Lena Eaton

Lena became Thrive Scholars’ Data Systems Manager in December of 2020. Prior to joining Thrive, Lena worked as a fundraiser for nonprofit theaters, an office assistant in Worcester public schools, and an instructor for a variety of youth summer programs. She is very excited to combine her passion for youth work with her database administration experience. She graduated from Clark University in Worcester, MA as a Sociology major and Theater Arts minor.

Kylia Kummer

Kylia joined Thrive Scholars in November 2020 with over 13 years of experience in strategic partnership development. As Director of Corporate Partnerships, she is responsible for expanding Thrive’s partnerships with the business community in Los Angeles, Boston and across the country.

Kylia most recently served as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Chicago Children’s Museum, where she led the museum’s corporate and foundation fundraising efforts.

A former high school history teacher, Kylia holds a B.A. in History and Education from Hendrix College. She resides in Chicago, IL with her husband and their pup, and serves on the board of Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation Org.

Jasmyn Culpepper

Jasmyn joined Thrive Scholars in October 2020 as a Career Coach. As a Los Angeles native, Jasmyn lives by the motto “I am my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper!”. She believes that college is a possibility for everyone no matter their background. Jasmyn strives to create amazing relationships with Scholars and loves that she can continue building these relationships while supporting Thrive Scholars.

Before joining Thrive, Jasmyn worked as a Career Program Manager at the Posse Foundation in Los Angeles, providing Posse Scholars with the tools needed to secure internships and full-time job opportunities in industry leading companies. Jasmyn brings over 6 years of experience building relationships with youth while managing academic and career success program in non-profit and higher education settings.

Jasmyn holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Child Development and Family Studies and Family Life Education from California State University, Long Beach. In her spare time, Jasmyn loves to test out new recipes, bowling, bike along the beach and play card games with family and friends. She also serves on the board of Pretty Women Pray Not Prey.

Sarah Lassonde

Sarah joined Thrive Scholars in October 2020 with over 15 years of experience at growth-focused educational nonprofits. A specialist in foundation relations, as Senior Director of Institutional and Family Philanthropy, she is responsible for growing institutional support from national and local grantmaking organizations.

Prior to joining Thrive, Sarah held senior development roles at uAspire, the GreenLight Fund, and City Year. Sarah earned an MA in European and Eurasian studies from George Washington University and a BA in international relations from Michigan State University. She resides in Natick, MA with her husband and three children, and serves on the board of the Natick Community Organic Farm.

Kate Berezo

Kate joined the Thrive Scholars team as Mentorship Manager in August 2020. As a first-generation college student, she is passionate about helping students thrive in higher education by connecting them with meaningful relationships and resources. Kate brings over 7 years of experience managing mentorship and academic success programs in non-profit and higher education settings.
Kate holds a Bachelor’s in Multicultural Psychology and Counseling from the Evergreen State College and a Master’s in Adult Education and Instructional Design from Antioch University Seattle.

Zachary Fruhling

Zachary Fruhling joined Thrive Scholars in 2020 as Director of Instructional Design. Zachary has nearly 20 years of experience in higher education, both in the classroom and as an instructional designer and educational content author and developer.

Prior to joining Thrive Scholars, Zachary taught philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at several community colleges, including Cabrillo College, Evergreen Valley College, and most recently at College of Eastern Idaho.

Zachary was the Senior Learning Design Author for logic and philosophy at Cengage, a global education and technology company, where he authored and developed the highly successful Aplia online learning materials for logic and philosophy, used by college and university students nationwide.

Most recently Zachary was a Senior Instructional Designer for HotChalk, Inc. where he designed and built graduate-level online courses in a variety of disciplines for universities such as Concordia University, Nebraska and Concordia University, Portland.

Zachary is also a prolific writer, blogger, podcaster, and poet.

Vannessa Rodriguez

Vannessa joined Thrive Scholars as the Development and Communications Manager in August of 2020. As a first-generation college student from a low-income community, Vannessa appreciates the opportunities that educational access organizations have brought to her life. After earning her BA in Communications with a minor in Art, she journeyed through South America, lived in Australia, and worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama. She credits her education for opening doors to a world of new and global experiences. She is committed to providing educational opportunities to young people so they can also thrive. Prior to working at Thrive, Vannessa has held positions in independent school admissions, college advising, community organizing, and youth development.

She balances her work life with yoga, hiking, dancing, and eating out with friends. She also loves to travel and immerse herself in the beautiful differences the world has to offer.

Stephanie Morales-Lopez

Stephanie joins Thrive Scholars as the College Access Manager based in Los Angeles, CA. Stephanie’s experience as a first-generation college student coupled with her passion for social justice has led her to work in college access. Before joining Thrive Scholars, Stephanie was a College Counselor at the Schuler Scholar Program. There she worked closely with Scholars and families to navigate the college process and help demystify access to higher education. She is excited to bring her experience in college counseling to Thrive Scholars!

Stephanie graduated from Bucknell University with a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish. During her time there, she was involved in the Latino Student organization, community service and independent research. In her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, playing board games and exploring new places!

Angie Estevez Prada

Angie joins Thrive Scholars as the College Access Manager based in Boston, MA. Originally from Colombia, Angie grew up in small-town North Carolina where she was heavily involved in peer mentoring and graduation initiatives from a young age.

Before joining Thrive, Angie worked as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Dartmouth College where she was a member of the Access Team. During her time there, she oversaw the Dartmouth Bound visitation program, where she developed and coordinated programming to demystify the college admissions process for underrepresented high school students.

Angie is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations where she minored in Law & Society, Latina/o Studies, and Inequality Studies. A Hufflepuff to the core, Angie is excited to join the team to help ensure Scholars have every opportunity to thrive in high school, college, and beyond.

Trevor Tierney

Trevor joined Thrive Scholars in July of 2019. He spent the previous four years working in Cambridge MA with The Possible Project where he designed curriculum and guided students through an experiential program centered around entrepreneurship and youth development. In addition to his student-facing role, Trevor managed the day-to-day logistics of the Cambridge site and contributed to the creation of company-wide systems leading to an interest in operations.

Trevor was born and raised in North Yarmouth, Maine and developed a passion for business early on in high school. His father owned and operated a small business and he worked for several small businesses as a teenager, giving him a window into the inner workings of each operation. He went to Babson College and majored in Finance and Economics, but soon realized these industries weren’t going to provide the fulfillment in his work that he was looking for. A study abroad trip to Ghana his senior year at Babson helped guide him towards education and the nonprofit sector.

Trevor loves to be outdoors whether it’s hiking a mountain, playing spikeball at the beach or pickup basketball in the park. He loves to cook, go to concerts and play board games. But most of all, Trevor loves his Boston Celtics, New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox.