LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Lori D'Alleva

Position: Director, Charlestown Adult Education Program
School: Charlestown Adult Education Program
School District: Boston Housing Authority
City, State: Boston, MA

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Lori D'Alleva was nominated by her colleague, Rachel Goodman.

Ms. D’Alleva is a passionate leader who has dedicated her career to giving a second chance to students who have struggled to finish their traditional K-12 education in the past. As the Director of the Boston Housing Authority’s Charlestown Adult Education Program, she and her team have helped hundreds of students attain their personal and career goals. Her program is a great avenue for students who might otherwise find themselves unable to move forward with their lives and careers because of a lack of a high school diploma.

Squeezed into tight quarters in a modified BHA apartment building, the adult education program offers a host of critically important services for both ESL students and adults as young as 17 years old. On top of high school equivalency and GED training, the Charlestown adult education program includes a career center comprised of outstanding educational opportunities and job training for adults who need a second chance at fulfilling their academic and career goals. The program also partners with Smart from the Start to offer free child care services for young parents trying to secure their diploma.

Ms. D'Alleva has also built partnerships with mental health services, which are critical for many at-risk students she works with.

“I have known Lori since 2009, and since 2012 we have worked very closely together,” Goodman said.  “Lori is truly a LifeChanger for everyone lucky enough to come into her orbit, whether they be students, their family members, staff, and the many partners who help meet her students’ needs.”

At one point, Ms. D'Alleva noticed many of the students she was working with had psychological challenges that were not being addressed, so she reached out to one of the local community health centers and enlisted their help.

“The next thing I knew, Lori had arranged to have a clinical social worker on-site 2 days a week and had strengthened our ties with the larger mental health community,” Goodman said. “Today, any student with mental health needs can be assured those needs will be met in a safe and confidential space.”

Ms. D'Alleva also noticed many of her students were not taking the certification tests needed to get their GED because they lacked the funding to cover those costs, so she reached out to a local funder to ensure her students wouldn't be held back due to lack of funds. Since 2014, the Program has offered a specialized Fast Track Program for Young Adults who left high school prior to graduation and were in need of a second chance. Ms. D'Alleva noticed this particular student population needed a different type of learning environment, one that would provide more individualized attention and the opportunity to advance more quickly than when they were placed in a class learning alongside older students who had been out of school for much longer. This innovation has proven to be very successful and has allowed Ms. D'Alleva to help many students secure their high school equivalency.

Ms. D'Alleva works very closely with her students. She regularly calls and texts them to make sure they’re able to make it to class, and that they know they’ve been missed if they do miss a class. That extra layer of accountability is a subtle, but powerful motivator for a student population that many have given up on in the past.

Ms. D'Alleva inspires those around her. Her contagious passion helps her staff create and promote a positive learning environment. She has a complete open door policy with everyone she works with — staff, faculty, students and partners. She has always placed a high value on engaging the whole team in the development of the program. Ms. D'Alleva holds weekly staff meetings that allow her team of faculty and staff to fine-tune the program development. Whenever possible, she will promote staff to take on new responsibilities. Several of her current staff members are former students who demonstrated the ability to take on more responsibility.

“Time and time again, we have seen our students get the chance to prove themselves," said Goodman. "One of our former students was hired as a community outreach worker and was promoted to full time program assistant. Ultimately, he left our program to become an instructor at another program.”

"Lori is a LifeChanger in the lives of her students, faculty and staff, as well as the larger community in which our program operates. Lori places the needs of her students and those who support them at the top of her list," Goodman concluded. "She inspires everyone to be their best by setting an example that all can follow. She is not afraid to try out new ideas and gives those in her midst the courage and confidence to try their best. Her efforts literally transform lives."

Comments (38)

Dean Papademetriou Posted over a year ago

Lori demonstrates an enormous commitment and dedication to her work at the Boston Housing Authority. I am a BHA colleague, and I have had the privilege of seeing her in action. As an attorney for the BHA, I have worked with Lori on many contracts that fund educational programs to the BHA. At all times, Lori remains focused on the benefits that these programs bring to BHA residents, thus keeping the eye on the real prize: helping our residents. Congratulations on your well-deserved nomination for the LifeChanger of the Year Award!

Deanna D’Alleva Posted over a year ago

I am lucky enough to know Lori outside of her career, but to know Lori, you know how compassionate of a person she is. In hearing her speak about her education program I know how much it means to her - not only the program, but the people. She is so passionate about creating an environment built with success, and is invested wholeheartedly in each and every person who walks in her door. Lori, congratulations on this are truly a life changer!!

Frank D’Alleva Posted over a year ago

I’ve known Lori for quite some time and knew she was a special person from the moment I met her. There are not many people who put others before themselves and Lori does this more often then not. She is thoughtful, genuine, and has a true passion for helping others. Those who are lucky enough to have her in their lives know that I’m speaking the truth when I say she is a true Life Changer.

Paul Iannuzzi Posted over a year ago

Lori is one of the most caring people I know. She always goes way above and beyond to help others in any situation. Lori is the type of person that you can call at anytime and she will be the first one there for you. She has played a huge role in helping many people achieve their dreams/goals in life and I could not be more proud of her. I am very Lucky to have Lori as my sister. Love you.

Yolanda Waldman Posted over a year ago

Lori is an amazing teacher, mother and friend. She's not only a life changer to her students, family and friends she's a life changer to everyone she meets. She always has a positive attitude and an infectious smile.

Ryan D’Alleva Posted over a year ago

Lori has been everything that a son could ask for and much more. Throughout my life she has gone up and above to ensure that I as well as my siblings have the best and most successful lives we can. But this doesn’t just speak on Lori as a mother. She has a natural habit of wanting to help people succeed, which is mirrored in the success of her students. This year, she helped Charlestown Adult Education to its highest graduation EVER. My mother constantly checks in on students who miss class and keeps in touch with former students who have moved on from the program. She has said countless times that the best part of her job is seeing her students succeed, and this speaks to who she is as a person. It’s hard not to admire a person who succeeds by helping others succeed.

Scott Whitney Posted over a year ago

Lori, is a life time friend who also was a teacher for my daughter for a time and she is nothing less than amazing. Always has been and selflessly will always be! She will continue to enrich every life she encounters and give hope to the hopeless! She deserves this recognition, much love. Don't stop doing what you love!

Daniela Posted over a year ago

I'm glad I found Charlestown adult education, Lori opened the doors of this community for me and now it feels like family. She promotes a healthy, welcoming work environment. She cares for her staff, as well for the students. She is a very compassionate person who truly encourages others to do their best. Her passion and commitment are contagious!

Laureen Posted over a year ago

Lori is a dear friend who is passionate about her work and her students. She is always striving to do more to ensure her students are successful! I am a fellow educator and I am so inspired by her dedication to her program!

Steven deluca Posted over a year ago

Lori is truly an amazing person and always has been. Her dedication and professionalism goes a long way of the person she is today. She would be honored and humbled to be a winner of the lifechanger of the year award which she truly deserves for her commitment and hard work.

Emma D’Alleva Posted over a year ago

Lori truly is a life changer. The support she offers the students is like nothing I have seen before. She supports them in both their academic and their personal life. I remember Lori reaching out to friends and family on social media asking for clothing donations so that her students had “interview attire” for potential upcoming interviews. Lori is the kind of champion everyone needs in their life. She lives her life with purpose. While all of us are out there “living our best life”, Lori is out there making sure that adults in the community are able to live THEIR best life! I am so very proud to call her my family.

Norma Leonard Posted over a year ago

Lori is very passionate about her work. She truly loves her students and wants them all to do well and achieve their dreams. Lori is a true inspiration to all who are fortunate enough to know her and call her friend.

Charles Rich Posted over a year ago

Well proud of you for been so gifted to make us understand that anything that we can dream of can come true... that why I we always love you because you Believe so much in me..... you will always be a woman that I call my mother love you and thank you for believing in me.???

Christine Posted over a year ago

Lori is an amazing educator who has changed so many lives! She has a heart of gold and goes above and beyond in teaching and helping people to succeed!

Frank Montresor Posted over a year ago

Day in and day out since the fall of 2012, I have seen Lori working in every way imaginable to improve the lives of our students and staff at CCCAE. I am Lori’s Fast Track Math teacher. It doesn’t matter how much she has going on, or how difficult something may seem, Lori always finds a way to solve ANYBODY’S problem. Most importantly, all the people who are lucky enough to work with her know this.

Peter A Marino Posted over a year ago

Lori has always been an upbeat happy person with a giving nature and concern for others. I wish her the best

Audrey Kelly Posted over a year ago

Lori is just my favorite person ever! If it wasn’t for her I would still be struggling to get my education.. not only did she help me and push me to get my education but she helped me find my self-esteem Lori brightens my day even still....she is amazingly awesome, no matter what it is Lori is my go too.. YOU ROCK LORI!

Serafina Posted over a year ago

Lori is an amazing director and person. She gives of herself to both her staff and our students. Every single student knows Lori and they know she’s always there to help. She’s built this program on servicing the needs of all our students.

Marilyn Ginberg Posted over a year ago

All I can say is that Lori is a dynamo! She has passion, drive, and vision. She creates an environment where everyone works together to achieve success for all of our students. It is a privilege to work for her. She changes the life of everyone that walks into the BHA Adult Education Center.

John Shea Posted over a year ago

Lori has helped me build a career outside of just teaching, truly changing my life, proving I can do things I never thought I was capable of

Wendy Posted over a year ago

Lori is definitely a great person to know! She is very positive, approachable and understanding about everything. Her positive attitude and hard work definitely create an inviting environment to work in. She is very passionate about everything she does and is a wonderful role model for everyone that has the opportunity to meet her. Lori deserves to be applauded for everything she does and has accomplished for the Charlestown community. As well as everything that she does for us, her staff. Thank you for everything!

Janelle Posted over a year ago

Lori is such a hardworking,independent, friendly, and overall motivated person. Not only does she help her students pass with flying colors, but she helps them in aspects in their lives that they could need help in. She is so committed to helping people and has been for many years now. I’m proud to be associated with such an amazing person. She deserves so much in this world and yet she stays so humble about it. She doesn’t ask for anything, and yet she gives so much.

John D’Alleva Posted over a year ago

I can’t say enough about my wife Lori. She is the type of person who truly loves helping people. In the role as the director, Lori has taken it to another level and has inspired and changed the lives of many students. The dedication and passion that Lori shows is contagious and it shows throughout her staff. Bottom line is Lori is a hard working, thoughtful, smart leader and the Charlestown Adult Learning Center is lucky to have her.

Johnny dalleva Posted over a year ago

My mom gets so exited to tell me all the good events that took place that work day. She comes home smiling everyday when a student passes or she gets a nice text from one of her students. The stories she tells me at the dinner table brighten everyone’s mood especially the students lives she’s changing by the unconditional support she shows at her work place.

Jim Masterson Posted over a year ago

So proud of my big cousin, love you Lori!

Angela Marino Celata Posted over a year ago

So proud of you and all your hard work! Youve given these kids hope strength and knowledge to achieve their goals and leading them to a future they can be proud of. youve always had one of the best personality and sense of humor out of anyone I know and that’s just an added bonus to the passionate hard worker that you are and always have been . I bet these kids will agree that there isn’t a teacher/mentor as cool as you! Keep up the good work Lori :)

Sharon Posted over a year ago

I am so proud to be Lori's cousin. This description by her colleague so well describes her. In addition to all of her attributes listed here, she is easy to get along with and so so much fun to be around. She really deserves this nomination!

Daniella Iannuzzi Posted over a year ago

One of the best things about my Auntie Lori is her genuine passion for helping others. Every time I see her during holidays or family gatherings, she always has a positive story about one of her students. The story always includes someone that was able to succeed because of my Auntie Lori’s help. She tells each story with such a big smile on her face. Helping others makes my auntie happy. She is not only a Life Changer for her students, but she is a Life Changer in my life and those around her. Listening to her stories about her students’ successes and seeing how genuinely happy she is for them, inspires me to want to help others in the same way. She changes every life she comes in contact with in such a positive way, and that is always something I will look up to and love about my Auntie Lori!

Daniella Posted over a year ago

Go Auntie Lori!!!! You are so deserving and I’m so happy and lucky that I have someone like you to look up to! I love you!!!

Dieusait Benoit Posted over a year ago

Lori’s most valuable asset is a heart full of love for what she’s doing, an ear ready to hear, and a hand ready to help others. Personally I’m grateful to have you in my life.

Jose Alas Posted over a year ago

Lori is definitely a life changer. She goes above and beyond for everyone around her. More than a director, she's a friend, a confidant, a mentor and, undoubtedly, a teacher. She still makes sure to help students with subjects they struggle with, taking time to tutor them when she can. All in all, she is the kind of person that, if she knows she can help, will do everything she can!

Maddalena D'Alleva Posted over a year ago

My daughter-in-law, Lori, has made me very proud in the passion she has with her students. When we are together she shares with us the accomplishments her students are making. She has truly enjoyed how her students are turning their lives around and receiving their GED degree and help them on their career path. Lori, you are a gift to your students. Love, Lena

Marylou Iannuzzi Posted over a year ago

Lori DAlleva is by far the kindest most caring person you will ever meet. She is passionate about helping her students achieve the highest goals they can even if they didn't realize they had these goals. There is nothing she hasn't done to help anyone of her students. She offers solutions when there doesn't seem to be any. She doesn't just help them get an education she shows them how to succeed in getting exactly what they need to become successful in life after they achieve their education. There has never been a time where I came in contact with students faculty or providers that I didn't hear how hard working persistent and kind she was. The stories of success are too many to site. She deserves this award and much more. I am extremely proud of how she works so hard and always with respect for the individual. Anyone that has come in contact with her is better for having known her.

Linda Masterson Posted over a year ago

Lori we are all so proud of you and your work. Your students are so fortunate to have you on their side. Love you

Lizette Velez Posted over a year ago

Lori is truly a Life Changer. Back in 2013 I enrolled for my GED classes. During that whole year I was struggling with health issues but she never gave up on me. I graduated in June 2014 and thanks to her I got a job the next day working with a program she is part of Smart from the Start. In 2017 she encouraged me to enroll in another of her program Home Health Aid which I passed with flying colors. Now I’m working as a CNA and all my goals I owe it to her. Thank You Lori for being my Life Changer. I will forever be grateful...

Timi Koutrakis Posted over a year ago

Lori inspired me to become social, many times.

Anna Giordano Posted over a year ago

I've known Lori for close to 30 years. She has always been committed to being an educator and making a difference in student's lives. I will say that Lori has truly found her calling in Charlestown - she sincerely loves her position as Director of the Boston Housing Authority's Charlestown Adult Education Program. Lori is truly worthy of being recognized as Life Changer of the Year!!

Al Iannuzzi Posted over a year ago

Lori's. whole life from when she was a child has been to help the less fortunate. IShe has had the opportunity to earn alot more salary taking other jobs but will not consider them She would rather help some one achieve a goal they could never reach without her assistance. As her father I am extremely proud of her