social capital noun. the value of our social networks & relationships

Meet the Team: The Dreamers

Published by Leah Mulrenan on

Meet the 2024 YGPC Dreamers team and their three volunteer coaches, Kate, Molly, and Namratha!

Through the creation of visual art, The Dreamers youth team hopes to make public artwork that strikes a conversation; one that can help bring awareness to issues surrounding mental health. They hope to have a public painting consisting of different images and text created by their youth group to reflect how difficult mental health struggles can be, while also including encouraging images and text to inspire the community.

Their coach, Kate LeBlanc, is a Media Relations and Content Specialist at Benchmark Strategies. She is responsible for developing media materials that advance client goals and support Benchmark Strategies’ thriving public relations practice. Kate LeBlanc used to teach civics to students in D.C. as well as members of the U.S. Congress. “Having worked with students in the past, I found myself looking for new opportunities to work with young people trying to make change in my local community,” Kate stated. “Once I found the Coach opening for SCI’s Youth Grant Pitch Contest, I recognized it would be a great chance to do just that!”

Another coach for The Dreamers is Molly Latanzi. Molly has been in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors for over 12 years. She is currently a Grants & Contracts Management Consultant at the Barr Foundation where she oversees all foundation contracts and provides support to the grants management team and the foundation’s grantees. Molly appreciated this opportunity to connect with youth on an issue she cares deeply about, mental health. She enjoys volunteering and thought the YGPC would be a great chance to help youth and to make a difference.

The third coach for The Dreamers is Namratha Reddy. She is a seasoned Product Management executive with 20+ years of experience building and launching products across a diverse set of industries including Financial Technology, Retail, Healthcare, Recruitment, and Government industries. She has experience with Fortune 500 organizations and early-stage, growth, & hyper-growth startups. “I believe that the key to freedom is education,” Namratha stated. “The more skills that you can arm children with, the better chance they have at a bright future.”

The goal of SCI’s Pitch Contest is to provide youth with the opportunity to decide how to strengthen their community while practicing valuable professional skills such as public speaking, project management, and community organizing. With the guidance and support of multiple professional volunteer coaches, each youth team will develop their project ideas and be in the driver’s seat of positive change. The youth teams will also have the opportunity to participate in skill-building workshops related to team collaboration, public speaking, and pitch development.

The Pitch program will culminate on April 6th, when SCI will host the in-person Pitch Event at the Microsoft NERD Center where $14,000 of grant funds will be awarded to at least 7 of our participating youth groups. Media are invited to attend the Pitch Event. Funded youth teams will have until November 2024 to complete their respective projects and submit a project impact report.

This project is supported by Kick It for a Cause, Winning Home, Inc., Social Equity Access Fund, Gail O’Rourke, founder, Benefact4, Enterprise Bank, the AmeriCorps Agency, Massachusetts Service Alliance, and a Massachusetts state budget line item, thanks to the advocacy of State Senator Cindy Friedman. Major support for SCI Woburn is provided by Cummings Properties.