STS Hires New Executive Director

Brookline, MA – January 17, 2017 – Steps to Success, Inc. is pleased to announce it has hired a new Executive Director, Shoma Haque. Ms. Haque brings over twenty years of experience in the field. Her career has centered around the non-profit sector in Boston for the past 15 years, with positions at the Center for Women & Enterprise, City Year, and Nuestra Comunidad. Most recently, Ms. Haque served as the Chief Operating Officer at BPE(formerly the Boston Plan for Excellence) a non-profit organization focused on developing great teachers and great schools in the Boston Public School district.


Judy Katz, Board Chair of Steps to Success, Inc. expressed the thoughts of the Board and Staff. “After a lengthy search process, we are so fortunate to have encountered Shoma and been successful in bringing her on board to lead Steps to Success. We are at an important juncture in the work of Steps in ensuring educational equity for all Brookline students from low-income families. We are confident that in her role as Executive Director, Shoma brings the energy, understanding, knowledge and professional skills that guarantee that Steps to Success, will build on 15+ years of success and continue to be a strong positive force in the lives of our students.”


“I am thrilled to be starting this new role, with such a dedicated board and committed staff. Steps to Success has been an integral part of the Brookline community for over fifteen years, and I look forward to carrying on their impactful work on behalf of the students and families of this town. I’m honored to be working alongside the Brookline Housing Authority and Public Schools of Brookline, to support our students as they strive for academic success and close the achievement gap,” commented Ms. Haque.


Ms. Haque received her undergraduate education from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a Master’s in City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ms. Haque lives with her husband and two children in Jamaica Plain.



Steps to Success (STS) was founded as a public-private partnership to address the unequal academic outcomes of students living in Brookline’s Public Housing. In collaboration with The Brookline Housing Authority (BHA) and the Brookline Public Schools, STS provides individualized academic support and comprehensive services to students living in Brookline’s public housing. Starting in grade 4, STS works with BHA’s students and families so that low-income students not only graduate but thrive academically in high school, matriculate in college, and obtain their college degrees. STS has a proven track record in narrowing the academic achievement gap between low-income students and their higher-income counterparts in Brookline.


For more information, contact Judy Katz at

CSI Freshmen Get a Taste of College Life


This past week, our rising college freshmen came together for dinner and some real talk about what to expect their first year of college. Our students, like many on their way to campus for the first time this fall, have heard a lot of advice about the experience they’re about to have. Most of this seems to come from older teachers, family, or advisors who went to college years ago and can sometimes seem disconnected from the here and now. To bridge this gap in understanding, the highlight of the night was the CSI student panel. Consisting of two newly-graduated UMass Dartmouth students, a student who just graduated from the University of Vermont, and a UMass Boston rising sophomore, the panel was able to cover a diversity of recent college experiences. Freshmen were able to hear about everything from the highs and lows of the first semester to the importance of finding “your people.” A strong theme of the night was community. The older students warned about the dangers of not asking for help or attempting to do everything on your own. It takes a strong community of friends, professors, and mentors to make college happen.



2016 Women’s Panel

Panelists (top row) from left to right: Sandra McEvoy, Political Science professor at Wheelock College; Maria Amaya-Aluigi, Executive Director of La Alianza Hispana; Lee Gardner, Artistic Director at Nora Theater; Sara Laschever, Author, Editor, and Cultural Critic; Suzanne Graca, Child Life Specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Child Life Instructor at Wheelock College; Casey Hatchett, Criminal Analyst and Police Officer for the Town of Brookline; Akilah Johnson, Reporter at The Boston Globe; Danielle Suave; Sculptor and Installation Artist


This month, Steps to Success’ High School program was pleased to host a Women’s Career Panel for our young women in grades 9-12. During a morning session at Brookline Interactive Group, STS women were able to hear from inspirational female leaders in the Boston area. Ranging from college professors to police officers and artists, the panelists spoke of their career paths, the challenges the faced, and gave advice to our young women. Here are some key pieces of advice they had for the young women:

“If it was easy, everyone would do it”

“Attitude is everything, see yourself as a champion and you will be one”

“We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing” -Ben Franklin

“Embrace the Is-ness”

“There can be no joy in living without joy in work” -Thomas Aquinas