Jismaly Mejia: Alumni Board Member

Jismaly Mejia: Alumni Board Member

Advice I have for Bottom Line Alumni: “In order to pass along career advice to the Bottom Line Alumni community, it is important for me to reflect back on how I got to where I am today. Throughout high school, college and today, my support systems have always managed to expand beyond my family and friends. Fortunately, my supports included a variety of amazing organizations, such as Bottom Line, where my personal and professional network grew. Within these organizations, I have been able to experience a multitude of roles, such as a student and alum, a volunteer, an intern, a partner, a mentor/mentee, and much more. Through these roles, I have been able to explore educational and career options, collaborate and network with diverse individuals, and inspire youth in a variety of ways.

With that being said, I encourage all Bottom Line alumni to expand their horizons by seeking new opportunities through creating meaningful networks with those that surround them. Growth happens the moment you step outside of your comfort zone!”

Grace Tan: Alumni Board Member

Grace Tan: Alumni Board Member

Why I am proud to be a Bottom Line Alum:

“I proudly tell people that I am a part of this network because of all the good work Bottom Line does for its students and the community. I have been through the Bottom Line program from high school until college graduation, and I don’t believe that I would be as successful as I am today without Bottom Line. The staff at Bottom Line truly wants to help students get into college and prosper academically and personally. I’m very thankful that this organization is part of my life and I hope it continues to impact others the same way.”

Advice I have for Bottom Line Alumni:

“My best piece of advice to any alum would be this: If you are faced with an issue that is important to you and there are two solutions presented to you, go for the more difficult one. In life it’s always tempting take the easy way out, but down the line when you reflect on your choices, you will regret that you didn’t try harder.”

Edwin Gonzalez Alumni Board Member

Edwin Gonzalez: Alumni Board Member

Why I am proud to be a Bottom Line Alum:

“I really value community and all the aspects that make a strong community. I’m proud to be an alum of Bottom Line because BL is a community organization centered around providing crucial resources in Boston and throughout the country. That’s also why I’m so excited to have joined the alumni board in order to build a community around BL alumni.”

Advice I have for Bottom Line Alumni:

“Take risks! Challenge yourself by taking on new and interesting opportunities. It doesn’t always have to be about your career either. Take on a new hobby or finally get around to doing that thing you’ve always wanted to do.”

Alumni Board Member Daniel Figueiredo

        Daniel Figueiredo                 Alumni Board Member

Why I am proud to be a Bottom Line alum:

I am proud to be a Bottom Line alum because it means that I am part of a group of people that defied the odds to get where they are. Every Bottom Line student had above average obstacles in their life, but through determination, will, and support from Bottom Line we are in positions to do great things.



What advice I have for Bottom Line Alumni:

Advice I would give to Bottom Line Alumni is to get involved with Bottom Line and with your community. It’s important to stay grounded in what helped you get where you are today and to help others have similar opportunities.


Bottom Line Alum & Access Team Manager ShaCara Telemaque

BL Alum & Access Team Manager
ShaCara Telemaque

What is your experience as an alumni who is now working at Bottom Line:

“Being a former student, counselor, and now a manager Bottom Line has shown me that the interactions that we have with our students today, can greatly influence who they become later. As a student, my relationship with my counselors were the highlights of the program, besides the financial aid support. Bottom Line has done an amazing job of picking staff that genuinely want to support students—and that’s exactly why I wanted to work here. It’s an amazing feeling to see a student’s relief when they know they’ll be taken care of at Bottom Line, just like I was.”

What advice do you have for Bottom Line Alumni:

“Share the knowledge and skills that you further developed while being involved in Bottom Line and after. If your job involves recruiting, tell Bottom Line. If you want to do some volunteer hours, tell Bottom Line. Remember, current students are looking for life experiences and professional development just like you were. No one is a better expert at life beyond high school than you, so share your story!”

Yaritza Peña Alumni Board Member

Yaritza Peña
Alumni Board Member

Why I am proud to be a Bottom Line Alum …

“Bottom line values developing meaningful relationships with their students and other stakeholders, and I am proud to be a part of an organization that genuinely cares about the success of all its students. I can personally attest to this as I have always felt supported and encouraged by the staff and my counselors. I also owe a lot to Bottom Line for noticing systemic injustices and actively doing something about it. As an alum, I have witnessed firsthand the powerful impact of the organization’s mission and alumni. Bottom Line boldly provides a voice to those without a microphone.”

What advice I have for Bottom Line Alumni …

“Take the time to learn about yourself, and truly figure out what you want to do, and what your passions are. From there, develop short and long term goals, and push yourself to find concrete ways to accomplish them. Lastly, never forget those who helped you along the way, and be there to help push them in the direction of their dreams as well.”


Idaliana Medina Alum & Career Counselor

                Idaliana Medina               Alum & Career Counselor

Q: What is your experience as an alum now working at Bottom Line?

A: “I think as an alum of Bottom Line who came back to work for the organization, I realize how important the work that Bottom Line does is. As a student, I’m sure I didn’t always come to meetings (Sorry, Yorky, Ali and Michelle) or I didn’t listen to what my counselor had to say. I realize now that they were just looking out for me, and they had my best interest in mind. It feels good to be working for the company that helped me become who I am today.”

Q: What advice do you have for Bottom Line Alumni?

A: “Take advantage of the services that Bottom Line offers to alumni! We have a lot of connections with different companies and are always posting new jobs on our hiring board. These can definitely help you in your careers! We also have alumni events that are great for reconnecting with your fellow alumni and for networking! Take advantage!”

Melissa Pena Alumni Board Member

Melissa Pena
Alumni Board Member

Why I am proud to be a Bottom Line Alum … 

“When I reflect on all I have accomplished to this day, I feel a sense of appreciation in my heart knowing all of the support I received along the way. Throughout high school and college, my support system not only consisted of an amazing group of family and friends, but also of incredible organizations such as Bottom Line.”

What advice I have for Bottom Line Alumni … 

“My advice for alumni is to continuously dream bigger, take risks, share wisdom gained through experiences and sacrifices made, and expand your reach by paying it forward. There is always a generation to learn from before you, as well as a path of influence to leave for those after you.”

Alum & Success Counselor - Joe Bogle

Alum & Success Counselor – Joe Bogle

Joe Bogle is a Bottom Line Alumnus and is currently a Success Counselor in Jamaica Plain as a part of the Bottom Line Staff! Joe came across Bottom Line while attending City on a Hill and and went on to enroll and graduate from Bridgewater State University in 2013 earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a concentration in Education and double minors in Psychology and Social Welfare. Today, Joe is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Education at Salem State University.


High School: City on a Hill
College: Bridgewater State University ’13 / MA Candidate Salem State University
Position: Success Counselor
Company: Bottom Line


What is your experience as an alum who is now working at Bottom Line: As an alumni that now works at Bottom Line, it has been satisfying to be on the counselor side where now I can directly impact students on a daily basis. It has also been a rewarding experience to work with students that come from a similar background and having the ability to help them successfully navigate their way through college is one of the most gratifying feelings.


What advice do you have for Bottom Line Alumni: Be sure to stay in contact with Bottom Line for future endeavors. We’re always looking for our alums to stay engaged and active even when they have graduated. Bottom Line can be a great resource for alumni to reach out to for academic, professional, and volunteer opportunities.

Alumni Board Member – Cristina Rodrigues

Cristina Rodrigues a member of Bottom Line’s Inaugural Alumni Board. Cristina was born in Boston, is the daughter of Cape Verdean immigrants and was a first-generation college student. She first came to Bottom Line while attending Milton Academy and went on to enroll and graduate from Brown University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, and Africana Studies. She then went on to receive a Juris Doctor (JD) Degree from Harvard Law School. Today, Cristina is a public defender at the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Cristina is immeasurably grateful to Bottom Line for the huge role it played in her college and career success.


High School: Milton Academy
College: Brown University ’10 / Havard Law School ’13
Position: Public Defender
Company: Committee for Public Counsel Services


Why I am proud to be a Bottom Line Alum: I am proud to be a Bottom Line Alum because I believe so deeply in the mission and method of Bottom Line. Like most people, I was really overwhelmed applying to college. There were so many forms and so many decisions – and as extraordinarily supportive as my parents were, a lot of the paperwork was foreign to all of us. During that process, my Bottom Line counselor was supportive, patient and always willing to walk me through the paperwork. Bottom Line helped me not only get into college but also get a financial aid package that worked for my family. I appreciate all that Bottom Line did for me, my siblings and so many other first-generation college students. I believe first-generation students, students from working class families, students from immigrant backgrounds, students of color and other marginalized groups have a tremendous amount of talent, capability and priceless perspectives. Bottom Line is doing the amazing work of helping us all realize our potential – which is critical for both our personal success and the futures of our communities.


Cristina’s Advice for Bottom Line Alumni: Even with the biggest tasks, just take things one step at a time. Break things down into smaller pieces. Get done what you can today. Ask for help before you need it. Take advantage of resources and community. Be grateful. Plan ahead for tomorrow. Get done what you can tomorrow. And repeat.