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. This comprehensive 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 obtain a secure career path and remain bound for success.
Our Staff and Board of Directors
Kirsten Stevens is the Executive Director of Bound For College, formerly Delray Students First. She brings a strong background in Nonprofit Development to our organization and has worked with charities in 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 nonprofits 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 certification in Nonprofit Management, Kirsten has her own nonprofit consulting firm and provides coaching, grant writing, board development and development support to small and medium-sized nonprofits.
Michel DiPalma is the Director of Academic Development and has been with Bound For College, formerly Delray Students First, 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.
Santiago Arias has been involved with Bound For College, formerly Delray Students First, since 2015. He started as a tutor and then Summer Program Coordinator. Santiago currently serves as the Program Director and has been in that role since 2017. He received his B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University. He is currently working on his Master’s in Business Administration at Florida Atlantic University and is expected to finish in May of 2019. Santiago is originally from Colombia and is a first-generation college graduate. He uses his story to inspire himself in his work at Bound For College as well as inspire BFC students who share similar stories. Santiago doesn’t believe your zip code should dictate how successful you are in life and that’s why he enjoys providing support to BFC students.
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.
Larry is a graduate of Syracuse University and has over 30 years of experience as an investment professional. Larry worked for Spear, Leeds and Kellogg for 11 years. In 2000 Larry founded Banyan Equity Investment and served as CEO. He coached and directed youth basketball teams in Delray Beach for seven years and has considerable experience working with young people in BFC, formerly DSF’s, neighborhood.
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.
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.
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.
Jordana L. Jarjura serves as General Counsel for Gulf Building LLC. Gulf offers a full range of in-house construction services, and its portfolio includes new construction and renovation in the hospitality, medical, office, commercial, educational, industrial and government sectors, as well as custom estates. Ms. Jarjura advises Gulf on all legal matters, including management of outside counsel. She also draws upon her significant land use and local government law experience to assist with Gulf’s pursuit and management of government projects, and to assist Gulf’s private sector clients with their entitlement and permitting goals. 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. She and her husband, a third generation Delray resident, live in Delray’s lauded Downtown.
William R. Greenfield
Bill serves as Treasurer to the Board of Directors of Bound For College, formerly Delray Students First Inc. Since 2008 Mr. Greenfield has provided tutoring, coached basketball, mentored and sponsored several disadvantaged minority high school students in Delray Beach, Florida. He serves as Chairman of The Greenfield Group, a healthcare development company based in Boca Raton, Florida. Mr. Greenfield holds a master’s degree in taxation and a bachelor’s degree in accounting, both from the University of Florida; he has been a Certified Public Accountant.
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.
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.
Academic Advisory Committee
Chair – Michel DiPalma
Sheldon Silver – Retired Principal
Leo Ressa – BFC Board Chair
Tutors / Teachers