Alexandra (Ali) started dreaming about the concept of Level Ground from the first day that she walked onto the mat. A committed proponent of social justice for the last eight years, she firmly believes that mixed martial arts has a unique power to instill confidence and self-determination to the individual, while at the same time establishing trust and creating lasting friendships between people. BJJ also proved to be personally transformative for her in its organic method of rendering her more disciplined, focused, humble, and resilient in all aspects of her life. She is determined to use the sport to pass on this experience to the amazing youth at Level Ground so that they will realize their own abilities and fight for their dreams.
Prior to founding Level Ground, Ali worked with over a dozen nonprofits both locally and internationally, with responsibilities varying from direct-service work to microfinance consulting. Ali earned her MBA from Simmons School of Management, and received her undergraduate degrees from Pennsylvania State University in International Politics, International Affairs, with minors in Civic and Community Engagement and History. Ali was a Dean’s Merit Scholar at Simmons, and was recognized as the Scott/Ross Center for Community Service’s ‘Distinguished Graduate Student for Civic Engagement’ in 2012.
Ali is a purple belt under Daniel Gazoni and Bruno Amaral of Brazilian Top Team Boston.
Hudson is passionate about empowering youth through the sports of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA. Serving as the Director of Programs, Hudson is responsible for designing and implementing a structured, challenging, and engaging MMA curriculum. His classes are design to progress our students rapidly in the sports while instilling the Five Values both on and off of the mat.
Hudson also serves as the Head Youth Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor at Brazilian Top Team Boston, Prior to these roles, youth serving roles have included serving as the Vice President of the Saugus Youth Lacrosse Leagure, the Head Coach of the Saugus and U15 Teams, and Child Care Working for the Italian Home for Children.
Hudson is a brown belt under Daniel Gazoni and Bruno Amaral of Brazilian Top Team Boston.
Melissa Galindo is a double major student at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is studying to earn two bachelors degrees; a Bachelors of Science in Biochemical Health Sciences and a Bachelors of Arts in Biological Anthropology. Melissa has always been passionate about helping the youth and the community at large. By gaining academic experience in both the Sciences and the Arts, Melissa hopes to combine that with her real world experience and passion to propel the youth and the community toward excellence. Melissa is a generous, hardworking, intelligent, individual and an avid human rights volunteer through her school.
Although her main academic study is in the health of the individual and decreasing their risk of preventable diseases, her strong science and math background make her a well-rounded individual and allows her to assist the students in their school assignments despite the level of difficulty. Melissa walked into Level Ground one day in January and fell completely in love with the program and above all, the students. The clear focus, hard work and dedication Ali and Hudson showed toward the students inspired Melissa to volunteer and she was eager to assist in any way. Aside from being an accomplished tutor, Melissa also mentors the youth in personal matters to help guide them through versatile times. She thrives on being a pillar of support, educator and friend to both the students and the staff whenever necessary. The unique transformative nature and passion of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has motivated her to also being her training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
First generation born Bostonian, Fredy Melo is an artist, Brazilian Jiu Iitsu practitioner, and creative generator amongst other things. From the first day he stepped on the mat, the creative direction and technique involved with art was mirrored in the essence of Jiu Jitsu. With a growing interest in social issues the mission of Level Ground, along with a model of individualized mentorship and quality services struck home for Fredy. He is a firm believer in giving chances and reforming our perspectives and his own as much as possible. Jiu Jitsu and Level Ground are valuable means of doing so.
Fredy is in charge of creative direction, mentorship, and general facilitation of off the mat events.
My name is Melanie Roman and I am 19 years old. About a year ago I was introduced to Level Ground and an amazing sport called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I quickly realized that the staff of Level Ground would help off the mat, as well as on it. Through the support of Ali and other staff, I was able to finish high school, apply to college, create a resume, and get a job. I am now a freshman at Northeastern University’s Foundation Year program, and currently serve as a Program Assistant. In this role, I am responsible for student intake, facilitating youth staff meetings, and mentoring younger students at Level Ground.
Greetings, my name is William Graustuck and I’m 17 years old. I currently go to school at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School and I’m in the 10th grade. I’m very excited to be working at Level Ground MMA because they give opportunities that no others will. They’ve given me the chance to train, work, and compete a lot! A goal I have for this job is to try to become an instructor for students in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When I grow up, I would like to be an officer in the Marine Corps or a pro fighter in BJJ.
I am 16 years old and attend Madison Park High. I am excited to work for Level Ground for the complex training sessions and the amount of discipline brought to the table each day by my instructors. Staying in shape comes with every class, so that’s definitely a pull factor – and, I’ve always wanted to be in an atmosphere of a “fighter.” Help with homework (which I need!) is provided here before each class. One goal I have for myself at Level Ground is to help it grow in popularity until we have a gym of our own. When I grow up, I want to be happy and at peace. As far as a job, I’m not sure – but studying the creation of certain plants sounds fun.
I am 15 years old and attend Excel High School. The reason why I am excited to work for Level Ground is for the opportunity to work with such supportive trainers that care a lot about the community. I am also excited to learn how to be in a professional environment. I would like to be a lawyer when I grow up so being an intern and learning this skill will help me towards my goal.
I am 16 years old and attend Boston Community Leadership Academy. I am excited to work with Level Ground because it teaches me about discipline and to work with other people, and to learn many different skills that I can apply in my life. When I grow up, I want to focus on science and technology, and am interested in coding websites.