Steppingstone Alumni News - Fall 2015

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Alumni Visit Milton Academy On August 12, Steppingstone held its third annual Alumni Visit Day at Milton Academy. Megumi Milla ’06, Ngoc-Tran Vu ’00, Danae Fahie ’00, Danielle Le Hals ’97, Lamarr Rollins ’99, and Jose Vega ’95 ate breakfast with young Scholars before touring the summer programs. The Alumni all agreed that they enjoyed having the opportunity to chat with the Scholars, sit in on classes (including a science class presentation), and reflect about their time with Steppingstone.

alumni news

FALL 2015

Alumni Celebrate 25 Years of Steppingstone Beyond academic preparation, one of the cornerstones of the Steppingstone experience is creating relationships - and no one knows that better than Alumni. When you return to visit or e-mail us updates on your lives, you often tell us that you met your best friends through the program and have kept in touch for years after. What better way, then, to commemorate Steppingstone’s 25th Anniversary than by coming together with other Alumni to reminisce and celebrate the Steppingstone community? Thanks to you, this year’s reunion was a smashing success. In addition to the bonds within the Steppingstone family, we also love hearing about the relationships Steppingstone Alumni create within their larger communities. Because this year marked Steppingstone’s 25th anniversary, reunion was a particularly poignant time to reflect upon the ways in which you and your fellow Alumni have positively impacted the world. Megumi Milla ’06, an Alumni Relations summer intern at Steppingstone, spoke to the opportunity the celebration provided to look back on the past and prepare for the future: “Anniversaries are not only a great time for reflection, but also a time to think about the future. I know that Steppingstone will continue helping hardworking Scholars just like us for years. We will continue to deeply change school communities in Boston and college campuses around the country by making them more diverse and inclusive. Your achievements will be seen as examples for both current and future Scholars.” Megumi is a graduate of the Brimmer and May School and a senior at Bates College. She has volunteered at the Lewiston Housing Authority, served as a mentor for elementary school students, and created an English tutoring program for Latino families that live on remote farms. She is also the public relations officer for the Bates Latinos Unidos Club. Thank you to Megumi and to all the other Scholars and Alumni who continue to make a difference in your communities and stay involved with Steppingstone!


Look inside for photos from Reunion!

Need a mentor? Please reach out to Kate Lucey ( if you are interested in being paired with a professional mentor, or if you would like to volunteer to mentor a College Scholar or Alumnus/a who is just starting their career.

One Appleton Street, 4th Floor Boston, MA 02116

You know better than anyone that Steppingstone goes beyond academic preparation to give Scholars the resources to succeed in college and beyond. On August 12, Scholars had the opportunity to meet with a panel of distinguished Alumni working in three distinct career fields. The Alumni answered questions and gave Scholars advice about how to pursue their career and academic goals. This year’s panelists were: •

Ngoc Tran Vu ’00, a Project Coordinator at WGBH who graduated from The Winsor School and Brown University before obtaining her master’s in politics from New York University. Jose Vega ’95, a Manufacturing Supervisor at Biogen, who spoke about the process by which a leading pharmaceutical company develops and manufactures new drugs. Joanne Jacquet Araujo ’98, the Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney, who graduated from Bowdoin College and Suffolk University Law School.

Events like these are vital for Scholars, who look to Alumni as role models. Thank you to those who participated!

Where Are They Now? Jennifer Tran Ngo ’07 Jennifer Tran Ngo commenced from The Steppingstone Academy in 2007. She then attended Noble and Greenough School and Barnard College, from which she graduated in 2015 with a degree in economics. She is now an Associate Planner at Ralph Lauren. Tell us about your career path. I chose to attend a liberal arts college because I wanted to have a foundation in a field that that was applicable to multiple industries. Since I didn’t attend a fashion school, during my college career I interned at five fashion companies, including Prada and Ralph Lauren. It was very difficult to balance academics and my internships, but if Steppingstone taught me anything it was the importance of both time management and determination. Where are you currently working? After completing a summer internship at Ralph Lauren, I was given a full-time offer for an Associate Planner role. Most people think the fashion industry is only about designing, but it is also made up of other fields such as business, marketing, and technology. I analyze the sales of our products and use that information to advise the merchandising and design teams what to design for the following year. Could you share your favorite Steppingstone memory? Walking across the stage at my Commencement at Kresge Auditorium! After all of the late nights, homework assignments, and study halls, I felt incredibly accomplished. Finishing both summers and an academic year with my best friends was rewarding - we still keep in touch! What are your future plans? I hope to stay with Ralph Lauren for the foreseeable future. At Ralph Lauren, a lot of employees are “lifers,” people who have been at the company for decades. I too aspire to be a “lifer.”

Thank You! Do you remember how much you loved that blue L.L. Bean backpack? Or the amazing books you read? Your gift has the power to provide current Scholars with the same resources and opportunities you had. A donation of $5.00 covers the cost of a book and $30.00 covers the cost of a backpack for a current Scholar.

Alumni Reunion 2015 This year’s reunion was another success! More than 35 Alumni joined us on July 30 at Central Bistro for a great night of reuniting with classmates, perusing old yearbooks, and reminiscing about their Steppingstone days. The raffle, which raised $700 for Steppingstone’s programs, was a highlight of the night. Lucky winner Lamarr Rollins ’99 went home with four secondrow Red Sox tickets and a one-hour massage! Thanks to everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to attend. We look forward to seeing you next year!

We are extremely grateful to the following Alumni who have donated to Steppingstone this year.* Every dollar is valuable, and no gift is too small. Visit www.tsf. org to make your gift today! *as of 10/30

Kevon Boatswain ’91 Natasha Velickovic ’91 Kevin Tran ’94 Rochelle Williams-Belizaire ’94 Donavan Brown ’95 Jean-Pierre Jacquet ’95 Jamilah Ryan ’95 Yvonne Swaim ’95 José Vega ’95 Diane N. Adjetey-Blakes ’96 Johane Alexis ’96 Joy Kogut ’96 Cindy Nguy ’97 Mary-Margaret Oppus ’97 Emely Orellana ’97 Analisa Smith ’97 Rhea Villamin ’97 Rochelle Ballin ’98 Lamarr Rollins ’99 Robyn E. Gibson ’00 Shaina Gilbert ’00 Mariel Novas ’00 Natanaelle Orisma ’00 Tran Vu ’00 Max Clermont ’01 Lucas Tamayo ’01 Nicole Jennings ’02 Phi Truong ’02 Nathaly Figueroa ’03 Roudna Joseph ’03 Thomas Tsui ’03 Danielle Bynoe ’04 Emmie Nguyen ’04 Chris Pellegrino ’04 Kahdeem Ralph ’04 Aylin Feliz ’07 Maya Saunders ’07

Nicole Jennings ‘02 and Ngoc-Tran Vu ‘00

Emely Orellana de Bautista ‘97, Rochelle Ballin ’98, Lamarr Rollins ‘99, and Ivan DeJesus ‘92

Ashley Belizaire ‘05, Kahdeem Ralph ‘05, and Shawnna Thomas ‘05

Anthony Mathieu ‘02 and Max Clermont ‘01

Photos by ​Sam Moody

Alumni Panel: Showcasing Careers in Arts, Law, and Science

Jose Vega ‘95 and Robyn Gibson ‘00

Former teacher Mike Lester and Phi Truong ‘03

Laniesha Gray ‘00

Kelly Glew, President, and Yully Cha, Former Staff

See more pictures from Reunion on our Alumni Facebook page at!

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