Our Staff

Jan Plourde, Executive Director

Jan Plourde, M. Ed., founder and Executive Director, has over 40 years of experience as an educator, non-profit and business leader. As founder of First Friends Daycare, The Learning Tree Store, Fulton Publishing/Developmental Teaching, LLC and early childhood professor at North Shore Community College Jan employs a community-based approach to improving the lives of children and young adults. This community-based approach is a basic tenet of The REAL Program.

Jocelyn Almy-Testa, Director of Development

Jocelyn Almy-Testa joined us this past year via our partnership with  Someone Else's Child's as the Director of Development and Integration. With over twenty years of experience with non-profit management, and an educational background in the arts and education, Jocelyn is helping us to streamline our management systems, communications, and fundraising efforts so that The REAL program can grow and increase the number of children and families we serve each year. A mom of four who also coaches track and field at local clubs and schools, Jocelyn looks forward to meeting all of you as the world finds it's new normal! 

Raisa Ferraras, ESL Teacher

Raisa came from the Dominican Republic when she was 14 years old and had to learn how to speak English. She knows the struggles of being an English Learner, and continues to celebrate the success of learning a new language. Raisa says." I love teaching ESL because I feel that I am helping my own community by giving them the tools to be more comfortable in this country. I am also showing my community that learning is important regardless of someone’s age because there is always time to grow and evolve. I am very happy to be a Latina woman that is able to give back to the people of the city of Lynn that welcomed me in my own language acquisition journey, so it’s time to give back."