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Meet Our Team


Nia Jacobs

Executive Director

Nia Jacobs is an equity-focused leader and strategist with over 20 years of experience working in the education sector. A Boston native, Nia earned her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and her Masters in Education from Harvard University.  Most recently, Nia worked as the Director of Equity, Belonging, and Community Life at Charles River School, and prior to that role, she was the Academic Dean at Dana Hall School. She has served as a trustee for the Boston Renaissance Charter School and currently serves as a Site Council member for the Medfield Public School system. After a long career in schools, Nia is excited to expand her reach to a greater number of students and families and to support the bright futures of talented Brookline students.


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Rocky Cotard

Director of Elementary & Middle School Programs

Rocky Cotard spent the earlier part of his life in Haiti before moving to the United States at seven years old. In Haiti, education, although costly, was given a lot of importance granting some a lot more flexibility. In the U.S., Rocky learned that education did not have to be a mundane, rigorous routine, but rather could be a vehicle to follow his interests and passions. Realizing this, Rocky took on his academics and started his creative journey at Boston Arts Academy. Eventually, Rocky was accepted to Lesley University College of Art and Design with a full scholarship to major in Illustration. Graduating in 2018, Rocky started working for Lesley admissions, recruiting students that mirrored his own story. Working with such a resilient population gave Rocky a passion for inspiring young people. At Steps to Success, Rocky continues the work of creating pathways for young people to pursue their potential.



Tony Wells

College Success Initiative (CSI) Program Director

Tony Wells is the CSI Program Director. Tony earned his Bachelors of Science in Sociology and M.Ed. in Community Counseling from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. Most recently, Tony served as the Freshman Services and Academic Coach at Mount Ida College within the Learning Circle Program. Tony has worked with middle school through post-secondary students for more than 15 years. He has extensive experience working with first-generation and/or low-income students within the TRIO, Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound programs.



Meredith Baez

Assistant Director of Elementary & Middle School Programs

Meredith Baez Guzman was born and raised in Boston and earned her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education at UMass Boston. Prior to working at Steps Meredith had teaching experience for kindergarten and first grade here in Boston. She then moved into an Assistant Dean of Operations role where she handled both operations and dean assistance. Meredith will be working alongside Rocky as the Assistant Director of Elementary and Middle School Programs. Meredith is excited to continue her work with Steps to Success to ensure that students are on their path to success with the right support in place!


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Kaitlin Chin

College Success Initiative (CSI) Advisor

Kaitlin Chin grew up in southeastern Connecticut and earned her Bachelor of Arts in English, Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education, and Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut as a first-generation college student. Prior to working at Steps, she taught middle and high school English/Language Arts in Connecticut, Michigan, and Massachusetts. Kaitlin enjoys helping Steps college students navigate the challenges they face during a critical time in their lives



Kai Rosenfield

Family Engagement Coordinator


Kai Rosenfield was born and raised in Massachusetts, and lived in Washington, DC and Houston, Texas before moving back to the Boston area in 2016. They earned their Bachelor's degree in French, Spanish, and Justice & Peace Studies, and a graduate certificate in Aging & Applied Thanatology. Prior to joining the Steps team, they worked as an administrative professional providing tuition assistance for healthcare workers. They are passionate about access to safe and affordable housing, youth leadership, and liberatory education, and look forward to building community with Brookline parents and families.



Colin Yap

Development and Communications Associate

Colin Yap is a West Coast transplant, having spent his early life in the San Francisco Bay Area before making his home in the Northeast. He is immensely grateful for the communities and opportunities he has found in the Boston metro area and is excited to join the passionate, equity-oriented team at Steps. He earned a BS in Chemistry from Yale University and has experience working as a STEM educator in various settings, including at the Boston Museum of Science. He is excited to support and publicize the work Steps does to support the educational journey of Brookline students.

Interested in Joining Our Team? Check out our open positionS

Meet Our Board

Rachel Goodman, Chair
Julie Burkley, Vice Chair
Judy Katz, Treasurer
Lesly Suriel Guerrero*, Secretary

At-Large Community Members
Candy Altman
Emy Takinami*
Jason Harris
Judy Levenson
Steven Swanger

Ex Officio/Designated Members
Michael Alperin
Sophia Celeste Vos*

Linus J. Guillory, Jr., Ph.D.
Helen Charlupski

* = Steps Alum

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