Milagros (Milly) Arbaje-Thomas has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), which currently serves 3,300 students from Boston and Springfield annually in 37 suburban school districts. Arbaje-Thomas, formerly served as Director of ABCD’s Neighborhood Service Centers and the Citywide Hispanic Center.
A native of the Dominican Republic, she lives in Hyde Park (Boston) with her husband William, Headmaster of Charlestown High School and daughters Gaby, age 12, and Julie, age 9. Both attend Brookline Public Schools through the METCO program.
METCO has provided the opportunity for children from Boston and children from isolated suburban schools to learn together in an integrated public school setting since 1966.
Chuck Walker Jr., Esq., the president of the METCO board, said: “Milly Arbaje-Thomas has it all – the neighborhood-based experience, the leadership capability, a documented track record of successful fundraising and partnership brokerage and most of all her passionate commitment to children and families and educational opportunity.”
Thelma Burns, former METCO Director for the Belmont schools and longtime Dorchester resident, applauded the selection of Arbaje-Thomas.
“Milly is a great person for this position – she will lead METCO into the future,” said Burns. “She is a go-getter who will work with everyone – parents, legislators, superintendents, METCO directors, town administrators and staff. She knows the program and has extraordinary leadership and fundraising capability, developed over many years of heading community-based organizations.”
In addition to Arbaje-Thomas’s work at ABCD, she facilitates professional development training for early childhood providers, teaches parenting classes and holds an adjunct faculty position at Boston University School of Social Work. She also was the co-founder and president of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church Social Impact Center for 14 years, leading a capital campaign to renovate space and increase programming.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with minors in Education and Women’s Studies and a Master’s in Social Work, both from Boston College.