During the last decade, economic stresses have created an increased demand for diversification and expansion of service delivery; and a decrease in opportunities for funding.
Outsourcing for the technical expertise needed to maintain and grow our systems of finance, supervision and consultation has helped us meet the challenge of maintaining cost effective quality services for our youth.
Bette Bohlke-O'Gara, LICSWExecutive Director, KeySteps Inc
Bette is the Executive Director and one of the founding members of KeySteps. She draws on her extensive experience in health and human service delivery, planning, human resource development, marketing, administration and fund raising to guide the strategic growth, development, financial management and evaluation of a comprehensive system of counseling and support services for Boston's expectant and parenting teens, newcomers to the country, special needs youth and others at risk of dropout.
During Bette's tenure, the agency has grown from a single site, single staff agency serving 50 youth with a graduation and retention rate of 56%, to an agency which service 400 – 500 youth each year with an annual graduation and retention rate of 78% - 86%.
Bette holds a Masters in Social Work from Boston University School of Social Work and a BA from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.
Nancy Jean-Baptiste, LCSW, MSWKeySteps Counselor, Boston International High School
Since 2012, Nancy has provided clinical services for teens. She is passionate about supporting young people to empower themselves and in order to do so, has worked as an in-home clinician and school-based clinician. As an intern at Association of Haitian Women in Boston, she provided advocacy and ongoing crisis intervention for victims of domestic violence. Most recently, as a social worker for the Department of Children and Families, Nancy continued her advocacy work for children and families.
Nancy holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from University of Massachusetts Boston and a Masters in Social Work from Simmons College School of Social Work.
Melpo Kalaitzidis, LMHC, M.Ed.KeySteps Counselor, Urban Science Academy, West Roxbury Academy
Melpo has extensive clinical experience in public and private settings.
Since 2005, she has provided continuity of care for many KeySteps youth who struggle with isolation, depression or academic failure due pregnancy, parenthood, the sudden death of a loved one, caring for a terminally ill family member, a need for housing and more. She uses relational cultural theory to help youth explore personal life circumstances that have led to lack of engagement in school and assists youth to re-connect with school, establish networks of support, and create high expectations for academic success resulting in youths' heightened ability to effect change in their lives. Additionally, she provides supervision for graduate interns placed at KeySteps.
Melpo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Psychology from Boston University and a Masters of Education in Counseling from Boston University.
Shakira Puello, LCSW, MSWKeySteps Counselor, Charlestown High School
Shakira's passion is providing support for youth in need of guidance to resolve barriers that impede their ability to succeed in school, connect with peers and engage with family members. Since 2011, she has provided clinical and therapeutic services to help youth build positive relations with peers, educators, service providers and family members. As an intern, therapeutic mentor and in home therapist at Children's Friend and Family Services, she plied her clinical skills to help youth build confidence in their ability to relate to one another and plan for the future. Most recently in Chelsea, Massachusetts at the Department of Children and Family Services, she's conducted outreach, assessed family's needs, developed treatment plans and provided clinical case management to help families take decisive steps to resolve crisis and build strong networks of support to help navigate future challenges.
Shakira is a graduate of Salem High School in Salem, MA and holds a Bachelor's in Social Work and Masters in Social Work from Salem State University.
Michael Harvey, PhDKeySteps Clinical Consultant
Dr. Harvey has provided clinical consultation and guidance for KeySteps staff for over twenty-five years. He has helped staff create and maintain engaging school-based wraparound programming for Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth, newcomers to the country, and others with special needs enrolled in Boston Public Schools. He is internationally known for his work on trauma informed care and has conducted research and provided training at local, national and international conferences. His publications include over 40 articles and four books about deaf and hearing-impaired persons. Dr. Harvey has a private practice in Framingham MA.
Hugo Kamya, Instructor, LICSW, PhDKeySteps Clinical Consultant, Simmons College School of Social Work
Dr. Kamya provides consultation and guidance for our KeySteps staff at the Boston International High School/ Newcomers Academy. His scholarly and practice interests include caring across communities; the psychological impact of war; children living in families with HIV/AIDS; developing culturally competent systems of care for immigrants and refugees; interracial relations and spirituality in therapy. He has conducted research, written numerous publications and presented at local, national and international conferences and universities. Dr. Kamya is a full time faculty member at Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston and has a private practice in Arlington, MA.
Jessica Dzyak Morrison, LMHC, M.Ed.KeySteps Counselor, Urban Science Academy
Jessica joined KeySteps in 2017 to provide social and emotional support to students who are struggling with homelessness, teen pregnancy, poor attendance and mental health concerns at Urban Science Academy. She works with students, families, school staff and community providers to help youth resolve issues that are holding them back from academic success and post-secondary plans. She has extensive clinical experience in a variety of educational settings including small behavioral schools and large urban and suburban schools.
Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Certificate in Service Leadership from Loyola University Maryland and a Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College. Jessica also holds licenses as a School Adjustment Counselor and a Guidance Counselor
Denise Hebb, CPAKeySteps Accountant
Ms. Hebb's firm, Hebb & Co, LLC, has provided bookkeeping and accounting services for KeySteps for over twenty years. During her career, she has provided corporate and public accounting for hundreds of firms throughout the country and while doing so has held CFO, Treasurer and Controller positions - and most recently - was senior manager of a local CPA firm. As a Certified Fraud Examiner, Ms. Hebb has expertise in the area of fraud and helps small businesses assess control risks, and create, use and monitor the effectiveness of internal controls. She currently oversees audits of small businesses, local governments, churches, non-profit agencies, and entities subject to HUD regulation. Ms. Hebb specializes in tax preparation, planning, and problem resolution, and has significant experience in preparing multi-state tax returns.
Elena BerubeKeySteps Payroll Clerk, Payroll Specialist, PayChoice
KeySteps has outsourced for payroll services for over 30 years. PayChoice, its vendor of choice for over five years, provides comprehensive payroll services including payroll processing, payroll tax administration, and direct deposit.