Winter Alumni Newsletter

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Photo by Sam Moody

alumni news


Joanne Jacquet Araujo ’98 joins Steppingstone’s Board of Directors!

We are thrilled to announce that Joanne, an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County, was elected to the Steppingstone Board of Directors in November. Joanne advocates daily for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. The Board will benefit greatly from Joanne’s wise counsel, sage advice, and grounded perspective, as already evidenced by her role as the keynote speaker at the Steppingstone Gala on Nov. 1 which raised more than $1.5 million in support of Steppingstone Scholars. Alum Reggie Farina ’94 took time from his busy job as Criteo’s VP of Client Sales to act as emcee of the Gala! Joanne joins Alumnus Donavan Brown ’95 on the Board.

Steppingstone Alumni Coming (and Giving) back to TSF! In addition to Steppingstone Alumni Eric Andrew ’94, Ngozi Anidi ’98 and Anthony Mathieu ‘02 contributing as members of the Board of Ambassadors, there are three Alumni who recently joined the staff at Steppingstone’s office! Lisa Boyd-Physic ’06 was selected as Advancement Associate, while Archibaldo Lora ’08 is a Prep and Placement Advisor and Natalie Herbert ’07 became Steppingstone’s Admission Coordinator. This brings our Alumni count on staff to five with Mariela DeLeon ’04 and Haris Kuljancic (Hartford ’08) already on board. Steppingstone’s Board of Young Professionals, co-chaired by Megan Riley ’04, includes Kyle Layne-Allen ’03, Angie Isaza-Loaiza ’06, Diana Chaves ’05 and Dean Ebozue ’04. As Dean explains, “[W]e help Steppingstone in their mission in enriching the lives of Scholars through education. Mentoring and fundraising are definitely taking up the lion’s share of our time!”

Alumni Represent... In October, Steppingstone Alumni Sara Fuentes ’95, Laniesha Gray ’00, and Chinedu Anidi ’94 impressively represented Steppingstone at a reception in Chestnut Hill. Later that month, Tran Vu ’00 was featured as the keynote speaker at Steppingstone’s College Services Conference.

Extra, extra--- Alumni in the News!! Mariel Novas ’00, former TSF Board member, was named one of El Mundo Boston’s #latino30under30 honorees! Go Mariel! Shaina Gilbert ’00 was featured in The Bay State Banner for her work as founder of ETE Camp empowering youth in Haiti to reach their fullest potential. PLUS, the fantastic article was written by Karen Morales ’08, Digital Editor.

Alumni Highlights! In case you missed it on the TSF Alumni Facebook page….. Antonius Wiriadjaja ’95 started a new job at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum helping install “The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility.” Rochelle WilliamsBelizaire ’94 and husband Jonas welcomed their second son last July making them a family of four with big brother! Christian Barros ’01 married in September 2018 in Gloucester, MA. Courtney Clemons ’01 passed her certification exam and adds an alphabet after her name: BSN, RN, CPN… Jonathan Girma Bekele ’07 accepted an offer from Mullen Lowe Mediahub Global as an assistant media planner. Jennifer Charles ’95 became engaged in October. Stephanny Morales ’01 visited Machu Pichu in September! As Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition’s grant writer, Robyn Gibson ’00 secured a $150,000 grant to support the Healthy Mattapan Campaign.

Chimene Cooper ’06 shares “…I attended The Park School for 6th-8th grade after graduating from Steppingstone and then moved on to Milton Academy for high school, where I boarded. For undergrad, I attended Cornell University and graduated in 2017 with a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations and a minor in Law & Society. I am now in my first year of law school at Northeastern.” Tune in to catch Fedna Jacquet ’00 in the TV hit series, “New Amsterdam”, as well as on stage in NYC “Gloria: A Life”, a play narrating the story of Gloria Steinem and second-wave feminism. Miranda Haymon ’05 is an artist-in-residence at Roundabout Theater Company as their Artistic Development Associate. She is back in the Big Apple after spending the fall as a visiting theater professor at Dartmouth College, co-teaching a course on contemporary theater and directing their mainstage production of ECLIPSED. Big brother (and Brooklyn neighbor), Marcus Haymon ’95, currently works for a racial/social justice organization called Color Of Change. Marcus shares, “We actually have a super PAC which focuses on electing progressive candidates (senate, governor, district attorneys…)” Samantha Ray ’00 lives in Arizona, enjoying her position as Pharmacist Trainer and Ethics Officer at GenRx Pharmacy. “I also volunteer my time with Icing Smiles, an organization that donates cakes to children with terminal or debilitating illnesses.”

New Jobs….. Sofia Teixeira ’94 is back in Boston as John Hancock’s Head of U.S. Diversity & Inclusion. Jide Iruka ’98 is a Digital Strategist for IBM in RaleighDurham.

Tying the Knot and new family members! Hairat Agbaje ’98 got married on April 15, 2017 and had a baby May 25, 2018. Welcome Jaiyeola Babalola!

Ngozi Anidi ’98 joined the corporate legal department at McCormick & Company, Inc. as an Associate Counsel. She now lives in Maryland, but still spends time in D.C. so she’s always willing to connect with TSF Alumni in the area! In her first assignment as a U.S. diplomat, Alejandra Baez ’05 is stationed in Vancouver, Canada where she is helping adjudicate immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and supporting American citizens overseas. Alicia Genisca ’93 shares: “I am starting as a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Brown University/Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. In addition to staffing a very busy ER, I will be working to develop global health programing for the pediatric emergency fellowship….I got married on July 7 in Jamaica.” Sara Fuentes ’95 is back in Boston in her new role within the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health as the Area Director for Metro Boston. Deanna Cox ’00 relocated to Coral Springs, FL where she is the Assistant Director of College Guidance at the Saint Andrew’s School.

Reggie Farina ’94 married Raina Aronowitz on August 11 in Santa Barbara de Nexe, Portugal. Back to School: Temi Ashorobi ’08 graduated in May from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte (summa cum laude and ranked in the top five of her class!) She recently moved to Washington DC, where she is pursuing a Master of Social Work at Howard University. Priyokti Rana ’08 graduated in the spring from Lehigh University with a degree in engineering and she is now at BU pursuing a master’s degree. Bright Osajie ’05 enrolled at Boston University (Master of Public Health) this fall with a concentration in Healthcare Management. Vanessa Rodriguez ’06 relays, “I’m starting my second semester at Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, studying mental health counseling (master’s program). I’ll be getting my own patients as well which is pretty exciting. I also started working at Apple as a specialist.”