MENTOR Welcomes New Chief Program Officer
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - After an extensive, nationwide search, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership has hired Tammy Tai as its new chief program officer, effective next month.
Tai was most recently a program officer for teen development at the Hyams Foundation. The Hyams Foundation focuses on increasing social justice and economic power within low-income communities in Boston and Chelsea, Massachusetts. As a program officer, Tai’s work centered on increasing the long-term success of low-income youth, particularly youth of color, via public policy and advocacy. She also contributed specifically to initiatives for high-school dropout prevention and recovery work, as well as led a cadre of community-based organizations in a collective $3 million effort called Teen Futures.
“We feel fortunate that Tammy will bring her tremendous talent and depth of experience to MENTOR,” said MENTOR’s President and Chief Executive Officer David Shapiro. “Tammy’s leadership in service to others, collaborative style and strategic thinking will greatly enhance MENTOR’s ability to support our Mentoring Partnerships, partner across sectors to advance quality mentoring opportunities for America’s youth and widen the path to successful, productive lives.”
“I am honored to be a part of the team at MENTOR and its network of Mentoring Partnerships. I have always been impressed with MENTOR’s national leadership and effectiveness around supporting quality mentoring,” said Tai. “I began my career as a bilingual Spanish elementary school teacher in Phoenix, Arizona, and after a powerful experience as a volunteer mentor for Phoenix Youth At Risk, I ultimately became its program director. I remember incorporating MENTOR’s Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ into that program and seeing first hand how those Elements and quality mentoring positively changed children’s lives. There is no better investment our country can make than supporting mentoring relationships for youth, especially those who are most vulnerable. I am humbled to provide leadership and service to others in fueling the mentoring movement across the nation.”
Tai also consulted for the Mass Mentoring Partnership, a MENTOR affiliate, on the development of its Highland Street AmeriCorps Ambassadors of Mentoring program. As a civic leader, Tai recently was named to Boston’s Mayoral External Advisory Committee, which was charged with creating a new student assignment policy for the Boston Public Schools; she co-chairs the Community Engagement subcommittee.
Oregon Mentors’ Executive Director Carolyn Becic, who also chairs MENTOR’s Mentoring Partnership Advisory Council, added, “Tammy’s understanding of the organization, ability to facilitate a group, servant leadership attitude, experience in direct service as well as being a funder, passion about youth and interest in solving problems and making progress in the field makes her an invaluable leader for MENTOR’s next chapter.”
Tai has a degree in sociology from Harvard University, did graduate work in bilingual education and social work at Arizona State University and received her master’s degree in business administration in child, youth and family policy and management at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She grew up in New York and traces her roots to Jamaica, China, India and Cuba. She lives in Dorchester, Massachusetts, with her husband Eric Dawson (President of Peace First) and three children, ages 10, 6 and 4.
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