Edward M. Powell Named Executive Director of JRI's STRIVE Boston

JRI, a nonprofit provider of trauma-informed care to children and families in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, has appointed Edward M. Powell as executive director of JRI’s STRIVE Boston program. Powell will continue to serve as JRI’s Vice President for Community Engagement.

STRIVE Boston serves chronically unemployed adults of all ages who come from the most underserved communities to help them realize their potential to find and keep jobs that promise sustainable livelihoods and personal growth. STRIVE Boston also operates a job-readiness program, STRIVE FORWARD Juvenile Justice Initiative, to recruit and enroll at-risk young adults, ages 16 to 24, providing them with workforce development training and an array of necessary services that they may not otherwise know about.

“Ed will bring passion, commitment, and an abundance of experience and personal relationships to his new role at STRIVE Boston,” said Andy Pond, President and CEO of JRI. “He is a believer in the abilities of the individuals served by STRIVE Boston and he seeks to nurture success through job training, education, or learning a trade.”

Powell, a resident of Dorchester, joined JRI in 2014, bringing over 20 years of experience in the private and nonprofit sectors in a career spent working to improve the lives of young people through, education, employment and violence prevention.

“I’m excited to be the new Executive Director of STRIVE Boston and use my experience as JRI’s Vice President of Community Engagement to build the necessary relationships with community partners that will enable us to offer a wide scope of services to the individuals we serve,” said Powell. “With the help of our partners, we look to improve our service delivery model so that, in addition to providing job-skills training and employment, we are connecting our clients to industry-recognized certifications, exposing them to entrepreneurship, and helping them gain entry to post-secondary educational opportunities – all of which can help them access livable wages in a 21st century economy.”

STRIVE Boston is one of more than 20 STRIVE International affiliates working to help people acquire the life-changing skills and attitudes needed to overcome challenging circumstances, find sustained employment, and become valuable contributors to their families, their employers and their communities.

“We are thrilled that Ed has been selected to lead STRIVE Boston, an organization with a deep history and commitment to the Boston community,” said Phil Weinberg, President and CEO of STRIVE International. “Together with our partners at JRI, STRIVE is incredibly enthused about the potential to expand our impact in Boston and ensure that even more Bostonians have the skills and attitudes needed to succeed in work and in life.”

Powell holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Delaware State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University. He is a 2007 alumnus of the Boston University’s Institute of Nonprofit Management and Leadership program and a 2013 alumnus of The Partnership Inc.’s Next Generation Executive program.


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Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.