Former scholar. Current leader.

 
 

In the spring of 2010, Tanisha Dambreville found herself at a career crossroads. Having had experience working at the YMCA, she searched for an opportunity to serve children on a larger scale. Then, she came across a job posting, which immediately captured her attention. It was for an alumni outreach coordinator position at BELL. “I remember saying, 'BELL? Wait, I went to BELL!' ”

Tanisha attended BELL’s program as a fifth-grader. It was her first after-school experience. Although her memory is a bit fuzzy on details, she vividly remembers the music activities and homework time. She also recalls the effect of not having access to BELL’s after-school program. At that time, BELL’s reach did not extend beyond the fifth grade. The following year, with no exposure to academic and enrichment instruction, Tanisha fell behind, and had to attend summer school.

As she dug deeper into the BELL position, she realized it was the perfect fit for her. “This is great, I thought. Now I can help the organization who helped me when I was in fifth grade,” she says. “I received a call from BELL and the rest was history.”

At BELL, Tanisha developed strategies to connect alumni, from fifth graders to eight graders, with community and enrichment programs. She drew from her first-hand experience as a scholar. Tapping her communication skills, she created an alumni database, and engaged with scholar families on an on-going basis.

“It’s not that parents don’t want their children to experience these different things, and have these opportunities. It’s just that we don’t know about them, and that’s where the issue lies,” she says. “So, that’s where my fire came from. I wanted to make it my personal business to help children who are in the system I went through.”

Tanisha went on to serve as BELL’s National Training Coordinator, handling all logistics pertaining to professional development and e-learning. While working at BELL, she earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from Northeastern University.

“One thing I loved at BELL was its mission to transform the life trajectories of children. That resonated with me because I can see how my trajectory was changed,” she says. “I could have ended up in a whole different scenario, but my trajectory was changed by the things I did outside of school.”

Today, as a mother, Tanisha is applying her life lessons and career learnings at BELL to transform the life trajectory of Sirhye. They explore museums and local parks, and travel to Martha’s Vineyard and other places outside of Boston. “Now that I know what I know, I can expose my daughter to these things. Just because of that, her life will be different.”

Tanisha’s advice to other mothers is to be persistent and determined in the face of life’s obstacles. “I used to have this quote in my BELL office. It read, ‘Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.’”

Tanisha is not done yet. Keep an eye out for this educated leader for life.

Stories of Impact

Make sure to check in from time to time as Beyond will evolve throughout the year, with new stories of impact.
 
 

Breaking barriers through Taekwondo.

Thanh Ly, a third grade scholar, has found her inner strength and voice through Taekwondo enrichment. One kick at a time, she is gaining skills and applying them in the classroom, and in life.


 

A safe haven for scholars to succeed.

Violence is a topic all too familiar to Daniel Brown's family. So when she heard of BELL, she quickly enrolled her children, joining a growing group of parents who see BELL as a safe haven for scholars to blossom. 


 

Serving a growing family, one scholar at a time.

With three scholars enrolled in BELL, and a fourth child on the way, BELL provides the Castillos with peace of mind, enabling them to work extra hours to provide a solid foundation for their family.


 

Creating community in the classroom.

Scholar success boils down to relationships, says Nancy Kelly, a fourth grade math teacher. Through BELL, she is nurturing stronger relationships with her current students, and forging new ones with her future class.


 

Dad: Parent involvement is key to success.

Parental engagement, a key variable in BELL’s equation for scholar success, comes to life in this feature story. “If fathers are not involved, that’s a problem,” Mr. Bishop says.


 

Former scholar. Current leader.

Follow Tanisha's journey from a fifth grade BELL scholar to a key BELL staff member. Now, as a mother, she is applying her learnings from BELL and changing her daughter Sirhye's life trajectory.