Square Roots Staff
Square Roots Program Coordinator
Sophia Mei, Square Roots Program Coordinator, is a Boston native . She earned her BA in Communication Studies from Northeastern University in 2015. She has been involved with the CSTO Community Center since 2008. Sophia did her Cooperative Education and Career Development (coop) at Square Roots as the interim Program Coordinator for most of 2014.
Sophia grew up in Boston attending after schools and understands the need for quality out-of-school programming for urban youth. Speaking Mandarin and Cantonese has helped her form important relationships with parents and the Castle Square community throughout the years. Sophia runs day-to-day programming which includes academic tutoring and enrichment activities for ages 5-14 year old youths. Her aim is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for the youths enrolled in Square Roots. She also works to create job opportunities that empower her staff to develop leadership and teamwork skills.
Stephanie Mei, Square Roots Group Leader, grew up in Boston Back Bay area. She currently attends University of Massachusetts Boston, class of 2020. During her high school years, Stephanie received honor roll throughout her four years while also maintaining perfect attendance. She began volunteering at CSTO in 2012 and becoming an employee in 2013. Stephanie is also part of the Summer Search organization which helps low-income students across the country to push their limits and make a change in their communities as well as around the world. With Summer Search she attended Global Leadership Adventures and travelled to Costa Rica in 2015 to volunteer in local communities and learn about environmental issues around the world to help and make a change. She decided to become a Group Leader here at Castle Square because of her positive experience working as a volunteer and also a Assistant Group Leader. During those time she learned how to be patient and understanding with the youth and do her best to help the youth that’s in need.
Henry Yu, Square Roots Assistant Group Leader, is a Boston native. He grew up at Castle Square and has been apart of the program ever since. Henry started as a little baby in Square Roots after school program, then grew to be in the middle school, after that Henry joined the Teen Program, and finally he because an Assistant Group Leader for the program where he grew up from. Henry attends school at Josiah Quincy Upper School and is a Sophomore. Some of Henry’s accomplishments in school he has achieved is getting Honor Roll and an International Baccalaureate Profile (Caring Award). Henry always participates in activities outside of the school such as Lion Dancing and Kung Fu. Henry also sometimes volunteers as a teacher for Kung Fu at Kwong Kow Chinese School. Henry became an Assistant Group Leader because he wanted to experience how it was like then when he was a baby and how it has changed now since that his has become older.
Suzanna Mei, Group Leader, grew up around Chinatown. She is currently attending University of Massachusetts Boston and will be graduating 2020. During High School she was a honor roll student, she had also won 1st place in science fair. Suzanna has been volunteering here at Square Root since 2012, she was once a youth here in the program too. She spends most of the time afterschool here with the youth. Suzanna loves working with children and that is one big reason why she started working here, she started off as a Assistant Group Leader and worked her way up to now a Group Leader. She loves being here, even on her day off, with her coworkers and the youth. Her favorite part of the job is to help the kids with their homework and plan out fun and exciting activities to make the youth’s time here memorable.
Jian Wei Li
Jay’ni Samuels-Hall Square Roots Group Leader, is a Boston Native also that has grew up in almost every neighborhood besides Hyde Park. He has his HS diploma from Dorchester Academy, which he received in 2015. He has also been enrolled at Benjamin Franklin Institute Of Technology, which he is studying Construction Management to obtain an Associate's Degree. He started of working with the city Boston Youth Fund in 2012 (BYF) and which he always wanted to become a Counselor or Something similar. The passion he has working with the youth in the city of Boston is so much fun, and you learn a lot because the youth have so much energy, most of all they are very diverse. Ever since then Jay’ni has been extremely dedicated to the Square Roots Program, his position had also moved up from being an assistant group leader, to a Group leader. He loves leading rooms, facilitating almost 15 kids by himself, and can't forget the lessons he plans. He has tutored, volunteered, showing his interest dealing with youth which ages are from 5-14. His goal is to make a name for himself and also wanting to be remembered by youth.
Amanda Ruiz is currently a group leader at Square Roots. She has held the position for almost 2 years now! She grew up in a multitude of Boston neighborhoods, spending the most time in JP. She graduated from Boston Latin School in 2011, Wellesley College in 2015, and is currently studying for her master's degree in Nutrition Communications at Tufts University. During her undergraduate career, she was a prolific taiko player (youtube: Wellesley Aiko!) and studied abroad in Tokyo, learning a lot about Asian cultures. Out of school activities include eating and going to the gym when she isn't doting on the wonderful children at Square Roots.
Jay'ni Samuels Hall
Jian Wei Li, Square Roots Assistant Group Leader, moved to Boston at the age of 7. He grew up at Castle Square and has been apart of the program. Henry started as a little kid in Square Roots after school program, after that Jian Wei joined the Teen Program 3 months ago, and finally he because an Assistant Group Leader for the program where he grew up from. Jian Wei attends school at Charlestown High School and is a Junior. Some of Jian Wei's accomplishments in school that he has achieved is getting Honor Roll and he have been on the basketball team. Jian Wei participated in activities outside of the school such as Boston Neighborhood Basketball League. Jian Wei also volunteers as a YMCA stuff. Jian Wei became an Assistant Group Leader because he enjoyed working with kids and he wanted prepare himself for when he have kids of his own.