The ASA College Planning Center at the Boston Public Library offers guidance on choosing a college, applying for financial aid and scholarships, managing money, and choosing a major or a career. Drop in or make an appointment – we’ve got college guidebooks, study aids, and info on HiSET (GED), ESL, and technical/vocational education opportunities.
It is also an Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), part of a network of federally funded TRIO programs focused on providing low-income, first-generation students over the age of 18 with assistance in their pursuit of postsecondary education opportunities. We work in collaboration with EOCs statewide, including the Brockton College Planning Center. Our sponsoring partner is Massachusetts Education and Career Opportunities, Inc. (MassEdCO).
Students of all ages and income levels are welcome.
We also offer career assistance, including one-on-one guidance, coaching, and the Massachusetts Career Information System. It’s free for all Massachusetts residents, and accessible from any Internet-connected computer.
We will also connect you with other career and finance resources like state job centers and free tax assistance from Action for Boston Community Development.
Copley Square Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston MA, 02116
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The center is inside the Kirstein Business Library and Innovation Center on the lower level.
Andrea Navarro manages the ASA College Planning Center satellite office at the Chelsea campus of Bunker Hill Community College. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and is pursuing a master’s degree in Education Policy.
Before joining ASA, Andrea taught at the Université de Nantes and at Polytech’ Nantes in Nantes, France, where she also studied Archaeology. She is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in French. In her spare time, she enjoys running and training for road races, reading, and tutoring French.
Ms. Annie Zhang has been advising students at College Planning Center at Boston Public Library since 1993 and working at the ASA Satellite Office at Asian American Civic Association in Boston Chinatown since 1995. She is fluent in Chinese.
The best parts of her job are meeting people from all over the world and assisting students with various backgrounds.
Asia Price is a part-time Education Advisor at the ASA College Planning Center, a position she has held since 2007. Asia earned an S.B. in Management from MIT, an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work from Boston College.
Asia’s previous experience includes teaching as well as transitional coaching for Boston Public School graduates, with a focus on holistic approaches to student success.
Beverly Pierce has 13 years of working experience in college access and TRIO programs. She serves as the Operations Manager of Education Advising and Outreach. Beverly holds a B.A in Human Services from University of Massachusetts and Masters in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University. Her experience in public education, college access, program development and mentoring helps her to develop linkages among colleges, industry partners, and high school programs. She prides herself of being a partnership broker to provide options for all learners.
Ms. Pierce previously worked in the Boston Public Schools District where she launched several Perkins-funded career technical education programs in comprehensive high schools to provide students with college and career readiness skills. Her favorite part of college access is providing a bridge and emotional support for individuals to successfully transition to postsecondary education and employment.
Dr. Carmen N. Veloria has been a classroom teacher and college access program administrator, and currently serves as Sr. Manager for Community Relations and Outreach for the College Planning Center. As a first-generation college student, her scholarship focuses on systemic issues that negatively impact the educational trajectory of students of color, and the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, and language usage.
She is particularly interested in college access initiatives for under-represented students as well as persistence and retention efforts in higher education. She holds a BA from Central Connecticut State University, a Master’s degree from Boston College, and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Additional Research interests include urban sociology/education, juvenile justice, and use of restorative practices in schools.
Carmen Pineda holds a BA in Anthropology from UMass Boston and a Masters in Higher Education Administration and Policy Studies from Boston University. She has has over 20 years experience working in various capacities as manager and advisor in TRIO, middle school, secondary, and higher education settings. For her, the best part of this job is being able to listen to each student’s hopes and dreams and help them achieve their goals.
Ms. Pineda is from Guatemala. She was raised by her grandmother, who due to socio-political issues was never able to attend school, but instilled the value of formal education at an early age. She believes that we are in the business of sharing, informing, and providing clients, from all walks of life, with tools that will not only assist them to attain a higher education credential, but to transfer such knowledge to their family members.
Ms. Carolyn McFadden is the Program Associate of the College Planning Center. She holds an A.S. in Health Information Technology from Fisher College, a B.A in Psychology & Sociology from University of Massachusetts Boston and a M.S. in Human Services with a concentration in Leadership from Northeastern University.
Before joining us in 2010 Ms. McFadden previous experience includes being a Release of Information Supervisor where she gained extensive knowledge in HIPAA, file management and working with law firms.
Danisha Dumornay is a bilingual Education Advisor at the ASA College Planning Center. She recently graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Government with a concentration in International Affairs from Suffolk University. She has a strong interest in social justice, mindset, essential skills and habits (MESH) education, and financial literacy. Ms. Dumornay speaks French and Haitian Creole and was a participant in a TRIO Ronald E. McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement Program, Pi Sigma Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa, as well as the Jean Yawkey Scholar Foundation. She is a current member of the City Awake Delegation sponsored by the Boston Chamber of Commerce.
During her time at Suffolk, Danisha was a Diversity Peer Educator; a program in which she facilitated and created workshops and presented at national conferences on topics regarding but not limited to LGBTQ+, race/ethnicity, sexual/body positivity, and religion. Danisha was also a Resident Assistant and Alternative School Break Community Service Leader.
Darnell Stowers is an Education Advisor at ASA College Planning Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University, and has 14 years of counseling experience at ASA, including 2 at the College Planning Center where he advises people about educational opportunities, financial aid, and careers, and assists them with completing admission and financial aid application; where he advises people about student loans, educational opportunities, financial aid, and careers, and assists them with completing admission and financial aid applications.
Mr. Stowers is passionate about community engagement and developing new exciting ways to best serve underserved communities and students. He is motivated by helping students explore academic and personal growth, has a deep compassion for students facing challenges in higher education.
Debbie Mills has been an Education advisor at the ASA College Planning Center in the BPL for more than twelve years. She holds an RN degree from Northeastern and a BA in Theater Arts from UMass Boston. She has also completed a certification program for Career Facilitator and loves helping others imagine the myriad possibilities for the future.
Debbie took a long and crooked path to what became her perfect job, beginning in the medical field as an LPN, then an RN, then pursuing theater. After completing an internship at the College Planning Center (formerly the HEIC) for a graduate class in the Counseling Psychology program at Lesley University, she took a long hiatus from the center, raising her three children, teaching Lamaze Childbirth classes, acting as a coordinator for Boston area au pairs, and working as an assistant to the vice president of an export company based in Prague, before returning to the College Planning Center.
Ms. Ellen Ronayne is a Senior Education Advisor and Outreach Coordinator at the ASA College Planning Center, where she has worked for 18 years. In addition to assisting adults and young people with the college admission and financial aid application process, she also manages the satellite locations in Boston and Cambridge.
Ms. Ronayne has an associate’s degree in business administration from Massasoit Community College, a bachelor of arts in history from the University of Massachusetts-Boston and a master’s in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School. Before coming to the ASA College Planning Center she was Associate Director of Admissions at Aquinas College-Newton.
Ms. Heather Bacchiocchi is an Education Advisor and Outreach Coordinator at the ASA College Planning Center. Ms. Bacchiocchi holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a master’s degree in school counseling from Bridgewater State University. She also currently holds a license for English Education and School Guidance for grades 5-12.
Before joining ASA, Ms. Bacchiocchi was a Youth Specialist at a non-profit in Roxbury, where she managed a mentoring program for DYS youth and worked with an after-school program for middle-schoolers.
Jodi Then is a Senior Education Advisor and Communications Coordinator at the ASA College Planning Center. She has an extensive background in college counseling and spent the last 15 years working for several college counseling organizations, including ASA. She is a consultant for the Boston Public Schools District and the Department of College Counseling. Additionally, Jodi works as a presenter for the Massachusetts Educational Finance Authority (MEFA), giving workshops around the state of Massachusetts on topics ranging from admissions to financial aid.
She holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Boston University and a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Bridgewater State College, and is a licensed guidance counselor for grades 5-12. She believes Dr. Seuss summed it up best when he said, “You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” Jodi will just help you get there.
Mr. Luis Cabral is a bilingual Education Advisor at the ASA College Planning Center, a position he has held since 2014. He arrived to the center after nearly 10 years of working in the non- profit sector. Before joining ASA, he was a college advisor for Jamaica Plain Community Center and a career coach for Jewish Vocational Services. Mr. Cabral holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Bay State College and is pursuing his master degree in Education Counseling.
Luis has extensive experience working with students in college admissions, financial aid and career planning. His favorite quote by Malcom X is: “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”