officer
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    Luisa recently graduated with her MS in Learning Sciences & Technologies from WPI. She also received her BS in Psychological Science from WPI. Luisa was previously a 2009 scholar of the Foundation! Outside of work, she usually spends her time finding new restaurants to try or listening to true crime.

    Luisa PerezData & Evaluation Associate
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    Mary Lou graduated with a B.A, in Economics from Boston College and received a Masters in Public Policy from Brandeis University with an emphasis on monitoring and evaluation. Prior to her work at Steppingstone, she worked as a Research Assistant at Universidad de San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador and tutored Math, Economics, Spanish and Test Prep online. In her spare time, Mary Lou loves to travel, hike, cook, and tutor.

    Mary Lou PonsettoData and Evaluation Specialist
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    Lillian Marie joined the Steppingstone Admission team in September 2021. Since graduating from Lehigh University with a B.A. in Global Studies and Spanish, she has dipped a toe in several different fields including teaching, quality assurance, and even dog grooming! Before joining Steppingstone, she taught remote ESL to adult refugees with Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE). In her spare time, Lillian hosts events with Skip the Small Talk, helping strangers to make connections and practice vulnerability using methods grounded in psychology research. Her many hobbies include creating ASMR, cooking, playing board games, and pilates--all supported by her loving partner, stellar madre, and feisty cat, Creamsicle.

    Lillian SchrecengostAdmission Assistant
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    Claire graduated from Emmanuel College with a B.A in Political Science in 2018 and has since earned her graduate certification in Education Policy from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Claire was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, which she frequently visits. Outside of work she enjoys running, blogging, reading, and traveling.

    Claire SerranoAdmission Assistant
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    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 and Writing teacher prior to joining the Steppingstone staff full time. Most recently, Mary was the Library and Technology Coordinator at The Advent School in Beacon Hill.

    Mary SullivanSenior Director of Placement
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    Carrie earned a B.A. in American Studies from Dickinson College. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Carrie worked as the Career Developer in the employment and social services center of a Community Action Agency, Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc., in Norwalk, CT. She also completed a year of service with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps.

    Carrie TateDirector of Programs, National Partnership for Educational Access
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    Kerry graduated from Bentley College with a B.S. in Accountancy. Before joining Steppingstone, she worked at Lynn Community Health Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, and most recently at North Shore Community Health, Inc. as the Finance Director.

    Kerry TaverneseChief Financial & Administrative Officer
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    Miguel graduated from Bunker Hill Community College with a degree in Information Technology. He has over 25 years of experience in Technology and Customer Services. He worked previously at The Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Field Tech. and Help Desk Manager.

    Miguel UrenaSenior Director of IT & Administration
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    Hi! My name is Yamiles Urena, but I usually go by Yami. I am an Academy Advisor for Steppingstone scholars and families. I am Dominican, but New York born, and Boston raised. I graduated from MCLA in 2018 with a BA in Sociology and Child and Family Studies. I love traveling, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends very much! I am a very passionate Latina dedicated to giving back to my community by cultivating the opportunity for growth, learning, and success for youth of color.

    Yamiles UrenaAcademy Advisor, (857) 201-2046
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    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 Director of Teaching and Learning. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Jane taught 7th grade Language Arts as a Teach for America corps member in Philadelphia. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Boston College, an M.S. in Elementary Education from Saint Joseph's University, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Jane serves on the Board of Directors of Riverbend School in Natick, MA and she also enjoys reading, gardening, and traveling.

    Jane VentroneVice President of Academic Programs
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    Francesca joined Steppingstone in May 2022. Prior to Steppingstone, Francesca worked as a Family Engagement Coordinator and Site Director for a middle school-based literacy and tennis program, a Youth Services Specialist with Youth Options Unlimited (YOU) Boston and as an AmeriCorps member with YouthBuild USA. Since graduating from Cornell University in 2019, Francesca has been passionate about supporting impactful programming for young people in her new home of Boston. Outside of work, you can find Francesca cooking, baking, trying new restaurants, spending time at the beach, riding her bike or watching documentaries.

    Francesca ViazzoliAdvancement Associate
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    Hieu recently received his Master's degree in Education at Lesley University. Hieu comes to Steppingstone from teaching in Boston Public Schools and working in a non-profit in Dorchester called Viet-AID. He is passionate in working with youth and helping them navigate the education system through an equitable and social emotional lens. In his free time, Hieu likes to play basketball with his friends, go hiking, eat new food, and play video games.

    Hieu Vo-TranHigh School Success Advisor, (857) 201-2077
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    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 towards college, she can be found exploring a slew of interests, from gardening and carpentry to illustrating and writing. She loves the art of Beatrix Potter, the fables of ancient peoples, and making the time to cherish the people around her.

    Ivy WagnerTeaching & Learning Associate
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    Christina Watson joined the Steppingstone team in 2018. Prior to Steppingstone, Christina attended UMass Amherst. Outside of work, you might find Christina traveling to the beach, enjoying live music or reading.

    Christina WatsonHuman Resources Coordinator
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    Kate Wood joined Steppingstone's Advancement Team in 2007 and was promoted to the role of Executive Vice President of Advancement in June of 2016 to oversee both fundraising and communications for the organization. She began her career at Steppingstone as the Director of Individual Giving and later became the Vice President of Advancement. Prior to joining Steppingstone, Kate was Vice President of National Development at Jumpstart, an early childhood education nonprofit. She began her career in marketing at Fidelity Investments. Kate is a graduate of Union College.

    Kate WoodChief Advancement Officer
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    Annie earned her BS in elementary education from Boston University's School of Education. Despite receiving her initial teaching license, Annie knew she wanted to work with youth beyond the classroom setting. After graduating, she worked at a local non-profit organization coordinating and developing academic and enrichment programs for high school youth. She also worked at Boston University where she assisted undergraduate students in understanding the curriculum and academic policies, and assisted students in finding appropriate resources across campus. Outside of work, she enjoys playing with her dog (Milo), watching the Food Network, or planning for her next travel adventure.

    Annie WuSenior Director of College Success Services
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    Joanna is a Boston native with a BA in International Relations and East Asian Studies from Connecticut College. After graduation, she decided to explore her interests in teaching and went to China, where she taught English for several years at various educational institutes at the middle , high school and college level. Her experience in education led her to pursue a Masters in Teaching at the Beijing Normal University where she further developed her skills in teaching and working with young learners. Before joining Steppingstone, she worked at a local academic enrichment center as the program manager and curriculum developer for middle and high school youth. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, traveling and exploring different types of restaurants in Boston.

    Joanna YuDirector of Teaching & Learning