In the News: Melody Valdes
Melody Valdes has been promoted to the position of chief program officer at United South End Settlements (USES). In her new role, Valdes will work in close collaboration with CEO, Jerrell Cox, articulating and implementing the strategic vision and leadership of USES. She will oversee a portfolio of two-generational programs and services, providing guidance, supervision, and professional development to program directors working to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of USES’ services.
Having emigrated from Cuba to the United States with her family at age 12, Valdes brings a unique perspective to her work and a deep understanding of the value of community in achieving success. Arriving in Boston as a post-grad to attend law school, she became involved with USES as a volunteer, and never left, becoming a full-time staff member shortly thereafter. Valdes began as an early childhood education teacher and then held roles as a workforce readiness coach and coaching manager. In 2020, she became director of family mobility and was named chief of staff in November 2021.
“Melody is a devoted and beloved member of the USES leadership team, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving to hold this position,” said Chief Executive Officer Jerrell Cox. “As a vital part of the USES community for many years, Melody brings expertise, passion, and continued commitment to the families of our organization to this new role.”
In her role as chief of staff, Valdes was responsible for providing administrative and operational leadership to the executive team while also overseeing USES’ family mobility programming, a core part of the organization’s overall mission. She has worked closely with all facets of the organization including its board, senior team, and executive team, supporting USES’s overall mission and vision.
“I moved to Boston many years ago to attend law school, but after discovering USES as a volunteer, I knew that’s where my passion truly lay,” said Valdes. “It’s been an honor to work for this incredible organization for the past 14 years, and it is an honor to step into this new role.”
Valdes holds her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and currently lives in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston.
United South End Settlements (USES) offers programs that holistically support families in achieving economic mobility. The nonprofit’s Family Mobility Program helps parents and caregivers develop their own capacity to set and reach their goals, increase their income and assets, and connect with new networks of people through one-on-one coaching. For children and youth, USES provides quality education and enrichment opportunities that foster personal development and social-emotional skills such as perseverance, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving.