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.

Lee Beard

Teen Art Specialist

Lee Beard

Teen Art Specialist

Lee is a Boston-raised artist who specializes in urban arts. He is an alumni of Boston Arts Academy High School, Artists For Humanity, and Bunker Hill Community College. As a student, Lee explored additional art outlets and lenses which inspired his 10-year tenure at Bodega sneaker boutique store. He is lucky to have found West End House, a place where he can give back to his community.

What makes West End House special?

What makes the West End House special is the environment and support system that they embody. Those that work here understand and aren’t selfish with what they know. They are unbiased, and are truly individuals that want to share, teach, and support those with a passion.

Katie Belusa

Health & Wellness Coordinator

Katie Belusa

Health & Wellness Coordinator

Katie has been working in youth development since 2007. Inspired to pursue community health after volunteering in Haiti, Katie graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Human Development. She moved to Boston in 2014 to earn her Masters in Public Health at Boston University, where she concentrated in community health, obesity prevention, and nutrition. Katie is a certified personal trainer and certified fitness nutrition specialist who speaks conversational German.

WHAT MAKES WEST END HOUSE SPECIAL?

West End House is a home for everyone,. It is a family that is diverse, tolerant, and loving. You will always be welcomed here with open arms!

Morgan Bondy

College Success Coach

Morgan Bondy

College Success Coach

Morgan holds more than seven years experience in community organizations. Morgan joined West End House in 2014 to launch formalized college persistence coaching for Boston Public School graduates. She previously served as a Teach for America Corps Member in Miami-Dade, Florida where she served as a high school reading teacher to high-need youth. Morgan holds a Master of Science in Education and Social Change from University of Miami and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Thought and Political Economy from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

What makes West End House special?

West End House is special because our members and alumni know that no matter what, everyone here will have their back. This unique characteristic demonstrates the love that exists among everyone at West End House, and the close-knit family that has been established as a result.

Carleen Colin

Program Specialist

Carleen Colin

Program Specialist

Carleen 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

Vice President of Program Services

Mark DaCruz

Vice President of Program Services

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.

Kathryn DeSimone

Development Associate - Foundation & Corporate Relations

Kathryn DeSimone

Development Associate - Foundation & Corporate Relations

Kathryn’s background is in progressive politics, previously working with an initiative called the Patriotic Millionaires—a group of over 200 business executives advocating for progressive economic policies. Kathryn has worked on congressional campaigns in Massachusetts and New York and has held internships at the United States Treasury and the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. She is also a certified Strala Yoga guide and leads yoga classes in the greater Boston area. Kathryn holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from New York University.

WHAT MAKES WEST END HOUSE SPECIAL?

West End House has an energy that is palpable. From the moment you walk through the door, there is a network of excitement, creativity, and support. The environment truly gives youth the opportunity to be creative and thrive.

Elizabeth Eastwood

Academic Success Coordinator

Elizabeth Eastwood

Academic Success Coordinator

Elizabeth has taught elementary and middle school students STEM, environmental education, literacy, and Spanish in diverse programs including Breakthrough Collaborative, Nature’s Classroom, Mass Audubon, and East End House. Elizabeth received a B.A. from Smith College with a double major in Biology and Spanish in 2012. She is originally from Cambridge, MA. Elizabeth Speaks conversational Spanish and Portuguese and is learning Haitian Creole and Hindi.

WHAT MAKES WEST END HOUSE SPECIAL?

West End House helps youth explore and discover love for an amazing array of artistic, academic, and athletic disciplines.

Ryan Figueroa

College Access Coordinator

Ryan Figueroa

College Access Coordinator

Ryan joined West End House in 2015 to be a resource to aspiring college students. By expanding students’ access to college-related material, and exposing them to college life (campus tours, career panels, etc.), Ryan aims to bridge the gap between our students’ high school and college careers. Ryan graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2013 where he received a Bachelor Of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Prior to joining West End House, Ryan served two years of national service with City Year Boston, where he worked with students on their attendance, behavior, and coursework.

WHAT MAKES WEST END HOUSE SPECIAL?

I love that kids can come to West End and express themselves anyway possible. They can use sports, art and games all as an outlet.

Portsha Franklin

College Success Coach

Portsha Franklin

College Success Coach

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.

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.

Sunny Harirchi

Director of Academic Success

Sunny Harirchi

Director of Academic Success

Sunny Harirchi brings extensive experience in youth development, and elementary and secondary education. Prior to joining West End House, she served as the Teen Education Director at the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club. Sunny received her B.A. from Boston University in History in 2007 and a Master’s in Education with a focus on Secondary Education from Lesley University. She is currently pursuing a second Masters in Education at Salem State University as the recipient of the Project SAEL Grant. Her degree will be in Teaching English as a Second Language. Sunny speaks conversational Spanish.

WHAT MAKES WEST END HOUSE SPECIAL?

What makes The West End House special is the sense of belonging you feel here at the club – whether you’re a member, a parent or a part of the staff. There is a genuine sense of welcoming and warmth that greets you when you enter those doors. It’s like being part of a big family.

Emily Hofelich

Performing Arts Director

Emily Hofelich

Performing Arts Director

Emily Hofelich joined West End House in 2013 to launch a new video production program.  In her role, Emily has engaged youth in video production techniques, launched a youth employment opportunity and deepened a partnership with Music And Youth Initiative.  Emily has worked as a freelance film editor, independent documentary filmmaker and producer since 2007 and previously taught editing at Dutchess Community College.  Emily holds a Master of Fine Arts in Media Art from Emerson College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film & Television from the Savannah College of Art Design.

What makes West End House special?

West End House is more than just a fun place to learn and grow, it’s a community to belong to. All of the great activities, events, and memories stem from positive relationships between youth and staff.

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.

Lindsey Kocur

Director of Visual Arts

Lindsey Kocur

Director of Visual Arts

Lindsey Kocur has intertwined visual art and youth development since 2009.  She previously served as an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow at Mother Caroline Academy, where she worked with middle school girls and designed art curriculum.  Lindsey is also active with Step Into Art Inc., a non-profit organization partnering with Boston schools to provide dynamic, content-rich art education programs that actively engage children with great works of art from area museums.  Lindsey is a practicing artist working primarily in mixed media painting, drawing and installation.  She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Tufts University in partnership with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art from Skidmore College.

What makes West End House special?

West End House is special because it serves as a place of safety and belonging where young people can be supported by and also give back to their community.  Each member is met where he or she is at and has the opportunity to explore and grow.  As Visual Arts Coordinator, I have enjoyed being part of a program that provides an avenue through which youth can express their unique creative voices.

Kevin Lopez

Recreational & Aquatics Coordinator

Kevin Lopez

Recreational & Aquatics Coordinator

Kevin Lopez has been a member of West End House since he was 14 years old.  He is a graduate of Brighton High School and attended University of Massachusetts Boston, studying English. Kevin is now pursuing a degree at Mass Art.  Kevin earned his first job at West End House as a Peer Leader and volunteered in various programs throughout college. Kevin speaks conversational Spanish.

What makes West End House special?

Here, people care.  I grew up at West End House and now working as Program Assistant I am able to give back to the community that gave so much to me.

Jessie Martinez

Secondary Education Coordinator

Jessie Martinez

Secondary Education Coordinator

Jessie joined West End House in 2017, after teaching English and climbing mountains in Ecuador for eight months. Prior to giving away all her furniture, she taught outdoor education and 6th grade math and science in San Francisco for two years. She hopes to bring her infectious love of math and science to all members of West End House. She also enjoys running, rock climbing, cooking, drawing, and doing crosswords. Jessie holds a B.A. in Biology from Carleton College and an M.A in Teaching from the University of San Francisco.

WHAT MAKES WEST END HOUSE SPECIAL?

West End House celebrates everyone for their beautiful, quirky selves, and provides a safe place for them to explore their talent, whether that’s ballet, music, basketball, coding, or anything in between.

Nadine Martinez

Director of Visual & Performing Arts

Nadine Martinez

Director of Visual & Performing Arts

Nadine has vast experience as an educator having worked with Boston Public Schools, Bronx Charter School for the Arts, Sociedad Latina, and the YMCA. As a choreographer, her works have been presented in New York, Boston, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and London, UK. An advocate for the arts education and the performers’ professional development, Nadine has produced a variety of workshops and has been a recurrent lecturer during the International Dance Week for the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture. She holds a BA in Dance from the University of North Texas and an MA in European Dance-Theater from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London.

What makes West End House special?

West End House is a place where we can discover our purpose in life and celebrate our unique gifts.

Chris Moskal

Community Engagement Coordinator

Chris Moskal

Community Engagement Coordinator

Chris Moskal brings extensive experience in volunteer management and community-based organizations.  Prior to joining West End House in 2014, Chris completed a year of service with Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest and AmeriCorps in Portland, Oregon, where he managed a day shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness and also led an experiential education initiative to teach people about homelessness and break down stereotypes. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts from Saint Michael’s College.

What makes West End House special?

We are constantly working with the community to see what is most needed and make it a better place for everyone.

Myesha Neely

Welcome Center Coordinator

Myesha Neely

Welcome Center Coordinator

Myesha Neely is a lifelong Allston-Brighton resident and first joined West End House when she was 10 years old.  She was a Next Generation Leader through Grand Circle Foundation, and was active in Keystone Club at West End House.  Myesha graduated from Boston Public School’s Boston Community Leadership Academy, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Writing from Eastern Nazarene College. Myesha speaks conversational Spanish.

What makes West End House special?

As a longtime member, I have seen West End House transform the lives of many. This change stems from a strong bond that makes West End House a family. I have seen the comfort and support that West End House provides to youth, regardless for how long they have been members.

Thao Nguyen-Le

Director of Leadership Gifts

Thao Nguyen-Le

Director of Leadership Gifts

Thao Nguyen-le brings deep experience in relationship management and effective organization strategies.  Thao previously worked as a Constituent Services Aide under Governor Deval Patrick, and joined West End House in 2013 where she has grown the annual campaign by 45%.  Thao holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Boston University, and is currently participating in the Association of Fundraising Professionals Massachusetts Diversity Fellows Program.  Thao is fluent in Vietnamese, and speaks conversational Mandarin.

What makes West End House special?

West End House brings together a group of crazy and fun personalities with a shared passion to help young people.  No matter which staff member you meet, you will learn life lessons, find new ways to laugh, and be inspired by the work that they do. Everyone genuinely cares about what they do and who they help.

John Nolan

Finance & Administration Manager

John Nolan

Finance & Administration Manager

John 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.

Riley Ramage

Life Skills Coordinator

Riley Ramage

Life Skills Coordinator

Riley is currently serving as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Americorps at West End House. As a recent graduate, Riley is excited to bring her prior experiences working at a crisis nursery, working with Children’s Miracle Network, and teaching English literacy in Zambia to her position of Life Skills Coordinator. She will help oversee Girls’ Group, Torch Club, and Keystone Club, and support academic staff. Riley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

What makes West End House special?

The culture of West End House is tangible the moment you walk through the front doors – everyone here is a family, ready to welcome and help you. Everyone at West End House, staff and kids alike, work to create an environment of love, of growth, and of learning.

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.

Mikaela Saccoccio

Development Operations Coordinator

Mikaela Saccoccio

Development Operations Coordinator

Mikaela Saccoccio brings extensive experience in database management, event planning, and donor relations. She previously worked as Communications Coordinator for Women AdvaNCe, a progressive nonprofit that empowers North Carolina women to become civic leaders. She joined West End House in 2016. Mikaela holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Dance from the College of William and Mary. She teaches theatre and dance to kids of all ages, and speaks conversational French.

WHAT MAKES WEST END HOUSE SPECIAL?

West End House is not just a place; it’s a feeling. The staff at West End House creates life-long relationships with the kids here, and every day we’re discovering and mastering new things together.

Shaleyse Smallwood

Sports & Fitness Coordinator

Shaleyse Smallwood

Sports & Fitness Coordinator

Shaleyse Smallwood is a basketball fanatic. She grew up at the Daniel Marr Boys & Girls club in Dorchester, attended John D. O’Bryant high school, and went on to play basketball on a full scholarship at Northeastern University. In Fall 2017, Shaleyse was inducted in to the Northeastern Athletics Varsity Club of Fame. She was named the CAA Rookie of the Year for the 2004-05 season and was on the CA All Rookie Team. Shaleyse ranks fourth all-time in scoring at Northeastern with 1,479 total points (13.3 points per game). Her 389 total assists also rank fourth. She is also the top-10 in program history in field goals made, 3-pointers made, and free throws made.  She graduated with a degree in Human Services in 2008.

Shaleyse supports the Patriots and Celtics, but her favorite NBA team is the Golden State Warriors.

What makes West End House special?

What makes the West End House special is the love that everybody has for one another. It’s a fun environment.

Lisa Smith

Senior Director of Fitness & Nutrition

Lisa Smith

Senior Director of Fitness & 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.

Nick Tetrault

Music Clubhouse Director

Nick Tetrault

Music Clubhouse Director

Nick joined West End House in 2014 as Studio Engineer, and was elevated to Music Clubhouse Coordinator in 2015.  He previously worked at Maplewood Enrichment Center where he was the music instructor for youth in pre-school through middle school.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he focused his studies on music composition, electronic music and voice.  He plays guitar, piano and makes beats with Abelton Live.

What makes West End House special?

I love that kids can come to West End and express themselves anyway possible. They can use sports, art and games all as an outlet.

Sahil Warsi

Music Clubhouse Assistant

Sahil Warsi

Music Clubhouse Assistant

Sahil is a professional Double Bassist, who works with numerous orchestras and jazz ensembles in the Greater Boston Area. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a degree in Jazz Composition. Previously, he earned his Master’s and Bachelor’s in Philosophy from Delhi University in India, where he performed and toured extensively. Sahil brings his passion for teaching both theory and performance to West End House.

WHAT MAKES WEST END HOUSE SPECIAL?

West End House never ceases to amaze and surprise. The amount of talent, creative energy, and passion flowing through our kids and staff is equally humbling and inspiring.

Mason Williams

Academic Success Coordinator

Mason Williams

Academic Success Coordinator

Mason is a Boston native and West End House alumni. Raised in Fidelis Way in Allston, Mason first came to West End House in 2006 as a teen Peer Leader. He received his Bachelors degree from Mount Ida College in Early Childhood Education and worked as a City Year Corps Member.