Graduates 2019 « LEAP for Education

Graduates 2019

College Success Program → Graduates 2019

Meet our 2019 College Graduates

2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012



Alejandro Rubero

Alejandro Rubero

Salem State University
Bachelor of Science in Sport and Movement Science

Alejandro graduated from Salem High School in 2015. He joined LEAP’s College Success Program during his junior year of high school and has continued his participation with LEAP since then. As a college student, Alejandro was hired to coach baseball and mentor middle school students in LEAP’s Expanding Horizons program. Not only has Alejandro worked at multiple rehabilitation centers like Salem Spaulding Outpatient Center and Boston Sports Medicine Physical Therapy, but he is also president of the Sports and Movement Science Club at Salem State University. Due to his passion and dedication to physical therapy, Alejandro plans to attend graduate school to study physical therapy. Beyond shining academically, Alejandro has always serviced his community and was recently named mentor of the year for the Student Transition and Engagement Program (STEP) at SSU. A loving son to his mother, who is very proud of his accomplishments as a student and as a young man, Alejandro will be first in his family to graduate from college.



Jhonathan Rodriguez

Jhonathan Rodriguez

Salem State University
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Jhonathan came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic after graduating from high school. While still learning to speak English, Jhonathan joined LEAP’s College Success Program services to help him get into college. Jhonathan was one of nine siblings and cousins from the same family to attend LEAP’s programs. Soon after, he started classes at North Shore Community College and within two years he finished his Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. Dedicated and self-determined, he then transferred to Salem State University. To expand his understanding of criminal justice, Jhonathan completed the Citizens Police Academy program in Salem in 2017, where he obtained more information about the field such as crime scene investigation, use of firearms, street patrol assignments, among other topics.



Jimaldy “Jima” Baez

Jimaldy “Jima” Baez

Boston University
Bachelor of Science in Health Science

Jimaldy has been a part of the College Success Program since his junior year at Salem High School. His passion and drive for success led him to be an active member on the BU campus, promoting social justice and advocating for inclusivity for himself and others. A natural born leader, Jima was a part of the student government body at BU, an admissions tour guide, and a member of the diversity board for student admissions. During the 2017 fall semester, Jima had the opportunity to study abroad in Ireland where he interned at Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services at Harold’s Cross, working closely with patients and volunteers while exploring the Irish public health sector. Upon graduation, Jima plans to live in Boston, a city to which he has become very connected. He will be conducting research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and working as a personal trainer, as he prepares himself for medical school. Jima’s excitement for life and his enthusiasm for helping others will ensure his future success as a doctor.



Kevin Melo

Kevin Melo

Salem State University
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Kevin has been an active member at LEAP ever since he was a middle schooler newly arrived from the Dominican Republic. Finding solace in a space that encouraged learning and felt like “home,” he has continually sought out ways to give back to our organization. Whether engaging as a student, tutor or instructor, throughout his time here he has invested in STEM programming. Kevin transitioned from being a Summer Zero Robotics student as a middle schooler to an instructor, overseeing and aiding several middle schoolers as they learned coding, physics and math. These experiences have set him up for a successful career in the quickly changing world of technology.



Natalia Pagán-Suárez

Natalia Pagán-Suárez

Salem State University
Bachelor of Arts in English

Born in Puerto Rico, Natalia comes from a family of educators. In 2017, Natalia earned her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from North Shore Community College. She went on to Salem State University (SSU) where she was accepted into a 4+1 program. In May 2020, Natalia will be completing her Master of Arts in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). While at SSU, Natalia has worked as a tutor in the writing center. Over the last two years, Natalia has used her skills in English by working at LEAP, first as a volunteer and assistant teacher and then as a paid Lead Instructor in the Teen Center’s ELL (English Language Learner) Street program. In this role, she creates and identifies areas of interest to her students and then creates lessons and community service projects to help her students learn English and connect with their communities. While at LEAP she has been mentored by Salem High School’s ESL teacher, Andre Fonseca. It has been through these experiences that validated Natalia’s journey from her English major to an interest in teaching. After she completes her master’s, Natalia is looking forward to travelling and teaching English internationally.



Sabrina Marnoto

Sabrina Marnoto

University of New Hampshire
Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Sabrina joined the College Success Program’s Gloucester cohort in 2013. As a first-generation-to-college student, Sabrina has worked tirelessly to complete any task that has been placed before her. In her time at UNH she served on many councils, spent time as a tour guide for Admissions, worked as a Resident Assistant in both upper and underclassmen dorms, worked one-on-one with a professor in Cleveland conducting research, and had the unique experience of traveling to Honduras, all while maintaining outstanding grades in her honors courses. As a result of experiencing such biological diversity and interacting with differing cultures in Honduras, she has a desire to bring her skill sets abroad upon graduation.