Steppingstone Alumni News - Spring 2017

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alumni news


WHAT’S NEW AT STEPPINGSTONE? Building Professional Connections In Fall 2016, Steppingstone launched its new Professional Connections program, which offers Scholars in college the opportunity to have oneon-one informational interviews with professionals in a career field of interest. Through this program, Scholars first attend a workshop to learn networking skills and the basics of informational interviewing. Scholars are then offered resume review and a mock interview with a Steppingstone staff member before finally connecting with a professional (who is often times a Steppingstone Alumnus!). Interested in serving as a Professional Connection? Contact Ashley Goliti-Chase at ABOVE: Steppingstone Scholar Destiny Polk ’08, a sophomore at Wesleyan University, recently connected with Wesleyan and Steppingstone Alumna Miranda Haymon ’05. They discussed arts, activism, and life at Wesleyan, and are looking forward to staying in touch throughout Destiny’s college career!

Boys’ University Research has shown that boys more often succeed in their educational pursuits when they have a support network of other males. In response to this, Steppingstone has launched Boys’ University, a group of young male Scholars who meet regularly with a Steppingstone Advisor to discuss topics such as self-identity, self-esteem, motivation, and accountability. Boys’ University aims to provide young male Scholars with a safe space to learn about themselves, feel more motivated and connected to Steppingstone, and to ultimately build a larger support network of boys to help and support each other on their path to college success.

Remembering Analisa Smith-Perez ’97 In November 2016, we shared the sad news that Steppingstone Alumna Analisa Smith-Perez ’97 passed away at the age of 30. As an attorney, Analisa dedicated her career to serving as an advocate for undocumented immigrant children and refugees, and she is remembered by many as a person of passion and generosity. As a tribute to Analisa and to her enduring impact on all those who knew her, fellow Steppingstone Alumna Rocio Palomo ’97 shared this message, “There are certain people in this world who radiate goodness, who are much kinder than you are on a good day, who live the type of life you keep saying you will lead in the future, who are so genuinely empathetic in your interactions that they make you feel instantly close, and those people are extremely rare. Analisa was one of those people.”

Alumni Notes Dr. Alicia Genisca ’93 began a pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital, which she will complete in 2018.

equity firm, Great Hill Partners, and I am planning my wedding, which will take place on July 1, 2017. I am also now serving as the president of the Fordham Alumni Chapter of Boston!” Sonia Lomba ’98 recently began a new job as the Development Coordinator at OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center in Boston, a non-profit organization that produces innovative and dynamic performing arts programs which motivate, challenge, and inspire youth to be the best they can be.

Eric Andrew ’94 (above) recently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and one year-old son. Eric also founded his own real estate technology company, OffrBox, an online residential investment marketplace that streamlines and automates the real estate transaction process. OffrBox just earned a spot in the prestigious Builtin-NYC 2017 Top-50 Startup Watchlist. Johane Alexis-Phanor ’96 (below) was married in July at her alma mater, Wellesley College.

Rochelle Ballin ’98 writes, “It’s been a crazy end of 2016/beginning of 2017 for me. I started a new job at the private

In June 2017, Agnes Gakpo ’03 will complete her graduate degree at Northeastern University with a master’s in Global Studies and International Relations, concentrating in International Economics and Consulting.

David Medina ’99 completed his master’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in May. He is currently working as a Global Security Analyst at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., and would love to connect with any Steppingstone Alumni who plan to visit the nation’s capital sometime soon!

Danielle Bynoe ’04 received her master’s in Public Health from Boston University in May. Now, Danielle works as a Research Data Analyst for Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine. Danielle writes, “I’m fortunate to say that I love my job. I also volunteer in Boston for Colgate University’s Office of Admissions and with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay!”

Samantha Layne ’00 recently moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, to accept a new pharmacist position at GenRx Pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy focused on dermatology products. Samantha is also engaged and enjoying planning her wedding for 2018!

Julia Cardoso ’04 received her undergraduate degree from Emmanuel College and is now pursuing a master’s in Social Work at Simmons College. Julia also interns at Ethos, conducting in-home counseling for seniors while also working part-time at the Department of Mental Health as a young adult consultant working on programs for transition age youth. Julia still finds time to serve on the Board for the National Alliance of Mental Illness, all while planning her June 2017 wedding!

Mariel Novas ’00 was accepted to the Educational Leadership doctoral program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which focuses on developing system-level leaders for high impact roles in American K-12 education. Max Clermont ’01 recently moved back to Chicago to serve as Chief of Staff & Associate Director of Community Health Engagement for the Trauma Director at the University of Chicago Medicine. Max’s work will be focused on curbing violence on the South Side of Chicago.

Cindy Nguy ’97 recently relocated from Seattle back to Silicon Valley where she is currently planning her wedding. Cindy writes, “Looking forward to connecting with any other Alumni in the San Francisco Bay area!”

Daraiha Greene ’02 will be moving to Los Angeles in April. Daraiha will continue to work with Google where she currently leads the multi-cultural strategy for the Computer Science Education in Media team, but she is excited to begin pursuing her acting career.

Ebele Anidi ’02 completed his master’s degree in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and recently began a new job in Washington, D.C., as a consultant at FSG, a mission-driven consulting firm for leaders in search of large-scale, lasting social impact. Nnaemeka “Emeka” Ekwelum ’02 is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and aspires to advance his study of black youth development via a joint doctoral degree in Africana Studies and Education.

Maia Raynor ’05 recently graduated cum laude from Tufts University in May 2016 with a degree in Peace and Justice Studies and Community Health. After graduation, she began working with City Year in Providence and she writes, “I am proud to serve eighth-grade students in math and English.” Janasha Holmes ’05 received her bachelor’s degree in Applied Science, Psychology, from Morgan State University. Janasha is now a Post-Bac research fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Pediatrics and Neonatology. Felix Liang ’06 received his undergraduate degree from Colby College in May 2016 and recently accepted his first job as the Manager of Operations at Teach for America.