Sarah B Coughlin, LICSW, LADC-I

Sarah Coughlin, LICSW, LADC-I is a zealous advocate for addiction and mental health services, criminal justice reform, and health equity. In her role as the Charlestown Coalition Director, she  oversees the work of the multi-sector coalition, building the capacity of the community and addressing its top identified health concerns (substance use, quality education, employment, income equality, housing, violence, trauma, and youth mental health) by working to address the root causes of these public health issues. She is the Board President of the National Association of Social Workers MA Chapter, has a small private practice, and is a state social work expert vendor for the Committee for Public Counsel Services. She previously served as the Coalition's Youth Prevention Director, and before that as the clinical social worker at A1 Boston Police Station. Sarah received her Bachelors in Social Work from Providence College, her Masters in Social Work from Boston College, and completed a post-graduate clinical certificate program in the relational and multi-contextual treatment of trauma at Simmons College.

Ciara Williams, MPH, CPH
Program and Communications Manager

Ciara is a strong-willed public health professional who is passionate about health outside the walls of a hospital. As Program and Communications Manager, she facilitates connection through social media and boosts the visibility of the work that the community and the Coalition are doing. Originally from a small, tight-knit community in New Hampshire, she is inspired by the strength of the people of Charlestown. Ciara received her Bachelors degree from Brandeis University and her Masters in Public Health from Northeastern University. Ciara has previously worked with Medicaid ACO programs, ensuring quality healthcare and connecting MA residents to housing and food resources. She has also worked in cancer care and research, igniting her passion for equitable care across races, genders, and economic backgrounds.

Phenice Zawatsky, LICSW
Family Support Circle Clinician
Phenice oversees the Charlestown Family Support Circle, a program designed to identify and intervene with at-risk youth and their families as well as improve the connection among Charlestown service providers to support local youth and families. Phenice comes to Charlestown Coalition from Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus in Arlington, where she was a Clinical Supervisor and Family Clinician working with at risk youth, adolescents, young children and their families. She also worked at the Department of Children and Family Services in Los Angeles, CA. Phenice received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Mswati Hanks
Youth Program Coordinator
Mswati is originally from upstate New York and currently lives in Chelsea with his wife and two sons. He has worked with youth in the Boston area for almost 20 years. Mswati would describe himself as being very driven, and a hardworking person who loves mentoring, motivating and inspiring young people. As the parent of 2 boys over the age of 18, Mswati understands the many challenges that youth growing up in an urban environment face today - especially youth of color. Through education, the arts, music, poetry, sports, film, theatre, civic engagement, social justice, and even the outdoors, Mswati has been able to expose these young people to a world that many of them had no idea existed, or was even accessible. He believes that education, and finding your passion, is the great equalizer when it comes to lifting one out of poverty, or any situation for that matter. That is his main goal at the Charlestown Coalition - To educate and empower Charlestown’s youth.
Melanie "Mel" Soto, MSW
Community Resource Specialist
Mel is a Macro Social Worker devoted to social justice, intersectional feminism and contributing to a more equitable future for the LGBTQIA+ community. She was born and raised in Boston, but shares that the people of South End are what truly raised her. She credits her experience as an adolescent in youth work and development to be the core of who she is and who she strives to be. As the Community Resource Specialist, she will assist in coordinating the local resources through collaboration with partner organizations within Charlestown. In addition to resource coordination, Mel will be utilizing her experience in government policy to source grant funding and inform local legislation through community partnerships. Mel graduated from Wheelock College with a Bachelors of Social Work and Juvenile Justice and earned a Masters of Social Work at Bridgewater State University.
Zaire Richardson
Youth Prevention Coordinator
Zaire Richardson is a lifelong Charlestown resident who has an ongoing passion and involvement in youth enrichment programs/services. She has gained her love and experience in this field throughout her very own participation in various youth groups which shaped her to be the person she is today. As a inner city Bostonian belonging to a low class family, Zaire has seen first hand how hard it is for families to navigate educational and clinical systems especially without guidance. This has increased her hunger tenfold to provide more accessible assistance because she is a firm believer that through skill development, civic engagement, contextual therapy, music, and getting outside, even the most “misguided” kid could thrive! In Zaire’s role as Youth Prevention Coordinator she will oversee Turn It Around Junior where she will actively provide a safe and proactive environment for young teens to begin navigating themselves, help find their passions, and supply them with the tools to succeed in escaping poverty and eventually create generational wealth.
Dareen Ali
Dareen Ali is an SSW student at Boston University, and she recently received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dareen has always been interested in helping others and making a difference in her community. She is specifically interested in assisting underserved populations to empower the recognition of health and social challenges, and help underserved communities overcome barriers that greatly affect their individual health and well-being. She hopes to have the opportunity to help meet the basic and complex needs of all people and help individuals reach their full potential.