spotlight

Celebrating Bridge’s Black Leaders

March 1, 2022

In recognition of Black History Month, Bridge is excited to share more about a few of the incredible leaders in our community, including both Bridge team members and volunteers.

Leaders on the Bridge Team:

Terkeshia Boykins, Rapid Re-housing Coordinator

Keshia first joined the Bridge team working at the front desk, greeting youth when they came to Bridge and helping them feel welcome and safe. Keshia has also worked as a Case Manager in Bridge’s Emergency Residence and Rapid Re-housing programs and today manages Bridge’s Rapid Re-housing program. Keshia and her team of RRH Case Managers support more than 140 young people living in their own apartments. Of their work, Keshia says, “stabilization is about more than just a key to your own place. We help youth develop social-emotional skills, household management skills, and budgeting.”

Through her arc of service at Bridge, Keshia has been able to connect with youth at different stages of their journey home, from their first interaction at Bridge to helping youth sign a lease for their own independent apartment.

Outside of work, Keshia loves spending quality time with her family!

Shelley Holmes, Welcome Center Coordinator

As Bridge’s Welcome Center Coordinator, Shelley helps ensure that young people have a safe, warm space to spend the night at Bridge, and a connection to additional support at Bridge. As a member of the Bridge team for more than eight years, Shelley has been critical to the ongoing growth of the overnight Welcome Center Program.

Shelley truly embodies the Bridge approach, meeting youth “where they’re at,” and building trusting relationships that help youth move forward in their journeys to stability. She is also a support system for her fellow team members, offering leadership, encouragement and dynamic problem-solving to support her Welcome Center team.

Of her experience at Bridge, Shelley reflects, “youth from years ago greet me with a big smile and I immediately know I made a difference. It feels good to know that my work matters.”

Carl Morton, Director of Program Operations

Carl has more than 20 years of experience supporting young people and managing the organizational structures that help them thrive. As Bridge’s Director of Program Operations, Carl oversees a diversity of programs and staff spread across multiple locations, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in delivering the services to meet youth needs.

Carl’s experience working directly with young people provides him with invaluable insight to develop, implement and evaluate program operations. He is a gifted problem solver and program leader with a strong ability to bring people together, even when their day-to-day work is in different locations. Carl holds a Master’s of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

Outside of work you can find Carl either on the basketball court or the soccer field. He is a dedicated coach in both sports, as well as a certified basketball referee.

Matin Yusuf, Client Services Coordinator

A member of the Bridge team for more than a decade, Matin brings a deep understanding of working with young people to his role as Client Services Coordinator. He is often one of the first team members that youth meet when they come to Bridge. He works to establish a relationship with youth and to assess and prioritize youths’ immediate needs.

Matin is a constant friendly face and source of positivity for both Bridge youth and his fellow team members. He has a unique ability to establish trust with the young people he works with and uses an honest, respectful demeanor to help youth set goals for themselves and stick to them. Often referred to as an unofficial “big brother,” Matin has a lasting impact on the young people he works with and their experience at Bridge.

Matin is an avid gym-goer and an advocate for the benefits of good physical and mental health. He also enjoys traveling with his wife.

Bridge’s Volunteer Leaders:

Traci Lynette Brooks, MD, Bridge Board Member

Interim Chief of Pediatrics, Cambridge Health Alliance

As Interim Chief of Pediatrics at Cambridge Health Alliance, Dr. Traci Brooks supports high-risk kids and their families to build habits for long-term health.

Traci previously served as the Medical Director for CHA’s three teen health centers, located in public high schools in Cambridge, Somerville and Everett. She especially enjoys her work with teens, building honest communication with her patients and “meeting them on their own terms.” In addition to serving on Bridge’s Board of Directors, Traci is an active member of the medical community, participating in community forums and discussions on substance use and teen brain development

Traci received her Doctor of Medicine from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency and fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston. Outside of work, Traci is an avid equestrian and enjoys traveling with her husband, Todd.

Colleen Hall, Bridge Advisory Council Member

Author & Founder of Jamoji App

Jamaican born, Colleen Hall has integrated her family’s background and culture deeply in her professional life. In 2016, Colleen developed and launched Jamoji, an emoji and lifestyle keyboard mobile application that includes Jamaican cultural expressions, phrases, food, and places!

Most recently, she also published Jamoji-Essays of Life and Play in Jamaica. In her collection of nonfiction essays, Colleen explores her childhood and adulthood as a Jamaican, growing up on the island and migrating to the US. In a colorful portrait of life in Jamaica, Colleen explores how the culture, teachings, habits, rituals, and media culminated in a better understanding and appreciation for its multifaceted identity.

Colleen has served on Bridge’s Advisory Council since 2018, supporting and advocating for Bridge and youth experiencing homelessness in Boston. Looking ahead, Colleen’s dream is to develop a Jamaican and Caribbean Island studies program for public schools.

Karen Morton, Bridge Board Member

EVP & Global Chief Compliance Officer, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Karen Morton is a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession and the greater Boston community.

As EVP & Global Chief Compliance Officer at Liberty Mutual Insurance, Karen leads a team of 180+ compliance officers across 29 countries and serves as the co-executive sponsor for the employee resource group Liberty Employees of African Descent and Allies.

Karen is an active, socially-minded volunteer and mentor. She serves as Clerk and Co-Chair of the Governance Committee for Bridge’s Board of Directors and leads Liberty Legal Academy, a program that she developed at Liberty Mutual to increase the pipeline of diverse attorneys. Karen is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Karen has received numerous awards for championing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.