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Staff

maria@found-in-translation.org

Maria Vertkin

Founder and Executive Director
maria@found-in-translation.org
Maria was born in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia and lived in Kadima, Israel before immigrating to the United States. In addition to English, Maria speaks Russian, Hebrew, Spanish, and a little Portuguese. Maria studied Social Work at Regis College and began her career at the nonprofit Rediscovery. There she worked with adolescents transitioning out of foster care and led two pilot programs: a summer jobs program for at-risk youth and an innovative school-based program for homeless, unaccompanied high school students.

She has also worked with survivors of domestic violence, was a mentor to girls at Big Sister of Greater Boston, a support group facilitator at Parents Helping Parents, a phone counselor on the state-wide Parental Stress Line, and translated for the grassroots media project Alive in Mexico to raise awareness of social justice issues in Mexico.

For her service and dedication to the community, Maria has received several awards, including the 2009 Veronica Award from the Superstars Foundation, the 2010 Pearson Prize, the 2011 Women of Peace Award from the Women's Peacepower Foundation, the 2011 Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship, which has enabled her to launch Found in Translation, the 2013 Echoing Green Global Fellowship, the 2015 Richard Cornuelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship from the Manhattan Institute, the Innovator for Social Justice Prize from Grinnell College.

She is profiled in the 2016 Chronicle of Philanthropy 40 Under 40 list, and in the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs.
kelly@found-in-translation.org

Kelly Lynch

Kelly Lynch graduated from UMass Amherst, where she majored in Political Science and French & Francophone Studies, while completing a certificate program in Interpretation Studies. After teaching ESOL through the UMass Labor Management Workplace Education Program and supporting low-income individuals through the LIFT Cambridge-Somerville office, she went on to serve as an AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring at On Common Ground.

Upon completing her year of service, she remained at On Common Ground as the first full-time program coordinator of the Mentor Center, which offers mentoring services to adults experiencing poverty through one-on-one support, guidance and resource referrals. Kelly joined Found in Translation in 2015 as a Career and Supportive Services Coordinator, while serving as the Outreach Coordinator at the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. She also holds a certificate from Wheelock College in Nonprofit Organization Leadership.
<b>Bindiya Jha</b><br>Lead Instructor

Bindiya Jha

Head of Interpreter Education
bindiya@found-in-translation.org
Bindiya believes in language access and equity. She is a community-based healthcare administrator, an advocate, and educator with a focus on healthcare interpreting. She speaks Nepali and is actively involved with the Bhutanese refugee population. She has a Masters in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. She is a freelance CCHI certified Medical Interpreter and a Certified Court Interpreter in Nepali.

Ms. Jha has worked in refugee resettlement from 2007 to 2013 and has extensive experience in immigration law. Since 2013, she has worked at Caregiver Homes and provides operational support to Adult Foster Care programs along with online digital care coaching for Nepali speaking caregivers. Currently, she works in the capacity of Clinical Practice Manager for the Worcester branch. She is a trainer for Nepali medical interpreter students in various platforms across the state. In all her roles, she has been a passionate advocate for languages of lesser diffusion like Nepali.
Karen Walker - Career Advancement Manager

Karen Walker

Career Advancement Manager
karen@found-in-translation.org
Karen was born in Massachusetts and is the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica.  She studied psychology and Spanish at Oberlin College and later studied school psychology at Tufts University.  Karen has worked as a school psychologist in the public school system working with students from pre-school through high school.

She spent a number of years working with homeless youth providing academic and career development services first as a classroom instructor and later as an administrator.  Karen also spent four years working at a community college in Massachusetts overseeing a dual enrollment program for high school students with disabilities.
Abigail Setterholm - Information and Communications Manager

Abigail Setterholm

Information and Communications Manager
abigail@found-in-translation.org
Abigail grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she attended a Spanish Elementary school and became bilingual at a young age. Her passion for cultures, empathy, and social justice led her to Boston, where she attended Tufts University, earning a BA in Peace and Justice Studies and a minor in Drama.

Before coming to Found in Translation, Abigail completed two years of national service as a City Year AmeriCorps member at a public elementary school in Boston, serving as a tutor, mentor, and role model in a 5th-grade classroom. Abigail joined Found in Translation in 2016 as a Program Assistant and has since transitioned from program support to data, development, and communications.
Ayolah Ibezim, Supportive Services Coordinator

Ayolah Ibezim

Supportive Services Coordinator
ayolah@found-in-translation.org
Ayolah graduated from Boston University, where she studied Psychology and Biology. During her years at Boston University, Ayolah became a volunteer case manager at Boston Medical Center under the supervision of Health Leads, an organization that aims to lessen the socioeconomic burden of poverty and increase overall health by creating cost-effective, sustainable, impactful connections to community resources.

Her three years of experience as a case manager, team supervisor, and eventual volunteer coordinator within Health Leads allowed her to discover her passion in working with disenfranchised, low-income communities of color. After graduating from Boston University, Ayolah began working as a Mental Health Specialist at McLean Hospital, where she continued working with diverse groups of people living with various mental illnesses.
David Chen - Partnerships Coordinator

David Chen

Partnerships Coordinator
david@found-in-translation.org
David graduated from Fitchburg State University, where he majored in Political Science and Business. Upon graduation, David had a brief stint in the federal government working for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but he knew his heartfelt desire was working at the community level. Subsequently, David earned his Master of Education in Community Engagement from Merrimack College and spent the past few years working on multiple community-based participatory projects and in local government.

David has helped a town government in Massachusetts addressed senior food security and collaborated with the local transit authority to bring a commuter bus that travels to Boston daily. David also speaks fluent Cantonese (and some Mandarin) and enjoys making videos and digital projects. He is most passionate in helping people and communities attain the highest level of health and prosperity.
Danielle Osterman, MSW - Program Coordinator

Danielle Osterman

MSW - Program Coordinator
danielle@found-in-translation.org
Danielle studied International Development and Social Change at Clark University and later went on to study Macro Social Work at Boston College.

Prior to coming to Found In Translation, Danielle completed two years of AmeriCorps service, one with the YMCA International Learning Center and the other with The Neighborhood Developers. In both positions, she worked on program development with low-income communities, primarily around access to income supports. Danielle has also managed Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs for several years in the Boston area.
Kerri Lopez-Howell - Grant Writer

Kerri Lopez-Howell

Kerri Lopez-Howell hails from sunny Tucson, AZ (it’s a dry heat). She has been writing grants for various non-profits for the past five years. She has a Masters in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a Bachelors of Arts in English and Creative Writing from the University of Arizona.

Prior to her work with Found in Translation, Kerri was the lead grant writer for YWCA Southern Arizona an anti-racism, feminist organization working especially hard to support Latinx and immigrant women in Southern Arizona. She has a background in program directing and management in low-income Latinx communities. Away from her computer, you can find Kerri rescuing stray dogs and exploring Tucson’s food scene.