Meet our dedicated team who work directly to improve the lives of our young people.
Katie Gorczyca, Executive Director
Katie Gorczyca is an Acton native. After graduating from ABRHS, Katie went on to study expressive therapies at Lesley University. Katie continued her studies and earned her Master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and expressive therapies from Lesley University in 2015. During school and after, Katie has had internships and jobs in the mental health field in different settings, ranging from in-home services, community-based support, outpatient settings, and residential hospital programs. Katie has had the opportunity to work with young children, teens and adults, in areas including bereavement, pediatric palliative care, anxiety and related disorders, and post-adoption support. In 2017, Katie had the opportunity to co-author her first book with two other clinicians, entitled Adoption Is a Lifelong Journey. In 2016 Katie completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training from Radiant Yoga Boston, and in 2017 she completed a 30-hour yin yoga training. Though not formally teaching yoga anymore, Katie values the importance of the mind-body connection and believes in implementing mindfulness concepts “off the mat.”
Katie has been involved with DPYS from the moment it became an idea in 2003, after her brother, Danny, died. Katie remained an active part of Danny’s Place in its former model as a teen volunteer, and joined the Advisory Board while at college. More recently, Katie has facilitated one of its in-house programs and led several workshops for teens on balanced living topics. In 2018, Katie became Executive Director of Danny’s Place Youth Services.
Katie lives in Wellesley with her husband. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Children’s Room in Arlington.
Katherine Lee, Programs Manager
Katherine Lee, MSW, has been a resident of Acton since 2012. In 2014, she was hired as the Administrative Coordinator for Acton Boxborough Coalition for Healthy Youth (ABCHY). ABCHY subsequently became a program of DPYS in June 2015. Katherine is presently the Program Manager at DPYS where she works closely with the Executive Director in many of the community partnerships DYPS is involved with. She leads the Danny's Place Youth Leadership Council (DPYLC), co-leads the Acton Boxborough Community Resource Network (ABCRN), co-leads the U Project Program and is a member of the AB Cares Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Katherine received her Bachelor’s of Science in Family & Community Services, graduating Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Delaware Honors Program in 1997. She subsequently served on the University of Delaware Board of Trustees from 1997-1999. She completed a Master’s of Social work in Clinical social Work in 1999 from Boston University.
Katherine worked at Project Alliance, Middlesex Partnerships for Youth–a program of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. After relocating to New York, she worked as the Director of Support Services for the CityKids Foundation, an after school youth development program for inner city youth, for several years. Subsequently, she and her family relocated to Delaware where she worked as a Volunteer Coordinator for the Food Bank of Delaware.
Katherine is married and has two sons who attend Douglas School and ABRHS in Acton. In addition to her work with ABCHY/DPYS, she is an active volunteer at Douglas and at the Open Table Food Pantry in Maynard. She spends the bulk of her time as a stay at home mother shuttling her children to various activities and organizing play dates. However, she is also committed to working with organizations that promote positive youth development in her community.
Michael Carotenuto, Program Coordinator
Michael Carotenuto joined our team in the fall of 2018 as our Program Coordinator. After studying music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Michael returned to his hometown of Acton and jumped back into the school district, working as a K-12 substitute teacher, an extended day care specialist, and an elementary music classroom assistant at Douglas School.
Michael also worked for five years with the A-B Community Education Summer Day Program and spent much of that time developing a “Leader-in-Training” program for students entering grades 7 and 8. That program has inspired him to continue working with students in their early teens, fostering explorational opportunities and close-peer mentor relationships between students.
Michelle Silbert, Program Leader: What’s Next Starts Now
Michelle Silbert founded Ignite Your sparks! Holistic Career Coaching to help teens and adults imagine, explore and build their dream careers, as well as create the structures and plans to help them reach their goals. Michelle especially enjoys working with college students with ADD/ADHD and other learning challenges, career launchers and career changers, including caregivers making plans to return to the workforce. She works from the inside out and helps her clients use career assessments like Strengths Finder, the MBTI Step 2, Skill Scan, and values inventories to set goals that propel their purpose. Michelle’s educational background is psychology, public health and social work with a focus on youth mentoring and leadership development. In the past, she managed a school-based violence prevention program, did community-based youth health research, taught teens about safe travel, and worked as a teacher naturalist at both local farms and wildlife sanctuaries. Michelle is a local Acton mom and is involved with Girl Scouts.
Monica Biswas, Program Leader: Sparks and Me
Monica is a mother of two elementary aged boys in Acton, MA. She received her Masters degree from the Harvard School Public Health with a focus on health education and social behavior. Her career started as an AmeriCorps volunteer creating and teaching a substance abuse prevention curriculum to middle school students, and literacy tutoring to elementary aged students. She has also facilitated professional development trainings for after school program educators. While home with her son, Monica started her own photography business and published a photography blog. Her other passions include writing, dance and meditation.