Meet Our Staff

Rudy Ash

Chief Development Officer

Rudy Ash

Chief Development Officer

Rudy Ash has more than a decade of experience as a fundraising professional in youth development and education agencies. He began his career as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in New York City and previously worked for The Posse Foundation in their Chicago office where he helped double their annual operating budget and significantly expanded all aspects of their development department (special events, board and leadership council membership, grants, annual giving). He received a B.A. in Creative Writing and Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, and is an alumnus of the Development Leadership Consortium in Chicago.

What makes West End House special?

West End House is special because all of us on staff are deeply committed to providing options and opportunities for young people that might not have existed before they stepped through our doors. It’s a space where you can find encouragement, support, and vision to achieve your personal path to success.

Sara Bautista

Welcome Center Coordinator

Sara Bautista

Welcome Center Coordinator

Sara joined West End House in February 2023. Prior to joining the Club she held prior experience with customer service in a vvariety of different positions in addition to starting her own business as a hair stylist. She has been involved with West End House for many years as a parent, a volunteer, and a member of our Family Advisory Network (FAN) Club.

Josiah Brown

Visual Arts Coordinator

Josiah Brown

Visual Arts Coordinator

Josiah joined West End House in June 2023. She is an experienced youth development professional and educator passionate about art as a healing tool. Previously she worked at The Food Project where she designed and implemented curriculum, and taught lessons about identity through art. She is versed in the use of multiple mediums such as drawing and painting, paper mache, lino-printmaking, seed-art, black-out poetry, and more.

Lauren Cohen

Community Engagement Coordinator

Lauren Cohen

Community Engagement Coordinator

Lauren Cohen brings more than four years of experience in nonprofit volunteer leadership roles. Prior to joining the West End House team, Lauren assisted with mental health disparities research at Massachusetts General Hospital. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and public health from Brandeis University. At Brandeis, she was an active student leader for the Big Siblings program matching undergraduate students with elementary schoolers to form and sustain 1:1 mentoring relationships. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes, going for walks/runs, and volunteering. In June 2023, she was recognized as Volunteer of the Year at Yachad New England for her dedication to their programs fostering inclusion for community members with disabilities. She is enthusiastic about positive youth development and is looking forward to getting individuals and organizations involved with the West End House.

Carleen Colin

Leadership and Career Development Manager

Carleen Colin

Leadership and Career Development Manager

Carleen Colin was raised in Brockton, MA, where she was an active member in her church youth group. She graduated from Brockton High and received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Black Studies from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. After Umass, Carleen joined the AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellowship where she spent two years providing youth with safe spaces. During her second year of service, Carleen joined West End House, where she enjoys bringing her own flame to light up lives. She speaks fluent Haitian Creole and conversational French.

WHAT MAKES WEST END HOUSE SPECIAL?

Anyone who enters West End House leaves with a pure sense of belonging. Within these walls is a place that fosters excellence and acceptance. It’s truly a place that everyone can call home.

Mark DaCruz

Chief External Affairs Officer

Mark DaCruz

Chief External Affairs Officer

Mark DaCruz brings nearly a decade of experience in youth development. He started at West End House as an intern and was hired full-time in 2008. During his time at West End House, Mark has more than doubled teen membership and daily attendance, tripled the number of year-round jobs for teens and expanded programming to include college coaching for Boston Public School graduates. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts in Health & Counseling Psychology from Emmanuel College, and is fluent in Cape Verdean Creole and speaks conversational Portuguese.

What makes West End House special?

That family feeling you get the moment you walk through the doors is what makes West End House special. I was lucky enough to come from a large, caring extended family and I want to be that support system for all our youth.

Portsha Franklin

Senior Director College and Career Pathways

Portsha Franklin

Senior Director College and Career Pathways

Portsha Franklin joined West End House in 2015 to expand college persistence support to Boston Public School graduates. Prior to joining West End House, Portsha worked in the Boston University Graduate Admissions office, maintaining student records and counseling prospective students on educational programs and academic opportunities. Portsha holds a Masters in Higher Education Administration from Boston University, a Masters in Public Administration from Belhaven University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Bethune-Cookman University. In 2022, Portsha was selected to serve on the Board of Trustees of Roxbury Community College.

What makes West End House special?

West End House has been a phenomenal place to grow and develop personally and professionally. Having a dynamic group of people that support you is priceless.

Meyling Galvez

College Pathways Coach

Meyling Galvez

College Pathways Coach

Meyling Galvez has been affiliated and involved with the West End House for close to 20 years. Originally from Guatemala, she moved to Allston at the age of 3. The West End House quickly became her home away from home. At the Club she participated in various sports programs from playing on the girls travel basketball team to being one of few girl members to partake in Play Hard of Go Home. Through her involvement at West End House she gained access to many volunteer and growth opportunities. After graduating from the MATCH Charter Public High School she pursued a BA in Human Evolutionary Biology from Harvard College with a minor in African and African American Studies.

Yelithza Galvez

Family Food Program Assistant

Yelithza Galvez

Family Food Program Assistant

Yelithza Galvez has been affiliated and involved with the West End House for close to 20 years. Originally from Guatemala, she moved to Allston at the age of 7. The West End House quickly became her home away from home. At the Club she was able to get her first job as well as be introduced to various volunteer and growth opportunities. After graduating from the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, she pursued a BA in International Relations from Regis College with a minor in Social Work. She holds over 10 years of experience working with children and nonprofits and spent four years teaching English as a second language in South Korea.

Blanca Henrriquez

Nutrition Program Coordinator

Blanca Henrriquez

Nutrition Program Coordinator

Andrea Howard

Chief Executive Officer

Andrea Howard

Chief Executive Officer

Andrea Howard has close to 30 years experience in the field of youth development. She has served at the executive level for twenty-one years in Boys & Girls Clubs, with her prior position as the founding Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, Florida. Andrea returned to her hometown of Boston in 1999 when she was named Executive Director at the West End House Boys & Girls Club, and then focused her efforts on revitalizing the hundred-year-old organization. During her tenure at the West End House, she has led a $7.5 million capital campaign to renovate and expand the building, strengthened leadership by recruiting new Board members, secured financial resources that grew the endowment from $400,000 to $2.7M, reengaged West End House alumni to provide financial support, and implemented a strategic plan to better serve youth and families. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern Alabama, and was a recipient of the Robert W. Woodruff Fellowship from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She has participated in LeadBoston and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Music and Youth Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides after-school music education and enrichment programs.

What makes West End House special?

West End House brings people together. Regardless of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic background; young and not so young; urban and suburban, we all share a deep love for the West End House. The relationships created are nurtured over the years and present during times of challenge and triumph.  Whether you are a volunteer, parent, alumni, staff, board member or current participant, you are family. West End House is and always will be there for you.

Joyce Huang

College Pathways Coach

Joyce Huang

College Pathways Coach

Joyce Huang was born and raised in Boston and graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s in history. She was a counselor for rising eighth graders during her undergraduate years, where she discovered a passion for youth development and education. After graduating, she worked at The Boston Foundation as a Program Associate for the education team before becoming a Nonprofit Management Fellow (NPMF) at the Phillips Brooks House Association. As the College Pathways Coach, she is excited to uplift and support students on their path to success.

What makes West End House special?

I wish I was a young person here – there’s always sounds of laughter in the halls and engaging activities for people to join in on! Upon entering the building, folk can immediately feel that the space and how we use it embodies some of our values in love, creativity, growth, and belonging.

Stayce Legagneur

Enrichment Coordinator

Stayce Legagneur

Enrichment Coordinator

Stayce Legagneur was born and raised in Allston/Brighton and grew up right around the corner from the West End House. At the age of 8 Stayce decided to check out the Club and instantly became involved. Once old enough, Stayce joined the Peer Leader program, assisting throughout the Clubhouse. She became a staff member in the fall of 2019. Stayce is currently studying Social Work at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her work here at West End House has made her want to be a social worker and a voice for the youth of Boston. Stayce hopes to have an impact on the lives of the kids here at West End House and make their futures brighter.

Keagan Marcella

Teen Program Coordinator

Keagan Marcella

Teen Program Coordinator

Keagan Marcella Joined West End House in 2024. Keagan originally went to the Boys and Girls Club of Marshfield as a child back in 2005. From his experiences with the club as a kid Keagan would then follow a path toward Youth Development that would see him receiving his bachelor’s in fine arts from MassArt, mentoring high school students looking to pursue college careers, and then finding his way back to the Marshfield Boys and Girls Club where he would work with youth for three years. Keagan is excited to now be working the teens of West End House and continue carrying on the club mission!

Gigi Martinez

Academic Success Coordinator

Gigi Martinez

Academic Success Coordinator

Isaiah Moore

Sports and Fitness Coordinator

Isaiah Moore

Sports and Fitness Coordinator

Isaiah Moore joins the team as our Sports, Fitness and Recreation Coordinator, bringing extensive youth development experience. Isaiah worked 6 years at the Berkshire Partner Clubhouse of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. During his tenure, Isaiah led programs in leadership development, social recreation, and sports/fitness, making him a true triple threat.  Isaiah served as the Torch Club Advisor in addition to delivering the Passport to Manhood program; ran a robust game room that delivered fun and fostered positive peer relationships; and led the annual basketball leagues that encouraged healthy competition within the BGC community.  Isaiah served in the AmeriCorps program working with Playworks, is a proud alumnus of the West End House, and the recipient of the Allston/Brighton Unsung Hero Award.

Jim Moysey

Facility Manager

Jim Moysey

Facility Manager

Jim Moysey attended the University of Lowell where he majored in Criminal Justice. His previous work experience includes, working at Camp Allen in Bedford, NH, at a prison as a Correctional Officer, and at Boston Visiting Nurse Association for 20 years, as a Senior Risk Manager.

What makes West End House special?

Working at West End House isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. West End House is a place where life happens. The youth we serve are constantly changing and as a result, we as an organization are constantly changing. It’s this adaptability and openness to change that makes West End House so unique.

Gloria Namugaya

Director of Annual Giving

Gloria Namugaya

Director of Annual Giving

Gloria Namugaya joined West End House in 2023 with 8 years of experience working and serving the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser, organizer, volunteer, activist, and director in the New England area. Prior to joining West End House, Gloria served as the Development Manager for Summer Search Boston. Gloria was born and raised in Jinja, Uganda, a small town best known for where the Nile River starts in East Africa. She initially came to the U.S. as a graduate student after completing her bachelor’s degree in Law from Makerere University. Her graduate degree is a master’s in International Sustainable Development from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

John Nolan

Director of Finance and Administration

John Nolan

Director of Finance and Administration

John Nolan has worked in non-profit financial administration for over 15 years. Prior to joining West End House, John served as the Chief Financial Officer for Brighton based non-profit administering USAID grants in Egypt to help train Egyptian archaeologist in cutting edge technology and help them build professional networks with their peers around the world. He has also volunteered with the Youth-Tutoring-Youth program in South Boston working with elementary school students and their high school peers. This experience opened his eyes to the impact care and attention can have on the lives of young people. John speaks conversational Arabic.

WHAT MAKES WEST END HOUSE SPECIAL?

Every child who walks through the doors of the West End House is special and every member of the staff make sure they feel that way. The West End House exudes a culture of love and respect.

Jenny Nute

Chief Impact Officer

Jenny Nute

Chief Impact Officer

Jenny Nute holds nearly 20 years experience in youth development.  She joined West End House in 1999 and, during her tenure, has transformed the program delivery model to balance interest-based with needs-based programs across all four core program areas.  Jenny launched teen programming at West End House, introducing year-round employment opportunities, building progressive leadership development programs and expanding arts opportunities.  Jenny has also focused organizational resources to include professional development opportunities for staff.  Prior to joining West End House, Jenny served as a City Year Team Leader and Corps member.  Jenny holds a certificate from the Institute of Non-Profit Management and Leadership.

What makes West End House special?

Our young people’s desire to stay connected makes West End House special.  Regardless of where they are in their lives, they come to West End House to share a success, look for support, or reconnect with old friends.

Erick Ramirez

Teen Outreach and Engagement Manager

Erick Ramirez

Teen Outreach and Engagement Manager

Erick Ramirez, a West End House (WEH) alum, was raised in Boston, MA where he has always had a passion for engaging with youth, and giving back to the community. He started as a member in 2010 and has worked his way up to become more involved with the WEH mission. He graduated from Bridgewater State University with a Bachelors in Social Work and a minor in Criminal Justice. He has interned in many places such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, tutoring children, and working with youth who have mental health disabilities. Throughout these internships, Erick has realized that there are no limits to the possibilities youth can reach. With his experience he hopes to bring out the best in youth and push them to their fullest potential.

What makes West End House special?

Everyone becomes family. It is really a home away from home.

Kristin Rhuda

Chief Operating Officer

Kristin Rhuda

Chief Operating Officer

Kristin Rhuda has been with West End House since 2002, when she began her tenure in the development office before being promoted to her current role in 2006.  As Chief Operating Officer, Kristin has successfully grown daily attendance to more than 265 youth each day, implemented and refined outcomes-management tools, managed the 38,000 square foot facility and deepened partnerships with Boston Public Schools.  Prior to joining West End House, she managed an after-school program in a local public housing development.   Kristin is a recipient of the 2004 Robert W. Woodruff Fellowship, and holds a Master of Business Administration from Babson College and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Boston College.

What makes West End House special?

The staff at West End House develop long lasting impactful relationships with kids and deliver high-quality innovative programs in the arts, fitness, education, and more. West End House is more than a place to come after school or in the summer for kids who need it most – it is a family. It’s a place where everyone is invited to try new things; have new experiences; discover who they are and dream who they could be.

Rob Rhuda

Family Food Program Coordinator

Rob Rhuda

Family Food Program Coordinator

Yuliana Santos Pagan, R-DMT

Manager of Therapeutic Art Programs & Partnerships

Yuliana Santos Pagan, R-DMT

Manager of Therapeutic Art Programs & Partnerships

Yuliana Santos Pagan graduated from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelors in Psychology. She continued to pursue her graduate level education at Lesley University, obtaining a Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Specialization in Dance/Movement Therapy. Yuliana has experience working with children and adolescents both in artistic and clinical settings. She interned with the Boston Children’s Foundation, Rainbowdance Program where she offered movement-based interventions across different schools and family centers in the Greater Boston area, where her love for supporting young children, adolescents, and their families grew.

What makes West End House special?

The powerful and supportive staff, and the opportunity to see growth in youth!

Esteban Serrano

Finance and Human Resources Coordinator

Esteban Serrano

Finance and Human Resources Coordinator

Esteban Serrano joined West End House in 2023. He grew up in Chelsea and attended the Jordan Boys & Girls Club of Boston in his youth. Esteban received his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting at Bridgewater State University, where he was a member of the inaugural year for the Bridgewater Collegiate Investors Club. After receiving his degree, he pursued a career in finance as a financial services representative before he joined West End House. In his free time, Esteban volunteers at the Jordan Boys & Girls Club’s RBI Baseball Program, plays softball, and listens to music.

Risa Shames

Director of Institutional Giving

Risa Shames

Director of Institutional Giving

Risa Shames joined West End House in 2023 after transitioning from her successful non-profit consulting practice. As a development and grant-writing consultant, Risa worked for a range of organizations in the areas of workforce development, health, early childhood education, youth opportunity, and food insecurity. Risa began her career in health care, working for MassHealth, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and BMC Healthnet. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard School of Public Health. Risa has been an active volunteer in her community, including serving on the Board of the Centre Street Food Pantry, and is passionate about creating opportunities for youth. She lives in Newton and has two adult children and a puppy.

What makes West End House special?

Lisa Smith

Senior Director of Nutrition

Lisa Smith

Senior Director of Nutrition

Lisa Smith has worked in the food industry for more than twenty years, and has led the Kids In Motion Café since 2005.  Under her guidance, the Kids in Motion Café has successfully grown the number of meals served to 357 each day while continuing a steadfast commitment to preparing every meal from scratch to ensure high nutrition standards focused on whole grains, fresh fruit and seasonal produce.  Lisa studied nutrition at Rutgers University and graduated from New England Culinary Institute.

What makes West End House special?

It’s truly like a BIG family!  A family that sticks together through it all, and where the love is endless.

Sadie Stephens

Teen Academic Success Coordinator

Sadie Stephens

Teen Academic Success Coordinator

Sadie Stephens was born and raised in Dorchester, MA. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Children, Youth, and Families’ Studies from Lesley University where she discovered her love for youth development, accessibility, and education. Her passion has always been to serve, educate, and uplift youth of color. She joined West End House during the beginnings of the pandemic to support youth’s virtual learning. Although challenging to join a work environment during a pandemic, the work she engaged in and the relationships she built during this time was truly rewarding. She is a lover of all things, and you can see it through the innovative artistry she brings to youth spaces. Becoming a part of the West End House has bought Sadie many new opportunities and experiences. She looks forward to uplifting and shaping the lives of all people she comes across.

What makes West End House special?

It is a place where you can be authentically yourself and be welcomed with open arms!

Caleb Tansey

Development Coordinator

Caleb Tansey

Development Coordinator

Caleb joined West End House in 2023 after he finished a service year as an AmeriCorps VISTA, where he worked as a development associate for non-profits aiming to improve food systems in Puerto Rico and in Rhode Island. Caleb grew up in Washington, DC where he was a part of the Clubhouse #8 Boys & Girls Club for 6 years. His experience with the Club was formative, and provided great role models for the rest of his life. Caleb earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston College, where he rowed crew. He did his graduate studies at Brown University, where he received an M.A. in American Studies with a concentration in philosophy and sociolinguistics.

Iniobong Udofia, LCSW

Director of Community Health and Well-Being

Iniobong Udofia, LCSW

Director of Community Health and Well-Being

Iniobong Udofia graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelors in Psychology and then transitioned to City Year Boston where he served as an AmeriCorps member inside a classroom for 2 years. City Year is where Ini found his love for supporting young people. After this experience he went to Boston University where he received his Master’s degree in Social Work. Ini has intern and job experience in various settings such as schools Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School where he interned. He also worked as a Clinical Case Manger at a group home in Lynn called Centerboard, for youth ages 14-19. He followed this up with time at Y2Y being a Program Manager at a shelter for young people ages 18-24. In all of Ini’s work he tries to ground himself in community and team. In his free time Ini loves playing and coaching basketball!

What makes West End House special?

In my time here it feels as if people are truly encouraged to be themselves from the staff to the youth!

Tait Wade

Career Pathways Manager

Tait Wade

Career Pathways Manager

Tait is an educator at heart. With 12 years as a middle and high school teacher in Texas, Massachusetts and California and extensive experience as a college-access program director and school leader, she works to center the needs and goals of students and young adults in all she does. Tait has a B.A. from Kenyon College and M.Ed. from San Francisco State University, and she recently relocated to the Boston area from San Francisco. As the Career Pathways Manager, Tait leads our career-pathway programming and supports West End House alumni to identify and pursue career opportunities that are personally rewarding and economically sustainable. 

What makes West End House special?


It is hard to describe the energy that is generated in a space where young people are cared for and thriving. That energy is the West End House’s “special sauce” and it’s something I am excited to be a part of.

 

Tuquan Watt

Nutrition Program Coordinator

Tuquan Watt

Nutrition Program Coordinator