Staff|Enrichment Programs

Nadine Pankins-Houston,
Director of Enrichment Programs and Summer Camp

Ms. Houston leads all of our academic and social enrichment programs including summer camp. Ms. Houston works in Special Education in the Newton public schools working closely with children, parents and teachers. At Sportsmen’s she has developed gender specific programs for both boys and girls l. Ms. Houston sheparded the growth of our academic and camp programs. Ms. Houston hires and supervises Boston youth working at Sportsmen’s through several programs including SuccessLink and the John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars. A long time Boston resident, Ms. Houston is a gifted educator and mentor of young people.

Tia Lites, M.Ed,
Academic & Curriculum Advisor, HEY Sister Lead

Tia Lites is currently the Academic Advisor to The Learning Center & Lead Teacher of the HEY Sister Program. Her focus is Social/Emotional Inclusionary Learning. She has been a part of the Sportsmen’s family for over 10 years, and has served as the Academic Coordinator, TLC Teacher, TLC Curriculum/Assessment Writer as well as Summer Learning Project Site Manager.

Outside of Sportsmen’s she is the Assistant Principal at the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy and a Doctoral student at Northeastern University.

Thuan Nguyen,
Assistant Director of Enrichment

Thuan is originally from Saxapahaw, North Carolina and moved to Boston in 2015. He studied Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University. In college and beyond he has been involved in community development initiatives that range from rural to urban and environmental to socio-economic. He is passionate about working with others to develop systems that build healthier communities. Thuan is fluent in Vietnamese and speaks some Spanish.

Jessica Maxwell,
Peer Mentor & Tutor

Jessica has been a part of the Sportsmen’s family since the age of ten. For several years, she has volunteered in numerous programs and events and then started working at Sportsmen’s at the age of fifteen. She has been working here now for five years in both “Ready Position” and “HEY Sister.” She helps children with their homework, improves their tennis game, and most importantly, serves as their mentor.
While majoring in Biochemistry and Pre-Med on a full scholarship at Northeastern University, Jessica educates young minds as part of the Sportsmen’s
team, sharing her knowledge and motivating her , stating: “if I can do it, you can do it too!” Jessica is also fluent in Spanish.

Mandy Bass,
Camp Nurse & Health and Wellness Advisor

Mandy Bass, RN, MS, is Camp Nurse and Health and Wellness Advisor, and Learning Center volunteer at Sportsmen’s since 2016. Mandy has been a nurse for many years, in roles of nurse manager, clinical specialist and school nurse. The positive energy and incredible potential of the student athletes in this community is what draws Mandy to Sportsmen’s, where she hopes to assist others in their own journey to better wellness and reaching their potential.

Kirsten Gramajo,
Summer Camp Counselor,
Administrative Assistant and Spanish Interpreter

Kirsten Gramajo has been a part of the Sportsmen’s Community since 2015 serving as a Summer Camp Counselor, Administrative Assistant and Spanish interpreter. Kirsten works diligently to mentor and engage students towards their passions to achieve a career in the STEAM field. She is a recent high school graduate of Boston Latin School, Class of 2018, and is currently earning her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Shane Niles,
Math Academic Coordinator, Learning Center

Shane Niles is currently the Math Academic Coordinator for The Learning Center. This is his first year being a part of the Sportsmen’s community. Outside of Sportsmen’s, he is a 2nd Grade teacher at a Boston Public School, the same school system he graduated from in 2010. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2014 with a degree in English and is currently a first-year Graduate student at University of Massachusetts Boston with a concentration in Elementary Education. He is also the coach at of Boston Latin Academy’s Girls Tennis Team.

Olivia Emerch,
English Language Arts, Academic Coordinator

Olivia Emerich is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. She recently moved to Boston to pursue a master’s degree in Global Social Work at Boston College. She completed her bachelor’s degree in 2016 from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis with an English degree focused in creative writing.

Olivia has proven her passion for youth education and social health by acting in various roles across several schools, including but not limited to, ESL instructor,
afterschool Facilitator/ Tutor, and most recently as a Literacy Coach and English teacher in Sierra Leone, West Africa. At Sportsmen’s, Olivia acts as English Language Arts coordinator serving in capacities including but not limited to English and Spanish language support, social emotional wellness, and creative writing.

Rhonny Rosario,
ESL and Academic Coordinator

Rhonny is a Boston native and has been a member of the Sportsmen’s community for over 10 years. He is a graduate of Boston Latin School, where he played varsity tennis for all four years. He was a recipient of the Joan Green Science scholarship which supported his studies at St. Lawrence University, where he played #1 singles for two years and achieved the best overall win-loss record among his graduating class. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Neuroscience. After earning his BA, Rhonny began his Masters of Special Education at Simmons College through his employment at the New England Center for Children, an autism education and research institute. Rhonny has coached developmental tennis, tournament training and summer camp. He now joins The Learning Center as an English and Spanish language educator.