Photo of Dawn Carroll
Dawn Carroll

Dawn Carroll, Executive Director of Over My Shoulder FoundationThe Over My Shoulder Foundation started with a song called “Over My Shoulder,” with lyrics written by Dawn as a duet to be performed by legendary Patti Austin and one of her mentees, Lianna Guiterrrez. Dawn’s vision was to musically weave together her message: that without support and emotional sustenance we can become lost, disconnected, and unstable—as individuals and as a society. As the Executive Director of OMSF, Dawn has inspired programs like the MIDDIES, which ask people to stop and pay tribute to those who helped navigate them to success. As Dawn states, “The dream behind the OMSF is to celebrate, nominate, and reward mentors and mentees: a new cadre of creative talent which will have the leadership skills to amend many of our social and economic crises.”

Photo of Patti Austin
Patti Austin

Grammy winner Patti Austin crosses all musical genres, has made 17 solo albums, and has performed her award-nominated hit songs on the GRAMMYS® and the Oscars. As a performer, songwriter and vocalist she has had a star-studded career that began at the age of four, making her one of the most beloved artists the world over and a mainstay on the Billboard Jazz Albums charts. She is Patti Austin, whose extraordinary career continues to cross over boundaries and reach new heights. Because of how important mentoring has been to Patti throughout her life, she co-founded Over My Shoulder Foundation. Patti attributes much of her musical success to her mentors most notably the close guidance of her godparents Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington. Patti Austin is currently being mentored by Boston’s prestigious design community with Dawn’s expertise as her guiding light as she realizes one of her dreams of becoming an interior designer.

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Rick Dyer

Rick Dyer is a passionate advocate and committed mentor to those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. He has practiced law for 25 years in the areas of Criminal Defense, Juvenile/Child Welfare, Family Law, and Commutation and Parole, with special concentrations in addiction and sentencing mitigation. He believes that justice should be administered with compassion, integrity, and a deep understanding of its impact on the individual and community. In representing clients, he brings to bear a broad spectrum of personal and professional experience. As a mentor, Rick can help those in recovery because he has been there and knows the challenges and triumphs that come with sobriety. Rick is a holistic advocate, bringing to the Court a zealous representation and whole-person picture of his clients with tact, strategy, and dignity. Rick is a member of the Federal Bar, the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Boston Juvenile Bar Association, as well as a panel member of the pro bono group Suffolk Lawyers for Justice. Rick is also a Newton Massachusetts Youth commissioner, Board Member for MOAR – Mass. Organization for Addiction Recovery and a board member of at Improbable Players.

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Cassandra Lee Nicholson

The fates brought Dawn and Cassandra together in Boston through advertising, marketing and PR. Now as our mastermind of the mentoring story, Cassandra specializes in mentoring interviews of major figures in a variety of fields. Some of her favorite stories get into the minds of greatly inspiring people, including fashion designer Denise Hajjar, non-profit Voss Foundation’s Executive Director Kara Gerson, and Julie Silver who is one of the most celebrated and beloved performers in the world of contemporary Jewish music. You can currently find Cassandra in Savannah, GA actively engaged in lifelong learning, typing away for a variety of freelance clients, tending gardens or yoga-ing. She thinks life is magical and hopes that the work we do here to promote mentoring through story, music and design will help you to believe the same.

Photo of Candy O’Terry
Candy O’Terry

This 22 year veteran of Boston’s Magic 106.7 has spent her career as a voice and a connector for both radio listeners and women in media related fields.  Heard workdays in afternoon drive on both Magic and sister station WTKK, Candy is the recipient of the 2012 Communicator Award for best Major Market Air Personality. She is the creator and co-host of Exceptional Women, winner of 35 local and national awards for excellence in women’s programming and President and Co-Founder of the Boston Women in Media & Entertainment. A singer since childhood, Candy has performed at Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops and has released 5 singles for national airplay. A warrior in the fight against breast cancer, Candy serves as the radio spokesperson for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. She is a member of the cast of the Emmy Award winning talent show Community Auditions and recently knocked another item off of her bucket list when she acted in two locally produced feature films. Candy is the founder of the Think Pink Club and My Dove Productions.

Candy is a lifelong mentor who says she can’t remember a time when she hasn’t actively mentored young women in radio. “Mentoring is priceless and yet those of us who really believe in it give it away for free every day, because it’s the right thing to do. Mentoring changes lives because when you believe in someone, they begin to believe in themselves. It’s one of the greatest keys to success.”

Photo of Dayla Arabella Santurri
Dayla Arabella Santurri

Her clients will tell you: this media relations strategist, event architect, talent buyer and trip host LOVES what she does.  The former GM of Scullers Jazz Club,   founding member of Jazz Boston and long-time Boston impresario knows what it’s like to produce over 200 concerts a year.  When it comes to talent buying, Dayla is a relationship builder with a rolodex of connections from Patti LaBelle to Norah Jones, Harry Connick Jr, Michael Buble and Gladys Knight.


Now at the helm of the events and marketing company that bears her name, Dayla Arabella, Inc. and Co-Founder of the non-profit Boston Women in Media & Entertainment, Dayla remains committed to mentoring the next generation of arts professionals and entertainers. Her advice to newcomers trying to get ahead in this crowded market, “Say YES! Don’t be afraid to jump when an opportunity presents itself and have faith that you will learn more by doing!”

Photo of Ted Fujimoto
Ted Fujimoto

Ted Fujimoto helps communities and school districts create and support 21st-century schools. As an entrepreneur and consultant, he has helped develop business strategies for Bay Area Coalition of Essential Schools, Big Picture Learning, Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, Partnership for Uplifting Communities, Linking Education & Economic Development, California Charter Schools Association and the New York Charter Schools Association. Ted has toured over 800 public schools in the nation, his work represents more than $150 million in funding. He was instrumental in designing and co-founding Napa New Technology High School and the New Technology Foundation (now New Tech Network) that now comprises 120+ schools nationwide. He has served on the California Education Technology Advisory Committee and received the 2002 Center for Digital Government “In the Arena” award for education leadership in transforming vision to reality. In Converge Magazines “1999 Year in Review”, Ted was named one of “Educations Dreamers, Leaders and Innovators.” He is pioneer of the “Right to Succeed” movement and believes every child should have the opportunity to succeed.

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David Chan

David Chan is the VP of Sales and Business Development and co-founder of AD Publishing. As an advisory board member David helps shape OMSF’s growth through innovative and cost-effective marketing strategies. He also regularly mentors entrepreneurs on strategy, sales and business development. David has held executive sales and marketing positions at Oracle, Hewlett Packard and a $100M venture funded pre-IPO startup, Everypath, Inc. He holds a B.A. in Management from St. Mary’s College and has lived in Singapore, Hong Kong and London.

Photo of Larry Katz
Larry Katz

Larry Katz went from playing music to writing about it. After graduating from the City College of New York and Manhattan School of Music, Larry played bass in rock, jazz and country bands as well as in symphony orchestras. After moving to Boston in 1979, he started writing about the arts. From 1981-2011, Larry worked as a critic, columnist and arts/features editor at the Boston Herald. He has interviewed more than 1,500 performers, including more than 100 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (everyone from Aerosmith to Zappa), jazz greats (Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman), country stars (Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette), and classical luminaries (Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, John Williams). He is now presenting those interviews on his website,

Photo of Sarah Gross
Sarah Gross

Sarah has written for Over My Shoulder Foundation (OMSF) previously as she pursued her undergraduate degree and Master’s degree at UC Davis, and she continues to delight us all with in-depth inquiries into mentoring issues. For example: Lady Gaga and the anti-bullying crusades of 2012, how Lenny Kravitz addresses race issues, and Bob Marley’s mentoring legacy. Sarah will be entering her final year of Law School at Chapman University this August. Upon receiving her J.D. in 2017, she intends to pursue a legal career in health while continuing to practice yoga and write for OMSF.

Photo of Santana Roberts
Santana Roberts

My name is Santana Roberts and I am a freshman at Johnson & Wales University. Although I am majoring in Sport, Event and Entertainment Management, my true passion is singing.  Music has always filled every corner of my life, from listening to the radio in the car to singing onstage.  I have been singing almost all 18 years of my young life and I can’t picture myself doing anything else.  I have performed at churches, weddings, parties, fundraisers, and performed the National Anthem on multiple occasions. Another passion of mine is caring for the community. I have organized two hunger benefit concerts that in total have raised over $5,500 and 500 pounds of food that was donated 100% to ending hunger around Rhode Island.  One of my major goals in life is to somehow combine my love for singing with my drive to end hunger together.

Photo of Marissa Ranahan
Marissa Ranahan

My name is Marissa Ranahan and I am a nineteen year old college student. I am hoping to pursue a career in writing. I have had a life long passion for writing since I was nine and currently write for the Over My Shoulder Mentoring Foundation. Last year, I completed my first year of college at the University of Hartford and presented a project at the honors college colloquium. I focused my project on bullying, and titled the final result; “Negotiating Social Issues through Poetry.” My project focused on different types of bullying such as cyber bullying and depressed youth. I wrote all the poems by myself as a “message of hope” for those who have been affected by this cause. I genuinely care about other people and always incorporate their emotions into my writing. In all my writing pieces, I write about the truth and speak from the heart.

Photo of Daniel Evans Pritchard
Daniel Evans Pritchard

Daniel Evans Pritchard is a poet and essayist living in the Boston area. He works as the Marketing and Publicity Director for Boston Review, a national magazine of politics and culture, as well as the editor of The Critical Flame, an online review journal. Daniel joins the Over My Shoulder team as blog editor and web site manager.