About Us

Our Mission

We partner with educators, students and schools bridging disparities to provide meaningful educational experiences and to demonstrate the power of an integrated peer learning model.

Our Team

Meet the Achieve Miami team!

Photo Sarah Emmons

Sarah Emmons

Executive Director


Sarah is Achieve Miami’s Executive Director. In this role, she works with the fabulous Achieve team to implement programs that connect and positively impact students of varying resources. Formerly, Sarah was the Managing Director of Radical Partners, an accelerator for social impact that specialized in capacity-building for social impact leaders. She also has experience managing social science research evaluations through her work as a Research Manager with the University of Chicago Education Lab and Crime Lab, and she started her career as a high school math teacher with Teach For America in Tulsa, OK. Sarah holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and a B.A. in Economics from Middlebury College. In her free time, Sarah enjoys traveling, yoga, reading, and cuddling with her French Bulldog, Lucy.

Dr. Carlos Antonio Viera

Deputy Director of Programs and Evaluation


A successful and accomplished scholar-practitioner with more than 30 years of diverse professional experiences, Dr. Carlos Antonio Viera works with the Achieve team to lead the execution and evaluation of high quality programs. Before joining Achieve, Dr. Viera served with Accenture as Manager, Management Consulting, with Miami Dade College as the Director for Planning, Policy Analysis and Grant Program Support, and with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) as the District Director for the Office of Performance Improvement. Dr. Viera has also provided independent consulting services for several private and non-profit organizations including Inside the School, College Summit, CASEL, National Academic Educational Partners (NAEP) and Performance Associates. He also served as the District Chair, Secondary Student Services for MDCPS, as well as serving as classroom teacher, behavior management teacher, crisis counselor, educational specialist, teacher trainer, graduation coach and supported employment coordinator. Dr. Viera earned a PhD from Capella University in the School of Education with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement. In additon, Dr. Viera earned a graduate level Certificate in Educational Leadership from Florida International University (FIU), a Master of Science in Education from the University of Miami, completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Education from FIU. He is also certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), a credential from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) through Barry University, as well as a SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional) credential. Dr. Viera currently serves his local community on the Board of Directors for Doctors Charter School, as well as the Steering and Conference Planning Committees for the Community Learning Partnership (CLP) at Barry University. He sees himself as a bridge-builder, aligning high expectations, tools and resources and incentives to help meet the challenges faced by today’s organizations.

Photo Rachel Saiontz Geary

Rachel Saiontz Geary

Director of Development


Rachel serves as Achieve Miami’s Director of Development. Rachel has worked with and at Achieve Miami for many years and formerly served as the Director of Summer Programs in which role she planned, guided, empowered, and supported the work of the summer leadership team at Achieve’s four summer sites. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University and a Masters in Education and Social Change from the University of Miami. Rachel is a Miami native, a Teach For America Miami-Dade alumnus, and proud mother to babies Bensen and Jude.

Nicole Murad

Director of Elementary Programs


Nicole is a multi-passionate community leader with experience in teaching, organizing, research, and development. She served on the Girls on the Run Chicago Associate Board for 3 years and as a Community Representative on her Local School Council for 1 term. A South Florida native, she is now back to her roots after living in Chicago for 7 years.

Nicole has a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of North Florida and a Master’s of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University. She loves to travel, especially to US National Parks (so far, Bryce Canyon is her favorite!), and enjoys a good workout, reading, and swimming in the ocean in her downtime.

Robert Sawyer

Director of High School Programs


Robert Sawyer is a proponent of service. Robert’s 10 years of service has been primarily in the Non-Profit sector, specifically in college readiness. He graduated from Florida Memorial University with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2011, he also served as the President of the Epsilon Mu Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. for two years during his time in college. Robert completed three years of the volunteer organization AmeriCorps. Those programs included City Year Miami, National Civilian Community Corps, and AmeriCorps VISTA. During those three terms, he received the Golden President’s Award for Community Service for logging over 2700 hours. Robert has dedicated his life to helping the younger generation through his prior experiences, understanding of the importance of a college education, and passion for getting things done. Robert currently resides in Davie, Florida where he continues to be a beacon for positive change in the community.

Photo Jessica Vocaturo

Jessica Vocaturo

High School Programs Manager


Jessica (Jess) Vocaturo is a passionate voting rights activist with roots across the East Coast. She grew up in New Jersey and has a B.A. in Politics from Bates College. As the Manager of High School Programs at Achieve Miami, Jess implements Achieve’s high school programming, works with the Junior Advisory Board, and supports all of Achieve’s fabulous high school students and volunteers. She is a masters rower, could spend hours in the craft store, and loves to cook delicious meals with her partner, Mitch.

Stephanie Oshinsky

Director of Community Engagement


Coming Soon

Fritz Dorigo

Director of Music


Fritz Dorigo is the Director of Music at Achieve Miami. He was born and raised in South Florida. In 1992, after graduating from Barry University with a B.A. in Music, he began to pursue a career in the music business. In 1996 he signed his first recording contract, and in 1999 scored a regional hit with his band, Crease, and secured a second record deal on Roadrunner Records. Fritz has taught guitar, piano, bass, and drums in music schools and privately in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties. He founded an artist management and label services company in 2012, Rock Power Management where is has worked with Alex Di Leo, Brother Sundance, Jim Camacho and Stokoff. Fritz is very excited to bring all his knowledge and experiences to Achieve Miami and help them further grow their Music programs.

Lasherry America

Program Associate and Music Educator


Lasherry America Codner is a Program Associate and Music Educator at Achieve Miami. Specializing in Percussive Arts, she has spent 13 years as a teaching artist working with kindergarten through collegiate level students in Florida, Georgia, and New York. Ms. America advocates for children to learn the science of music education as a way of understanding life around them. Her philosophy is that “children learn character from adults that exemplify and teach quality characteristics”. – LAmeriCa

Photo Barbara Perego

Barbara Perego

Operations Associate


Barbara Perego is the Operations Associate at Achieve Miami. Born in Argentina and raised in Miami, Barbara is dedicated to serving her local community. She has a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and Communications from Hamilton College. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys canvassing, yoga, and spending time with loved ones.

Isabella Tinucci Tozzi

Manager of Virtual Programs


Isabella Tinucci Tozzi is the Manager of Virtual Programs at Achieve Miami. Born in Brazil and raised in Miami, Isabella is very passionate about education and the students we serve! In 2017, she graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She began her career at Achieve Miami after her first year teaching and incorporating project-based curriculum which she weaved into her teaching in the classroom at Lenora B. Smith Elementary School. During the pandemic, Isabella continued utilizing technology to enhance student learning and collaborated with Achieve Miami to support virtual programs. 

Photo of Anezi Bueno

Anezi Bueno

Communications Intern


Anezi Bueno is a Florida native who is currently in her third year at the University of Chicago, majoring in Business Economics and East Asian Languages & Civilizations. As the Communications Intern at Achieve Miami, she assists with the marketing and social media aspects of the organization. In her spare time, she is a Korean-pop dance instructor and enjoys learning foreign languages and giving back to the community.

Our Founder

Photo Leslie Miller

Leslie Miller Saiontz

Founder


Leslie Miller Saiontz is a philanthropist, educational activist, and impact investor. Leslie founded Achieve Miami in 2015 with the goal of launching, scaling, and developing programs that narrow the opportunity gaps facing low-income communities. Into addition to serving as the President of the board at Achieve Miami, Leslie chairs the board of the Miami-Dade chapter of Teach for America, a national organization building a massive network of outstanding leaders who have committed at least two years to teaching in low-income neighborhoods.  Before launching Achieve Miami, Leslie spent decades as a successful entrepreneur in retail and real estate.  Leslie’s proudest accomplishment is seeing her six grown children dedicate their time and resources to strengthening their own communities.

Evelyn Greer

Treasurer


Evelyn Langlieb Greer was an elected member of the Miami-Dade County Public School Board, the fourth largest school system in the country, from 2004-2008. She was the founding and first Mayor of the Village of Pinecrest, a city in Miami-Dade County, from 1996 to 2004.  She has practiced law since 1973 and is president of Greer Properties, Inc., a commercial property developer.

Ms. Greer graduated from Barnard College, cum laude, in 1970 and from Columbia University School of Law in 1973. She has been awarded the Columbia University Alumni Medal and the Columbia Law School Lawrence A. Wien Award for Public Service, among other honors. Ms. Greer is on the Dean’s Council of Columbia Law School and was a trustee of Barnard College. She serves as a director/Executive Committee member of the Arsht Performing Arts Center of Miami-Dade County, is a founding board member of Teach for America/Miami, serves on the board of Lotus House, a homeless shelter for women and has served as a member of the Community Advisory Committee of the Knight Foundation and the Cultural Affairs Committee of Miami-Dade County.

Claudia Grillo

Director


Claudia Grillo joined the University of Miami in April 2018 as Associate Vice President for Development and Donor Relations, and is responsible for developing a coordinated team-approach around principal gift efforts division-wide. Claudia has been an active member of the South Florida community through her involvement as a board member of the International Women’s Forum, The Children’s Trust, Achieve Miami, and a mentor at Teach for America.

Rebecca Fishman Lipsey

Director


Rebecca Fishman Lipsey currently serves as the CEO of The Miami Foundation. Before taking on that role, she was the Founder and CEO of Radical Partners, an accelerator for social impact, where she led initiatives including Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, 100 Great Ideas, Leadership Lab, the Music Access Fellowship, and the 10 Days of Connection. From 2013-2017, she served on the Florida State Board of Education.