Social Issue Talk: Filling Gaps in the Youth Workforce Development Ecosystem

February 03, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Breaktime SIT Graphic


Christine Abrams, President & CEO (Commonwealth Corporation)

Christine Abrams
Christine serves as the President and CEO of Commonwealth Corporation. She has more than thirty years of progressive financial and organizational leadership experience with Fortune 100 companies, startups and non-profit organizations. Previously, Christine was Senior Director of Sales, Americas and Australia for Instant Services at IGT. In this role, she helped build key partnerships and worked collaboratively with manufacturing, operations, R&D, finance and IGT corporate to achieve profit and market share goals significantly outpacing the industry averages.

Prior to that, Christine served as the SVP of Sales and Marketing Chelsea based Signature Bread and as Director of Sales at General Mills Inc where she was named a Women of Influence in the Consumer Foods Industry. Christine was elected by her peers as the Chair of the Northeast Network of Executive Women. She served on the board for the Garden of Peace and was recently elected to the Garden’s Advisory Committee and served as Vice President of DOVE’s Board of Directors. Christine has travelled to 48 states and 27 countries, but her favorite place is at home with her husband, children and grandchildren.

Connor Schoen, Co-Founder/Executive Director (Breaktime)

Connor Schoen

Connor is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Breaktime--a rapidly-growing, Boston-based nonprofit that empowers young adults experiencing homelessness to build sustainability in their lives while building resilience in their communities. Recently recognized as Forbes 30 Under 30 for Social Impact, Connor is a young, emerging leader in the nonprofit world with a deep, infectious passion for empowering young people with the opportunities and support they need to reach their full potential. With an honors degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard University, Connor brings a data-informed, quantitative approach to program design and evaluation. He was recently selected to the Board of the Midas Collaborative, where he advocates for state funding for matched savings programs to help eliminate the racial wealth gap and elevate MA residents out of poverty. Previously, Connor served as a Cheng Social Innovation Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, and he was a finalist in the American Heart Association's 2021 EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator. 

Previously, Connor launched his own Service Learning Initiative in Westborough, empowering 3,000 elementary school students to lead their own service projects in his hometown. Connor's time with Project 351 also inspired him to chair the Governor's Statewide Youth Council, advocating for legislation and initiatives aimed at preventing opioid addiction, supporting sexual assault survivors, and bridging the educational achievement gap. While working at the Y2Y Harvard Square shelter for young adults experiencing homelessness, Connor learned that 40% of young adults experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+. At the same time, Connor was in his own process of coming out, and he gained so much inspiration and motivation from the brave, resilient residents of that shelter. Galvanized into action by this experience, Connor and his Co-Founder, Tony Shu, launched Breaktime in early 2018, and they have scaled it to a highly impactful nonprofit with a multi-million dollar operating budget and the catalytic support of the City of Boston, Liberty Mutual Foundation, and hundreds of other supporters.

Mikayla WoodberryProgram Ambassador of Recruitment & Alumna, Breaktime

Michael Aparicio, Founder of Revby LLC



Breaktime is a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to end young adult homelessness. They operate Boston’s first transitional employment program for young adults experiencing homelessness in which young adults launch their careers, nurture their talents, and serve their communities. Through this early intervention that focuses on financial and personal empowerment, Breaktime helps prevent long-term chronic homelessness and supports young adults in becoming changemakers. Through purposeful transitional employment, they empower young adults experiencing homelessness to build stability in their own lives while building resilience in their communities.


Boston Open Impact


Social Issue Talks are ongoing events that spotlight one of the Social Innovators and their target social issues. The Social Innovation Forum and Innovators invite speakers to outline the social problem, which is then followed by the Social Innovator highlighting how their organization addresses those particular social issues in their communities. In the past, speakers have included academics, business professionals, government officials, practitioners, community partners, program participants, and others.

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