Concord-Carlisle High School
Class of 2005

My relationship with the Concord-Carlisle community began in 1998. My family moved from the South Shore just in time for me to begin middle school in Carlisle.

After three years with a class of ninety students and one hallway, we joined our peers from Concord at Concord-Carlisle High School. Over the course of high school, the formerly separate student bodies blended, and through a mix of running laps in lacrosse, attempting to sing in chorus, and studying biology, I found a group of close-knit friends and trusted mentors.

Like most students, at the end of four years I was excited to enter college and experience all the freedom and opportunity it promised. At the same time, anxiety about where exactly I’d be heading and what exactly I’d be doing there was very real.

Teachers across multiple departments had succeeded in convincing me that their subject was the one to pursue. Excellent teaching by Dr. Vela, Ms. McCaffery- Clark and Mr. Goldberg in the sciences, Mr. Yered in math, Mr. Cleary and really the entire history department pulled my interests in seemingly infinite directions.

Ultimately, I chose to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While known for its engineering prowess, MIT also boasts a great political science and economics department. After much grappling, I decided to major in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Political Science. I continued my studies and earned a dual M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering and Technology Policy in 2012. It was my intention to become a bridge between engineers and policymakers, helping two different worlds communicate better to get things done.

During my time at school, I completed internships at an education lobby in D.C., a public finance company in New York, an energy policy organization in Madrid, and the OECD in Paris, attempting to facilitate increased collaboration between two sides often at odds.

Following my internships, however, I felt frustrated at the slow pace of the large companies and the endless back-and-forth necessary to agree on an incremental policy. I sought a different experience. In the first year following graduation, I became a part of two different startups, participating in accelerator programs including Startup Chile and Y-Combinator. Though both companies ultimately failed, I became hooked on the startup and technology sector. I moved to California.

For three years I worked at TechCrunch, a media company covering all things startup-and tech-related. Ironically, my work involved understanding technical products and helping to share them with a broader audience in writing, on-camera or on-stage. Turns out my seventeen-year-old self may have known what she was doing. For the last two years I have worked at Google, currently as the Head of Startup Programs for the Cloud. I also serve on the MIT Board of Trustees, advising on specific departmental programs, student life, and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. I feel privileged to be able to continue to contribute and stay connected to the school.

The Concord-Carlisle community, with its encouragement of learning and education, is the very reason my parents moved to Carlisle and it’s the reason that many families continue to do so today. I hope many more young people have the opportunity to grow into themselves surrounded by such an outstanding group of friends, parents, and teachers.

When I think back to the scholarship I received from The Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle, for me, it was never really about the money. In fact, the cost of higher education being what it is, I think I spent it all on books in one semester! Rather, the scholarship was more a symbol of the community being proud of what I had accomplished so far and supporting where I was headed. It helped me gain the confidence needed to take the next step.