Nancy E. Breen, Executive Director and Founder
Nancy is the Executive Director and Founder of the Youth Enrichment Center at Hilton‐Winn Farm. She earned a BS in early childhood education from Colby-Sawyer College, and for more than 20 years owned and operated a restaurant and catering business in Massachusetts. For years, Nancy dreamed of providing a space for children. She writes: “Throughout the years, I have worked with young people and witnessed first-hand that many of these children have lost their way or have been overlooked in such a busy world. I believe that all children should be afforded the opportunity to experience life in a healthy safe environment and to learn about their special place in the world.” She is thrilled that her vision of a special place for young people to learn and thrive is realized at the Youth Enrichment Center at Hilton‐Winn Farm.
Eva Diharce, M.S., CCC-SLP, Program Director
Eva, a licensed speech and language pathologist with 20+ years experience, brings her expertise and love of children and nature to YEC’s educational and enrichment programs. Eva has been involved in the YEC for over 6 years and founded the increasingly popular summer program designed for children with autism. Her vision and energy are a huge component of everything that goes on at the YEC. In 2010, Eva was awarded the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation Community MVP Award for her excellent work at the YEC. She is the mother of 2.
Tchukki Andersen, Orchard Manager
Tchukki (“Chuckie”) Andersen has worked with trees professionally since 1992. She is presently the Staff Arborist for the Tree Care Industry Association, a national non-profit tree industry organization based in Londonderry NH. Tchukki answers questions about trees from people all over the country, and jokes that her position is similar to being the Tree Surgeon General for the entire country. She is responsible for constructing many of the Tree Care Industry’s training and reference books that professional tree workers use everyday. Tchukki also practices holistic Tree Whispering ™ as an organic approach to tending the orchard at the Farm. Keep an eye out for upcoming classes at the Farm on fruit tree care, using both holistic and conventional methods.
Tchukki is also the music director o fwhatza marimba, the festive marimba band that plays for Farm special occasions. She will be offering marimba/rhythm and movement workshops through this coming summer.
Our Board of Directors
The Youth Enrichment Center is supported by a volunteer board of experienced business people, educators, and non-profit managers who have been inspired by the Youth Enrichment Center.
Nancy Hilton, founding board member
Nancy is currently semi-retired from her work as a human resource professional in the banking industry. She also has experience in the fields of broadcasting, health care, manufacturing, marketing and real estate. Nancy is a graduate of Burdett College, NH Vocational Technical College, and the College for Lifelong Learning. Nancy write: ” I am involved with The Youth Enrichment Center to honor my parents and grandparents AND to support the mission of The Farm. Nancy Breen’s vision ‘to provide a country farm experience to enrich the hearts, minds and spirits of our children’ carries on the hopes and wishes of my mother and her love of the fresh air, the stillness of the evenings and majesty of the night sky, the birds singing, open fields and running streams, the woodlands and above all the beauty and appreciation of nature and country life.”
Mary Dussault, founding board member
Mary Dussault is an Instructional Systems Specialist and Project Manager at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), where she directs a number of grant-funded national science education and outreach projects. Throughout her career in the CfA’s Science Education Department, and her prior work at Boston’s Museum of Science, she has been deeply committed to the research and development of powerful science learning experiences– for the classroom, for informal settings and museum exhibitions, and for teacher professional development programs. Mary holds a Bachelor’s degree in astronomy from Wellesley College, and a Master’s degree in History of Science from Harvard University Extension School.
Regarding her support of the Youth Enrichment Center, Mary writes: “Growing up in small-town upstate New York, my own passion for science learning was inspired by outdoor adventures and the Time-Life Science Library on my parents’ bookshelf (the internet of the 1960s). Today young people may have the world at their fingertips through their computers, but the Farm provides that essential experience of the earth under their fingernails and the vital human connection to the natural world.”
Nicole Downer, board member
Nicole holds a BA from Colgate C0llege and a MA in Teaching from Boston University. She has taught high school English in both North Andover, MA and Pentucket, Regional High School. She has also worked as a counselor at the North Andover Youth Center working with at-risk children. She currently runs the business and marketing operations for her family’s business. Nicole writes: “What I love most about the Farm and Maine is that it takes me back to a simpler time. The kids require so little to entertain them there – no classes and play dates and sports camps. There, they are content to play together, feed the chickens, help out in the garden, and roll down the hill. Their creativity blossoms on the farm, and it’s so easy to just “be” when you are there. All the nonsense is stripped away, leaving only the things that are most valuable – our connection with each other and nature.”
Susan Breen, founding board member
Our Advisory Board
Our Founding Members