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Kelly Lynch (she/her)

Interim Executive Director
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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.
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Maria Vertkin (any pronouns)

Founder and Former Executive Director
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Maria is a social worker, immigrant, formerly homeless, and Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur. She was born in Nizhniy Novgorod in a multi-ethnic Chăvash and Jewish family. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, she immigrated with her family first to Israel and then to the US. In addition to English, Maria speaks Russian, Hebrew, some Spanish and Portuguese, and is relearning and reclaiming her Chăvash mother tongue.

Prior to founding Found in Translation, Maria studied Social Work at Regis College, and worked with adolescents transitioning out of foster care and homeless unaccompanied youth at the nonprofit Rediscovery. She has also volunteered with survivors of domestic violence, as a mentor to pre-teen girls, a parents’ support group facilitator, crisis phone counselor, and translator for a grassroots media project. She is the recipient of the 2009 Veronica Award, 2010 Pearson Prize, 2011 Kip Tiernan Fellowship, 2013 Echoing Green Fellowship, 2015 Richard Cornuelle Award, 2015 Grinnell Prize, 2017 Jaffe Award, 2017 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, and 2018 WeWork Creator Award.

Abigail Setterholm (she/her)

Impact Director
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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. She also holds a certificate in Social Impact Management and Leadership from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. 

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. In 2016, Abigail joined Found in Translation in a program role and has since designed and implemented advancements in the organization's data, development, and communications operations.

Karen Walker (she/her)

Program Director
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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.
Bindiya Jha

Bindiya Jha (she/her)

Interpreter Training Manager
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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. Her most recent position before Found in Translation was as the 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.
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Cristina Silva (she/her)

Data Manager
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Cristina is originally from Chicago where she was raised by immigrant parents from Mexico and Cuba. Surrounded by diversity and social justice activism from a young age, she developed a lifelong appreciation for multiculturalism and community-focused work. In adulthood, Cristina worked hard to reclaim her first language that was all but lost as a little girl. Today, she speaks solely Spanish at home with her family.

Cristina holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She spent six years working in arts education to provide arts integration resources in public schools. After becoming increasingly concerned with Chicago’s underserved communities’ lack of quality of life amenities, she pursued a Master’s in urban planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since 2012, she has served as project manager and researcher for various nonprofits and community development financial institutions. Her work has encompassed multi sector research in the areas of affordable housing, K-8 education, food access, sustainability and transit oriented development.
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Maria Camila Romero (Camila) (she/her)

Supportive Services Manager
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Camila was born in Bogota, Colombia, and she immigrated to New York with her parents as a toddler, where she was raised. Camila was zealous to develop her Spanish language skill growing up and into adulthood, thus she prides herself in being fluent in Spanish. Camila graduated from Boston University in 2018 with a degree in Psychology and a Minor in Education, as she was passionate about human development through means outside of academia, such as employment, overcoming hardships, traveling, interacting with people of varying identities, etc.

Camila utilized her passion for human development to promote family stability working as a social worker for the Department of Children and Families (DCF), where she provided case management for children, and their families, impacted by neglect/abuse, and/or facing risk factors such as domestic violence, substance misuse/disorders, mental health challenges, immigration barriers, etc. While at DCF, Camila strove to center a racial equity lens in both her individual work with families and created opportunities to educate frontline staff and management on inequitable case practices common in the field. Camila worked to break down systemic barriers to a family’s ability to thrive, as she advocated for meaningful language access to families and culturally sensitive services.

Renée Metelus (she/her)

Operations Manager
[email protected]
Renée was born in Massachusetts to Haitian parents and grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Her Haitian heritage and first generation identity inspired her to pursue mission-based work at the intersection of racial and social justice, educational equity, and human rights advocacy. She began her professional career at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, where she supported international human rights advocacy in strategic communications, operations, and development. She currently serves as a Charities Specialist at the Office of the Attorney General. Previously, she worked extensively to further family and community engagement in education in Atlanta and expand equitable education opportunities for students in early childhood education programs, adult English Language Learners, and hospitality union workers in Roxbury and Chinatown.

Renée received her undergraduate degree from Boston University in 2018, where she studied sociology and international relations. She is working towards proficiency in Portuguese and is fluent in Haitian Creole and Spanish.
Beatriz Moreno

Beatriz Moreno (she/her)

Grants Manager
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Beatriz was born in Honduras and grew up in both Southern California and her native country. She completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science at UCLA, with substantial additional coursework in accounting, business, and entrepreneurship. She joined Found in Translation in 2020 and served as a grant writer for two years, before transitioning into the role of Grants Manager. Beatriz brings with her an extensive professional background on both sides of the fundraising equation - setting up grantmaking programs for philanthropies and assisting organizations in securing funds. Her unique experience as a funder, alongside her commitment to seeing immigrant women succeed, makes her an asset to our team.

Outside of her work, Beatriz is passionate about entrepreneurship, travel, equity, and most importantly culture. 
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Makiz Nasirahmad (she/her)

Program Coordinator
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Makiz was born in Afghanistan and lived in Moscow, Russia before moving to Boston in the United States. She speaks Dari, Russian, English and some Urdu/Hindi. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UMass Boston. While at UMass Boston, Makiz travelled to Russia, Ireland and India to volunteer with nonprofit organizations and study. She spent a semester at the Moscow State University in Russia, where she also volunteered with a nonprofit organization that assisted refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Angola etc. She has also travelled to Ireland to participate in a program on human rights, advocacy and cinema.

Throughout her years at UMass Boston she worked as a journalist and editor for the Mass Media, the university newspaper. During her gap year, she worked as a researcher for Samuel Hall company, where she assisted to conduct research for UNICEF on child marriages in Afghanistan. Upon completion of her degree, she traveled back to Afghanistan, where she worked as a Communications and Advocacy Officer with the United Nations Mine Action Service. During her time outside of work, she works on a campaign she founded in 2017, to provide families in need with food, hygiene products and financial assistance.
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Denise Muro (she/her)

Interpreting and Translation Coordinator
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Originally from Denver, Colorado, Denise has a background in nonprofit and higher education work in gender and racial justice and equity. She has several years of experience working, advocating, and conducting research with asylum seeker, refugee, and immigrant communities and currently leads a volunteer-based initiative to strengthen and connect services for these communities in the Boston area. Denise has also spent four years working with UMass Boston’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy on women’s leadership programming and bringing attention to social and political issues of importance for women, and especially women of color and low-income women.

Denise earned her master’s in International Studies with a graduate minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Wyoming and has bachelor's degrees in English and in International Affairs from the University of Northern Colorado. She is a doctoral candidate in the Global Governance and Human Security program at UMass Boston.
Lauren Flatley, Career Advancement Coordinator

Lauren Flatley (she/her)

Career Advancement Coordinator
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Lauren was born and raised in the Boston area. She holds an undergraduate degree in International Studies and History with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies from the University of Richmond (VA). Her passion for learning about other cultures and languages led her to Morocco for a semester abroad and later to Chanthaburi, Thailand, where she spent a year and a half teaching English and Science to 8th graders. She speaks intermediate French and some Thai and she is working on improving her rudimentary Spanish.

Prior to joining Found in Translation in Fall 2022, Lauren began her professional career coordinating staff for a small home health agency, most of whom were women and immigrants. Most recently, she spent three years working with English language learners in the English for Advancement program at JVS Boston to overcome barriers to employment and to identify and improve the skills they need to meet their career goals. She also helped dozens of students with language and technology challenges access unemployment benefits and other resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christine La

Technology Fluency Coordinator
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Bio coming soon!
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Julia Hickey (she/her)

Grant Writer
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Julia Peçanha Hickey was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is a dual citizen of Brazil and the U.S. Julia graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a BA in Creative Writing in 2012. She began working in nonprofit development in 2014, and since then has worked with a range of organizations in the arts, education, social justice, and conservation. In her spare time, Julia writes poetry (her work can be found in Issue 38 of New American Writing and in the forthcoming Haunted issue of Hayden's Ferry Review) rides horses, and has adventures with her dog, Milo.
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Bethany Wagner (she/her)

Grant Writer
[email protected]
Originally from the Boston area, Bethany has spent most of her professional career working in the nonprofit world, after studying English and Communications at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She comes to Found in Translation by way of two national philanthropies: The Pew Charitable Trusts and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where her work in grantmaking focused on health and human services, as well as civic engagement. Having shifted her focus to grant writing for direct-service nonprofits, Bethany is passionate about helping organizations that work to advance structural equity in health, education, and the environment. She is currently working to rebuild and improve her Spanish-speaking skills, and outside of work finds joy and comfort in baking, art, and her family and their small flock of pets.