Dawn Chavez


Dawn co-coordinates the Boston Youth Environmental Network, a citywide network connecting individuals and organizations to resources to improve the quality and quantity of environmental education and employment opportunities for young people in Boston. Before joining the Boston Beyond team, Dawn worked as Education Director for the Urban Ecology Institute and directed a residential environmental education center in the Berkshires for students from New York City. Prior to moving to Boston, she worked for eight years leading inner city students from New York (her hometown) in environmental learning experiences. Dawn holds a B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University, a M.A. in Environmental Studies from Montclair University, and is pursuing a PhD from Antioch University New England.

Helen Christou

Assistant Director

Helen Christou works as Assistant Network Coordinator for the Boston Youth Environmental Network to encourage the sharing of resources and development of connections among members in support of environmental youth employment in Boston. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts with an Art Therapy concentration in 1999 from Emmanuel College. In Lancaster, MA Helen was employed by Dr. Franklin Perkins School in a dual position of activity coordinator, directing the recreation department of an adult day health program, and as an activity assistant, implementing a variety of recreational programs for 7-21 year olds in a residential treatment center. Helen joined the YMCA of Greater Boston, first as Teen Outreach Director and then as Senior Program Officer. With the help of partnerships she more than doubled the program hours serving youth, more than tripled the staff and launched over seventy new initiatives. In 2003 she was awarded the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Mehaffee Award for innovative and strong programming. As Senior Program Officer she helped secure and managed a grant that aimed to replicate best practices, outdoor recreation, environmental education and environmental youth employment programs from her home branch into other YMCA urban branches.

Emily Shaer

Education Program Coordinator

Emily Shaer joined Boston Beyond in November 2011 as the Education Program Coordinator for the Boston Youth Environmental Network (BYEN). In this role, Emily coordinates and manages BYEN’s Everyday Explorers AmeriCorps team as they implement hands-on science curriculum in after-school programs. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont, and obtained her Master of Public Administration, with a Concentration in Nonprofit Management, at Suffolk University. Emily’s past work experience includes the Moakley Center for Public Management at Suffolk University, The Earthwatch Institute in Boston, and the Longmont Humane Society in Longmont, Colorado. She has also volunteered at DolphinCare-Africa in Mozambique, and at The Emma Animal Rescue Society and Wild Coast Horse Trails, both in South Africa.


BYEN Steering Committee Members

Pam Hess – Appalachian Mountain Club

Kate Anderson – Beyond Benign

Josh Bruno – Boston Private Industry Council

Beverly Nadeau – Boston Public Schools Science Department

Myrna Johnson – Boston Schoolyard Initiative

Dan Gelbtuch – Dorchester Bay Youth Force

Ros Everdell – Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative

Eric Arnold – Hale Reservation

Daisy Ortega – Health Resources in Action

Ruth Goldman – Boston Park Advocates

John Zuman – INCRE

Jean Dorcus – Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center

Rebekah Stendahl- New England Aquarium

Kent Jackson – Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

Alex Chu – Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center

Bob Chen – University of Massachusetts Boston

Kristen Conroy – US Environmental Protection Agency

Jessie Scott – US Forest Service Urban Connections

Aaron Tavares – Youth Options Unlimited Boston

Jen Gresham – Zoo New England