The Associate Board is a group of young professionals in the Boston area who are dedicated to educational equity and to advancing Breakthrough’s mission. The Associate Board has three main goals: to raise awareness, to attract new supporters to Breakthrough, and to recruit volunteers. The AB achieves these goals by hosting events geared towards young professional engagement including trivia nights, an annual young professional’s Bash, and ongoing special events throughout the year to raise awareness about Breakthrough’s mission and successes! To learn more about the Associate Board and how you can be involved, contact Emma Samler, Director of Development and Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carina taught 8th grade literature as a Breakthrough San Francisco Teaching Fellow the summer of 2014. She then graduated with degrees in English and English Education from Boston University, and went on to work at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Public Schools of Brookline. Currently, she is studying transformational educational strategies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Elisabeth Symczak, Co-Chair
Elisabeth has a background in higher education and academic affairs and now works In Learning & Development at ZoomInfo. Originally from San Diego, she enjoys exploring the mountains and beaches in New England, skiing, playing tennis (poorly), and traveling as much as possible. She is passionate about education access and loves working with people. In addition to being on the Associate Board, she volunteers as a College Access Coach for Breakthrough.
Robert is an MBA student at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Before attending business school, he was a Research Associate at Cornerstone Research, an economic and financial consulting firm. Prior to joining the Associate Board, Robert also volunteered with Breakthrough Greater Boston as an Academic Mentor. Robert grew up in Johns Creek, Georgia, and he received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard College.
Carrie has had a circuitous career path through education, from teaching rural Greek students at an agricultural school to mentoring youth at a Boston charter school to spending the last nine years in college admissions and higher education administration. Working with students and furthering equity and access to opportunity has been the constant. Outside of work, Carrie can likely be found either in the kitchen — she loves tackling ambitious cooking projects and hosting dinner parties — or outdoors — she is an avid runner, hiker, cross-country skier whose happy place is the New Hampshire mountains.
Jackie is currently a Senior Data Analyst at edX. Prior to working there, she worked as an Analyst at BlackRock and Wayfair. Jackie grew up in the Greater Boston Area and attended Brown University, where she earned a B.A in Engineering and Economics. She has always been passionate about education and, while at Brown, tutored high school students in math in Providence. Jackie believes in the dual mission at BTGB and is very excited to be a part of the Associate Board.
Matt is a Massachusetts native currently working as a Senior Analyst at Wells Fargo Capital Finance. He has a passion for meeting his neighbors and improving public spaces. When he is not working he enjoys playing in weekend soccer leagues and getting away for hikes in the White Mountains.
Tino grew up in the Berkshires where he attended Wahconah RHS and played and coached soccer. He attended Western New England University, where he studied accounting. While at WNE he continued to coach youth soccer and worked as a tutor and teacher’s assistant. After graduation, he started a career in public accounting where he audits a variety of companies. He now lives in North Andover and continues to stay involved with education through teaching firm trainings, mentoring associates and by joining the Breakthrough Greater Boston Associates Board.
Catherine is the program lead for News Content Strategy at Google based in the Cambridge office. Before joining Google, she was a reporter for The Boston Globe. Catherine holds degrees from Boston College (B.A. English) and the University of Southern California (M.A. Journalism). Beyond journalism and Google, Catherine enjoys reading fiction, trying new takeout spots, and making frequent trips to her home state of Maine.
Crystal Chu, Co-Chair
Crystal was a Breakthrough Teaching Fellow with Summerbridge Hong Kong in the summer of 2017. After graduating from Emory University with a B.S. in Biology, Crystal joined the Teach for America Corps where she taught middle school science for two years in Dorchester. During this time, she also earned her Masters of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Boston University. Crystal joined the Associate Board in 2019 and is excited to continue supporting the work of Breakthrough.
Kevin leads the Corporate Sponsorship team for the Breakthrough Greater Boston Associate Board, with over two years of involvement in the organization. He works for GE Healthcare in a Region Business Manager role covering GE’s Computed Tomography equipment for New England, and resides in the Boston area. He graduated from Boston College in 2016. Kevin joined the Associate Board to contribute to educational access in the Boston area, with the hope that by playing a small part in the mission of Breakthrough, more students will gain access to educational tools which will enable their future success.
Meg is a mission-driven professional with a decade of experience in the education sector: higher education, international education, edtech/fintech, and teaching. She is passionate about educational access, equity, and development and is committed to opening pathways to education and careers for underserved and underrepresented communities via her current role as Director of Account Management for MentorWorks Education Capital. On a more personal note, Meg identifies as a lifelong learner whose most valuable educational experiences stem from cultural immersion and travel; she has traveled to 18 countries (and counting!).
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