Donna Marie San Antonio has worked as a community organizer, middle school teacher, school counselor, outdoor educator, non-profit administrator, and university instructor. She came to Lesley University in 2011 after teaching for seven years in the Risk and Prevention Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. For twenty-five years, she directed the Appalachian Mountain Teen Project, an activity-based counseling program that she founded in 1984 to serve low-income and struggling youth in central and northern NH. Dr. San Antonio is a frequent consultant to rural school and community programs addressing social, emotional, and economic barriers to success for children and youth. Her work in the northernmost part of NH continues as the Inventing the Future Project – a project that strengthens the capacity of schools and communities to guide low-income young people toward higher education and good careers. About her on-going community work, Dr. San Antonio says, "I enjoy working across diverse sectors of the community and I believe in involving youth as active participants in addressing issues that threaten their well being, such as poverty, racism, trauma, sexism, and homophobia.” As a classroom instructor, Dr. San Antonio values, “working to create a classroom community that offers a high level of active critical reflection and dialogue.” She enjoys being outdoors, especially hiking, biking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Research interests include developmental transitions for adolescents and emerging adults; rural education; social class and education/career opportunity; experiential education; adventure therapy; school-based mentoring; school climate and social-emotional development; cross-role and cross-institutional collaboration; cross-cultural ethnographic research; and community and school-based participatory action research for social change. Dr. San Antonio serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of Experiential Education , and is a Founding Member of International Society of Policy, Research and Evaluation in School Counseling . She is the Coordinator of UNESCO-UNITWIN Project on Lifelong Career for the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences.