Alumnae

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Assistant Vice President, State Street

Kristie Helms (Roslindale) is the Assistant Vice President at a Fortune 500 corporation and is dedicated to economic development at the neighborhood level. She has a track record combining her knowledge of the financial services industry with her community development experience, serving on her company's working groups for Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Sustainability, and Global Giving.

Natalie Higgins is a lifelong Leominster resident, Boston-educated attorney, and director of a non-profit organization, who is dedicated to service and advocacy.

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative

Diana Hwang (Brookline) is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative. Diana was formerly the Chief of Staff to Boston City Councilor-At Large John Connolly. Before that, she worked at the State House as the Executive Director of the Caucus of Women Legislators and as the Legislative Aide to late State Representative Debby Blumer (D-Framingham).  She currently serves on the Governor’s Asian-American Commission and on the External Advisory Board of the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy.

Deeqo Jibril, born and raised in Somalia, came to Boston, Massachusetts at the age of 12 as a refugee child.  Today, she is a 33 year old single mother of 4 young children, an American citizen and community organizer.  She is the founder of the Somali Community and Cultural Association (SCCA) in Boston, whose mission is to help Somali families navigate the American systems of education, housing, and health care. Her work with SCCA has helped break the taboo in Somali culture against women’s public leadership.  She is also the founder of African Mall in Boston; Ms.

Lucy received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Michigan, and her Masters in Education from Pace University.She has volunteered for programs such as New York Cares, ProPeru Volunteer Clean Burning Stoves Project, Lives of Urban & Children Youth, and The Detroit Project providing a myriad of services.Lucy tutored children and researched education models in Detroit, fed the homeless in New York, and helped build environmentally friendly homes in Peru.She has also worked as an intern, and an aide in many different offices.

Kathleen M. Kelly is serving her second term on the Cambridge School Committee. Ms. Kelly co-chairs the Budget Subcommittee with fellow member Richard Harding.  She chairs two subcommittees: Civic Unity, and Curriculum and Achievement.  Additionally, she serves on the District-wide Family Engagement Committee and the Citywide Gender Violence Committee.  

As a Cambridge Public School parent, she previously served on the King Open School Council and the King Open Extended Day Advisory committee.

State Director/Lobbyist, Mass. NOW

Christina Knowles is the State Director and Lobbyist for the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women. Before coming to Mass. NOW, Christina worked in the State House as a Legislative Aide for Representative Ruth Balser from Newton.  Prior to that, she worked on grants and program planning for Caribbean U-Turn, a Mattapan non-profit that works with at-risk youth. Christina has served as Vice President of Fundraising on the Boston NOW Board, and as Secretary and Press Director for the Norfolk Democratic Town Committee.

Marie LeClair is currently serving as the Women’s and Fair Practices Director for AFGE Local 2617 in Boston, MA. She has been one of many key partners in unionizing the Transportation Security Administration, of which the FLRA oversaw the official election of unionization.  On June 29, 2011, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) was voted in as the sole representative for approximately 44,000 Transportation Security Officers nationally.She has been a resident of Lynn, MA for 22 years.

Former Public School Teacher & Principal

Suzanne Lee (Boston) has worked in the Boston Public Schools for 35 years, first as a teacher and later as a principal. She led a high-profile turnaround at the Baldwin School in Brighton, improving a low-achieving and divided school into a nationwide model for school improvement. She went on to head the Josiah Quincy Elementary School for 10 years. During her tenure, the school was named one of the Best 100 Elementary Schools in Massachusetts.

Jennifer Lemmerman recently joined the National Brain Tumor Society as Manager of Field Advocacy. In this role, Jennifer works with patients, families, and other volunteers to build a grassroots base of support for public policy issues affecting the brain tumor community. Previously, Jennifer worked as a field coordinator at Community Catalyst, a national consumer health advocacy organization working to build consumer participation in the health care system.

Karen Lischinsky is currently a sociology professor at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, where she teaches a variety of courses from Race and Ethnicity to the Sociology of Sports.Three years ago, Karen began teaching courses on racism, sexism, homophobia and domestic violence to police officers through the Quinn bill, and is presently teaching a sociology class at Norfolk Prison through the Boston University Prison Program.Prior to becoming a sociology professor, Karen was a community organizer working with tenants for more affordable housing throughout Massachusetts.She has also served

Holyoke City Councilor

Rebecca Lisi is a native of Long Island, NY who came to the Pioneer Valley in 2002 to work for the citizens' lobby groupClean Water Action.As a community organizer and policy advocate, Rebecca worked hard every day to protect the environment and public health.   She played an important role in teaching citizens how to talk with their elected officials about the issues facing their communities and how to navigate the political process.In 2003, she and her husband, Damian Cote, bought their home at 25 Reservation Rd.

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