Meet Our Team
Jennifer Bermant O'Brien
Jennifer Bermant O’Brien is a cross-functional leader with a commitment to mission driven organizations. She has a broad background in non-profit management, strategic consulting, education, and board development. Jennifer is recognized by her peers and team members for her resilience, calm, and humor in the face of professional and personal challenges, as well as her commitment to excellence and integrity. Jennifer thrives in deadline-driven environments tackling complex issues, but she also knows how to slow down, listen to learn, and recognizes that the simple path is the often the best one. She is also dedicated to working collaboratively and growing with a team where diversity of thought is prioritized, and valuable insight comes from all levels. Jennifer enjoys working on high-level strategy, digging into the details, and pitching in where needed to bring a vision to reality.
Jennifer completed her MBA at Harvard Business School and later completed her M.Ed. through Endicott College and Northeast Montessori Institute. She recently completed a productive 6-month tenure as the interim executive director for the Northeast region of a national organization. In addition to serving on three different types of boards. Jennifer is active with Community Action Partners, the pro-bono consulting arm of the HBSAB.
Interim Executive 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.
CSI Program Director
Keshia Dauphin is the High School Pathways Manager and a Brookline native. She comes from a family of eight, being the youngest of six children. She currently resides in Boston, MA and holds a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Bridgewater State University, the first in her family to earn a graduate degree. Keshia is pleased to work for Steps to Success because she was once a Steps student from Brookline public housing. She knows how important it is for young people from housing to have programs and resources like Steps. Likewise, she is overjoyed to be able to now give back and help support these young people achieve their goals. One of Keshia’s favorite quotes is, “Don’t Go Through Life, Grow Through Life.” She wants to help the young people of Brookline grow into successful adults and reach their goals with her support and that of the Steps team.
High School Pathways Manager
Acting Director of 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.
College Success Initiative Advisor
Kaitlin 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. For six years, she taught middle and high school English/Language Arts in Connecticut, Michigan, and Massachusetts. Kaitlin is excited to help Steps to Success college students navigate the challenges they face during a critical time in their lives.
Development & Communications Associate
Colin 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.