Faculty & Volunteers

Joe Burnieika

Executive Director

Joe is a current professor at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, with over 40 years’ experience as an educator, mentor, and teacher including experience with Boston Public Schools and as a management executive. Joe has had a lifelong dedication to the Greater Boston community and is looking forward to working with all the parents and students at Paraclete!

Molly Zollo

Program Director

Molly's passion for teaching and her belief in educational equity originally led her to Paraclete as an AmeriCorps teacher. Now, in her second year as Program Director, Molly is eager to take on the new challenge of ensuring access to quality educative experiences for all Paraclete students. Even in the age of Covid-19, she firmly believes that the youth of Boston deserve a safe and caring environment to learn in, access to up to date technology, and the opportunity to build positive relationships with adult mentors. 

This year, Molly is looking forward to expanding the Community Investment Program, to provide more Paraclete students with the opportunity to create their own meaningful experiences of giving back to their community.


Blair Goldstein

2nd Year Americorps Teacher

Blair Goldstein graduated from Skidmore College with a double major in psychology and studio art. She is looking forward to her second year at Paraclete! 

Throughout college, she worked extensively in daycares and schools with young children (ages 2-7) doing developmental psychology research. In the art studio, she kept up an oil painting practice. Before attending Skidmore, Blair lived at home with her family in Omaha, Nebraska. Outside of Paraclete, you can find her spending time with friends, drawing or painting in the studio, or exploring new restaurants in Chinatown.


Mary Bready

1st Year Americorps Teacher

Mary was born in Jacksonville, Florida but raised in both western Pennsylvania and Charlotte, North Carolina. She attended the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in Political Science and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s studies. After working at Paraclete as a summer intern in 2018, she is happy to be back as a first year AmeriCorps teacher. In her free time, she likes to play soccer, bake, and hang out with friends.

IWU Headshot.jpeg

Marlena Cheney

1st Year Americorps Teacher

Marlena is a recent graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work.  Although born in Oregon, she spent her formative years in Washington state, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and eSwatini. Her unique childhood experiences gave her an appreciation of cultural diversity and a passion for serving others. While at Paraclete, she hopes to aid in empowering students to thrive and become positive forces in their community.  In her spare time, she enjoys sitting down with a cup of tea and chatting with friends and family or simply reading a good book.


Lucia Bernardo

1st Year Americorps Teacher

Lucia Bernardo graduated from Wesleyan University, where she majored in English with a concentration in creative writing and minored in Education Studies. She is so excited to be working as a first year teacher this year, and is passionate about creating spaces where students can explore creative writing in many forms, as well as encouraging various types of social-emotional learning. She has worked with kids in many capacities throughout her college years, including as a middle school tutor, a first grade reading helper, and a camp counselor at a musical theater summer camp program. She grew up in Santa Monica, California, and in her free time she loves going to the beach, cooking and baking, and exploring Boston.

Meet our 2020-21 Pulse Interns!

Rhea Jajoo is a sophomore at Boston College studying finance and management and leadership. She loves spending time with children and tutoring them so she can’t wait to be a part of the Paraclete community. In her free time, she loves kickboxing and exploring Boston to find the best places to eat. She also loves traveling to other countries and learning about the different cultures and traditions around the world. 

Katherine Tolsdorf is a sophomore at Boston college serving Paraclete through the PULSE student program. She is majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in History. Katherine is from West Chester, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside, painting, and drawing. Over the summer, Katherine works at a day camp for 3-7-year-olds at a small Quaker preschool. She is so excited to be working with Paraclete this year, and can’t wait to get to know the kids!

Joe Kenealy will be one of our PULSE interns for the year. He is currently a sophomore at Boston College studying Finance. He grew up on the South Shore and is looking forward to joining the Paraclete community. In his free time, you can find him playing tennis, watching college football, or playing among us with his roommates.

Daniel Fu is a sophomore at Boston College majoring in chemistry. He attended River Dell High School in Bergen County, New Jersey and spent his four years there servicing and tutoring others in english, science, and math. In his free time, he likes to swim, read books, and hang with his friends in Boston. At Paraclete, Daniel hopes to help and inspire others in the academic field.

Ellie Kominiarek is a sophomore at Boston College double majoring in Political Science and Economics. Ellie really enjoys working with students and is excited to be volunteering with Paraclete as a part of the Pulse program at BC. At BC, Ellie is a Facilitator in the Emerging Leader Program, a leadership development program for first-year students, an author for the Heights, BC's student-run newspaper, and a volunteer with the Student Admission Program. Ellie is from North Attleboro, MA. In her free time, she loves to explore Boston with friends, play with her dog, run, and go to the beach.

Board Members

Peter Gelzenis Jr.

Board Chair

Arthur Murphy

Chief Financial Officer

Barry Hynes


Navil Charles

Christine McConville

Anna Daidone

Nagib Charles


Ruth Shiferaw

Summer 2020 Seevak Fellow

Ruth is the newest member of our Paraclete community, and will be working with us as an intern this summer. She is a rising senior at Boston Latin School, and is excited to share her experience in Boston Public Schools during her tutoring sessions. With aspirations of having a career in math or physics, Ruth hopes she can inspire other underrepresented students to also go after what they believe in. In her free time you can find Ruth rowing on the Charles or playing with her cats.

Ms. Susan Entin


Ms. Susan has been with Paraclete for over two years and has her Master’s in Art Education from Boston University as well as a Post-Bacc Degree from the Tufts School of the Museum of the Fine Arts. She has had several years of experience teaching art in public school and related setting and loves teaching the students different forms of art weekly!

Ms. Julia Powers


A new addition to the Paraclete family, Ms. Julia Powers is a licensed nutritionist and health educator who combines an advanced education in nutrition science, a deep love of good food and respect for a wide range of holistic healing methods. She will be coming in weekly to teach Culinary Nutrition to our students!