Looking Ahead with Board Chair Harriet Blickenstaff and New CEO Colleen Polak

Kathryn Brayton Connection

I am excited to introduce you to Colleen Polak, our new CEO of HOME WORKS!. She brings a wealth of compassion and experience to the position, not to mention that she is the mother of two adorable little girls.

Colleen has worn several different hats in her career, from defense attorney for indigent clients, to nonprofit legal department director, to nonprofit program executive. As you can see, the focus of her career has always been to offer a hand up to individuals so that they, too, can have a chance of reaching their dreams.

On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Karen for seeing a need and starting this organization. She has nurtured it and grown it and is now doing the hardest thing a founder can do: entrusting it to the next generation of leadership. We are also grateful that she will continue on in her new role.



I’m honored to lead such an important, respected, and impactful organization. HOME WORKS! is critical to the long-term health of our region. The students our work supports today are the leaders of tomorrow, and by strengthening the link between school and home more families and schools will have what they need to support children in reaching their potential.

Over the past year with HOME WORKS!, I’ve seen the power of relationships, the generosity of our community, the promise and resilience of youth, the love parents and families have for their children, the strength of brilliant educators, and the potential of strong connections between school and home. With the support of our passionate staff and Board, I’m excited to build upon Karen’s work of the last 14 years and support even deeper engagement between school and home. Together, we can empower families, schools, and communities to work together to ensure success for every student.