Our Board and Team | About Us | Families Empowered

MEET THE TEAM

Quincy Boyd

Community and School Partnerships Manager

Quincy Boyd

Community and School Partnerships Manager

Email: qboyd@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (210) 347-2972

Quincy Boyd is a native of San Antonio where she manages School and Community Partnerships at Families Empowered. She is responsible for developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with community organizations, in support of Families Empowered’s vision for reaching the most resource constrained families and deepening its service to those families.

Prior to Families Empowered, Quincy worked to close the achievement and opportunity gap for students across Texas. She served as a Teacher, College Counselor, Assistant Principal, and Director of Academic Programs. In 2013, she joined the admissions office at Harvard University where she gained a holistic understanding of admissions processes and worked to increase campus diversity. After three years in higher education, she transitioned back to the K-12 sector to manage programs that promote student success.

Quincy is a proud first-generation college graduate. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin, and an M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University.

Pam Cabello

Family Success Specialist

Pam Cabello

Family Success Specialist

Email: pcabello@familiesempowered.org
Phone: 713-589-8767

Originally born in Puebla México, Pamela Cabello has been living in Houston since the age of 3. She graduated from Westside High School in 2018 and is currently attending HCC with the goal of graduating with her Associates Degree before attending a traditional four year university. Pamela is proud to be able to pursue higher education by obtaining the DREAM Scholarship. Before joining Families Empowered, Pamela worked at The Breakfast Klub, a well-known breakfast spot in midtown. She discovered Families Empowered trough the Hire Houston Youth Program.

After being hired as an intern, she joined the team permanently. Pamela is passionate about educating parents about all the school options.

Patricia Castillo

Operations Manager

Patricia Castillo

Operations Manager

Email: pcastillo@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (281) 407-2708

Prior to working at Families Empowered, Patricia was the Office Manager at USA Car Sales from October 2011 to February 2019. In March 2003, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and opened a popsicle factory to help her two younger sisters go to college. In addition to being the founder of that business, she managed finance, administration, and production. The work that Families Empowered does every day is something Patricia holds close to her heart, and she considers it an honor for her to be able to work alongside a team that is making such an impact and difference in the lives of others.

Zulean Cruz-Diaz

Community Engagement Coordinator

Zulean Cruz-Diaz

Community Engagement Coordinator

Email: Email: zcruzdiaz@familiesempowered.org
Phone: 281-456-2486

Zulean Cruz- Diaz is serving as the Families Empowered Community Engagement Coordinator. Her background has been molded around community impact, programing, and partnerships. This Texan received her Management Engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts and has experience in national and international projects. Her nonprofit interest sparked while interning at Ka Honua Momona, on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. While working at the organization and living on a farm, Zulean learned the power and drive individuals bring to their communities. She is excited to get her hands deep in fulfilling the Families Empowered mission by building upon strong partnership in her new city of Houston, TX.

On weekends you may find Zulean catching up on her latest Spanish telenovela, shopping at farmers markets, spending time with family, or cross-country road tripping.

Ayla Dehghanpoor

Marketing & Communications Manager

Ayla Dehghanpoor

Marketing & Communications Manager

Email: adehghanpoor@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (281) 612-9532

Ayla Dehghanpoor is a communications professional who specializes in marketing strategy and creative content production. She comes to Families Empowered with a background in print media and spent much of her career at a local lifestyle publishing house and advertising agency in Texas. She is passionate about bringing accurate, quality information to the audiences she serves, and sharing stories that make an impact.

She lives in Houston with her husband, Zach, and German Shorthaired Pointer, Parker.

Colleen Dippel

Founder & CEO

Colleen Dippel

Founder & CEO

Email: cdippel@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (713) 589-8767, Ext. 101

Colleen Dippel began her career as a public school teacher. She left teaching to help launch a private-sector education technology start-up. She’s served as the Director of the KIPP School Leadership Program, the Director of Alumni Support for Teach For America- Houston, and as the Director of Education Initiatives at Aquinas Co. At Aquinas, she launched Families Empowered, which she leads today.

Colleen is the proud mother of two active children.

Mina Kumar

Acting Chief Program Officer

Mina Kumar

Acting Chief Program Officer

Email: mkumar@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (512) 580-4046

Mina Kumar manages the Families Empowered program team, who focuses tirelessly on helping families find great school options for their children. Prior to joining Families Empowered, Mina worked for over fifteen years with non-profits and philanthropic organizations as a consultant focused on growth, performance management, and strategic planning. She has worked independently and with firms such as CatalystEd, Safal Partners, The Center for What Works, and Blue Garnet and with clients such as Thinkery (Austin’s Children’s Museum), Houston Endowment, The New York Road Runners, Mission Capital, The Cara Program, and Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.

She lives with her husband and two children (who go to Long-View Micro School) in Austin, TX.

Jessica Post

School Services Manager

Jessica Post

School Services Manager

Email: jpost@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (512) 649-4324

Jessica Post works with families in the Austin area to help them find their best school option. Prior to joining Families Empowered, she worked in charter schools across Tennessee and Texas. She began her career leading and supporting statewide advocacy, student enrollment, talent recruitment, and public awareness campaigns with the Tennessee Charter School Center. In 2015, she switched roles to serve in campus-level operations as a founding team member with Knoxville’s first charter school, Emerald Academy and as an Assistant Principal of Operations with IDEA Public Schools in Austin. Jessica leads our shared application work across Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Additionally, she supports schools through enrollment campaigns connecting families with available school opportunities.

She lives in Georgetown, TX with her husband, Sammy, daughter, Hattie and dog, Riggins.

Deanna Sheaffer

Strategic Gifts Manager

Deanna Sheaffer

Strategic Gifts Manager

Email: dsheaffer@familiesempowered.org
Phone: 713-589-8767

Deanna Sheaffer has more than 15 years of non-profit advancement/development experience, primarily in education. Most recently, Deanna worked with the Advancement Team at KIPP Houston as Senior Events Manager. Prior to her work at KIPP Houston, she was the Director of Alumni Support for Teach For America’s Houston office. She originally came to Houston as a 1991 Teach For America corps member. In 1999, Deanna joined Rice University as the Director of Alumni Engagement and Finance.

She is married to a native Houstonian and is the crazed, yet proud, mother of four energetic boys.

Lily Shen

Development Coordinator

Lily Shen

Development Coordinator

Email: lshen@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (281) 940-3024

Lily Shen is from the San Francisco Bay Area in California. She was the former Program Manager for a nonprofit family homeless sheltering program for the San Mateo County before joining Families Empowered and brings extensive experience in fundraising, event planning, grant researching, and crowdfunding to the organization.

Lily strongly believes in social impact that is shaped by civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and networking and is motivated by seeking sustainable solutions for groups in need.

Allison Squier

Family Success Specialist

Allison Squier

Family Success Specialist

Email: asquier@familiesempowered.org
Phone: 713-589-8767

Allison Squiers joined the Families Empowered team to support parents searching for schools as a Bilingual Customer Service representative.

In her previous career as a business development executive, she played a critical role in helping businesses expand into Latin American countries. In her role as a Financial Client Service Representative at Bank of America, she regularly attended to the needs and finances of international clients.

In her free time, Allison loves to paint, travel with her family, and above all, enjoy good food and wine with friends.

Quincy Boyd

Community and School Partnerships Manager

Bio

Email: qboyd@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (210) 347-2972

Quincy Boyd is a native of San Antonio where she manages School and Community Partnerships at Families Empowered. She is responsible for developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with community organizations, in support of Families Empowered’s vision for reaching the most resource constrained families and deepening its service to those families.

Prior to Families Empowered, Quincy worked to close the achievement and opportunity gap for students across Texas. She served as a Teacher, College Counselor, Assistant Principal, and Director of Academic Programs. In 2013, she joined the admissions office at Harvard University where she gained a holistic understanding of admissions processes and worked to increase campus diversity. After three years in higher education, she transitioned back to the K-12 sector to manage programs that promote student success.

Quincy is a proud first-generation college graduate. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin, and an M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University.

Pam Cabello

Family Success Specialist

Bio

Email: pcabello@familiesempowered.org
Phone: 713-589-8767

Originally born in Puebla México, Pamela Cabello has been living in Houston since the age of 3. She graduated from Westside High School in 2018 and is currently attending HCC with the goal of graduating with her Associates Degree before attending a traditional four year university. Pamela is proud to be able to pursue higher education by obtaining the DREAM Scholarship. Before joining Families Empowered, Pamela worked at The Breakfast Klub, a well-known breakfast spot in midtown. She discovered Families Empowered trough the Hire Houston Youth Program.

After being hired as an intern, she joined the team permanently. Pamela is passionate about educating parents about all the school options.

Patricia Castillo

Operations Manager

Bio

Email: pcastillo@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (281) 407-2708

Prior to working at Families Empowered, Patricia was the Office Manager at USA Car Sales from October 2011 to February 2019. In March 2003, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and opened a popsicle factory to help her two younger sisters go to college. In addition to being the founder of that business, she managed finance, administration, and production. The work that Families Empowered does every day is something Patricia holds close to her heart, and she considers it an honor for her to be able to work alongside a team that is making such an impact and difference in the lives of others.

Zulean Cruz-Diaz

Community Engagement Coordinator

Bio

Email: Email: zcruzdiaz@familiesempowered.org
Phone: 281-456-2486

Zulean Cruz- Diaz is serving as the Families Empowered Community Engagement Coordinator. Her background has been molded around community impact, programing, and partnerships. This Texan received her Management Engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts and has experience in national and international projects. Her nonprofit interest sparked while interning at Ka Honua Momona, on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. While working at the organization and living on a farm, Zulean learned the power and drive individuals bring to their communities. She is excited to get her hands deep in fulfilling the Families Empowered mission by building upon strong partnership in her new city of Houston, TX.

On weekends you may find Zulean catching up on her latest Spanish telenovela, shopping at farmers markets, spending time with family, or cross-country road tripping.

Ayla Dehghanpoor

Marketing & Communications Manager

Bio

Email: adehghanpoor@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (281) 612-9532

Ayla Dehghanpoor is a communications professional who specializes in marketing strategy and creative content production. She comes to Families Empowered with a background in print media and spent much of her career at a local lifestyle publishing house and advertising agency in Texas. She is passionate about bringing accurate, quality information to the audiences she serves, and sharing stories that make an impact.

She lives in Houston with her husband, Zach, and German Shorthaired Pointer, Parker.

Colleen Dippel

Founder & CEO

Bio

Email: cdippel@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (713) 589-8767, Ext. 101

Colleen Dippel began her career as a public school teacher. She left teaching to help launch a private-sector education technology start-up. She’s served as the Director of the KIPP School Leadership Program, the Director of Alumni Support for Teach For America- Houston, and as the Director of Education Initiatives at Aquinas Co. At Aquinas, she launched Families Empowered, which she leads today.

Colleen is the proud mother of two active children.

Mina Kumar

Acting Chief Program Officer

Bio

Email: mkumar@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (512) 580-4046

Mina Kumar manages the Families Empowered program team, who focuses tirelessly on helping families find great school options for their children. Prior to joining Families Empowered, Mina worked for over fifteen years with non-profits and philanthropic organizations as a consultant focused on growth, performance management, and strategic planning. She has worked independently and with firms such as CatalystEd, Safal Partners, The Center for What Works, and Blue Garnet and with clients such as Thinkery (Austin’s Children’s Museum), Houston Endowment, The New York Road Runners, Mission Capital, The Cara Program, and Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.

She lives with her husband and two children (who go to Long-View Micro School) in Austin, TX.

Jessica Post

School Services Manager

Bio

Email: jpost@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (512) 649-4324

Jessica Post works with families in the Austin area to help them find their best school option. Prior to joining Families Empowered, she worked in charter schools across Tennessee and Texas. She began her career leading and supporting statewide advocacy, student enrollment, talent recruitment, and public awareness campaigns with the Tennessee Charter School Center. In 2015, she switched roles to serve in campus-level operations as a founding team member with Knoxville’s first charter school, Emerald Academy and as an Assistant Principal of Operations with IDEA Public Schools in Austin. Jessica leads our shared application work across Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Additionally, she supports schools through enrollment campaigns connecting families with available school opportunities.

She lives in Georgetown, TX with her husband, Sammy, daughter, Hattie and dog, Riggins.

Deanna Sheaffer

Strategic Gifts Manager

Bio

Email: dsheaffer@familiesempowered.org
Phone: 713-589-8767

Deanna Sheaffer has more than 15 years of non-profit advancement/development experience, primarily in education. Most recently, Deanna worked with the Advancement Team at KIPP Houston as Senior Events Manager. Prior to her work at KIPP Houston, she was the Director of Alumni Support for Teach For America’s Houston office. She originally came to Houston as a 1991 Teach For America corps member. In 1999, Deanna joined Rice University as the Director of Alumni Engagement and Finance.

She is married to a native Houstonian and is the crazed, yet proud, mother of four energetic boys.

Lily Shen

Development Coordinator

Bio

Email: lshen@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (281) 940-3024

Lily Shen is from the San Francisco Bay Area in California. She was the former Program Manager for a nonprofit family homeless sheltering program for the San Mateo County before joining Families Empowered and brings extensive experience in fundraising, event planning, grant researching, and crowdfunding to the organization.

Lily strongly believes in social impact that is shaped by civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and networking and is motivated by seeking sustainable solutions for groups in need.

Allison Squier

Family Success Specialist

Bio

Email: asquier@familiesempowered.org
Phone: 713-589-8767

Allison Squiers joined the Families Empowered team to support parents searching for schools as a Bilingual Customer Service representative.

In her previous career as a business development executive, she played a critical role in helping businesses expand into Latin American countries. In her role as a Financial Client Service Representative at Bank of America, she regularly attended to the needs and finances of international clients.

In her free time, Allison loves to paint, travel with her family, and above all, enjoy good food and wine with friends.

Families Empowered is supported by our dedicated Board of Directors.

  • Leo Linbeck III, Chair, President and CEO, Aquinas Companies, LLC
  • Jason Bernal, Chief School Officer, Houston Independent School District
  • Claudia Contreras, Community Leader
  • Lindsey Cooksen, Founder and Managing Director, Cooksen Wealth, LLC
  • Debbie Hurwitz, Community Leader, Parent and Coach
  • Don McAdams, Founder and Chairman, Center for Reform of School Systems
  • Ore Owodunni, Corporate Strategy and Planning, ConocoPhillips
  • Ann Scott, Executive Director, Houston ISD Foundation