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WHO
WE ARE

OUR TEAM.

Quality work requires quality individuals, but exceptional work demands exceptional individuals. We employ a committed in-house team to oversee all programs.  Each program is staffed by trained experts that utilize best practices.

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Bob Bolduc

Trustee

I am a lifelong resident of greater Springfield, MA. I graduated from Notre Dame and Purdue, then served in the United States Army in Vietnam before returning home to build the Pride chain.

While at Notre Dame, I volunteered in an underserved community in Chicago and witnessed youth and families who wanted to improve their lives but were stuck in a cycle beyond their control. I later saw the same in Vietnam. Then for decades while running the Pride chain I saw the same struggles in our hometown.

 

Throughout my career I was a business entrepreneur, but now I’m a passionate social entrepreneur. My new team and I are using entrepreneurial thinking, innovation, and sound business techniques to create programs to help youth & families. Our approach is to utilize education, inspiration, counseling, and a holistic approach.

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Mechilia (Chile) Salazar

Co-Director

While my career started in the for-profit sales/marketing sector, for the better part of the last 2 decades, I have dedicated my work to giving children, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances, a chance at creating bright futures. My roles have included leading, building and helping to scale nationally, several nonprofit organizations, most recently as the President/CEO of the Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys & Girls Club.

 

I believe in what IS possible, especially when it comes to our young people, strengthening families and communities. Here at HYF, we not only believe, but we also find ways to make what others may think is impossible, possible. 

 

Fun Facts:  I love being a basketball mom to my 10-year-old son and two Pomeranians. My first job was picking tobacco on a farm earning $3.25 an hour. 

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Alison Schoen

Co-Director

I have a background in education, with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in Higher Education Administration. I have worked at Bay Path University and Smith College in a number of leadership roles that has allowed me to see the whole student experience. 

 

Meeting the families and children we are serving has truly been amazing. Joining forces with other organizations has helped to open my eyes and see the good in our community. I am excited to make powerful and authentic changes in the lives of the people that we serve.

 

Fun Facts: I enjoy playing golf, skiing and doing pottery, and love Italian Renaissance Art. As a teen I had jobs as a pottery instructor, ice cream maker, and a train conductor!

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Krystle Bernier

Grants Manager

I grew up in Western Massachusetts and have maintained deep roots in my home community. I have over 10 years of experience in fund development and communications, assisting nonprofits to expand their impact while ensuring the highest standards of excellence and quality services. I am also a licensed attorney and was previously the Director of the Hampden County Legal Clinic where I advised individuals unable to afford a lawyer in housing, family, and other matters of great personal importance.

I come from an entrepreneurial family and I strongly believe in the power of innovation and how necessary it is in the nonprofit world to bridge gaps in services, build stronger communities, and help youth and families find sustainability and thrive.

 

Fun Facts: In high school, I worked as a costume character at Six Flags, including Sylvester the Cat and Scrappy Doo. I’m still involved in local community theater in western MA and northern CT.

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Alishia Sharpe

Futures Program Director

My metric for success is measured by my ability to have an impact on what is greater than myself. I’m dedicated to creating change in the underrepresented communities I serve.

 

For the last eight years, I’ve managed various K-12 programs and have had the pleasure of leading educational teams throughout New York City. It is truly an honor to now be doing so in Springfield, Massachusetts, as I am now a permanent resident of the area. I hold a Master of Social Work from The University of Connecticut and am certified in Program Management. 

 

I take pride in having positively impacted 1,000+ students and plan to increase that number daily. I’m excited to build relationships with the families of Springfield and am eager to invest in the lives of the youth here. 

 

Fun Facts: I write poetry and make music in my spare time. I also love to swim, as well as experiment in web development and design!

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Cyndi Wagner

Career Development Manager

I'm a business leader with a passion for progress and a strong background in business management. For 12 years, I've navigated the dynamic world of convenience stores, expanding company reach across the country to over 1500 locations. But while numbers and profits are important, it's the human connection that truly fuels my purpose. Working with youth and families has always been my heart's compass. I've served on the boards of The Therapeutic Equestrian Center and Holyoke Merry Go Round, witnessing firsthand the transformative power of community. This passion extends to my close work with program directors at CHD and MAK, organizations that provide opportunities to foster children. My expertise in relationship building, program expansion, and community engagement helps us make a real difference. I'm confident, collaborative, and driven by a deep belief in the power of shared success.​

Fun Facts: Beyond the boardroom, you'll find me in Russell, cheering on my two amazing daughters, husband, and our Bernese Mountain dog, Ryder. I love exploring my creative side through floral design and interior projects. My life is a tapestry woven with family, community, and a constant thirst for growth.

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Nicole Rondeau

Controller

My professional career has spanned over three decades. I have a background in accounting for non-profits, manufacturing, and banking.  I am passionate about making a difference in the community. I have an associates degree from Holyoke Community College and a Bachelor's degree from Western New England University. 

My role at HYF expands in many ways from finances to budgeting and everything in between. 

Fun Facts: I used to play ice hockey. I also enjoy playing golf, cooking, reading and traveling. 

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Crystal (Cris) Cappas

Futures Counselor

From Family and Community Analyst to Futures counselor, my journey has been fueled by a passion for empowering individuals and navigating change. I leverage my deep understanding of social dynamics and operational expertise to guide young adults in envisioning their future and crafting actionable plans to get there. I bring 10 years of experience in youth development, curriculum development, and community outreach to this role. I’m excited to create change and lasting impact in the city of Springfield.

 

Fun Fact: When I am not working, I love to cook for my family and sing! 

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Tatiana Madera

AmeriCorps Member

I worked in the medical field for over 15 years but was moved to make a shift after seeing how the COVID pandemic impacted children including my own. I was compelled to take action to help our children thrive again and recently received my para-educator certification. 

 

I am committed to doing whatever is in my power to help children succeed in school and in life. 

 

Fun Facts:  I am a proud mom to 8 incredible children and two pets, an American bully and a chihuahua. During my free time, I love to hike and take in the beauty of nature.

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Jaddier Rosario

AmeriCorps Member

I'm proud to hail from the vibrant island of Puerto Rico, where I first entered this world with the sun-soaked beaches and rich cultural tapestry as my backdrop. However, my journey took an exciting turn as I found myself raised amidst the historical charm of Massachusetts.

 

In my quest to contribute meaningfully to the community, I discovered HYF. With a desire to empower young minds and bridge linguistic gaps, I've committed myself to volunteering with HYF and AmeriCorps. My goal is to assist children in learning English, opening doors to a world of opportunities and fostering a sense of unity among diverse community.


Fun facts: I enjoy building model figurines, I enjoy writing stories.

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