Joanna is a role model and an inspiration for young people. As a high school student, Joanna’s academic and athletic abilities earned her a full scholarship to Proctor Academy in Andover, NH where she excelled as a student-athlete. She played softball, was on the cross country team, and was captain of the varsity basketball team that won Proctor Academy its very first championship. Her top grades & dedication to her community earned her a scholarship to Lasell College in Newton, MA, where Joanna earned a degree in Business. As a college student, Joanna landed what she calls “the internship of a lifetime” at Walt Disney World. Even before graduating, Joanna was motivated to pay it forward. Her junior year at Lasell, she founded Top Notch Network, which offered leadership development events and trainings for young professionals in the greater Boston area like herself.
Joanna founded Top Notch Scholars in 2014, a non-profit dedicated to youth leadership development, providing workshops and motivational speaking engagements for students in the Greater Lawrence and Boston area. The workshops focus on Leadership topics such as confidence-building and interviewing techniques–skills that can help with high school & college admissions, applying for scholarships, finding employment opportunities, life skills and career advancement. In just 3 short years with her organization she has reached over 10,000 students. She has been recognized by El Mundo in its “Boston’s Latino 30 under 30” for her dedication to youth and the community and has been awarded the Tribute to Women award for professional and community achievements. In 2016, Joanna has been recognized as a Gateway City Leader by MassInc for her Leadership and dedication with inner city youth. She is heavily involved in her community by volunteering with local nonprofits, food pantries and engages in city clean ups. Joanna has earned her Master’s Degree at Merrimack College in Education and will be pursuing her Phd Fall 2017. Her mission is to inspire & empower 1 million youth nationwide.