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About Us

RFK Community Alliance’s unwavering commitment to nurturing meaningful and sustained wellbeing sets us apart as trusted leaders in the field of human services.

Trusted Leaders in Care

We recognize the importance of an individualized approach that considers the whole person in context and embraces possibility: everyone has strengths and potential.

With an emphasis on collaboration, evidence-based practices, and trauma-informed care, our experienced staff help those we serve overcome adversity and develop abilities, resilience, relationships, and achieve positive outcomes.

Mission & Values

Our mission is to promote meaningful and sustained well-being for children, youth, and adults facing educational, developmental, mental health, and other challenges.

Our core values are:


Collaboration
From establishing care teams to involving families and developing community support networks, collaboration is essential to positive outcomes.

Compassion
Every member of our team is expected to be compassionate and demonstrate the ability to connect and support people relative to their individual needs and challenges.

Excellence
High quality care extends from being responsive to individual needs to professionalism, good communication, well-maintained facilities, and continually seeking to improve the ways we work.

Learning
Having a growth mindset means that if something is not working, we don’t get defensive--we learn from it. We support knowledge sharing, encourage professional development, and pursue best practices and innovations in care.

Inclusivity
We value and honor the uniqueness of each individual’s diverse background, experience, and perspective, and strive to create and maintain an unbiased and prejudice-free environment where all are welcomed and feel safe.

Integrity
Integrity at all levels of our organization is critical to our success. We expect all staff and members of our community to act with honesty and integrity.

Hope
Hope sparks possibility. Tough times and setbacks are part of life—but when we nurture hope, we foster aspirations and open the door to achievements big and small. Hope is essential.

Our History

RFK Community Alliance is everything today because of our past. We grew out of two organizations – Doctor Franklin Perkins School, founded in 1896, to educate and care for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities at a time when society refused to fully include them. And RFK Children’s Action Corps, founded in 1969, to carry on the life and legacy of Robert F. Kennedy by helping children who were facing challenges and didn’t have privilege or a voice.

There are too many milestones to fit here, but this sampling offers a glimpse of how our programs and services have evolved and expanded over time and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to serving people and families facing a range of challenges.

2022

The first phase of the Main Street campus development project, started in 2019, is completed as the new Doctor Franklin Perkins School Middle School and Hope House residence start to serve the children and youth in our care.

2020-2022

Dr. Franklin Perkins School and RFK Children Action Corps announce their affiliation. Michael Ames becomes President and CEO of both organizations, with RFK Children's Action Corps an affiliate to Dr. Franklin Perkins School. Perkins rebranded as RFK Community Alliance in 2021 and the organizations completed their merger in 2022.

2020

Edward P. Kelley, President and CEO, retired from RFK Children's Action Corps after 35 years of service to the organization. Over Mr. Kelley’s tenure, the agency tripled its programs serving at-risk youth, increased its staff members, increased its annual budget, and most importantly increased the number of youth served.

2019

The Legacy Mentoring program opens in Springfield, MA to serve Hampden County children and youth at risk of, or already affected by, commercial sexual exploitation.

2015

Michael W. Ames, PhD, assumes the role of President and CEO at Perkins. He holds a PhD from the Heller School at Brandeis; an MBA and MSW from Boston College; and a BA from Hobart and William Smith. He joins the agency after many years at other human services agencies in a variety of roles.

2015

Charles P. Conroy, Ed.D. retires from his role as CEO of Perkins. The Board votes to make him Executive Director Emeritus. During his 28 years at Perkins, Dr. Conroy advanced the quality of services, as well as the number of individuals served. In addition, he was an involved community member and thought-leader in the fields of education and human services.

2013

The Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice launches under the leadership of John A. Tuell, to provide consultation, technical assistance, and training to local, state, and national leaders, practitioners, and youth-serving agencies.

2008

Bright Futures Adoption Center, led by its founding Executive Director, Karen Cheyney, joins RFK Children’s Action Corps, while Perkins opens the Child Development Center.

2005

RFK Children's Action Corps expands it's programming by opening the Detention Diversion Advocacy Program (DDAP) to help and mentor youth of color who are navigating the juvenile justice system and welcoming the existing Children of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (COASA) program to the organization to provide much needed supports to children who are affected by alcoholism and substance abuse.

2004

Doctor Franklin Perkins School expands it's programming by opening the Center for Behavioral Health to serve the community and surrounding towns and work directly with children in local school systems who might not otherwise have access to mental health services.

2002

Doctor Franklin Perkins School’s Janeway Education Center opens in Lancaster. The 34,000 sq. ft. building includes 15 classrooms, a library, large auditorium, and full-service cafeteria.

2000

Perkins opens Davis Manor, an assisted living program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, allowing some program participants who had grown up at Perkins and attended the Perkins School, to age gracefully in the same comfortable environment with many of the same staff that they have know for life.

1989

Doctor Franklin Perkins School expands it's programming with the opening of Rein in a Dream, a therapeutic horsemanship program. The program helps individuals grow, learn, and heal through positive interactions with horses and smaller farm animals.

1969

The Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps is founded by Phil Johnston and a group of partners who want to honor RFK's legacy and values by helping children who faced challenges and lacked support. Over time, programs grow to include residential homes, special education schools, and secure treatment centers and locations grow to include Boston, Lancaster, and Springfield.

1924

Dr. Perkins moves the school to the Mary and Iver Johnson estate in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Over the following decades, countless children lived and learned at the school, which eventually grew and expanded to accommodate them as they aged. Today, the beautiful original building serves as the main offices of RFK Community Alliance, and the campus is home to many programs, including the Doctor Franklin Perkins School.

1922

Doctor Franklin Haskins Perkins, who had served as Massachusetts’ Assistant Commissioner for Mental Diseases, becomes the school’s administrator. While it's already knows as the Perkins School of Adjustment in 1922, a decade later in 1934, it will be named more officially the Dr. Franklin Perkins School.

1896

The Hillbrow School, eventually renamed Doctor Franklin Perkins School, is founded in Newton, MA to educate children with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Join Us

RFK Community Alliance believes in fostering positive, inclusive work environments, professional collaboration, and opportunities for growth. With a broad range of programs, location, and communities served, we may be the perfect fit for you.



Leadership & Key Contacts

The following list of organizational leaders are just a small percentage of the remarkable team members that make up the RFK Community Alliance. As an organization, we are everything we are because of our talented, compassionate, and devoted team members. We owe them a great debt of gratitude.


To contact anyone, please visit our Contact Page.

Executive Team
Programs
Support Services
Board of Trustees
Advisory Board
Executive Director Emeritus
Board Chair Emeritus
Trustees Emeriti
Reporting & Financials
Licensures & Accreditations

Executive Team

Michael W. Ames

PhD, President & CEO

He/Him

Dave Libby

MS, MBA, Chief Financial Officer

He/Him/His

Derek J. Padon

Senior Vice President of Human Resources

He/Him

Jessica Pepple

Ed.D, MBA, Chief Diversity and Culture Officer

She/Her

Tracy Tallman

Chief of Staff

She/Her

Cindy Wing

M.Ed., Chief Operations Officer

She/Her

Steven D. Young

Senior Vice President of Facilities and Technology

He/Him

Programs

Programs

Cindy Wing

M.Ed., Chief Operations Officer

She/Her

Adoption

Karen B. Cheyney

JD, LSWA, Executive Director of Adoption Services

She/Her

Adoption

Kristin Cohen

LICSW, Program Director, DCF Assessment Program, Bright Futures Adoption Center

She/Her

Adoption

Lisa Lovett

LICSW, Clinical Director, Bright Futures

She/Her

Adult Services

Aaron Fill

MPA, Vice President of Adult Services

He/Him

Adult Services

Lisa M. Paskell

Director of Adult Service Operations

She/Her

Behavioral Health

Dianne Walsh

LICSW, Vice President of Clinical Services, Director of Behavioral Health

She/Her

Community Services

Cherie Ansin

Director of Rein in a Dream

She/Her

Community Services

Krystyna Boisjolie

MCJ, LSW, AVP of Community Programs

She/Her

Community Services

Bianca Frederick

Youth Mentor

She/Her

Community Services

Keva Noel

MS, Program Director, Young Adult Supported Living Program

She/Her

Community Services

Maureen McGlame

M.Ed., LCSW, Director of COASA

Community Services

Juliet Ochoa

Program Coordinator, DDAP Hampden County

She/Her

Community Services

Kayla Ortiz

LSWA, Program Coordinator, DDAP Suffolk County

She/Her

Early Education and Care

Sami Lemoine

Director of the Child Development Center

She/Her

Education

Dawn Bentley

Ed.D., VP of Education and Head of School, Doctor Franklin Perkins School

She/Her

Education

Marilou Cambus

M.Ed., Director of Education, Elementary and Middle Schools, Doctor Franklin Perkins School

She/Her

Education

Raymond Dewar

M.Ed., Director of Education, High School and Adult Transition Program, Doctor Franklin Perkins School

He/Him

Education

Deanna King

M.Ed., Director of Admissions

She/Her

Education

Sharon Lowry

AVP of Educational Services

She/Her

Education

Bridget Matte

M.Ed., LSW, CTTS, CGP, CCATP-CA, Clinical Director, Doctor Franklin Perkins School

She/Her

Education

Shakayla Lawrence-Mohamed

M.Ed., Director of Education, RFK Academy

She/Her

Education

Valerie L. Paen

M.Ed., Principal and Director of Education, Don Watson Academy

She/Her

Youth Justice Transformation

Sorrel Lewis

MA, Director of Operations, RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice

She/Her

Youth Justice Transformation

Jodi Martin

Deputy Executive Director, RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice

She/Her

Youth Justice Transformation

John A. Tuell

Executive Director of RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice

Youth Residential Care

Matthew L. Cooney

MSW, VP of Youth Services

He/Him

Youth Residential Care

Maria Tebeau

AVP of Residential Treatment Services

She/Her

Youth Residential Care

Bill Cyr

Residential Program Director, Duplex

Youth Residential Care

Emily Daniels

AVP of Juvenile Justice Services

She/Her

Youth Residential Care

Ergon Gjika

LMHC, MBA, Clinical Director of Residential Services

He/Him

Youth Residential Care

Kelly Gross

Residential Program Director, Hope House

She/Her

Youth Residential Care

Danigny Jean-Louis

Residential Program Director, Curtis Hall

She/Her

Youth Residential Care

Curtis Lopes

Residential Program Director, Oatis Children’s Center

He/Him

Youth Residential Care

Joe Mantha

Director of Residential Operations

He/Him

Youth Residential Care

Tim O’Day

Residential Program Director, White Hall

Youth Residential Care

Ericka Parker

Clinical Director, Kennedy School

Youth Residential Care

Angela Prude

Director of South Hadley Girls Treatment Program

She/Her

Youth Residential Care

Will St. Hilaire

Residential Program Director, Weymouth Hall

Support Services

Facilities and Technology

Steven D. Young

Senior Vice President of Facilities and Technology

He/Him

Facilities

Chris Hanrahan

Maintenance Manager, Master Plumber

He/Him

Food Services

Danielle Sprague

Food Services Manager

She/Her

Finance

Dave Libby

MS, MBA, Chief Financial Officer

He/Him/His

Finance

Michelle White

CPA, AVP of Finance

Health Services

Teri Cataldo

RN BSN, AVP of Health Services

She/Her

Human Resources

Derek J. Padon

Senior Vice President of Human Resources

He/Him

Human Resources

Deb Dawson

Benefits Manager

She/Her

Human Resources

Mary Driscoll

Director of Human Resources

She/Her

Human Resources

Joe Howell

Talent Acquisition Specialist

He/Him

Human Resources

Jose Soto

Talent Acquisition Specialist

He/Him

Advancement

Lisa Gonzalez

Grants Manager

She/Her

Advancement

Naomi LeBlanc

MBA, AVP of Advancement

She/Her

Advancement

Erin Martin

Advancement Specialist

She/Her

Performance and Quality Improvement

Tammy Sege-Adede

MPA, VP of Performance & Quality Improvement

She/Her

Performance and Quality Improvement

Margaret Hladysz

Director of Training

She/Her

Performance and Quality Improvement

Paul Doucette

Data Systems Director

He/Him

Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees, each of them a dedicated and talented volunteer for the organization, give countless hours a month to providing governance, advising on key issues, and representing the organization and our mission within their networks and communities. We are infinitely grateful for their service.

Jim Geraghty

,

Chair

Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management

Keith P. Carroll

,

Esq., Vice-Chair

Holland & Knight

Donald A. Lowe

,

Treasurer

Town of Bolton

Penny Outlaw

,

Secretary

Suzanne M. Frisch

,

Esq., Immediate Past Chair

U.S. District Court (Worcester)

Michael W. Ames

,

PhD, President

RFK Community Alliance

John J. Boyle III

Cushman & Wakefield

Jason Burrell

,

Esq.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Emma Carpenter

Cisco

Michael F. Connolly

,

Esq.

Rubin and Rudman LLP

Jennifer L. Flanagan

,

MS

Vicente Sederberg LLP

Hon. Leslie E. Harris

,

ret.

Juvenile Court Judge, Retired

Dana M. Hollinshead

,

PhD

Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect

Charles W. Hughes II

,

MA

Road to College, Inc.

Marc J. Jones

,

Esq.

Joseph P. Kennedy III

Former Congressman

Matthew Kennedy

Kennedy Merchant Partners

James B. Leary

,

Esq.

UMass Memorial Health

Carol Francolini Mueller

Philip J. Muscatello

,

MBA

Adtech Systems, LLC

Beatrice M. Oakley

Stephen H. Peck

Brown & Brown of Massachusetts

Mary Ritter

Fallon Health

Peter R. Stanton

Worcester Business Journal

Bob Watson

LPM Holding Company, Inc.

Linda Williams

Retired, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Advisory Board

Advisory Board members are close friends of the organization who both advise us on key decisions within their areas of expertise, and serve as ambassadors for the organization and our mission within their networks and communities. We’re very grateful for their partnership and time.

Vincent Alfano

Samuel Bottum

Jay Gregory

Keri DiLeo

Daniel Faneuf

Brian Hanify

Stephanie Hyles

Alice Isenberg

Phil Johnston

Mike Mahan

Jennifer Murphy

Helyn Oatis

Susan Templeton

Tom Wing

Paul Woods

Executive Director Emeritus

The Executive Director Emeritus is a former executive director who provided distinguished service and extraordinary contributions to the organization over a period of several years.

Charles P. Conroy, EdD

Board Chair Emeritus

The Chair Emeritus is a former Chair of the Board of Trustees who provided distinguished service and extraordinary contributions to the organization over a period of several years.

Philip W. Johnston

Trustees Emeriti

The Trustees Emeriti are former Trustees who provided distinguished service and extraordinary contributions to the organization over a period of several years.

Martha Bayles

Edwin L. Coward

Ann M. Kelly

Robert L. Mahar

Reporting & Financials

Our Annual Report highlights the accomplishments of the children, youth, and adults in our care. It captures the commitment of our staff and the quality of the programs that benefit those we serve. Our Board, administration, staff, families, donors, and partners all play an important role in what makes RFK Community Alliance successful. Our Audited Financials and 990 statements are provided for transparency. We welcome questions and comments. We enthusiastically share our current and past reporting and financials with you.

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