IFSI Staff, Board of Directors and Advisory Committee reflect the many groups served by the organization coming from a broad mix of backgrounds, professions, and skills with broad connections to the immigrant community. Lead staff are immigrant leaders with years of experience working with families and service providers.
Barbara Boone was born and raised in Switzerland where she earned a federal certificate in Business Administration from the Business School Zurich in 1987. She immigrated to the United States in 1992 where she pursued an Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts from Massasoit Community College and also earned a B.S. in Health Education and Promotion from Bridgewater State University. In addition to working in Health Education and Office/Business Administration, Barbara has also served on the Advisory Board of CASE, the Center for the Advancement of Science Education at Bridgewater State University from 2008 to 2011 and on the Board of Directors if the H J Henry Dream Fund as Secretary from 2011 to 2016. Barbara loves conversing in English, German, French and Spanish and enjoys learning about different cultures and adores tasting food from around the world.
Sophia Boyer taught middle and high school for fifteen years before venturing into instructional coaching. As an instructional coach Sophia works in a variety of schools whose administrators have requested coaching services or professional development supports for teachers.
Sophia is experienced in humanities instruction, ESL teaching, program administration, teacher training,curriculum development, professional development and program planning and evaluation. Sophia was born in Haiti, educated in the U.S. and currently resides in Cambridge. She earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology/History from Regis College and postgraduate degrees in Human Development and Urban Education from Wheelock College.
Dr. Rubens Dort has a Bachelor of Science degree inMathematics, a Master of Science degree focused on Secondary EducationMathematics and Students with Disabilities, and a Doctoral degree in Education(Ed.D) focused on Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership from Northeastern University. In nearly adecade, Rubens has provided Intensive academic support through Boston Publicschools grades (9-12 students). He has gained a broad range of experiences asan educational researcher, Math educator, district coordinator, administratorintern and an advisor. Dr. Dort is an experienced educator with ademonstrated history of working in a multilingual and underrepresented group ofstudents in both secondary and higher education industries. He is skilled in Teaching,Curriculum Design, Coaching, Trio/College Access, and Retention Programs, Title1 grant, and Leadership. Dr. Dort has used his voice, institutional influence and power to teachand advocate for disadvantaged groups of students, especially English languagelearner students. Currently, he is the ProgramDirector of STEM at Boston Public Schools. In his spare time, Dr. Dortenjoys being outside with his family, singing and playing soccer.
Jeff Guillaume has 11 years of management experience, including eight years in banking. He is currently the Store Manager of the newly opened TD BANK-Roslindale Branch where he is responsible for new business development, consumer and business lending, managing personnel and overseeing the day-to-day operations at the new store serving customers throughout the area. Jeff serves on the YMCA Board of Advisors in Brighton. He is also a member of the Brighton Board of Trade.
"As a kid born in Haiti with parents who immigrated into the U.S , it really hits home when I encounter an organization that provides services not only to help the parents but provides after school programs to help structure their kids, giving them access to a better chance in education. I myself had the opportunity to take advantage of such programs when first moved to Massachusetts, I know firsthand that it help shape me as a man and also put me in the right path to be successful, I would like to share my knowledge and services to further help this cause, as this is truly a great opportunity to make a difference in our communities."
Jeff lives in Wakefield. He is originally from Waltham and graduated from Waltham High School in 2002.
Rhodes Pierre is an actor, comedian, entrepreneur and writer who currently works with New York Life as an Insurance agent. After graduating from Rhode Island College, he taught English, Current Affairs, Women's Studies and instructed students in computer literacy for an after-school programs. He later toured the continental U.S. as a performer and educational consultant with Poetry Alive! He is a board member of the Mediator Stage of Providence where he hosts meditation sessions and is the featured comedic host of the Young Jurks on WEMFRadio.com. He performs improv, sketch comedy ,stand up, voice over, acting, and weddings as an Ordained Minister of the ULC.
Born to Haitian immigrants Marie and Andre Pierre, Rhodes developed his stand-up from life experiences and observations. Rhodes has lived in Haiti, Montreal, Boston, New York's historic Harlem Section where he performed on a regular basis at many local and tourist venues.
Shannon Watson is dedicated to developing human resource processes that include an inclusive and intersectional perspectives. She is currently working at tech startup, Starry Inc, as an HR Generalist. Previously she was worked as a Human Resource Business Partner at marketing-analytics company, Localytics. Shannon received her BS in Urban Policy with a concentration in Public and Nonprofit Human Resource Policy from Georgia State University. She is currently attending Northeastern University for her MS in Organizational Communication.
Gregory Xavier is the Assistant Store Manager at the new TD Bank in Roslindale. He has worked in banking for the last seven year most recently with Citizens Bank and Santander Bank winning numerous awards and recognition for his achievements.
Gregory was born in Florida and his parents immigrated to the U.S from Haiti. Growing up in a family of eight, Gregory's mom always taught him to share and be kind and that has struck with him ever since.Gregory is an active volunteer at a number of financial literacy classes, charity events and elderly abuse classes.
Gregory quotes Coretta Scott King, " The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassion of its members, and he believes that there's nothing more rewarding than helping others. Gregory lives in Brighton.
Wahounah Bouquet has been working at IFSI for three years now. At first, she worked with the 5th grades and also taught step dance classes. Wahounah is an immigrant herself and is originally from Haiti. In the past, she worked with toddlers at the St Bartholomew Catholic Church in Miramar, Florida, where she developed necessary skills to work effectively with children. She is a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth studying public health in hopes to have an opportunity to bring better health skills and outcomes to her community in Haiti.
Alex Carroll has been working since October 2018 as a Project Assistant for IFSI, helping to plan symposiums and other events, providing technical support, and participating in the youth after-school and Saturday programs. He is currently a PhD student in the Agriculture, Food, and Environment program at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Previously, he spent three years working in Haiti, first as the Agriculture Program Coordinator of the nonprofit organization Meds & Food for Kids in North Haiti, then as the Director of the Centre d'Agriculture Saint Barnabas, an Episcopal agricultural technical college in Northeast Haiti. Alex earned his Bachelor's and Master's of Science degrees in environmental science from Brigham Young University. He was born in Utah and grew up in North Carolina.
Alex loves learning languages and is fluent in Haitian Creole, Antillean Creole, and French, having also worked for several years as an adjunct Haitian Creole instructor at Brigham Young University. He strongly believes in supporting immigrant communities and advocating for increased visibility and rights for immigrant groups, promoting a greater level of integration and enabling immigrants to take full advantage of the resources available to them so they can flourish and grow in their new homes. He enjoys working on any and all IFSI projects, especially community advocacy and tutoring and mentoring youth.
Cassandra is a native of Haiti and is a violin instructor at IFSI. She has been teaching violin classes online via Zoom since the pandemic began in 2020. She loves music and dance and is currently studying administrative sciences.
Edner J. Cayemite is a long time affiliate of Boston Public Schools (26 years). Currently, he is teaching Math, Engineering and Science at West Roxbury Academy and serves as the Chief Academic Officer of Ethnicity at the Disease Research Center. Previously, Edner was a Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Pine Minor College and the University of Massachusetts as well as the Director of thePEngineering program at Dorchester High School. Over the last fourteen years, Professor Cayemite helped to shape structurally many organizations in the greater Boston area.
Edner J. Cayemite earned a Doctorate in Leadership Management and Policy from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, Doctorate in Applied Theology from Talbot, a Masters in Data Communication (Engineering) and a Masters in Education. Professor Cayemite gives lectures to empower academically his surrounding community. He is constantly at the forefront of strategic development in education and research. Dr. Cayemite has presented over 40 papers and posters in areas such as literacy , education, cultural diversity, health care disparity, active empowerment, integrative technology /science/math /decentralization, interaction and full participation of people in system of development, the real meaning of equality in our humanity.
Edner J. Cayemite is a strong advocate for youth inclusion in decision making at Church, local grassroots organizations, schools and the community at large. He is a fervent believer of inclusion and participation in a democratic society. The dream of Dr. Cayemite is to ensure that the younger generation will be included in all aspects of the development of our society. He has been with IFSI since its inception and has been instrumental in developing the weekend academy program as a way to give access to academic skills development and quality test preparation techniques to minority students.
Sara Charles has been working for IFSI since 2015, returning every year for the Summer Leadership Program. She has served as a lead teacher for 4 Summers with the Lower Academy and will now be serving during the school year. As our After School Program Coordinator, she is in charge of running a smooth operating program that serves our students with homework help, tutoring, Test Prep services and extra curricular activities such as Chess, Coding, and Music.
Sara graduated from Bridgewater State University with a B.S in Mathematics. She will be pursuing a career in Education. She has served as a CityYear at the Charles H. Taylor Elementary where she worked in a 5th grade ELL classroom where she tutored and mentored her students.
Dr. Geralde Gabeau, IFSI-USA founder and Executive Director, has extensive experience working in public health initiatives, particularly those addressing women and children’s health both in the United States and in Haiti. Her talent for team-building helps bring people together to address the needs of children and families in local communities. Since 2003, she has played various leadership roles in the Haitian community where she developed and directed various programs, supervised staff, ensured effective partnerships, maintained program and fiscal accountability, and managed many federal grants.
Geralde earned a Doctoral Degree in Strategic Foresight from Regent University, a Masters Degree in Public Health from Boston University and a Masters Degree in Management from Cambridge College. Her research portfolio includes “Leading from the Future for Leaders” which is a new approach to understanding the present through a futurist lens.
Geralde is originally from Haiti, a country that continues to suffer extreme poverty. She came from a very large, very joyous, and very generous family. At her house, there was always had an extra plate, an extra seat for someone from the neighborhood who would otherwise go to bed hungry. She knew at a very young age that she could and should do something meaningful to help improve the lives of less fortunate people. At the age of 12, Geralde was tutoring children who in their teens were not being schooled. Later, at the age of 18, she formed an organization called the Association for the Development of Brotherly Love (ADAF). With help from high school and college students, she continued teaching children who lacked formal schooling. This program now serves over 500 children every year.
When Geralde moved to the USA, she continued to follow her passion to help make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. While studying for her Masters Degree in Public Health at Boston University, she began to formulate in her mind the idea of a non profit for Haitian Immigrant families. Geralde knew that Immigrant families need a place that they could call home, a place that would help them navigate their way as new residents. This seed of an idea is now called the Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI). IFSI is a warm and welcoming home where children come to learn and grow and become all they can be. Here they feel a part of an extended family. Here, they feel comfortable sharing their ups and downs because they know their voice is being heard. IFSI provides a sense of hope and connection, and Geralde's dream is that each child who comes in contact with IFSI will become wonderful citizens contributing to the social and economic fabric of their communities.
Dr. Gabeau is well know in the Boston area and has received many awards for her work with children and youth. She lives in Hyde Park with her husband, Evans, and three teen-aged children.
Joel has been teaching music at IFSI since 2020. As the woodwind instructor, he teaches saxophone, flute, clarinet, and recorder lessons. Joel recently completed a DMA in Jazz Performance from New England Conservatory. Previously, he has taught music and worked as a professional musician in Kansas and Colorado. When he’s not teaching or playing saxophone, Joel enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling.
Krishna Jean Louis is a returning teacher from the IFSI Summer Program, where she taught sixth grade students. She is in her third year at Umass Boston, studying Psychology and Spanish, with a concentration in education. For over a year, Krishna has been actively engaged in the Children’s Ministry at the Livingstone Church Boston where she teaches kids and youth on a weekly basis. Krishna understands the experiences of immigrant children, having recently emigrated herself from Haiti five years ago where she had completed her studies as an LPN. Within five years, Krishna was able to complete four years of high school courses at an accelerated pace, graduating with honors in only two years. She hopes to pass on the knowledge, determination, and work ethic that she has learned and exemplified to help other immigrant students succeed
Wilna Louis is an academic support fellow for IFSI. She is a first generation college student and a senior at University of Massachusetts Amherst expected to graduate in May 2021 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health. One of Wilna's greatest accomplishments was getting her first internship and working with people who are passionate about helping children and immigrant families. Another of her accomplishments consisted of making the Dean's list three times in a row. She has recently picked up cooking as a hobby and occasionally likes to do yoga. She is also currently learning Korean and hopes to learn Japanese and Spanish in the future.
Jennifer Pamphile is the Academic Coordinator with Immigrant Family Services Institute(IFSI). In this role, Jennifer manages and supports the IFSI team in initiatives which promote both the academic, as well as, the socio-emotional development and growth of the youth we serve. Jennifer has over five years of experience in youth development through out of school time programming and a significant background in community engagement. In the past she has worked with stakeholders to deliver community based trainings around community-engaged research and communication. Jennifer is the co-author of Connecting Community to Research, a training program designed to encourage community members to become advocates in research. In addition, Jennifer has also co-created trainings around communication using improvisational Theatre techniques. As of May 2019, she received her Masters of Public Health in Urban Health at Northeastern University where she also received her Bachelors of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience.
Morisset has over 35 years of experience in education. He served for 20 years as an assistant dean in the Mass community college system and has extensive experience in adult continuing education and workforce development training. In addition, Morisset has developed training programs for the healthcare, solar, and construction industries. He the founder of the Institut Technique de la Cote-Sud (ITCS) in southern Haiti, a sustainability training center with the goal of incubating a new breed of workers in the emerging industries and technologies for the 21st century marketplac
Morisset is currently working in helping develop the adult education and skills training infrastructures at the Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI)as a part of the IFSI Navigator Immigrant Integration Program.
Morgan Sutton began with IFSI in the fall of 2020. She is serving at IFSI as the AmeriCorps New American Integration Program member. She assists in various sectors of IFSI, especially in Adult Education. With the adult education program, she teaches an ESOL course and helps to coordinate and organize classes. In addition, she is the volunteer liaison for the After-school program and coordinates communication and the volunteer schedule for the 100+ volunteers that come to IFSI.
Morgan graduated with a BS in International Relations from Boston University in the spring of 2020.
Manica Thelusca recently joined IFSI this past Summer in 2020 as an administrative assistant for the summer enrichment program. During her initial position at IFSI, Manica grew a fondness for the program, the students, teachers, and staff as well as the mission that the program is built on. Upon the beginning of IFSI’s Fall Academic Program, she jubilantly accepted a new position to be a third grade afterschool teacher; where she is able to work with the students more directly and supplement their grade school learning in a hands-on fashion. She hopes to encourage, inspire, and assist her students of different backgrounds, and upbringings that they are brimming with uniqueness, gifts, and skills to make a difference in their community and the world together.
Manica has always loved working with youth in her community and has actively pursued roles which allowed her to mentor, teach, and engage with children, youth, and families from various ethnic backgrounds. She recently graduated from UMASS Lowell in 2019 and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Public Health. She is passionate about Mental Health in the Black Community and has worked in the field while in college as well as participated in campus initiatives to advocate for the wholistic health of individuals in the context of community development. Her history working with schools, and organizations such as, AmeriCorps (JumpStart), Boston Public Health Commission, and the Boston Project have substantiated her affinity to the advocacy for the holistic health of youth and families in her community. Apart from IFSI, Manica is an active member and youth mentor at her church, and volunteers at the Dance Complex as a work-study student and dancer.
Susie Zeiger was born in Brooklyn and lived there most of her life until moving to Northampton, MA twenty years ago. She taught ESL to Haitian children and adults in Brooklyn from 1973-2000. In 1982 she made her first trip to Haiti after learning Haitian Creole which she speaks fluently. During the past twenty years she has made countless trips to Haiti where she interprets for medical teams. Susie taught English in Port-au-Prince for a year and in Mirebalais for three months. Last year she lived in Boston where she taught a beginners ESL class at AFAB, the Asosiyasyon Fanm Ayisyen Nan Boston. She has great respect and admiration for the Haitians she has met both in Haiti and the U.S. and truly enjoys teaching them. Susie currently teaches a wonderful group of students for IFSI. When not teaching she loves to travel and has been to about thirty-five countries. Susie looks forward to visiting Haiti post Covid and post Jovenel.
Maria del Carmen Rodriguez Garrido is originally from Guatemala and is 23 years old. She is a preschool teacher and has a baccalaureate degree with a major in special education. Currently, she is in her last year of university studies in educational psychology. In terms of the arts, Maria is a professional ballet dancer with over 10 years of experience in Guatemala, and she was the first Latina foreigner to receive a scholarship with the prestigious REACH dance program at Boston University. Maria is also a student at the José Mateo Ballet Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her experiences in both education and art have allowed her to develop various skill sets enabling her to use a combination of technical approaches to realizing continuous improvement when teaching children and teenagers. She has served as a volunteer in national public entities in Guatemala, including the Hospital Infantil de Infectología y Rehabilitación, Instituto Neurológico de Guatemala and also for international entities within the Learning Spot for Arkansas Team Work.
Maria's role at IFSI is to be in charge of the dance program as an integral complement to training children and teenagers who participate in IFSI's programs. Maria also supports other IFSI teaching staff. She teaches classes including creative dance, pre-ballet and ballet, Latin rhythms, contemporary, and other rhythms depending on the individual interests of the students. In addition to her professional and intellectual abilities, Maria has an innate affinity for working with kids and teenagers, and is a sensitive, perceptive and intuitive person. She is interested in learning about others and their lives, but always within a framework of respect for cultures, traditions and social norms. Maria is grateful to be able to participate in this wonderful experience and to learn from the other volunteers and participants.
Immigrant Family Services Institute, Inc. (IFSI-USA)
1626 Blue Hill Avenue
Mattapan, MA 02126
Phone: (617) 322-1348 / (857) 251-9806