Camp Leaders

Lisa Fortenberry

Executive Director

Lisa Fortenberry is one of Boston’s most established, innovative and inspiring leaders in the youth development field, bringing nearly 20 years of experience to her role as Executive Director of Camp Harbor View. Most recently as the Managing Director of Program Services at Scholar Athletes, Lisa led the organization through an extensive Theory of Change process, aligning the Scholar Athletes service model to measurable outcomes for the first time in its history and creating deepened partnerships with the Boston, Springfield and Everett public school districts.

For more than 14 years prior, Lisa served in various leadership capacities at City Year Boston and since 2006 served as the Managing Director of Service Impact and Evaluation, a key position on the organization’s executive leadership team. There, Lisa led, coached and motivated a team of nearly 35 staff members, who were in turn responsible for the 200+ City Year Americorps members serving in 21 Boston Public Schools. In this role, Lisa also developed and implemented a comprehensive service program that supported Boston Public Schools’ Acceleration Agenda and resulted in the first ever multi-year partnership agreement with the district, including sustainable financial support.

The depth and breadth of her investment in the success of Boston’s young people is also evident in her community ties. A Founding Trustee Member of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School and a participant in several community initiatives, Lisa is a long-time resident of Dorchester with her husband Stephen and their three sons.

Josh Waxman

Deputy Director

Josh Waxman brings over a decade of leadership experience that spans the non-profit and public-sectors. Most recently, Josh served as the Executive Director of the Martin Richard Foundation. Prior to that, Josh served as Senior Director of Community Partnerships at the at the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley where he developed and led partnerships with municipalities, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and elected officials. Josh also developed and managed several education programs that served thousands of young people across Massachusetts.

Josh began his career in nonprofit management at City Year, where he completed a year of national service through AmeriCorps and was then hired into a management position on staff. In his role as an Impact Manager, Josh managed teams that worked across Boston Public Schools, providing academic support and after-school programming to hundreds of students. Early in his career, Josh spent time in politics, interning for Senator John Kerry and working on the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

Josh is also very active as a volunteer in the community. Josh serves as the board chair at Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, and as a board member at La. Vida, Inc., an organization that works to provide successful pathways for first-generation college students. Josh is also a proud big brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. Josh holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and a certificate in non-profit management and leadership from the Institute for Non-Profit Practice at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life.

Josh is a resident of East Boston with his wife, Eliza.

Al Simpson

Director of Advanced Support

Al Simpson is the Director of the Leaders-in-Training Program. He recently joined the CHV family but he has an extensive history of working with teens. He spent over 15 years as a Mental Health Counselor with clients from the Department of Mental Health and managed a private practice for 10 years. Al Simpson has supervised a number of adolescent residential programs which serve behaviorally and mentally disordered teens. His career in human services started in 1987, after leaving the United States Air Force, when he began working in the Department of Youth Services in Boston. He was born and raised in Mississippi where he attended Ole Miss and received his bachelors in Physical Education. Al Simpson later obtained a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Cambridge College. He is an avid sport fan and health enthusiast with a passion for his work.

Wendy Knight, MSW, LICSW

Director of Clinical and Support Services

Wendy Knight has worked on Camp Harbor View’s year-round team since June of 2010. She has more than a decade of social work and program development experience. Prior to joining Camp Harbor View, Wendy worked as a program director for the YMCA and in social work positions at alternative and special education schools. Wendy is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Simmons College in 2008 and received her graduate training at Judge Baker Children’s Center.

Wendy provides leadership to the social work team, including supervising all of Camp Harbor View’s counseling and support services. She oversees the Master of Social Work training program, which develops aspiring social workers from Simmons College and Boston College. In addition, Wendy has developed numerous group programs, which are offered to adolescents and parents throughout the school year.

Wendy’s favorite part of working at CHV is the family approach that is incorporated into every aspect of the program. She cherishes the many relationships she has built with youth and families. Throughout the years, she has had the opportunity to work with families who are incredibly resilient and inspiring. Wendy appreciates being able to provide innovative and free social work services for Boston families, which is a unique approach adopted by Camp Harbor View.

Camp Harbor View allows kids to explore who they are while having FUN in a safe environment. Wendy is proud to work at such a supportive place where kids can just be kids!

Year-Round Staff

DeVaughn Cooper BA/BS, MBA

Youth Worker

DeVaughn became a part of the Camp Harbor View family in 2012 as a group leader. He spent his first three years as a group leader while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. In 2015, he became team leader while he was in his continued his pursuit in higher education for his Master’s degree in business administration.

As a young professional with experience in working with diverse youth and young adults’ population, he was very interested to get the opportunity to spend his summers giving back to the youth of the community he grew up in; with over three years of work experience with at-risk students at American International College, along with other youth development experience, it is his career goal to support students like himself, who needs support with transitioning to college, persisting beyond hurdles, and understanding how to be successful.

Saira Lopes, MSW, LCSW

Alumni & Outreach Social Worker

Saira Lopes started her journey with Camp Harbor View as a group leader in 2010. Her admiration for what CHV offers the youth and families of Boston has kept her with the organization since then. Over the years, Saira has grown with the organization by taking on various positions such as team leader for two summers, associate director for an additional two seasons and recently she entered her current role as the Alumni Outreach Social Worker.

Saira received her Bachelors Degree from Framingham University in 2012 and spent the next year volunteering with City Year Boston. During this time, Saira served at the Orchards Gardens K-8 school working with students and families to best support them in reaching their educational, attendance and behavioral goals. In the Fall of 2014, Saira began graduate school at Boston College School of Social Work. She graduated with her MSW in May 2016. Saira is very excited about her new role as the Alumni Outreach Social Worker and is determined to strengthen the CHV motto that once you are a part of the CHV family; you are always a part of the CHV family.

Saira is an avid believer that anything is possible and strives to share this enthusiasm with the youth and families that she works with every day.

Elise Sheridan, MSW, LCSW

Leader in Training Program Manager

Elise has been involved with Camp Harbor View since 2012. During her first two summers, she served as a Group Leader. She greatly enjoyed this experience, but wanted a chance to work with the Leaders in Training program. Beginning in the summer 2014 she joined the LIT team as a Youth Worker. Elise has found great joy in this role as it allows her to build relationships with our young people and support them in a multitude of ways.

Elise graduated from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2010 with a degree in Communications. She has always had a passion for working with youth and a desire to give back. In October of 2010 Elise began working at the Joseph A. Browne Middle School in Chelsea, Ma. Elise worked as a paraprofessional in the Middle School Alternative Program for four years and spent one year working part-time at Chelsea High School as a Student Advocate in a Drop-Out Prevention Program. The time she spent growing and learning with the students and staff in these programs put her on the path to obtain a Master’s degree.

Elise earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Ma in May 2016. While at Simmons, Elise completed internships at The Home for Little Wanderers and TechBoston Academy.
Elise loves her work as part of the Leaders in Training team and is grateful for the opportunities Camp Harbor View provides the youth and communities it serves. Elise feels lucky to be part of an organization that empowers and supports youth with such dedication and integrity.

Barak Soreff

Enrollment and Community Outreach Manager

Barak Soreff stepped into the role of Administrative Assistant for Camp Harbor View at the end of 2015 and hit the ground running with management of the 2016 camper application process.

In his administrative role he utilizes clerical skills obtained in previous positions to maintain organization and efficiency. He loves solving problems and putting in that little bit extra to not just finish a project, but really make it sparkle.

In addition to his administrative background Barak also brings experience working with youth. Through involvement with the Civic Education Program at Northwestern University he has led groups of high school students on service-learning trips in Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, and Berkeley, CA.

Scott Thomson, MSW, LCSW

Social Worker

Scott Thomson, a native from New Jersey, received a Bachelors in Social Work from Ramapo College of New Jersey. He first joined the CHV team as a social work intern from Boston College in summer 2015. He joined the full year-round team after earning his Master in Social Work degree in May of 2016. Scott brings with him experience working with adolescents and families in school and community-based settings.

Scott has great experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in social service settings and at camps. While working at summer camps as a teenager, Scott loved the opportunity to form deep connections with people which inspired him to pursue a career in social work. Through his love for nature and expertise in outdoor education Scott has enjoyed leading the CHV Survivor Program which allows him to share his passion with CHV Campers and LITs.

As part of the CHV team Scott is very excited to partner with CHV families to provide them with quality service and ongoing support.

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