About Bound For College

Founded in 2012 by Mark Sauer, the purpose of Bound For College is to provide academic, financial and emotional resources for motivated students so they can reach their full potential.  Our college readiness program includes ACT/SAT prep, college tours, college and financial aid application guidance, career exploration and developmental counseling.  At Bound For College, young people are encouraged to acquire an education after high school to set themselves on a secure career path and fulfill their vision.

Our Team and Board of Directors


Kirsten Stevens is the Chief Executive Officer of Bound For College. She brings a strong background in Nonprofit Development to our organization and has worked in the philanthropic communities of The Bahamas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Latin America. Kirsten started her career in Hospitality Management, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from FIU and working with companies such as Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Turnberry Isle Resort. Kirsten discovered her passion for social change while living in The Bahamas and has served in roles such as board member, volunteer, Director of Development and Executive Director for nonprofits and foundations. With an MBA and certifications in Nonprofit Management and BoardSource Board Consulting, Kirsten is active in the community and frequently conducts workshops and trainings.

Michel DiPalma is the Director of Academic Development and has been with Bound For College since the inception of the organization. She has a 15 year background in finance and technology as an Assistant Vice President working in financial services system development at State Street Corporation  in  Boston. With a degree in Finance and an MBA from Simmons College, Michel transitioned to teaching after a move to Florida.  Her desire was to help students in their development of real world skills and has taught Math, Science and Technology to 6 through 12 graders for 10 years in Delray Beach, FL. At Bound For College, Michel develops and implements new academic programs to increase student college readiness. She also focuses on securing STEM based summer opportunities for student academic growth and opportunities and has been a mentor and club coordinator with Palm Beach County’s Take Stock in Children program since 2013.

Board of Directors

Mark Sauer – Founder

Mr. Sauer is the Founder of Bound For College, formerly known as Delray Students First Inc. Since 2007 Mr. Sauer has taught, coached and volunteered at Village Academy. In 2012 he retired as a teacher from the School District of Palm Beach County in order to create and manage Bound For College, formerly Delray Students First Inc. From 1989 to 2006 Mr. Sauer held senior management positions with three professional sports franchises: the St. Louis Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. He served as President and C.E.O. of the Pirates and Blues.  He holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Leo Ressa  Chairman  

Leo joined the Board in 2014. He lives in Delray Beach and Hampton Bays, New York.  Since 2005 he has had a leadership and mentoring role in New York’s Student Sponsor Partners organization.  He served as Managing Director-Institutional Sales and Trading at Merrill Lynch from 1986-2004 and Senior Vice President-U.S. Institutional Trading at Alliance Bernstein from 2005-2011.  Leo is a graduate of Hobart College.

Ann Pepper 

Ann holds a nursing degree from Florida Atlantic University and is a longtime resident of Delray Beach.  Through her own education and the education of her two children, she is very knowledgeable regarding the School District of Palm Beach County and its diverse student population. She is well versed in all local issues within the Delray Beach community.   Ann is a certified personal trainer and is involved in the wellness activities of Bound For College, formerly Delray Students First, students.  She directs BFC fundraising events and is also responsible for public relations and social media communications for Bound For College.

Jeffrey Margolis  

Jeffrey Margolis earned his MBA in Finance and Accounting from Cornell University. Jeff has 25 years of experience as a former investment management executive along with nine years as a current investment management consultant in his own business. By lending his expertise, he helps to grow the organization strategically. He serves as a board member for Bound For College where he has volunteered to tutor students in financial literacy.

Jerilyn Walter

A Southern California native, Jerilyn has called south Florida home for more than 20 years. During those 20 years, she has enjoyed a successful career in Real Estate, including property management, investment properties and new builder representation. In 2012, she successfully opened, and currently operates, Posh Properties, with 3 locations and 40 active agents within her brokerage. Posh Properties has established themselves as a well recognized brand, and consistently closes in excess of $100m in transactions annually.

She serves on the Board of Directors for the College Bound Foundation, Chairman’s Club Delray Beach Chamber, a major sponsor of the Chris Evert Charities, Ambassador to the Caring Hearts Foundation, platinum sponsor of The Child Rescue Coalition, and many other local area charities and organizations. Her passion is animal rescue and has personally placed over 25 pets into long term loving homes.

Jerilyn’s previous career includes President of Medical Collection Services, Inc, which lead to her appointment as a California State Receiver and as an Arizona State Appointed Trustee.

She currently lives in Boynton Beach, Florida with her 3 rescue dogs.

Michael Hlatki

Mike joined the Board in 2018. He moved to Florida in 2003 and has been a dedicated youth sports coach since 2014, with a primary focus on high school football.

Prior to coaching, Mike was a partner with The Greenfield Group, a healthcare company specializing in real estate development. Before moving to Florida in 2003, he worked at Bear Stearns, Inc. as an equity research analyst and at Coopers & Lybrand LLLP in its audit and acquisition advisory groups.

He is a graduate of Williams College and holds an M.B.A. from NYU University’s Stern School of Business.

Mike lives in Boca Raton, Florida with his wife Lesley and three children

Kelley Baum

Kelley joined the Board in 2019. Since 2015, she has been a mentor to college students through the Viner Scholars Foundation, and also has been active with the Junior League of Boca Raton.  She serves as Head of Liquid Credit at AVM, LP / III Capital Management, and previously worked at Citigroup Global Markets in New York. She is a graduate of Princeton University. 

Jordana Jarjura 

Jordana L. Jarjura is Vice President and General Counsel of Menin Development, Inc.  Menin Development provides acquisition, development, re-development, leasing and property management services for ‘Class A’ retail and mixed-use properties across the United States.  Before joining Menin, Jordana was General Counsel for a leading South Florida construction company. Prior to that, Jordana’s private practice focused on government affairs, development entitlements, and land use/zoning appeals. She has found that the combination of knowledgeable lobbying with a mindful eye on litigation is very effective in seeking and preserving development rights.  Jordana is the former Vice Mayor of the City of Delray Beach. She also served on the Palm Beach County MPO and the PBC State Attorney’s Sober Homes Task Force. A former International Baccalaureate graduate of Delray’s own Atlantic High School, Ms. Jarjura has a BA from the University of Florida, a JD from Pepperdine University’s School of Law and a MBA from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.  

Margi Greenfield  

Margi is a native of Florida and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Florida.  She worked 12 years for JM Family Enterprises in the positions of programming, systems analysis and teaching computer languages to JM associates for data analysis and reporting. Margi was a member of the Pine Crest School Parent’s Association, a Girl Scout Leader and a tutor/mentor for students attending Saint Andrew’s School and Village Academy. She co-chaired the Connected Warriors 4th Annual Gala Event and is currently a member of their Board Event Committee.

Jonathan Elias 

A Palm Beach county native, Jonathan is training as a mental health counselor and is the founder of a private tutoring company which assists college students recovering from addiction. For the past year he has mentored Bound For College, formerly DSF, students at Village Academy through an after-school fellowship program. Jonathan earned a B.A. in comparative literature from the University of Chicago and an M.S. in counseling from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Shar Solis 

Shar was born in Belize and lived there for fourteen years before moving to New York with her family. She earned a BS in Design from Buffalo State College and a Masters in Library Information Science from The University of Buffalo before moving to Florida.

Shar has been an educator for over 19 years and has been privileged to meet some really amazing people along the way. For the last 10 years Shar has taught at Village Academy in Delray Beach and currently teaches 6-8 grade Science, Biology, and AVID classes.

She is proud to be a mommy to her amazing ten year old daughter and when she’s not at school, she loves working on her art and running.

Chip Dickson

Before co-founding DISCERN, Henry “”Chip”” Dickson was Chief Equity Strategist and Associate Director of Research at Lehman Brothers. A nine-time Institutional Investor All-American analyst, he is also co-author of the book, The Great Deleveraging.

Married with three children, and in addition to his work with Bound For College, Chip serves as an Advisory Board Member of both the Cutler Investment Center of Babson College and the Board of Governors of Union County College.

He is a Visiting Scholar at The Ohio State University and some of his past activities include: Board member of local Red Cross Chapter – Colonial Crossroads, Director of Imago Scientific Instruments Corporation, Chair Summit Republican City Committee, President and Treasurer of Beacon Hill Club, and Advisory Board member of the International Institute of New Jersey.

Raul Valero

Raul is an attorney with Nelson Mullins, focusing his practice on real estate transactions, commercial financing and lending. Raul has represented owners and investors in complex real estate transactions involving acquisitions, financings, and sales of all types of commercial real estate properties. He also has experience in complex commercial litigation, handling cases in both federal and state courts throughout the country. Raul obtained his JD from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law where he graduated summa cum laude. He obtained his BBA in Business Management and Marketing (with a minor in history) from Florida Atlantic University where he also was a member of the FAU Football team.

Academic Advisory Committee

Chair – Michel DiPalma

Sheldon Silver – Retired Principal
Leo Ressa – BFC Board Chair

Tutors / Teachers

Tammy Mose-Cooper
Debra Weier
Shar Solis
Shannon Solis

Retha Prescod
Nickoletta Loulis
Marissa Kingham