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Breaking Barriers Workshop 2018 Presenters and Topics

Confirmed Speakers and Guests
Adam Foss
Prosecutor Impact

Adam J. Foss is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDAO) in Boston, MA, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Mr. Foss believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for reinvention requiring better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won” leading him to found Prosecutor Impact -  a non-profit developing training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system.

During his nine years as a prosecutor, Mr. Foss collaborated with the courts and the community to develop programming that continues to have a positive impact on the neighborhoods he prosecuted in. One example of these efforts is the Roxbury CHOICE program, an initiative Mr Foss co-founded, to turn probation from a punitive sentence into a beneficial relationship with the court, the probation department, and the District Attorney’s  Office. He is also the founder of the SCDAO Reading Program, a program he started, to bridge the achievement gap of area elementary school students. Before leaving the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Foss was a critical piece of the foundation of the first juvenile diversion program in Suffolk County, keeping young people out of the cradle to prison pipeline.

Most recently, The Mandela Foundation recognized Mr. Foss as the 2017 Nelson Mandela Changemaker of the Year. Fast Company named him one of the Most Creative People in Business of 2017. The NAACP awarded Mr. Foss with the 2017 Roy Wilkins Next Generation Leader Award. The Root named Mr. Foss one of the 100 most influential black Americans of 2016.He was named Graduate of the Last Decade by his alma mater, Suffolk University Law School and is a visiting senior fellow at Harvard Law School. He also is a fellow at the Open Society Foundation Leadership in Government initiative as well as a Director’s Fellow in the world renown MIT Media Lab. In February of 2016, Mr. Foss delivered a TED talk that has already eclipsed 2 million views. In 2015, he was voted one of the country’s 40 most up-and-coming lawyers by National Law Journal and in 2013, the Massachusetts Bar Association voted him Prosecutor of the Year. In both his professional and personal capacities, Mr. Foss volunteers much of his time to the community he works in.

Follow him: Twitter/IG: @adamjohnfoss and @prosecutorimpct or
Ethan Zohn
Grassroot Soccer
Ethan Zohn
After playing professional soccer in the U.S. and Zimbabwe, Ethan Zohn went on to win the CBS reality show, Survivor Africa. He used his prize money to Co-found the organization Grassroot Soccer (GRS) that uses the power of soccer and the energy of youth to educate, inspire and mobilize communities to improve health. Through targeted training, mentorship programs and participation in educational sports programs, young people in resource-poor settings are given the knowledge, skills and support to live healthy lives and become leaders in their communities. Ethan's own experience in Africa as a professional soccer player, then as a contestant on Survivor Africa, exposed him to the challenges facing youth in the developing world, such as unemployment, gender inequality and HIV/AIDS. Ethan has been an important force in driving the strategic direction of GRS and building partnerships that have helped to provide lifesaving education for more than 2.1 million young people in 50 different countries. As global spokesperson and captain of GRS Endurance Teams, Ethan launched GRS UNITED, a U.S. awareness campaign, by dribbling a soccer ball 550 miles from Boston to Washington, D.C.
In 2011, after twice surviving a rare form of Hodgkins Lymphoma and two bone marrow transplants, Ethan ran the NYC and Boston Marathon and was named a global ambassador for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, StandUp2Cancer and the LIVESTRONG Foundation among others. Ethan is currently the host of Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution highlight show, State Of The Revs on Comcast Sports Net. In addition, he hosted the Emmy nominated show, Everyday Health on ABC and Outside Today on the Outside Television Network. Prior to that, Ethan was the host of Earth Tripping, an eco-friendly travel adventure show that brought him to over 20 countries. Ethan returned to reality TV as a contestant on The Amazing Race, Survivor All-Star, Fear Factor, Eco-Challenge and was featured in the documentary film on the global AIDS pandemic, A Closer Walk, along with The Dalai Lama, Bono and Kofi Annan.
Ethan co-wrote, “Soccer World,” a series of five books for young readers to explore different nations in a compelling and meaningful way through the sport of soccer. Ethan is an inspiring inventor and his EZ-CrunchBowl was featured on Discovery's show, PitchMen. Ethan travels the world as an inspirational speaker emphasizing how resiliency, character, service, community and sport can be utilized to create a healthier and happier world.
Nick Gates
Coaches Across Continents
Nick Gates headshot

After 18 successful years as a businessman, sports entrepreneur and executive for Middlesbrough Football Club, Nick launched Coaches Across Continents as a non-profit organization in 2008. Nick had played soccer for England as a youth international and for four years at Harvard University. After graduating, Gates founded PLAY SOCCER, a soccer coaching company in New England. By 2005, PLAY SOCCER had worked with more than 1,000,000 children and 9,000 local coaches, using a “soccer as education” curriculum. Nick remains the driving force behind Coaches Across Continents, growing the organization from working in one community in 2008 to 90 in 35 countries in 2017. He has spoken on Education Outside the Classroom in global forums in Qatar, Monaco, the USA and the UK while Coaches Across Continents has won global awards each of the last seven years.

Maren Rojas
Edgework Consulting

Maren is entering her 4th year of work with Edgework.  She is responsible for design, delivery and implementation of the Performance Edge.  Informed by the latest brain science and designed with high performing teams and athletes in mind, this dynamic set of workshops gives managers, leaders, coaches, and athletes the understanding and tools to elevate and maintain individual and team performance through empowering leadership, increasing resilience and deepening communication and accountability within teams.

In conjunction with her work with managers, coaches, athletes, teams, organizations and colleges, Maren has also been involved with many of Edgework Consulting’s trauma-informed interventions.  She has worked with Kids Play International, Legacy Youth Tennis, Newtown Parks and Recreation Department, Spirit of Soccer, Up2Us and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.

Prior to her time at Edgework Consulting, Maren spent 20 years in full-time coaching women’s soccer at the university and professional levels.  She has been a clinician at the NSCAA National convention, holds her USSF ‘A’ license and NSCAA ‘Advanced National’ diploma.  Maren has been working with US Youth National teams at the U16 and U18 age groups for the past few years.

Maren is a graduate of The College of William and Mary where she earned a B.S. in fine art.  She also earned her M.A. in art education at Syracuse University.

Joe Wray
Project Coach
Joe Wray
Joe Wray became a member of the Project Coach team as a high school junior. Now, in his 9th year, Joe is a member of PC program management. Joe applies the considerable leadership and coaching skills Joe learned to his work as a mentor and supervisor of adolescent coaches, an advisor to PC leadership, and trainer and coordinator of special programs. Wray also contributes to PC operations management and, for the past year, has helped manage program assessment by collecting and analyzing data to measure PC’s impact on teen coaches and elementary school players and adapt the program to meet participant needs. Wray is wrapping up his associates degree in business and accounting at Holyoke Community College and will transfer to the UMass-Amherst Isenberg School of Management in Fall 2018 to pursue a BA in accounting. 


Jo Glading-Dilorenzo
Project Coach
Jo Glading

Jo Glading-DiLorenzo directs Project Coach, a collaborative community outreach partnership that teams the Smith College community, Springfield educators and Baystate Health professionals with city youth in an after-school leadership program that teaches teens to coach and mentor children and runs free sport leagues and afterschool enrichment in one of the state’s highest need communities. Jo served as Project Coach's sports director prior to becoming PC director in 2014. She’s consulted to Harlem RBI, an inner-city youth development initiative of Major League Baseball in New York City, where she helped to develop an innovative, games-based curriculum for baseball and softball. Jo played catcher and first base for Colgate University back in the day. She still loves coaching and writing about best practices in youth sports and also finds great joy in playing and competing -- and the occasional victory.



Preston Hollis
Soccer Without Borders
Preston Hollis

Preston first joined SWB’s Boston team in the fall of 2015 as volunteer coaching with the middle school boys team and later served as SWB Boston’s Boys Program Associate before becoming Program Director. Now, as the Program Director, he oversees SWB Boston’s work and continues to coach SWB Boston's inaugural high school boys program in addition to SWB’s 4th and 5th grade boys team.  Preston graduated with a degree in Economics from Southwestern University where he played for and captained the men's soccer team.  Since graduating, he has spent a number of years working in international education first in India and more recently in Japan.  In between his international sojourns, he graduated from St. John’s College with a Masters in Liberal Arts.  When he’s not coaching, Preston can be found playing soccer, leading mindfulness workshops, and globetrotting.

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