Associate Board

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

Valerie Eisenson, Co-Chair

ELL Specialist at Excel Academy Charter SchoolValerie joined Breakthrough as a Teaching Fellow in Cambridge in the summer of 2014. She grew up in Wayland, MA, and attended Yale University, where she earned a B.A. in American Studies. While at Yale, Valerie taught health classes in the New Haven Public Schools and led hiking trips in the mountain ranges of New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. After graduating from Yale, Valerie continued teaching by joining the Teach For America Corps in the Greater Boston area, and received her Masters in Education from Boston University in 2017. After her two years with TFA, she continued and is currently teaching SEI Math in the newcomer program at Chelsea High School. After spending a summer with Breakthrough, she saw the incredible support and inspiration that the organization provides to its students. Valerie is excited to be continuing her involvement with Breakthrough through the Associate Board.

Mandy Cheung

Assistant General Council, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Bio coming soon!

Rony Cepeda

Bio to come!

Crystal Chu

Teacher, Neighborhood Charter School

Bio coming soon!

Catherine Cloutier

News Product Experience Lead, Google News

Bio coming soon!

Winston Tuggle, Co-Chair

HR Business Partner, Hubspot Throughout the first five years of his career, Winston worked in the education sector at both Milton Academy and Nativity Preparatory School. At Nativity, he was tasked with supporting the graduates from the school for low-income boys from Boston throughout high school, college, and beyond. He continues this passion for urban education by serving on the Associate Board at Breakthrough Greater Boston. He also continues to mentor students at Nativity and helps to organize a basketball tournament to support Year Up. Winston is currently an HR Business Partner at Hubspot, a leading marketing and sales software company, where he focuses on partnering with business units to align bjectives with people strategies. He graduated with a BA from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and an MBA from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.

Matthew Hootstein

Analyst, Wells Fargo Capital Finance

Bio coming soon!

Kevin Fritz

New England Region Business Manager, GE Healthcare

Bio coming soon!

Kathryn Janscy

Account Supervisor, Fidelity Investments

Bio coming soon!

Brynn Elcock

Bio coming soon!

Derek Whitney

Global Business Integration Project Manager at Brown Brothers Harriman Derek currently works as a Project Manager on the Global Business Integration Team at Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), a custodial bank and investment management firm based. Prior to moving to the Global Business Integration Team Derek worked at BBH as a Lead Business Analyst on technology projects, a Client Account Manager, and an accountant. Derek earned his B.A. in Economics and Finance from Assumption College in Worcester and is an MBA Candidate at Northeastern University here in Boston. Derek first got involved with Breakthrough when a friend associated with the organization invited him to the Breakthrough Gala in 2016. There Derek learned about the inspiring work that breakthrough does to benefit it’s students and teachers, alike, in the Students Teaching Students model. After the Gala, Derek joined Host Committee for the First Annual Breakthrough Bash, the inaugural instance of the Associate Board’s flagship event. After being a host at the event and attending another student centered event, Derek was a firm believer in the mission of Breakthrough, and their approach to development for students and teachers. In 2017, Derek joined the Associate Board and was a Co-Chair of the Host Committee for the Second Annual Breakthrough Bash.

Naike Romain

Bio coming soon!

Carrie Rosenblum

Bio coming soon!

Elisabeth Symczak

Assistant Director, Undergraduate Affairs at Boston University College of CommunicationBio coming soon!

Alex McDowell

Bio coming soon!


Alita Edelman-Brown

Customer Success Manager at mParticle

Jessye Smith
Senior Manager of R&D Business Operations at Biogen

Jon Wu
MBA Candidate at Harvard Business School

Kolleen Burbank
Director of Content at ClassForward

Michael O’Leary
Senior Associate at Bain Capital Double Impact

Michael Protasewich
Co-founder, COO at SubscriberVoice

Mike Burns
MBA Candidate at Northwestern University

Nora Frias
Director of Graduate Support at Nativity Preparatory School


Presceia Cooper
Director of Community Engagement at the Institute for Nonprofit Practice

Robbie Greenglass
Managing Director at Waterline Ventures

Ryan Sweeny
Motion Graphics Designer and Editor at Natixis Investment Managers

Sean Crowley
MBA Candidate at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

Sharon Kelleher 
Law Clerk at Connecticut Supreme Court

Tim McGee
Human Resources and Training Manager at The Briar Group

Will Chrysanthos
National Service Consultant