Our wonderful work is made possible by a dedicated team of talented year-round staff, supplemented by the invaluable contributions of annual service corps members and gifted volunteers.
Tim Crellin, Executive Director
The Rev. Timothy Crellin has been Vicar of St. Stephen’s Church in Boston since 1999, and is the founder of St. Stephen’s Youth Programs. Previously he was Associate Rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill. He graduated from Brown University and Harvard Divinity School.
Under Tim’s leadership, the B-SAFE summer academic enrichment program has expanded to serve more than 650 youth at locations in the South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Chelsea. More than 250 young people attend daily after school programs operated by St. Stephen’s Youth Programs and locations in the South End and Roxbury. St. Stephen’s is also one of the largest partners for the Mayor’s summer jobs program for teens.
Over the course of seventeen years, Tim and his staff have developed a unique partnership program with a network of more than fifty suburban churches and 1,000 volunteers who support the programs, serving as tutors and mentors. This network also supports a partnership with the Blackstone School, with volunteers assisting in every classroom and staffing the school library. Tim is also a founder of the B-PEACE Campaign, an anti-violence effort founded after the death of long-time member of the St. Stephen’s community.
Tim rides his bike to the South End every day from Jamaica Plain, where he lives with his wife, Jenny Sazama, the Executive Director of Youth on Board, and their son, Adam, a student at Boston Latin School. Tim is an avid runner, cyclist, reader, and Red Sox fan.
Liz Steinhauser, Senior Director of Youth Programs
The Reverend Liz Steinhauser joined St. Stephen's staff as the Director of Youth Programs in August 2003. She brings over 30 years of professional training and experience as a youth worker and community organizer to the position. As Lead Organizer of the Boston Youth Organizing Project, Liz developed the leadership of over 750 youth. Together, they won $1 million for additional textbooks in high school classrooms, new procedures for cleaner bathrooms in the schools, and longer hours of free public transportation for students. She also did labor organizing with the Service Employees International Union in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, building a union of school support workers and in Boston, Massachusetts mobilizing community support for janitors.
Trained by Dr. Marshall Ganz, as well as the Industrial Areas Foundation, Liz has taught community organizing to graduate students at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, undergraduates at Stonehill College, and high schoolers in various organizations throughout Massachusetts. Following the tragic shooting death of a St. Stephen’s teen in September 2012, Liz helped convene teens, young adults, and others to take leadership in the B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign, a diocese-wide effort to address the root causes of violence.
Liberation theology developed her commitment to social justice. Girl Scouts built her arts and crafts skills and her repertoire of goofy songs. She is a graduate of Colgate University and Harvard Divinity School and is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. She lives in Roslindale with her modern family, including her eleven-year-old son, Heschel, who is working on his fencing skills while studying to be an actor.
Vicky Ajene, Manager of Academic and Enrichment Programs
Vicky Ajene grew up in the arts, attending Boston Arts Academy for instrumental music and Lasell College to receive her B.A. in Fashion Design and Production. Over a span of 10 years Vicky had occupied many roles within St. Stephen's Youth including Counselor-in-Training, Teaching Specialist, Site Manager, Academic Administrator, before accepting the Manager of Academic and Enrichment Programs position. She believes that learning happens all the time and often through unexpected outlets. Her goals for program are to provide opportunities for youth to find their passions and to engage youth in learning through creativity and play outside of the classroom.
Cassandra Bernabel, Site Manager at St. Augustine and St. Martin
Cassandra, born and raised in Dorchester, graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology from Framingham State University. She has been a part of the St. Stephen’s Youth Programs since the age of 15, where she worked as a counselor in training. She has always loved working with children and is excited to continue working with the children at St. Augustine and St. Martin.
Kasey Boston, Director of Youth Development
Kasey initially joined the staff of St. Stephen's Youth Programs in the summer of 2013 as a Teen Staff Coordinator for B-SAFE. She has her masters in International Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Kasey grew up in Dunedin, Florida and moved to Boston for graduate school after living abroad in Liberia, West Africa. She is passionate about using education for positive social change and strives to increase the professional development of our teens and prepare them for college and their careers.
Ariel Branz, Lead Organizer of Parents, Development and Communications Assistant
Ariel began organizing parents at St. Stephen's in Fall 2015. She holds a degree from Tufts University in Community Health and International Relations. Ariel has organized in local and international settings ranging from a campaign for janitors' jobs at Tufts University to a water project in El Salvador. In her free time, Ariel enjoys hiking, baking bread, and biking around Boston.
John Braught, Director of Operations
John Braught comes to St. Stephen’s via the Society of St. John the Evangelist, a monastic community of the Episcopal Church in Cambridge, MA. Educated in philosophy at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, John brings a wide breadth of experience to St. Stephen’s. As Director of Operations, he fulfills a supportive role, and considers himself a “helper to the helpers”. In his spare time, John enjoys running, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends.
Jasmine Bruner, Literacy and Academic Program Coordinator
Jasmine recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. She is joining SSYP this year through the Jesuit Volunteer Corp. Jasmine is enthusiastic about empowering young people to develop their passions and be confident in who they are.
Jennie Bruno, JCIT Program Coordinator
Jennie is from Rochester, NY and joins St. Stephen's this year as part of the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship. She is working with 9th grade youth as coordinator for the JCIT Program. Jennie graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2016, after double-majoring in Psychology and English Literature. Since then she's been working with youth and families in a variety of settings. Jennie believes that supporting youth should be a priority for society because youth are our future!
Jen Cusack, Director of Leadership Giving
Before joining us in 2016, Jen was the Executive Director of Wondermore, a small literacy non-profit that brings children's book authors and illustrators into Boston Public School classrooms for visits and writing workshops. Jen has worked for 20+ years in youth-focused non-profits, including the American Youth Policy Forum and Jobs for the Future. She is a proud graduate of the Boston Public Schools, as well as Brown University. She is also a long-time church and school volunteer and knows how critical volunteers are to so many organizations, including St. Stephen's. As a parent of three sons with very different personalities and interests, she appreciates the wide range of programs and opportunities St. Stephen's offers to our young people as they pursue their own individual passions.
Emily DeMazza, Mentor Program Coordinator
Emily grew up in the Berkshires and graduated from Muhlenberg College in May 2018. She moved to Boston shortly after to start working with SSYP as a Lead Counselor with B-SAFE. Emily began her fellowship as the Highland Street AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring this past September. She is excited to work with young people and help cultivate positive youth-adult relationships through the mentoring program.
Jeremy Kazanjian-Amory, Senior Manager of College Access and Success
Jeremy graduated from Colorado College with a Degree in Political Science and Urban Studies in 2012. He came to St. Stephen's through the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship program, an AmeriCorps program where he served for two years. Jeremy was then hired on as the Sr. Manager for College Access & Success, where he is focused on supporting our high school students and alumni on their post high journeys. He brings a passion on working towards increasing access to higher education for low-income students, and is dedicated to helping support students in achieving their own college and career goals.
Bar Kolodny, Teen Organizing Program Coordinator
Bar grew up in the Chicago Public School system and moved to Massachusetts to study at Hampshire College four years ago. She spent most of her time there working with the UMass Alliance for Community Transformation’s Grassroots Community Organizing program. She is excited to be joining St. Stephen’s Youth Programs where she will be working at the intersections of education & organizing, and learning about the ways in which youth build power to address issues of inequity and violence in their communities.
Tracey Merrill, Director of Development
Tracey is thrilled to join the SSYP team and to collaborate with staff, families and friends on growing charitable support for SSYP. Tracey, originally from Vermont, now lives on the South Shore with her family. Working with mission-driven organizations has been the focus her career and she has held the positions of Chief Development Officer, Executive Director and Grant Writer. Tracey is a graduate of Middlebury College and holds a Master’s in Education from the University of Oxford. In the warm weather, you can find her on her paddle board and in the winter she will be chasing her kids, cautiously, down a ski mountain.
Sarah O'Connor, Senior Education Organizer
Sarah started working with SSYP in the fall of 2014 as a Jewish Organizing Initiative and Network (JOIN) fellow. Sarah works with young people to organize for issues that affect youth across the city of Boston, like funding for public education and teen jobs, and on local neighborhood anti-violence campaigns. Sarah believes that a city that works for the young people in the SSYP family is a city that works well for everyone.
Sandy Quispe, Site Manager at St. Stephen's
Sandy, born in Peru, has lived in Dorchester since the age of 5. She grew up in the Boston Public school system, graduating from Boston Arts Academy. She attained her bachelor's in psychology from University of Massachusetts Amherst. Working with children has always been one of her passions. She loves to see how children grow and develop from early childhood to adolescence.
Latasha Scott, YLC Program Coordinator
Latasha Scott is from upstate New York and currently lives in Roxbury, MA. She originally came to St. Stephens’s in the fall of 2017 as a lead counselor. This year she is the YLC Program Coordinator while serving as a Massachusetts Promise Fellow. She attended Dean College for sports medicine and is currently enrolled in Northeastern University as a health science major. Latasha likes to build relationships with the youth in a fresh way. She enjoys learning and teaching about social justice.
Betsy Walsh, Literacy Coordinator
Betsy earned a degree in Special Education from Vanderbilt and subsequently worked with preschoolers with special needs in the South Bronx. She moved to Boston where she studied counseling psychology and raised a family. Betsy chaired the Outreach Committee at Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester for twelve years, and led their partnership with St. Stephen's. She is also a member of SSYP's Advisory Board and the board of El Hogar Ministries.