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.
Jennifer Nova, M.A.KeySteps Counselor, Charlestown High School
As an October 2018 hire, Jen brings a background of Expressive Arts Therapy and Drama Therapy from Lesley University where in August 2018, she received her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her work, life experience and interests reflect many of the standards of social and emotional learning that help to inform teaching and learning in the classroom. Born into a Boston family from the Dominican Republic and Italy, and attending Boston Public Schools until high school, Jenn learned the importance of family histories, values and customs as she engaged with peers and her teachers. Through dance, participation in team sports, travel and rigorous academic programming at Deerfield Academy & Bowdoin College, she bonded with peers, excelled in school and explored careers in drama & the arts. Jen's education, life experience, and skills learned at Lesley University prepare her well for working with our CHS teachers and community based staff to enhance our youths' ability to manage their actions, resolve barriers and achieve academic goals.
Mohamed MohamedSalem State University School of Social Work Graduate Intern
KeySteps, Boston International High School & Newcomers Academy
Mohamed commenced a year-long MSW block placement at KeySteps in May 2018, by providing home visitation and outreach for newcomers who needed to resolve barriers that were impeding school success and jeopardizing a September return to school. With completion of graduation requirements at the close of the summer for some, and a successful September return to school of others, Mohamed now provides school based services by drawing upon prior experience as a BSW Intern at Charlestown High School and ongoing supervision provided by KeySteps and BINCA staff. Life skills education, individual and group counseling ensure that newcomers build skills to manage the ill-effects of trauma; connect with employment opportunities; avoid isolation and remain academically current by engaging with peers, teachers and other school & community based staff; and create social support networks that promote school success, good health, wellness and planning for secure, economically viable futures.
Mohamed emigrated as a child with his family from Somalia to the USA. He is a graduate of Chelsea High School, holds a May 2018, Bachelor in Social Work from Wheelock College and is a May 2019 candidate for a Masters in Social Work from Salem State University School of Social Work.
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.
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.
Melissa JamisonKeySteps 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.