meet our team

We are teachers, doulas, parents, camp counselors, artists, yoga teachers, dancers, case managers, street medics, and baristas. With over 200 years of combined experience in adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH), our common goal is to create a safe and fulfilling world for young people.

Jenita Parekh, she/her,

principal investigator & project director

Sarah Axelson, she/her,

innovation lead

Jenn Rogers, she/her,

senior advisor

Hannah Lantos, she/her,

training and technical assistance lead

Elise Schuster, they/them,

coach and advisor

Lisa Kim, she/her,

recruitment lead

Asari Offiong, she/her,

coach and recruitment team

Kate Welti, she/her,


Claudia Nuñez-Eddy, she/her,


Elizabeth Cook, she/her,


Alison McClay, she/her

coach and project manager

Novia Soeparno, she/her,

deputy project manager

Andrea Vazzano, she/her,

learning and evaluation lead

Emma Pliskin, she/her,

learning and evaluation team

Jane Finocharo, she/her,

learning and evaluation team

Jen Manlove, she/her,

learning and evaluation senior advisor

Stephen Russ, he/him,

website lead

our impact

The Breakthrough Accelerator team creates and supports solutions or innovations to advance sexual and reproductive health. We have helped other innovators develop solutions that are currently widely commercially available, and have been selected for rigorous evaluation funding, including awards from the Office of Population Affair’s Tier 2 program and the Administration for Children and Families’ Personal Responsibility Education Program – Innovative Strategies (PREIS). Innovators we’ve supported have gone on to raise funds from venture capitalists and private foundations and been featured in the media. Most importantly, our innovators positively impact the lives of thousands of young people every single day.


teams coached


programs rigorously evaluated 


years of experience in adolescent sexual and reproductive health


publications related to this work


years of experience in innovation


years of experience in program evaluation