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Who We Are
What We Do
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C/O Lino Sanchez
154 Centre Street
Dorchester, Ma. 02124
Thank you for helping provide the gift of a SAFE Education to our student-athletes!
Parent and Urban Achiever SAFE Schools Supporter
Debby graduated with honors from Williams College, and received her Masters of Education from Harvard University School of Education. Her professional background is in marketing communications. She was a vice president at an international marketing and public communications company focusing on corporate growth and development, and managed several of the agency’s largest accounts. In addition, she worked in the Office of Economic Development for Governor Michael Dukakis, as an assistant for Policy and Communications. After her first two children were born, Debby obtained a Masters of Education in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and focused on working with women balancing career and family.
In recent years, Debby has focused her efforts on her family and working with a few non-profit organizations, including the Newton Schools Foundation, a group which enhances and supports public education by providing private funding for innovative programs in the Newton public schools, and the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center, an organization which conducts programs educating and supporting caregivers in the art of compassionate care.
Debby, through her sons, has known Lino Sanchez for twenty years and is an ardent supporter of his mission to develop a high school for students from disenfranchised communities in the greater Boston area with career interests in sport.
Director, Global Communications, Michael Jordan Brand
John’s career began as a high school teacher in the United Kingdom. His passion for basketball brought him to the US 20 years ago, and ultimately put his life on a very different path. John’s appreciation for, experience of, and lessons learned through sport, positioned him to become a highly respected and effective leader at Ogilvy, one of the largest marketing and advertising companies in the world. John’s sustainability expertise and strategic thinking positioned him to help Ogilvy’s top clients shift their CSR narrative from “checking off the box” to a compelling story built on brand purpose, ultimately helping them demystify sustainability to make it brand and audience relevant.
John has been at Nike now for a little over two years, but on the Jordan team as Director of Global Communications for just a few weeks. He joined Nike from Ogilvy in San Francisco where he led the sustainability practice, OgilvyEarth. In his time so far at Nike, his three favorite projects have been the Flyleather Earth Day pack that he launched with Steven Harrington in 2019, the Space Hippie/Olympics launch in February, and the soon to be released, “Life of a Janoski” mini-doc that he worked on with the SB team.
President & Founder of TD Athletes Edge, Former Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Los Angeles Lakers
Dr. Tim DiFrancesco is the President & Founder of TD Athletes Edge. He graduated from Endicott College in 2003 with his B.S. in Exercise Science & Athletic Training. He went on to the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2006. Upon graduation, Tim spent 3 years working as a physical therapist in the outpatient sports medicine clinic setting.
From 2009-2011, Tim held the position of Head Athletic Trainer and Strength & Conditioning Coach with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA-Developmental League. In December of 2011, he was named the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. While traveling with the Lakers for over 6 seasons from 2011-2017, Tim built TD Athletes Edge. It all started as a series of online channels for top fitness and health guidance. After leaving the Lakers in 2017, he dedicated his full-time efforts to building up the physical training location of TD Athletes Edge with his team in Salem, MA.
Dr. Brown is a physician with the department of medicine and division of gastroenterology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He attended and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1994, having over 27 years of diverse experience, especially in Internal Medicine. He is affiliated with many hospitals including Cambridge Health Alliance. Dr. Alphonso Brown also cooperates with other doctors and physicians in medical groups including New Beginning Health Pc.
Dr. Brown is also the founder of the ICAN Scholars Program ten years ago in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a mentoring program for urban high school students who want to pursue careers in medicine. His high school curriculum focuses on teaching basic examination skills like performing clinical diagnosis, patient interviews, community-based health services research, medical ethics and the Hippocratic Oath.
Founder, UA SAFE Schools
Founder and Executive Director Urban Achievers, Dorchester, MA. Athletic Director Epiphany School, Dorchester, MA.
Lino Sanchez graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services with a focus on Community Youth Development and Leadership from Springfield College. He followed up his degree, graduating from The Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University’s Institute for Nonprofit Practice.
Mr. Sanchez has over 25 years of experience working with inner-city youth. His dedication derives from personal experience, which started in the same manner as many urban youth today, growing up in a world of limited options and narrow horizons. Lino’s consistent personal and professional development began with a goal: no child, simply by origin of birth, should miss the chance to live a healthy and enriching life. Young people in every urban neighborhood must be fully served, fully supported and fully empowered to achieve, with the power to see clearly and freely choose, what their future can be.
Co-founder RainCastle Communications, Founding Member Urban Achievers
Robin is co-founder of RainCastle Communications, a Boston-area creative agency delivering brand, web and marketing solutions. She is a founding member of Urban Achievers, whose mission is to provide after school programs for under-served children in Dorchester, MA. She also serves as a volunteer for Salem, MA based LEAP for Education, tutoring first generation high-school immigrants toward applying for college and scholarships. Robin is a member of the outreach committee of Framingham Force. In addition, she serves as a Board member on Newton Cultural Council.
A film major at Hampshire College, Robin started her career at CBS in New York City and worked as a television and film production manager in New York and Los Angeles.
Director of Equity and Inclusion at Fessenden School
Dr. Atif spent his last eight years at Phillips Exeter Academy. He began at Exeter as a teacher of mathematics, and this commitment has continued throughout his time there. For the past three years, his primary responsibilities focused on his role as the school’s Dean of Multicultural Affairs.
Dr. Atif holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Educational Mathematics from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Master of Arts in Applied Mathematics and a Doctorate in Mathematical Sciences from Delaware State University.
Perhaps most importantly, Dr. Atif is a student-focused educator who cares deeply for the well-being and growth of all students. He has demonstrated this as a teacher of mathematics as well as through his administrative leadership at Exeter.
Partner at McCarter & English, LLP
Erik Belt is a trial lawyer specializing in intellectual property disputes (patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.) and a partner at McCarter & English, LLP, in Boston. Erik tries and argues high stakes intellectual property cases in federal courts here in Massachusetts and around the country. Erik has held numerous leadership positions within the Boston legal community, including as the president of the Boston Patent Law Association (from 2015-2016) and as a current board member of the Alan D. Lourie IP Inn of Court. Erik graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1986 and cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1991, where he was an editor of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform.
Erik is the son of two public school teachers and has had a lifelong love of education. His dad, Bob Belt, was a high school math and science teacher, and then a guidance counselor, in the Boston public schools for 40 years, including in several inner-city schools (e.g., the “Jerry Burke” and Madison Park) during the tumult of the bussing era in the 1970s. From his dad, Erik learned that all students have the ability to succeed but that their environments may hold them back. Thus, providing encouragement and support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds is especially important so that they too can have a chance to succeed.
CEO AMI Inc. Medical
Andrew Bendheim – CEO AMI, Inc. medical device company. President of the Leon Lowenstein Foundation. Advisor to or board member of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Partnerships in Education and Resilience, the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center and the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership
Associate Dean at University Of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. LaVar Charleston is an expert on supports that student-athletes from disenfranchised communities need to access higher education and stay enrolled and succeed in college. Dr. Charleston, who played football as an undergraduate, also helped to develop Beyond the Game, a curriculum that helps student-athletes strongly identify with the academic side of their student experience and plan for careers outside professional sports.
While at UW–Madison, LaVar taught courses on leadership and intersecting identities for his home department, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA). He was also part of the team that helped launch Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), which promotes equitable environments for learning and working in higher education.
As former assistant vice chancellor of student diversity, engagement, and success at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, LaVar provided leadership to faculty, staff, and students in developing and implementing strategic initiatives that promote the School of Education and UW-Madison’s mission for diversity, equity, and inclusion. LaVar has recently been tapped to serve as the school’s first associate dean for diversity and inclusion.
Founder and Head of Epiphany School
Boston, the Nativity Schools Educational Network, Codman Academy Public Charter School, Esperanza Academy in Lawrence Massachusetts, Urban Achievers, Bridge Boston Public Charter school, and Boston scholars.
He serves on several boards including the Harvard College Overseers’ Visiting Committee for the Memorial Church, Harvard’s Open Gate Foundation, the Harvard Episcopal Chaplaincy, the Signet Society, as well as on the advisory board of Forward Movement. He is a judge for the Chaplain Children’s Prize and also a trustee of the Stephen Phillips Scholarship Fund, Last-Dollar Scholarship Program in Salem, Massachusetts.
In his vocation as an Episcopal Priest, he served the Parish of Saint Mary’s in Dorchester, Massachusetts and is affiliated as well with the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Director of Operations at UP Academy Oliver
Christopher Graham is in his fifth year as Director of Operations at UP Academy Oliver. During the 15-16 school year he was the Director of Operations in Residence at UP Academy Dorchester. Prior to his year in residence Mr. Graham served as a cohort leader and fifth grade math teacher at UP Academy Holland during its first year of turnaround.
Before joining the UP Education Network, he taught fifth grade math at Roxbury Preparatory Charter School for two years and worked at the Epiphany school where he taught 5th grade science and ran the athletics program for two years. Mr. Graham has always been passionate about urban education.
Managing Partner, Pine Hills LLC
Tony Green is not your typical developer by a long shot. As a third-generation Massachusetts builder, Tony Green is responsible for the award-winning, master-planned community The Pinehills in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Prior to The Pinehills, Green spent 17 years at The Green Company. During that period The Green Company was honored with more Builder’s Choice Awards than any builder in the country.
Mr. Green graduated from Harvard College and also received a Master’s in Planning from Harvard. He is on the Board of the Harvard Real Estate Academic Initiative, and past chairman of the Neighborhood Development Council at ULI, and former Executive Committee member at the National Association of Homebuilders. He has lectured at MIT, Harvard, Tufts, Duke and the EPA. He recently served on the state committee addressing forest conservation within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
NFL / Middle School head (Fessenden School For Boys)
As a former NFL defensive lineman, Sean Guthrie spent years menacing offensive linemen and many of the best quarterbacks in the league. His professional career extended between the New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, and Washington Redskins. As a former captain at Boston College, Guthrie, returned to the city of Boston focused on a new mission – to create positive change for young people through education.
Similar to the flow of his athletic career, Guthrie had to work his way up the roster, first as a math teacher in the Boston public schools, as head of the Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School in Mattapan, and now as Fessenden’s Middle School Head. Sean is an athlete of considerable acclaim and a two-time graduate of Boston College, earning both his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and his Master of Education.
Assistant Dean of Urban Outreach Initiatives and Professional Development at Boston College
Ashana has a B.A., MEd in Elementary Education, and C.A.E.S in Education Leadership from Boston College. Ms. Hurd is a Donovan alumnus, class of ’03. Ashana is aware of the transformational power of high-quality education and has spent over 16 years working as an educator and administrator in the Boston Public Schools.
Before returning to Boston College, Ashana worked as an elementary school teacher and Vice-Principal at the Jackson Mann K-8 school in Brighton, Ma. Ms. Hurd is passionate about urban public schools, especially in strengthening programming that supports talented educators in the K-12 field.
Mrs. Kumin has been teaching yoga for 20 years. She is actively involved in volunteering with non-profits such as The Africa yoga Project, The Second Step and Cradles to Crayons. Toby met Lino and Michelle through the Fessenden School and she loves to tell people that one of the most enriching experiences for her boys was participating in Lino’s basketball workshops and camps. From that experience, Toby knew that she wanted to be involved in Lino’s further endeavors to bring out the best in kids through sport.
Reverend Magee has over 30 years of professional experience as a senior executive in higher education and nonprofits focused on culture and justice, philanthropy, public policy, and theology. Reverend Magee is Distinguished Senior Fellow on Race, Religion and Poverty at the University of Birmingham (UK). He has served as the religious affairs advisor with the Obama for America and, afterwards, continued to serve as an advisor. He was the co-chair of the Massachusetts Council of Chaplains in State Institutions for Governor Deval Patrick. Equally as significant, he has served as pastor of two congregations, the last being The Berachah Church, in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Reverend Magee’s studies have taken him through the prestigious halls of Ohio University, the University of Pennsylvania, London School of Oriental and African Studies, Georgetown University, Grace International College, and Harvard Divinity School where he conferred the Doctorate of Theology Degree. His other coursework includes psychology and economics.
Reverend Magee is a life member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., having served on the national board of Chaplains, Guide Right Commission, the board of director Kappa Foundation and nominating committee chair for Boston (MA) Alumni Chapter.
New England Patriots Director of Football & Head Coach Administration
Boston Celtics NBA Champion/current Community Leader and Team Ambassador
Boston Celtics 2008 NBA Champion Leon Powe is a former professional basketball player, Drafted in 2006 by the Denver Nuggets, Powe grew up in Oakland CA, and played college basketball at Cal Berkeley. He played his first three years in the NBA with the Boston Celtics and won a championship with the team in 2008 From 2009 to 2011, Powe played for the Cavs. He also had a stint with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2011. After a stint in Puerto Rico, Powe announced his retirement in 2014 citing multiple injuries and his desire to become a businessman. Leon Powe is currently working for the Boston Celtics organization as a community leader and team ambassador.
College professor, High school STEAM Leader/Educator, Mentor
Dr. Carl Reid is a teacher of physics and also teaches a biotechnology class at the Burke high school in Boston. Prior to joining the Burke’s science team, he worked as a staff scientist in the biotechnology industry. Dr. Reid, was the head of the Learning Lab and Science Education for Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston, Massachusetts and has published several research articles in Peer reviewed journals and holds four U.S. Patents. He began his research career as an undergraduate at Brandeis University where he studied drosophila genetics and earned a BA in biochemistry.
From there he studied virology and RNA processing at Tufts University school of medicine where he earned a PhD in microbiology and molecular biology. He is currently an adjunct professor of microbiology at Roxbury Community College where he has taught for over 10 years. His passion is mentoring and teaching science to students from underrepresented populations in the hopes of inspiring them to pursue biomedical careers.
Founder of Epiphany Early Learning Center, Founder of Bridge Boston Charter School, Founding Teacher & Principal of the Epiphany School in Dorchester, Mass
Dr. Sanchez earned her B.A., M.Ed. and Ed.D. at Boston College. She began her career as a founding Math and Science teacher at Epiphany School in Dorchester, Massachusetts in1998 and within a few years of the schools founding became principal. In 2010, Dr. Sanchez completed her doctorate at Boston College in Educational Administration with a focus on strengthening the family and school partnership.
Dr. Sanchez spearheaded the opening of an Early Learning and Family Support Center to serve children and their families from prenatal until the age of 5. Dr. Sanchez has served as an adjunct professor at Boston College and also works with teaching fellows committed to a future in urban education earn their Masters’ Degree.
Social Justice Curriculum Creator & High School Teacher
Mr. Simon taught humanities at Epiphany School for 13 years, the last 4 years there as director of curriculum and instruction. His training is in history, religious studies, and history education.
He is currently a world history teacher at Columbia Heights Educational Campus, Bell Multicultural High School in Washington DC Public Schools.
President of Massachusetts General Hospital Since 2003
From 1999–2002, Dr. Slavin served as chairman and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, which included more than 1,700 physicians and employed nearly 1,000 of them. From 1997–1999, he served as president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Prior to that, he did his training in internal medicine at Mass General from 1984–1987 and was senior vice president and chief medical officer from 1994–1997.
Dr. Slavin graduated from Harvard College in 1979, Harvard Medical School in 1984 and Harvard Business School in 1990. He also teaches internal medicine and health care management at Harvard Medical School, where he is a professor of health care policy. Dr. Slavin lectures widely on topics including quality and utilization management, the economics of teaching hospitals and the state of physician practices.
Managing Partner at Great Hill Partners
Mr. Kumin has worked as an investment professional at Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm, since 2002 where he currently serves as a Managing Partner and is responsible for transaction origination, investment policy, fundraising, investor relations and the general management of the firm. His investment experience covers a broad range of industries, including consumer, internet, media, software, and business services.
Michael serves on a number of public and private company Boards of Directors. He has served on the board of directors of Wayfair, an ecommerce home goods company, since June 2011, and Yogaworks, a yoga studio, brand and teaching company, since July 2014. He also serves as the Chair of The RealReal’s Compensation, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a member of its Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee. Michael received his Bachelor of Arts with honors from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University.