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 and Production (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 Director (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.
Norma Cumbee, MSW, Social Worker
Norma Cumbee is the Social Worker at the Cambridge Community Center. She grew up in Malden, Ma and graduated from Malden High School. Norma received her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and also attended one year at Alabama A&M, a historically black university in Huntsville, AL. Upon graduating, Norma volunteered at the James P. Timilty Middle School, worked at the East End House, Cambridge Community Center, and The Boys and Girls Club of Medford, Somerville and Boston before returning to school to obtain her Masters degree in Social Work at Simmons University. Norma has a demonstrated history of working with nonprofit organizations having served in various roles over the past 10 years. She is skilled in Youth Development, Family Engagement and Mental Health Counseling. During her free time Norma enjoys playing sports, roller skating, laughing and eating good food.
Dr. S. Kwame Dance, Socioemotional Well-Being & Development Coach; Founder of The Mental Health ACCESS Program
Kwame is a Cambridge native with over 15 years experience in youth program development. He is a psychotherapist with a doctorate in clinical psychology and also holds an MBA in business marketing. Kwame supports participants’ socioemotional wellbeing and creative expression through group and individual processing, mindfulness, and wellness activities. He is also an experienced event planner/promoter, and artist manager with backgrounds in theater, dance, and vocals.
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.
Eric Hirbour, Assistant Program Director (The Hip Hop Transformation)
Eric Hirbour has been writing, recording, and performing hip hop music for over 15 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.
Aliah "Royalty" Howard, Artist Support Staff (The Hip Hop Transformation)
Aliah is an alum of The Hip Hop Transformation program, having participated in the program for five years prior to being promoted to staff. Aliah is a recent graduate of Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School and has spent the past year participating in both THHT and Year Up. She is currently pursuing a career in music at Full Sail University. Her hip hop skill set includes rapping, singing, and dancing and she has performed at venues across the city alongside artists, including former THHT artistic development director and Boston Music Awards nominee, Red Shaydez.
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.
Ronald "R-Jay" Jones, Building Manager
R-Jay has worked at the Center for over 50 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. Further, R-Jay's 50 years of service at the Cambridge Community Center was recognized by the Cambridge City Council and February 28, 2022 was officially named Ronald "R-Jay" Jones Day in Cambridge.
Ross Keller, Development Officer
Ross Keller joined 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.