Tenacity Community Newsletter Fall 2015
Meet the New CP and PSS Team Members
Adriana DeSouza recently graduated from the Boston College (BC) School of Social Work, where she earned her LCSW. Adriana completed her undergraduate training at Umass Boston. She brings a range of clinical and macro social work skills, as well as fluency in Portuguese. Adriana has served both as a Clinical Case Manager Intern at the North Shore Medical Center Union Hospital, as well as a School Adjustment Counselor Intern at Malden High School. Additionally, while a graduate student at BC, Adriana worked with doctoral students on the college’s Diversity Task Force.
Ashley Carey rounds out the BC Eagle trifecta having completed her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. Most recently, Ashley served as a School Based Clinician and has worked with students at the Margarita Muniz Academy, Snowden International School, and the Community Academy of Science and Health (C.A.S.H). While enrolled at BC, Ashley co-led a girl’s support group at the Jeremiah Burke High School. Ashley completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Irvine.
Jelani Townsell earned his master’s degree in Sports Management from the famed University of Connecticut, where he also worked as an Academic Advisor for the Men’s Basketball team. Jelani has experience with a wide student age range, as he has led two summer basketball camps at both Providence College and UConn. Most recently, Jelani served as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach as well as the Athletics Academic Liaison/Head Men’s & Women’s Cross Country Coach at Newbury College. Jelani completed his undergraduate education at Temple University.
Fall 2015 Post-Secondary Enrollment
Tenacity High School Seniors who graduated last spring have matriculated into an exciting array of colleges and post-secondary programs.
- Bryn Mawr College
- Bunker Hill Community College*
- Cornell University
- Eastern Nazarene College
- Fisher College
- Framingham State University*
- Johnson and Whales University
- Lasell College*
- Mass Bay Community College*
- Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
- Middlesex Community College
- Mt. Holyoke College*
- Newbury College
- Northeastern Foundation Year
- Pine Manor College
- Quincy College*
- Roxbury Community College
- The College of Holy Cross*
- U.S. Marine Corps
- University of Connecticut
- University of Massachusetts - Boston*
- Wentworth Institute of Technology
- Westfield State University
*more than one student enrolled
Middle School Academy Innovations
With our expanded partnership with Extended Learning Time (ELT) schools, Tenacity is now providing programming on Fridays at three of our six sites (the McCormack, the Umana, and the Irving). Even staff in our Out of School Time (OST) sites, which continue to operate Mondays through Thursdays, report to their partner school on Fridays in order to provide push in and other operational support to the school. Having a more consistent presence at schools on Fridays allows staff more opportunities to participate in critical family meetings, grade level meetings, and student support meetings, ultimately providing more support for students and families.
New Co-Teaching Model Piloted at Mario Umana Academy
At the Umana, Tenacity staff are partnering with the Umana Literacy department to provide an innovative co-teaching model that ensures the alignment between the Tenacity curriculum and the instructional priorities of the school. The Umana students’ English Language Arts teacher supports both the lesson planning and the implementation of the instruction through station facilitation and whole class behavior management.
Expanded professional development builds a strong foundation
Through a creative, “one-of-a-kind” relationship with Research for Better Teaching, an Acton, MA-based global leader in teacher training, all instructional staff and AmeriCorps Fellows have participated in 20+ hours of high quality professional development, the aim of which is to elevate the caliber of instruction, coaching, lesson planning, and cultural proficiency of all adults who work at our sites.
Middle School Academy Growth Brings New Faces
We are excited to welcome nine new full-time staff members to the Middle School Academy (MSA) team.
David Lang is the new Academic Coordinator at the Curley K-8 School. David comes to Tenacity from UP Academy Dorchester and has also held leadership positions in after school programming in Boston.
Natalia Rodriguez is the new Academic Coordinator at the Jackson|Mann K-8 School. Natalia is coming to Tenacity after working both at UP Academy Boston and most recently as the Family and Community Engagement Coordinator at the Dever Elementary School.
Debbie Dowlin is the new Site Director & Academic Coordinator at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School. Debbie comes to Tenacity from Wellstone Campaign Corps and having taught Spanish for several years for the School District of Philadelphia, spanning elementary through high school.
Brianna Burke rejoins Tenacity as the Tennis & Fitness Coordinator at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School. Brianna served as a Coach Across America Fellow for Tenacity at the McCormack Middle School last year.
Jordan Smith is the new Site Director at the Curley K-8 School. Jordan relocated to the Boston area from Texas, where she served as a middle school teacher, an instructional coach for middle school teachers, and a tennis coach for middle school students.
Taryn Souza rejoins Tenacity’s MSA program as the Academic Coordinator at the Umana. Taryn has held many roles at Tenacity, from AmeriCorps Fellow to Site Director to STRP Sector Leader. She recently completed a Master’s program in Spain and has also taught in South Korea.
Jake Vlahakis rejoins Team Umana as the Family Engagement Coordinator. He has served for the last two years as the AmeriCorps Academic Fellow followed by the AmeriCorps Family Engagement Fellow at the Umana. In the process he has developed many positive relationships with Umana students, families, and faculty.
Caitlin Cataldo rejoins Tenacity as the Tennis & Fitness Coordinator at the Umana after a year of service as the AmeriCorps Community Engagement Fellow at the McCormack Middle School. Caitlin graduated from Connecticut College, where she played Varsity Lacrosse and was student coordinator of the athletic department’s tutoring program.
Doug McNichol is the new Academic Coordinator at the Washington Irving Middle School. Doug joins Tenacity after working at the Cristo Rei School in Dorchester. He recently completed his Master’s Degree in Education from Boston College.
Serving Up Tennis and Reading to 5,000 Boston Youth
For 16 consecutive summers, Tenacity has offered its dynamic Summer Tennis & Reading Program (STRP) to help stem summer learning loss and build a love for tennis in kids throughout the city of Boston. This past summer, over 5,000 children and teenagers read books, honed literacy skills, learned the basics of tennis, and competed in friendly matches at 24 Boston sites. Having notched its seventh season, the STRP in Worcester continued to grow, serving 600 youth at four Worcester sites.
In addition to being a fun, free, and educational summer program for participants, the STRP in Boston also provides job skills and leadership development opportunities for over 40 Tenacity College Prep students and Pathway program alumni each year. This is often the first job many of these students have had and the experience helps them develop a sense of agency and personal accountability while fostering positive identities as mentors and leaders. In the end, they come away with deeper connections to their Tenacity peers and a strong sense of community.
Inaugural Tenacity A.C.E. Festival is a smashing success.
On September 26th, Tenacity’s first ever Annual Celebration of Everyone (A.C.E.) Festival was held at Madison Park in Roxbury. The purpose of the festival was to celebrate the entire Tenacity community, past and present.
Caitlin Cataldo, Tennis & Fitness Coordinator at Mario Umana Academy, helps lead a relay race that required concentration and balance. The festival offered a wide range of activities, games, and competitions.
An energetic festival participant displays his double dutch moves after being wowed by a jump rope demonstration performed by former Grand National Champion and Tenacity staff member Becca Stocker.
Sunny skies and rousing music were the perfect backdrop as Coach Anja from New Balance put Tenacity students, families, and staff through their paces during a high energy fitness demonstration.