Introducing PHENND’s New VISTAs

Posted by on September 06, 2012

As was announced in August, the PHENND staff is extremely grateful to have two new AmeriCorps*VISTAs on our team this year. Eden Kainer and Kate Boccella-Perras will be creating and implementing the first year of a three-year project. This project will develop “Community Partnership Coordinator” positions for several Philadelphia schools through the AmeriCorps*VISTA program in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia.  Eden and Kate are currently in the information gathering stage of this project and have been speaking to a variety of stakeholders including principals, non-profit leaders and teachers to brainstorm how to design these positions. Their goal is creating a Community Partnership Coordinator position that will maximize the schools’ benefits and aid in increasing and maintaining school-community partnerships. In addition to working on developing this new VSITA program, Eden and Kate both bring professional experience and goals that will be utilized by PHENND and the K-16 Network. Please do not hesitate to contact them for more information about the development of this project.

A little about Eden…

Eden Kainer comes to PHENND after three years working for the School District of Philadelphia as a Parent and Community Ombudsman, and an even longer tenure as an active public school parent. In both roles, Eden drew on a variety of community partners and volunteers to develop enrichment programs for students, including: a “Meet the Scientist Day,” a socialized recess program, and garden projects.

She is excited to continue her work connecting schools with outside resources at PHENND. In addition to developing School-Community Partnership Coordinator positions for her VISTA project, she is also interested in helping schools strengthen their art, music and STEM programming through partnerships with parent groups, higher education, arts organizations and the business community.

Eden can be reached at:, 215-573-2379

A little about Kate…

Kate Boccella-Perras is one of the most recent additions to PHENND this year. She will be working as an AmeriCorps*VISTA to implement the new Strategic School Partnership initiative for the 2013-2014 school year. Previous to her current employment, Kate served at City Year Greater Philadelphia as a Corps Member working in Germantown High School to improve student attendance, behavior, and coursework through individual support, parental engagement and whole school events. Kate is motivated to build coordinated systems in schools that will facilitate the implementation of research-driven interventions and services that help students excel. She graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 2011 with a degree in psychology and in addition to her work with PHENND, is currently a part-time student pursuing her Master’s degree in school psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Kate can be reached at:, 215-573-2379

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