Lawrence "LB" Battle, Facilities Manager
Working as our dedicated facilities manager, LB serves as everything from the Center's personal "Mr. Fix It" to the ever-resourceful facilitator of everything onsite. A Cambridge native himself, LB grew up in the Center before raising his own children (and now grandchildren) here in the community. With a resume of impressive restorations and quality renovations, we're grateful that LB's chosen to offer the Center his valued skillset with unparalleled dedication.
David "Lightfoot" Bellow, Director of Audio (The Hip Hop Transformation)
David "Lightfoot" Bellow is a music producer and audio engineer who joined the THHT staff in the summer of 2014. David attended the Center For Digital Imaging Arts of Boston University, studying Audio Engineering and Production. David works with the students who express an interest in the technical components of music production, recording, mixing, and mastering. He teaches participants how to utilize a variety of music programs, such as ProTools, Reason, Fruity Loops, and Ableton Live.
Capryce Browne, Program Manager (The Mental Health ACCESS Program)
Capryce Browne is senior at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst where she will graduate with a degree in Psychology and Neuroscience in 2021. Capryce views her role as the ACCESS Program Manager as “an opportunity to share everything I learn in school with teens from my [Cambridge] community.” Her personal mission is to eliminate barriers for young people’s personal and academic growth and help spawn their interest in pursuing mental health- and service-related academic tracks. In doing so, she hopes to inspire the next generation of change agents and mental health advocates in the United States and abroad. Capryce is spearheading the development of a Spanish version of the ACCESS curriculum to more intentionally meet the cultural and linguistic needs of Latinx youth. In her free time, she enjoys braiding hair, creating poetry, and engaging in small- and large-scale service projects in her community. Capryce intends to pursue her doctorate degree in psychology.
Jonathan Terell Charles, Education Specialist & Mentor (The Mental Health ACCESS Program)
Jonathan Terell Charles is a senior at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst majoring in Public health with an emphasis in Education Pedagogy. Originally from Waltham MA, his roots in public health began in high school while doing work with several Cambridge youth initiatives, such as: the Students Teaching and Advocating Respect to other Students (STARS) program, Youth Action Corps (YAC), and My City My Voice. His work with ACCESS merges his interest in public health philosophy with his interest in education, while working in a team environment. In addition to continuing his pursuit toward a career in education, Jonathan plans to venture into real estate when graduates from UMass.
Kwame Dance, Behavioral Health Services Coordinator; Founder of The Mental Health ACCESS Program
Kwame is a 5th year clinical psychology doctoral candidate (Psy.D) at William James College, where his concentration is Children & Families of Adversity and Resilience with emphasis in African & Caribbean Mental Health. He is currently in his final year of predoctoral training at the American Psychological Association accredited Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology. He graduated from Trinity College (CT) with his bachelor’s degree in psychology and holds master’s degrees in professional psychology and business administration. Kwame is also an outpatient behavioral health clinician at Whittier Street Health Center. Kwame is a proud member of the Black Mental Health Graduate Academy at William James College, the Association of Black Psychologists, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Imam "Flash" Firmin, Program Director (The Hip Hop Transformation)
Imam "Flash" Firmin was born and raised in Cambridge and is a member of Cambridge-based hip hop duo, Natural Born Spitters (N.B.S.). Before Imam saw success in hip hop, he worked with students as a Community Field Coordinator in Boston Public Schools. He has also worked as an Assistant Teen Program Director for the City of Cambridge and a Senior Youth Counselor for the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program. Imam coaches youth basketball on the weekends, as well.
Yvonne "Ms. G" Gittens, Girls Group Lead Teacher/Cooking Teacher
Yvonne Gittens, or "Ms. G", as she is known by the community, is a native Cantabridgian and a former "Center Kid". She served as a CCC board member for over 30 years and was a member of the first committee to work on Cambridge’s African American Heritage Trail Project. Since retiring from a 42-year career at MIT, she can still be found giving high school students advice regarding the financial aid process. She also serves as a member of the Sister to Sister Conversations Committee, which organizes workshops on issues impacting women of color and their families. Yvonne's passion is working with the youth at CCC. She especially loves working with the preteen girls, teaching them cooking and how to make lip balm, among other things. She regularly invites women of color from the community to talk with the young girls she works with about their careers and share valuable life lessons.
Zach Goldhammer, Community Engagement Coordinator
After working as a lead teacher in our OST programs for over a year, Zach effortlessly transitioned into his current Community Engagement Coordinator role in the Fall of 2020. Earning his bachelor's degree at the University of Chicago in 2014, Zach's impressive resume includes his experience working as a journalist before becoming a producer of WBUR's popular show, "Open Source with Christopher Lydon". Being born and raised in Cambridge, Zach was especially excited to join the CCC's team in September 2019. His dedication to the community has been proven time and time again, becoming even more apparent after the outbreak of COVID-19. Since first opening our Food & Supply Pantry in April 2020, Zach has handled the coordination of our pantry, embracing the role's responsibilities with demonstrative success.
Erin Gullage, Enrollment Manager
Erin Gullage was the Financial Compliance Coordinator at the Cambridge Community Center for 14 years. As of July 2016 she is now the Enrollment Compliance Manager. She has proudly watched as the CCC children have grown up and go off to high school and college. Born and raised in Cambridge, she can be found rolling down Western Ave., learning Spanish, hanging with family, and planning her next warm winter getaway. Erin has a Bachelor's Degree from Fitchburg State University.
Eric Hirbour, Assistant Program Director (The Hip Hop Transformation)
Eric Hirbour has been writing, recording, and performing hip hop music for over 10 years. During this time Eric has performed at events such as the Bella Terra Music Festival and was part of Western Massachusetts hip hop collective, Mass All Day (M.A.D.). Eric is a founding member of THHT and specializes in teaching teens song structure, lyric writing, and stage presence.
Zarriah "Z" Jackson, Mind-Body Specialist & Mentor (The Mental Health ACCESS Program)
Zarriah "Z" Jackson, is a senior at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she majors in Kinesiology. She was born in Boston and was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts her entire life. She is the only girl of six children, which is a salient part of her life. She enjoys meditating, yoga, and exercising. She also loves taking photos and admiring the work of other photographers. Through her growing brand and platform, “Philosophy by Z”, Zarriah aspires to help Black people become much more physically and mentally healthy by encouraging healthy eating and teaching about the importance of physical activity. Follow Zarriah’s important work on Instagram @philosophy_by_z
Latifah James, Director of Youth and Family Services
Latifah James started working at the Cambridge Community Center in 2014. She now has over 10 years of experience working directly with children and families. Latifah is a passionate and dedicated worker. She takes pride in maintaining a healthy program to give back and support the children and families of Cambridge. Latifah has her Associate's Degree in psychology and is moving toward obtaining her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work.
R-Jay Jones, Building Manager
R-Jay has worked at the Center for over 47 years in a variety of different roles. He has been a Group Leader, Program Director, Site Coordinator, Chef, and currently works as our Building Manager. R-Jay was a "Center Kid" growing up in Cambridge and brings with him a vast wealth of institutional knowledge. Along with Ms. G, R-Jay coordinates our Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon every year. R-Jay has helped raise thousands of children through his work and was honored with our Community Appreciation Award in 2015 for his many years of service in our community.
Ross Keller, Development Officer
Ross Keller is the newest member of the CCC team, joining our staff in January, 2021. Ross brings with him management-level experience working in high-end real estate and hospitality in New York City before transitioning full-time to nonprofit development work in 2020. Ross's journey with CCC began as a volunteer, writing grants and securing funding for the Center at the onset of the pandemic. Ross hopes to elevate the Center's fundraising capabilities, with a particular focus on raising funds to renovate our aging facility.
Rachel Kinch, Director of Out-of-School Time Programs
Rachel Kinch is the Director of Out-of-School Time Programs at the Cambridge Community Center. Rachel earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Human Services through Fisher college in Boston. Rachel grew up as a “Center Kid”, attending the center through her elementary years, so it has a special place in her heart. Her goal at the Center is to help the youth become successful, learn, and to be as supportive as possible to the families at the CCC. In her free time she likes to bake and spend time with her loved ones.
Darrin Korte, Executive Director
Darrin Korte is the Executive Director of the Cambridge Community Center. Darrin earned his Master's Degree in Sociology from UMass Boston in 2010 and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management and Leadership from Boston University in 2014. Darrin has been with the Cambridge Community Center since 2009 when he worked as a group leader in the Cowemoki Summer Enrichment Program. In Darrin's time at the Center he has developed several successful programs, including a teen hip-hop program called The Hip Hop Transformation and a free monthly community meals program called The Coast Kitchen.
Shalayah “Red Shaydez” Washington, Artist Development Director (The Hip Hop Transformation)
Red Shaydez is a multi-faceted, boxer robe-wearing bully of a hip hop artist and the queen of cool, whose lyrical prowess leaves nothing standing in its wake. She has a track record to prove that she is not only next but is now: the Boston-born lyricist, filmmaker, and mentor has performed at A3C, Hubweek 2018, BAMS Fest 2019, headlines her own local shows, and is taking the college circuit by storm with her live show and consistently empowering brand.