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 Community Engagement
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, Associate Director 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.
Kasey Boston, Managing Director of Youth Programs
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.
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, College and Career 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.
Tyler Cavanagh, Development Associate
Tyler holds a bachelor's degree in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Westfield State University. With over 15 years of experience in youth work, including licensed camps and childcare, teen leadership programming, mentoring, and arts education, Tyler is excited to bring his experience to the development side of the table. He has a passion for building community and creating opportunities to celebrate diversity and inclusion in all ages but especially in young people. Tyler currently lives on the South Shore where he is an active performer in community theatre, choirs, and recitals.
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.
Meghan Desmond, Ambassador of Mentoring
Meghan holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. She is joining SSYP this year through the Americorps Mass Mentoring Program. Meghan is passionate about affirming young people of their endless potential.
Dani Fearon, Director of Social and Emotional Support
Dani Fearon joined St. Stephens staff as the Manager of Social and Emotional Support Programs in August 2018. Dani holds a BFA from MassArt and a master’s degree in mental health counseling and art therapy from Lesley University.
During her undergraduate studies she explored mixed media sculpture including jewelry design, handmade paper, ceramics, surface design on fabric, large metal fabrication, and fine art mediums. Dani considers herself a lifelong student with eclectic skills and interests. She is an artist, licensed massage therapist, lover of nature, dog enthusiast, ameteur yogi, and reiki master to name a few.
Her graduate studies largely focused on creative interventions for children and families with developmental trauma. Dani has worked in a variety of settings including transitional housing, dementia care, substance abuse recovery programs, family reunification, therapeutic schools, and various community spaces. In these spaces she uses art processes to connect with people, teach skills, and create positive change.
Since starting at SSYP, Dani has enrolled in a series of trainings on restorative justice, racial equity, and social and emotional learning. She is excited to continue her journey at St. Stephens and is dedicated to laughter and learning everyday!
Gabriel Fontes, Teen Organizing Program Coordinator
Gabriel graduated from Brandeis University ('19) with a BA in English and African & African-American Studies. He arrives at St. Stephen's through the Jewish Organizing Institute and Network (JOIN) Fellowship. Previously, Gabriel has interned with Fight for $15 in Atlanta, New York Communities for Change in Brooklyn, and Breakthrough Collaborative in New Orleans. Gabriel studied abroad at the University of Havana and continues to work with community education programs in the city. Gabriel is passionate about helping young people find their power through community organizing.
Jeremy Kazanjian-Amory, Director of College Partnerships and Program Development
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.
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.
Fiona Morrison, Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Fiona Morrison was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Fairfield University, having majored in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. This year, she is working at St. Stephen's as a part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Fiona is passionate about the power of education and is excited to be working with a focus on education equity this year.
Rafaela Polanco, Manager of Parent Mentor Program
Rafaela Polanco joined SSYP in 2015, starting as a parent leader and then as a staff person. She now leads SSYP's Parent Mentor Program at the Blackstone Elementary School, a program based on a model from Logan Square Neighborhood Association in Chicago and the only one like it in the Northeast. Rafa has a bachelor's degree in legal studies from the Universidad Tecnologica de Santiago and a master's degree in business law and economic development from the Pontifica Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra. She came to the United States from the Dominican Republic, first to Puerto Rico in 2009 and then to Boston in 2014. Rafa loves talking with people and celebrating all the different cultures we have in SSYP. She is the parent of a fourth grader at the Blackstone; he is the greatest gift God has ever given to her.
Sandy Quispe, Director of Elementary Programs
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 Programs 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.