top of page

Our Team

Leading with lived experience, CPLAN leaders reflect the community they aim to serve. These parents of color are a product of the public school system and currently have children attending different sectors.

Our team brings diversity of thought, socio-economic status, culture and educational experiences to deliver a holistic perspective to the work. 

Ivelisse Caraballo

Executive Director

Ivelisse was a founding member of CPLAN and now serves as our Executive Director. She is extremely passionate about achieving racial equity in education and creating spaces to educate and empower families to take control of their child's educational experience. Her professional experience encompasses corporate, private, non-profit and academic sectors. Read more about Ivelisse's story and how she began her journey in educational advocacy!

Samantha Mariano

Samantha Mariano

Assistant Project Manager

Passionate advocate for mental health and human rights. Fueled by the inequities she witnessed in the mental health care and education systems, she has been committed to pushing for more thoughtful and intentional solutions, with the input of the community that is affected.

Dr. Gayl Crump Swaby

Dr. Gayl Crump Swaby

Director of Reshaping Mental Community Wellness

An author, speaker, publisher, mental wellness coach, and licensed mental health professional.

Brenda Guillaume

Brenda Guillaume

Education Advocate | Haitian Creole Interpreter

Brenda is a seasoned healthcare professional with over a decade of experience in hospice and residential care.

Griselda Polanco

Griselda Polanco

Education Equity Advocate

Community activist who understand that the power of parents is not only in educating their children but also in educating themselves, only then can we fight for a better education for our children.

Elsa Flores

Elsa Flores

Education Equity Advocate

Committed teacher with 11 years of teaching experience in El Salvador and nineteen years working with families and children in the Boston community, especially around supporting the immigrant population.

Denise Jimenez

Denise Jimenez

Mental Health Professional

Denise Jimenez is a dynamic professional with a diverse skill set and a passion for holistic well-being.

Santiago Rivera

Santiago Rivera

Education Equity Advocate

Bilingual community organizer with experience working in progressive local, state and national campaigns with a commitment to social, racial and economic justice and the power of grassroots community organizing to achieve it.

Ann Teng

Ann Teng

Education Advocate | Mandarin Interpreter

Social policy professional with a diverse background in wellness & equity, nonprofit management, music performance, psychology research, and disability allyship.

Lucy Wickings

Lucy Wickings

Education Advocate

Lucy Wiking is a bi-racial, Filipino/American individual who embodies a unique blend of cultures and perspectives.

Community Ethics Committee

These members of our Community Ethics Committee have been instrumental in shaping CPLAN's mission and vision. As our organization grows, these powerful women continue to advise best practices.

Julia Mejia

Founder; Boston City Councilor

Daysa Santana

Youth Engagement Specialist

Kawanda Boyd

Parent leader, Parent Council Chair for METCO Swampscott

Fabienne Eliacin

Special Education Advocate, Decoding Dyslexia Specialist

Karla Walker

Health Equity Advocate

Tayla Andre

Marketing Specialist, Real Estate, Financial Educator, Radio Personality

Board of Directors

Our diverse and experienced board of directors provides invaluable insights, strategic direction, and support to CPLAN's initiatives. While it doesn't have governing authority, it holds us accountable and helps in program development, fundraising strategies, and organizational growth. They ensure CPLAN provides transparent, equitable, and quality services to our families, while maintaining the organization’s fiscal health.

Cameron Smith

Student at Clark University

Laurie Jo Wallace

Managing Director, Health Resources in Action

Aminah Pilgrim

Cofounder of Sabura Youth Program, UMASS Boston Professor

Gayl Crump Swaby

Director of Mental Wellness

Steve Ridini

President of Health Resources in Action

Donkor Minors

Educator, Entrepreneur


Lori Fresina- Ms. Fresina joined the staff of M+R Strategic Services in September 2006 as Senior Vice President and New England Office Director, following four years with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) where she served as the Northeast Regional Advocacy Director. Her client list has included a diverse array of local, state, and national organizations, including the American Heart Association, Alberta Courage Network, New England Association for College Admission Counseling, Susan G. Komen Advocacy Alliance, Rhode Island Citizens for the Arts, Boston Public Health Commission, Community Resources for Justice, Clean Air Task Force, state health departments in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and others. Prior to joining CTFK, Ms. Fresina served in a variety of advocacy positions for 12 years with the American Cancer Society, including Coordinator of Grassroots Advocacy for Massachusetts, Director of Advocacy for Massachusetts, and the Director of Smoke-Free New England. Ms. Fresina has developed an expertise in community mobilization strategies, regional collaborations, grassroots development, and public health communication for political audiences. In addition, Ms. Fresina is an experienced advocacy trainer and coach. In 2002, she was named one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders of 2002” by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Jaycees. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Emerson College and a master’s degree in Public Policy and Citizen Participation from Tufts University.


Kevin Andrews-  Mr. Andrews is the founding headmaster of the Neighborhood House Charter School (NHCS), which opened in 1995. NHCS is a pre-K–8, full-service school that integrates education with social services and healthcare programs for 400 low-income students from Dorchester and surrounding neighborhoods. It is one of the city’s most sought-after schools, with students consistently placing among the highest performing on English and math MCAS exams. Prior to founding NHCS, Kevin was a principal in Newton and in Brookline, and he was a classroom teacher in Newton. He recently stepped down as headmaster of NHCS, but is still actively engaged in education efforts in Boston and Massachusetts.

Our History

bottom of page