Our Team

TRUE Mentors operates thanks to dedicated volunteers who give their time and talents to be the change they want to see in the world. Our leaders come from different careers and backgrounds, but they have one thing in common; they want to give children the opportunity to explore new ideas and to unearth excellence in the lives of children.

TRUE Mentors Staff

Katharine Samberg-Lawrence, Executive Director (KSL@TRUEMentors.org)

A 10-year Veteran in the nonprofit sector, Katharine joins us from The Fortune Society, where she held several roles including: Program Coordinator, Manager or Vocational Counseling, and Manager of Transitional Programs and Corporate Fellowships. Prior to working in Reentry services, Katharine lived in Vermont where she worked with at-risk youth as a community support worker and respite house manager.

She is a graduate of Castleton University where she obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Forensic Psychology and World literature. She is eager to use her passion for helping the underserved and exuberant sense of humor to bring in new support to the already thriving community that makes TRUE Mentors such a wonderful organization.

Maria Lara, Program Coordinator (Maria@TRUEMentors.org)

Although new to her role as Program Coordinator, Maria Lara has been involved with TRUE Mentors since 2016; teaching clubs with topics in Social Problems and Change, Cultures and Values, and helping in the 2017 theatrical performance of Aladdin. After obtaining her Sociology degree from New Jersey City University, Maria joined the Hoboken Historical Museum’s educational department where she taught classes with topics in Immigration, Local History, Mapping and more. She also led public programs in weekly storytimes and annual family fun day, helped coordinate a film series and a Poetry in the Schools program, and hosted a talk with the Ramapough-Lenape Indian Nation of Mahwah, N.J.

 

Maria hopes to bring diversity and inclusion in her new role with TRUE Mentors. As an immigrant to the United States, she understands the impact of being brought up in a low-income community and the effects it has on a person. She also believes in the powerful tool of mentorship and how it has helped shape her future.

 

Board of Directors


 

Tara Casazza, Board President (tec2118@caa.columbia.edu)

Tara was born and raised on Long Island. She attended Providence College and graduated with a Master Degree in Social Work from Columbia University. Tara has lived in Hoboken since 2013. She has served as a volunteer with TRUE Mentors over the past three years assisting with our grant writing efforts. Tara joined the board in 2016. Outside of TRUE Mentors, Tara works in human resources at KKR.

 

 

 

Sarah Neral, Board Secretary (sarah@hobokengrace.com)

Sarah has lived in Hoboken since 2011.  Sarah has served as a volunteer with TRUE Mentors over the past four years assisting with fundraising events and community partnerships. With a background in philanthropy and non-profit administration, Sarah joined the board in 2015 and is focused on volunteer recruitment and fundraising events. Outside of TRUE Mentors, Sarah works for Hoboken Grace Community Church

 

 

 

Sibel Berberolglu (sibelb.benjerry@gmail.com)

Sibel has been a sponsor of TRUE Mentors since its inception. Sibel embodies the proverb, “it takes a community to raise a child.” Sibel has been part of classes and fundraising events over the years, and she joined the board in November 2013. Outside of TRUE Mentors, Sibel is a loving mother and owner of Ben & Jerry’s.

 

 

 

 

Tim Ferguson (tim@truementors.org)

Tim Ferguson first moved to Hoboken in 2002 with his wife and two cats. He developed is passion for helping others while living in Asia and partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for worthy families in Thailand. Tim joined TRUE Mentors in the summer of 2017 initially to simply support a great team but quickly realized his passion to help the children ran deep.  He was fortunate to join the Board in 2018 and is looking forward to mentoring his first young man through the Young Intern program. Outside of his support for TRUE Mentors, Tim is a part of the Health vertical leadership team at Merkle Inc, responsible for managing C-suite marketing relationships. Tim looks forward to channeling is marketing experience to help improve the awareness and impact of the great work done by TRUE Mentors.

 

 

Dr. Razel Solow (razel@truementors.org)

Dr. Razel Solow is the former Director, Center for Gifted Studies and Education, at Hunter College. At Hunter, she ran the graduate program, taught teachers, conducted research, and worked directly with children. Razel has been an elementary and high school English teacher, county director of gifted education and founding president of School-Wise, an educational consulting practice. She was also formerly the education curator at the Hoboken Historical Museum. Razel has spent her life dedicated to improving the education, social and emotional lives of children and their parents. Razel is most excited about the relationships she hopes to build with the children, their families, our volunteers, and the Board at TRUE Mentors.

 

 

Linda Kwok (lindaWkwok@gmail.com)

Linda moved from Shanghai, San Francisco to the New York area twenty years ago and has spent the last twelve years living in Hoboken. She is an involved parent at her children’s school, and has previous volunteer and leadership positions at Brandt and Wallace School. Linda received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and her MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. As a trained executive and life coach, she understands the importance of building relationships and helping every child reach their full potential. Outside of TRUE Mentors, Linda works as a realtor with in Hoboken and Jersey City.