Edith Presley is the President of Stamford Cradle to Career. She has over 20 years’ experience in public education and nonprofit, with expertise in school culture, specialized instruction, and educational equity. Edith has learned to navigate Stamford’s education system as a student, teacher, and now as a parent of two SPS students. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University and later attended Mercy College and Sacred Heart University for her Master’s degree and Administrative Certification. Edith believes through data-driven decision making, building sustainable relationships, and being deliberately aligned with school, nonprofit, faith-based, and local government organizations; Stamford families will actualize an improved quality of life. She is very excited to be a part of such an amazing team and is committed to the continued growth of Stamford Cradle to Career.
Lauren Scopaz Daunais
Lauren Scopaz Daunais is the Vice President for Strategy and Operations for Stamford Cradle to Career. She has over 20 years of experience spanning the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, including 12 years at the Harlem Children’s Zone, with an emphasis on strategy, project management, and leadership. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor’s in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College. Lauren believes all children deserve the opportunities and support they need to achieve their potential, and that high quality, equitable education and wrap around supports are the way to economic mobility. She also believes that systemic racism is the root cause for much of the inequity that exists. Lauren is proud to be a Stamford resident, public school parent, and part of the collaborative, fun, equity-focused team at Stamford Cradle to Career.
Yolande Ford is the Director of Equity Initiatives for Stamford Cradle to Career. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (licensed in Connecticut and Texas). She has over 18 years of experience working with the community and diverse populations, particularly disenfranchised and underserved groups. She has a Master’s of Arts in Counseling from Prairie View A & M University, Master’s of Divinity from Baylor University’s George Truett Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Baylor University. Yolande realizes that life is challenging and at times overwhelming, especially for society’s most vulnerable. Therefore, she works diligently and passionately to mitigate the trauma and subsequent damage that so many children and families experience.
Katie Murphy is the Data Manager for Stamford Cradle to Career. She has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector working for both domestic and international organizations. Her work has focused on helping community organizations strengthen their data collection abilities while empowering them to make actionable decisions based on their data. She has a MS in Measurement and Evaluation from American University and a BA in English from Fordham University. Katie is passionate about the collaborative nature of Cradle to Career’s work and is motivated by inspiring communities to use their existing resources to create meaningful change.
Rosario Velazquez is the new college and career Readiness Manager at Stamford Cradle to Career. She has extensive counseling and planning experience with youth ages 5 to 18, including college and career planning, academic, mental health, and social issues. Rosario has worked with school staff and parents to assist youth. She graduated from Alfred University with a Master of Science in School Counseling and from SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelor of Arts. Rosario is passionate about communities using their existing resources while simultaneously piloting new programs to address the need at hand in order to create meaningful change, and she is passionate about Cradle to Career’s collaborative nature.
Leticia De La Rosa
Leticia De La Rosa is the Community School Manager for Dolan. Leticia brings over two decades of experience in empowering children and families. With 15 years dedicated to Stamford Public Schools, she’s been a driving force in collaborating with community partners and families to achieve educational goals. Holding a degree in early childhood education, Leticia has been instrumental in guiding families toward development and education milestones.
Her excitement is palpable as she contributes her enthusiasm and dedication to helping families to the Stamford Cradle to Career initiative. Leticia’s collaborative approach fosters strong bonds among school staff, amplifying family participation in school events and enhancing parental involvement in their children’s education. She looks forward to continuing to create a welcoming environment that helps families navigate the educational journey with confidence, through her work with Stamford Cradle to Career.
Shawn Davis is an innovative, people-oriented professional with over 10 years of experience in the education industry. Having worked specifically with non-profits in the youth developmental realm, he brings his passion for the overall advancement of the younger generation. With a Master’s degree and Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Florida Memorial University, Shawn has worked with culturally and demographically diverse groups in an effort to increase student enrollment in afterschool programs, college programs, develop their holistic view of life, and help them achieve academic success while also developing employability skills and life-long learning. Shawn utilized his interpersonal and leadership skills to provide mentorship and guidance to ensure academic success, encouraged educational achievement, and identified strategies to effectively use their time, especially towards the betterment of communities. Shawn believes in Stamford Cradles to Careers core values and looking forward to making profound change.
Melissa Stanley is the Community Engagement Manager for Stamford Cradle to Career. She has a passion for empowering individuals, fostering positive change, and strengthening families. Combining academic pursuits in pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business with a specialization in Family and Child Services Certification and extensive real-world experience, Melissa excels as a program director and Director of Customer Success. Working directly with school-age children and families, she implements essential programs, nurtures growth, and fosters creativity. Melissa’s ability to build strong relationships, collaborate with stakeholders, and develop innovative strategies drives successful community engagement initiatives that benefit families. With her extensive experience and unwavering dedication, Melissa Stanley is poised to make a profound impact as a Community Engagement Manager, enhancing the lives of individuals and families.
Gabriella Tozzi is the Administrative Coordinator for United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut / Stamford Cradle to Career. She has over a decade of experience in the human services field, specifically in the nonprofit and public education sectors. She has experience providing outreach, instructional, and administrative services to assist leaders, youth, and residents of Fairfield County to address various initiatives, regarding college and career planning, truancy, public health, and the arts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Communication from Fairfield University and was recognized by the State of Connecticut for her achievements as a Community Awareness Agent with Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust. Gabriella is passionate about inspiring others and being involved in the community to help those in need and further promote equality and well-being to all residents. She also believes in every individual having a greater purpose, and the right to seek and pursue it in their education and careers, and looks forward to further supporting Stamford Cradle to Career’s various initiatives to help all youth and families succeed.
To effectively measure and identify effective practices while aligning resources, we have designed and developed a detailed Action Plan process. The process and the related template were created in close partnership with Stamford Public Schools and the Superintendent’s team. This process is consistently followed by all CANs. Each CAN is at a different stage of action plan completion, depending on the complexity of its objectives and the available data.
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