Dawn Mendelsohn

National Training Associate

Dawn Mendelsohn had worked to develop, fund, and sustain out-of-school-time programs for over 20 years. She came to this work through an unusual path. Her first career, as a civil engineer, included field inspections of industrial sites. She then moved into the classroom doing program development and lesson plan design for group and individual technical trainings, organizational behavior, and consulting workshops for an international engineering firm.

She “retired” from engineering to be a full time mom for nearly 10 years where she became a passionate supporter of public education through the development of volunteer networks, out-reach and support of underrepresented populations, capacity development and grant writing for her local public school system. Since 1995, Dawn has dedicated her time to the development of afterschool and out-of-school-time programs that connect students to their broader community. She, along with a handful of communities, worked with NIOST to develop and field test the system known today as APAS.

After retiring from the public schools in 2013, Dawn has been a trainer and independent consultant with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Lemelson at MIT, and Wellesley College (through NIOST), where she continued her work as an organizational development, capacity building, and program improvement specialist, focusing on out-of-school time programs. Dawn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering.


    "NIOST has been an anchor for numerous school age care projects we do, including ASQ (After-School Quality) and Links to Learning. They are a nationally respected organization that Pennsylvania has partnered with for over 20 years."

    – Betsy O. Saatman, TA Specialist/SAC Initiatives, Pennsylvania Key

    "NIOST was a core partner in supporting the development of quality improvement systems across the nine cities that participated in The Wallace Foundation Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. The NIOST team worked well with other technical assistance partners in the initiative, always willing to pitch in and collaborate with others to make our professional learning community meetings a team effort. I truly hope the Foundation has an opportunity to partner with them in the future."

    – Priscilla M. Little, Initiative Manager, The Wallace Foundation


    "NIOST has been a leader in the out-of-school time field for as long as I can remember, and I have relied on their research, tools, and advice to improve my practice throughout my career. Their staff members are good partners and good listeners, and their influence across the country is palpable."

    – Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of National Center for Community Schools, Children's Aid Society

    "Georgia Hall, Ellen Gannett, and the NIOST team have been instrumental in driving the healthy afterschool movement. Their dedication to quality practice, informed policy, and collective impact is instrumental in our effort to create healthier communities."

    – Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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The National Institute on Out-of-School Time

A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA

Directions to NIOST

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