Our Staff

We have a talented and devoted staff that is deeply involved in the lives of our youth and families. Our youth workers serve simultaneously as role models, mentors, tutors, counselors, problem-solvers, crisis intervention workers, and life skills coaches. They provide support and listening ears to struggling parents. They coordinate programming and solve problems with educators and school administrators. They act as intermediaries with police and serve as liaisons with other social service agencies.  Below are brief descriptions of the outstanding leaders who make our community a better place. Click one of the links below to navigate to a specific staff section.

Management  |  Grants & Development  |  Finance  |  HR  |  IT
Program Support  |  Program Leaders 

Clinical  |  Community Schools  |  Street Outreach

Chute Team  |  Dawes Team  | Edison Team |  ETHS Team  |  King Lab Team
Lincoln Jr. High Team  |  Nichols Team  | Oakton Team  | Old Orchard Team |
Walker Team |  Washington Team



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Aina Gutierrez
Chief Operations Officer

Aina’s mission as Chief Operations Officer is to make Y.O.U. an even better place to work. Aina comes to Y.O.U. after almost 13 years at the national non-profit Interfaith Worker Justice, charged with managing the organizational functions of administration, fundraising, financial management and human resources.

Aina has trained and consulted with hundreds of other small non-profit and religious leaders in these areas and is the author of Walking the Walk: A values-centered approach to building a strong non-profitShe believes that to build effective and powerful organizations, we must create strong internal systems and invest in the staff and board to support and enhance our mission. Our values guide the best way to do that work.

Aina has a BA in International Business from Augustana College and a master's degree of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. Aina is a proud Evanston resident and her life is happy and overflowing with family, church and community.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 248

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Seth Green
Executive Director

Seth joined Y.O.U. as Executive Director in May of 2011 and he feels extremely fortunate to work with such a talented and dedicated staff. Prior to Y.O.U., Seth led the Job Opportunity Investment Network, a social venture that moves vulnerable adults out of poverty and into long-term careers. He also founded Americans for Informed Democracy, an organization that empowers youth to tackle pressing social challenges through community-based action. Seth's other work experience includes years as a consultant with McKinsey and Company, as well as short-term roles at the American Prospect, the Brookings Institution, and Lazard.

Seth has been a guest on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, the Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. His efforts have been featured in hundreds of publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and Marie Claire. In 2005, he received the Search for Common Ground Award for International Understanding and, in 2008, Utne Reader named him one of 50 "Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World." In 2011, Seth was a plenary speaker at the White House sponsored conference on Connecting Communities for the Common Good.

A Marshall Scholar, Seth has a bachelor's degree from Princeton University, master's degrees from the London School of Economics and Oxford, and a law degree from Yale.

Seth serves on the Evanston Mayor's Safe Youth Task Force and is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Evanston. He is also a lecturer at Northwestern University where he teaches courses on non-profit management. He and his wife Caitlin Fitz, an assistant professor of history at Northwestern, live in Evanston and are proud parents of two adorable girls: Sojourner and Lundy.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 244

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Marianne Moberly
Director of Development

Marianne has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois and over 25 years of experience in nonprofit administration, municipal government, and fundraising. She has served as the Director of Development at Y.O.U. since September 2009. Marianne has a long history of community involvement, serving as the treasurer of the Woman's Club of Evanston, in volunteer leadership positions in the Evanston Public Schools, and as a participant in Leadership Evanston. She resides in Evanston with her husband Tom and three children. In her spare time she loves to read, cook, quilt, and once rode a bicycle 700 miles in Italy.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 231

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Melissa Lee Hohimer
Chief Financial Officer

Melissa Lee Hohimer joined the Y.O.U. team as Chief Financial Officer in order to leverage her non-profit experience and business education to serve the local community. She brings to the organization more than 10 years of experience working in finance and accounting at a wide variety of non-profits, and a deep belief that the finance function of an organization should be intimately informed by the programmatic work to best support and enable mission fulfillment.

Melissa obtained a BS from the School of Communications at Northwestern University and spent time in the performing arts world before turning to business, later receiving her MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business with a focus on finance, accounting, and general management. Melissa is passionate about fulfilling organizational missions with smart principles, effective use of resources, and efficient operations, and is thrilled to be contributing towards the goals of Y.O.U. Melissa grew up in a military family traveling the world, but settled in the Chicago area in 2003. She lives with her husband and two beautiful daughters, Stella and June, in Wilmette and feels immensely fortunate to be surrounded by good friends, family, and colleagues.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 247

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Nikki Streets
Director of Human Resources 

Nikki joined Y.O.U. in 2016.  Prior to this, she was the Director of Human Resources for Chicago Children's Museum.  She brings over 10 years of experience to the HR team along with a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University.  Nikki's experience has provided her the opportunity to develop training and development programs, influence employee relations, move forward HR strategies & initiatives, and manage compensation/benefit plans.  
Nikki believes the people are the best asset at any organization; it is the responsibility of HR to balance staff advocacy with the business needs of the organization.  Nikki currently resides in Chicago with her husband and their two beautiful children.  She loves a good laugh, great food, and being around passionate people!

(847) 866-1200 ext. 225

  Grants & Development

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Kate Shanahan
Senior Development Officer

Joining the Development team as the Sr. Development Officer Kate combines her passion for working with youth and her experience in education to invest funders and stakeholders in the mission and impact of Y.O.U. Previously, Kate worked as a Project Director at TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project), consulting with school districts across the country in effort to improve academic outcomes for students, including leading the alternative teacher licensure program the Chicago Teaching Fellows. Prior to TNTP, Kate moved to Chicago from New York City to join The Cara Program, non-profit job-training and placement organization as the Manager of Corporate Accounts. 

Additionally, Kate received her Master’s degree in Education from The University of Notre Dame, taught High School Spanish in Jackson, Mississippi and briefly worked in publishing at CondeNast Publications in Manhattan.

In her free time, Kate enjoys spending time with her husband and energetic preschool aged daughter. Kate relaxes through cooking, spending time outdoors and practicing MBSR (Mindful Based Stress Reduction).

(847) 866-1200 ext. 229

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Katherine Wade
Development and Communications Associate 

Katherine “Katie” Wade is from Riverside, a town in the west suburbs of Chicago. Katie attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she received her BS in Community and Nonprofit Leadership with a focus in Educational Psychology (go Badgers!). Katie spent a year as an AmeriCorps member with City Year – Chicago, serving in the Rogers Park community at Roger C. Sullivan High School in a freshman English classroom. This experience solidified her desire to continue directly serving youth to help them reach their full potential and joined the Y.O.U. team serving as an AmeriCorps YouthServe member at Edsion Elementary school. Katie is now excited to join the development team as the Development and Communications Associate. In her free time, Katie can be found exploring Chicago, checking out new restaurants, cooking or spending times with her friends and family.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 221

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Leslie Warner
Grants Manager

Leslie is a graduate of Knox College and has lived in Evanston for more than 30 years. She was a research associate for Northwestern University’s Office of Development & Alumni Relations for several years before taking on multiple volunteer roles at Oakton and Chute schools, Evanston Scholastic Chess, Childcare Network of Evanston, the Oakton Historic District Association, and the Evanston Dance Ensemble. Leslie enjoys gardening, bicycling, running, travel, and following the Joffrey Ballet and Chicago Blackhawks.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 242

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Yevanit Reschechtko
Grant Writing and Communications Coordinator

Yevanit was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and then moved to Chicago where she earned her BA in Comparative Literature and Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago. Before Y.O.U., Yevanit tutored second-graders at Beulah Shoesmith Elementary and spent a summer as the arts and garden instructor at the South Chicago Art Center. Yevanit is passionate about working with kids, writing, and traveling. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing ultimate Frisbee, and biking along the lake shore.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 227


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Dave Studenmund
Grants Accountant

Dave graduated from the Kellogg School of Management in 1985, when he and his wife decided that they liked Evanston too much to leave. Three children and several lesser milestones later, they're still here. Dave has more than 25 years of experience as an executive and consultant in strategic/financial planning for private and nonprofit organizations. He is also known to be a bit of a baseball geek.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 101

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Jonea O. Davis
Accounting Manager 

Jonea joined Y.O.U. in 2014 and is excited to be amongst so many individuals who are passionate about investing in children and improving their communities. Prior to joining Y.O.U. she worked at The Terra Foundation of American Art, where her love of working for non-profits first began, and also at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. Jonea is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago with majors in Accounting and Finance. One of Jonea’s greatest passions is to be of service to her community. She works with several non-profits including Collectively Whole and By The Hand Club for Kids and also serves in the children’s ministry at her church.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 249

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Xujia Guo 
Accounting Clerk 

Xujia Guo joined Y.O.U in April 2017. She has her B.A in Business Management from Northwood University and M.S in International Business Administration from Central Michigan University. Xujia moved to Lake Bluff, IL in 2014. She loves this peaceful and quiet small town in the north shore, where her adorable daughter Annabel was born. Prior to Y.O.U, Xujia has been in non-profit for 3 years. She served as a volunteer at Lake County Care and bookkeeper at Mother Trust Foundation in Lake Forest. She considers her life is a journey, working with people who have passion and strong commitment to make changes in kids’ lives is always one of the most joyful and memorable parts of this journey. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and discovering tasty foods with her families. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 417

  Human Resources

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Becky Moore
Human Resources Coordinator

Becky is originally from Libertyville, IL, and moved back to the Chicagoland area after spending three years studying and working for educational and non-profit organizations in London, England. She holds a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in African Studies and Gender and Women's Studies and a Master's degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in Development Studies. With a passion for people and Y.O.U.'s programs, Becky is thrilled to be a part of the Human Resources team. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, baking, and spending quality time with her husband and cat.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 233 


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Melanie West
Information Technology Director

Melanie is Y.O.U.'s IT Director and joined Y.O.U. in May of 2013. She was drawn to Y.O.U. because of the holistic nature of the organization and the passionate dedication of the staff. Melanie has over 20 years of professional experience in IT. She spent 10 years as chief engineer of an experimental multimedia studio at Bell Laboratories. During that time Melanie took a leading role on many critical projects. She also has 10 years of experience in the music business as a recording engineer in New York City where she received a Platinum album for her work with the Talking Heads. Because of her interest in children, she spent a considerable amount of her own time training teachers and community centers in technology and the promotion of science. Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in Music, Electrical Engineering and Communications from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 400

  Administrative Support                                                        
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Kelli-Ann Alcott
Operations Manager

Kelli-Ann Alcott joined the Y.O.U. team in 2016 as the Operations Manager and is thrilled to be part of an organization that is dedicated to the whole child and the community at large. She has lived in Evanston for over 20 years and earned her BA in Political Science from Northeastern Illinois University. She is a proud resident of the Evanston’s Fifth Ward who has over 10 years of experience in nonprofit administrative functions and a long history of local and international service. She currently serves on a number of committees and is a graduate of the Evanston Citizen’s Police Academy. In her spare time, Kelli-Ann can be found cooking, hunting for new grocery stores, making new items, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 421

  Program Support

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Casey Varela
Manager of Strategic Partnerships

As Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Casey focuses on developing and managing deep collaborations with partner institutions that ultimately enrich our services for youth and families. Casey first joined Y.O.U. in the summer of 2014 on a consulting basis to research the expansion of the community schools model in Evanston and authored a report providing recommendations to the Evanston Community Schools Initiative Leadership Council.

Casey worked previously as an Associate Director at Heartland Alliance where she coordinated a culinary training program for homeless adults, managed the construction of a community and cultural center, and developed a resident services initiative for affordable housing residents. Casey has been involved throughout the Evanston community over the last decade serving on the McGaw YMCA, Cherry Preschool, and Kingsley PTA Boards of Directors, the C.O.P.E. advisory board, and the Evanston Community Schools Initiative Leadership Council, and is a graduate of Leadership Evanston.

Casey received a BA in sociology from Kenyon College and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. Casey was born and raised in Evanston and has returned with her husband, George, to raise their two daughters, Sofia and Madeline. Casey enjoys running, yoga, badminton, walks with Auggie (her puppy), and spending time with family and friends.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 409 

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Tara Dolan
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Program Manager

Tara is a transplant from Massachusetts (go Pats!), who resides in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. She is an alum of Salem State University and a current Master of Nonprofit Management student at DePaul University's School of Public Service. Tara previously worked on the HR team at Y.O.U., during which time she obtained a certificate in Nonprofit Human Resources from Notre Dame's Mendoza School of Business. Prior to working at Y.O.U., Tara served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the YMCA of Metro Chicago Community Schools Initiative, and worked in administration for the Peace Corps. She is passionate about volunteer service and supporting others in their professional journey to do impactful work. You can chat her up about horoscopes, fantasy football, camping, gardening, pizza, music, and anything on two wheels!

(847) 866-1200 ext. 232

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Keisha Barnard
Learning and Development Coordinator 

A recent graduate from Augsburg College, Keisha Barnard is extremely excited to translate her degree in Sociology into meaningful action at Y.O.U. Over the past four years, Keisha has dedicated much of her time to diverse grassroots organizations, working to dismantle oppression and inequality specifically related to race, the environment, and homelessness. Keisha has lived in Southeast Asia, Germany, and the United States. She loves learning from other cultures while also teaching others about her own Indonesian culture. Keisha is a part of Y.O.U. as a New Sector fellow. In her free time, Keisha loves to spend time outdoors, cook, and listen to podcasts. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 423

  Program Directors

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Megan Orleans 
Director of Elementary OST Programs 

Megan currently serves as the Director of Elementary Out-of-School-Time Programs where she oversees all dimensions of after school and summer learning programs for Y.O.U.'s elementary school sites. She manages the design and implementation of high quality, structured, and intentional programs at these five school sites.

Megan earned a BA in Geography/Environmental Studies from UCLA, and is currently working to earn an MEd in Environmental Education. Megan has been managing informal education programs across the country for more than six years, and has worked in a variety of settings ranging from botanic gardens to children’s museums. Megan is thrilled to bring her love for hands-on, experiential learning to Y.O.U.’s Out-of-School-Time programs.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 241


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Melody Rose
Director of Clinical and Outreach Services

Originally from Tennessee, Melody attended Indiana University and earned her bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice. After her undergraduate studies, she taught seventh grade in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. Melody returned to Indiana to obtain her master’s degree in Social Work with concentration on Children and Families. With seven years at Centerstone, the nation’s largest provider of community-based behavioral healthcare, Melody worked as a home/community-based child and adolescent therapist working primarily with DCFS involved families as well as youth diagnosed with behavioral disorders ages 3-22.

Melody first came to Y.O.U. as Site Coordinator for the afterschool program at ETHS in January 2010 and transitioned into the role of Youth and Family Counselor/Clinical Coordinator starting in August 2011 where she worked primarily with youth from ETHS and the young adults in the Street Outreach Program. In 2015, she transitioned into her current role as Y.O.U.'s Director of Clinical and Outreach Services. During her time in clinical practice, Melody has facilitated efficacy-based anger management, CBT, and communication protocols and has specific therapeutic focus on providing trauma-focused individual and family therapy.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 327

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Concepcion Benitez
Youth and Family Counselor

Concepcion (Coni) was born and raised in Mexico and moved to the Chicago suburbs at the young age of 11. In 2009 she earned her BA in Psychology from Loyola University. Coni first joined Y.O.U. in 2007 as a work study staff and in 2010 she was hired as a Case Manager for the organization. Coni left in 2013 to pursue her master’s degree in International Counseling Psychology from Alliant International University in Mexico City. She is very excited to now be back at Y.O.U. and work with the population that inspired her to pursue graduate studies in the first place. Coni has a passion for working with under-served populations using a systemic approach. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, spending time with family and friends, getting lost in the Marvel universe and learning random trivia. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 333

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Estefanía Elias
Senior Youth and Family Counselor

Estefanía was born and raised in Argentina, and moved to Chicago in 2003 after marrying her husband.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and worked at various companies in Argentina and Chicago. In 2011 she decided to make a career change, pursuing a master’s degree in Social Work at Loyola University.  Estefanía is passionate about making a difference in other’s lives and getting to know people of different cultures. During her free time, she enjoys playing with her cat and dog, exercising, getting crafty, and trying food from different countries.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 331

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Carla Smith
Senior Youth and Family Counselor

Carla Smith received a BA in Psychology from Gustavus Adolphus College, and a MSW from Loyola University Chicago. Her academic journey was enriched with many amazing experiences. She's studied abroad in Ghana and Thailand, and participated in multiple cultural and social organizations. Carla interned as a Therapist at Uhlich Children's Advantage Network (UCAN), as well as a Prevention Education Specialist at Between Friends Chicago. She's specialized in domestic violence work and group psychotherapy. In 2014, Carla began working at Y.O.U. providing individual therapy with our elementary, middle, and high school youth, and young adults. As a SPARCS Therapist she provides trauma-informed group therapy to youth responding to chronic stress. In addition, Carla co-created, developed, and is coordinating Y.O.U's Clinical Culinary Program called "The Chew". Carla is very passionate about her work with youth and families and aspires to continue to grow in this field.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 330 

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Hoyam Tanon
Youth and Family Counselor

Hoyam Tanon is an experienced counselor with more than five years of experience in the nonprofit sector, specifically in development and coordination of counseling services for multicultural and diverse populations including refugees, teens, children and families in group and individual settings. Hoyam’s past experience also includes providing comprehensive mental health, crisis counseling, and conflict resolution services. Hoyam also previously worked as a home/community-based child and adolescent therapist working primarily with the Department of Children and Family Services.

Hoyam received her BS in Counseling Psychology from the Ahfad University for Women in Khartoum, Sudan. She then received her Masters of Community Counseling from Argosy University in Chicago as well as her masters in Community Health and Health Management from Ruppecht-Karls Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 329 

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Dawn Ravine
Manager of Sexuality Education

Dawn has worked with middle and high school youth for over 15 years. Dawn received her bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College in Sexuality Education in 2001 and spent the following two years in Philadelphia answer calls for the city's HIV and reproductive health hotline and coordinating health education services within a juvenile detention facility. At that time Dawn also completed 45 hours of domestic violence advocate training and one year of service as a DV crisis counselor.

In 2003 Dawn moved to New York City to earn her master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University in the Sexuality, Gender & Health track. During her eight years in NYC she: coordinated HIV prevention/ peer education services for girls in alternative to incarceration, served on the city's Juvenile Justice Coalition Steering Committee and Youth Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition, spent four years as the Sexuality Education Specialist in a Children’s Aid Society community school, and worked with a team developing comprehensive sexuality education curriculum for national use in middle school settings.   

Dawn is passionate about bringing her experience back to her home town of Evanston, returning in 2012 to work with Y.O.U. program staff and community partners to bring high-quality comprehensive sexuality education programming to all Y.O.U. middle and high school programs and increasing supports and equity for LGBTQ+ youth.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 236

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Trevor Pontillo
Youth and Family Counselor 

Trevor is a graduate of Lake Forest College and is working towards a master’s degree in social work at Dominican University. Trevor started at Y.O.U. as an AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member at Chute Middle School (go #TeamChute!), and is excited to now be a part of the clinical team. Being a part of Y.O.U. enables Trevor to pursue his passion of youth development behind a clinical lens. Trevor loves to run groups centered on creative interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, and wilderness therapy. In his free time, Trevor enjoys rooting for Chicago sports teams, exploring the outdoors, and walking his dog, Chancho.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 332

  Community Schools
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Allison Kiboi
Community Schools Manager, Lincoln Junior High School

Allison is an Evanstonian returning after spending the last several years in Iowa. She attended the University of Iowa where she received a BSW from the School of Social Work. Allison spent her time in Iowa working within the school system as a student and family advocate and is excited to continue working in the schools as a part of the Y.O.U. Community Schools team!

(847) 866-1200 ext. 420
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Christopher Rapisarda
Community Schools Manager, Martin Luther King Laboratory School 

After growing up in Evanston, Christopher is happy to return to the area and join Y.O.U.Christopher attended the University of Michigan for undergrad and graduate school, where he earned an MSW in Community Organization with a Youth focus. Since that time, Christopher has worked with students and communities as an educator, facilitator, and community organizer. He is eager to apply these lessons as Community School Manager at King Arts. Outside of work, Christopher enjoys the company of friends and family, playing board and card games, and all things musical.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 419  

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Shay Norman
Community Schools Manager, Chute Middle School

Shay Norman is originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. After undergrad at UNC-Charlotte, she attended an Obama rally on campus where she had the great revelation to move to Chicago only knowing one person. After doing some acting and improv across the city, she began teaching performing arts in Chicago Public Schools where her purpose for community engagement and leadership was realized! She is currently pursuing her Master's in Education at Loyola University (#GoRamblers). After being a Community Resource Coordinator at Skinner North, she feels lucky to find a home in Y.O.U. and is excited to create memories with the students, families and Evanston community at Chute Middle School! Speaking of lucky, her dog Mr. Lucky is the cutest Morkie ever!

(847) 866-1200 ext. 422
  Street Outreach

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Antasia Maddox
Street Outreach Program Manager

Antasia was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Youth Studies. After receiving her degree she moved to Chicago and began working for nonprofit agencies helping young adults reach their goals. She enjoys talking, art, cooking, walking in parks and playing with her two dogs and cat.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 283

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Emeric Mazibuko
Street Outreach Case Manager

Emeric Mazibuko was born and raised in Port Elizabeth, South Africa where he began his tertiary education in Early Childhood Development and Education. In America, he received a bachelor's degree in Sound Contracting and Acoustics with a minor in Cultural Studies. Emeric is a passionate and self-taught photographer and has been freelancing for almost fifteen years. He worked in the positive youth development capacity around the Chicagoland area before coming to Y.O.U. As a Y.O.U. veteran of almost five years, Emeric serves in the Y.O.U. Street Outreach program, the Y.O.U. Evanston Township Connect Center and the Allied Against Violence Project (AAV).

Emeric believes that every child has talent latent within them, and education and art are the tools we have at our disposal to tap into this potential. Emeric is a resident of Evanston and when not at work, he enjoys spending his time with his wife and six year old son.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 281

  Chute Team

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Janese Johnson-Meyer
Middle School Team Leader and Afterschool Program Manager, Chute Middle School

Janese was born in Chicago and has lived all over the city and suburbs.  She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, applied emphasis in Family & Family Services. After college, she performed a year of service in the AmeriCorps program, serving the West Town and Austin communities and worked for five years as Lead Residential Counselor for the Boys Hope Girls Hope program in Evanston, IL. In her free time, Janese loves cooking, spending time with family and friends and watching her favorite TV show Jeopardy!. She is passionate about education, service in the community, volunteering with her sorority and involvement in her local church. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 322

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Abby Marder
Youth Development Specialist

Abby Marder is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a BA in Consumer and Family Services. She's a die-hard Buckeye fan and enjoys playing sports (Chicago weather permitting). On the weekends you can find her exploring the many Chicago neighborhoods in search of the city's best restaurants and art/music festivals. Her love for youth and of community service fuels her goal to achieve a Masters in Social Work. Long-term visions for Abby include completing research at a university and running a nonprofit. As her career progresses, Abby aspires to travel the world. First stops: India, China, Japan and Thailand.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 328 

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Graig Tertulien
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Graig is an Evanston Township alum who participated in Y.O.U. as a student since the 6th grade. Currently, Graig is working towards a bachelor’s degree in Film at Columbia College Chicago. Graig returned to Y.O.U. as an AmeriCorpsY.O.U.th Serve Member in the hopes of influencing the students at Y.O.U. the way that he was influenced when he was in the program. During his free time Graig enjoys going to his church, working on short films, performing, and writing both scripts and music. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 324

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Aina Cambridge
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Aina is a Chicago native raised in the Albany Park neighborhood. Aina attended middle school at the Waldorf School in Rogers Park and graduated high school from St. Ignatius College Prep in 2012. She attended Depaul University pursuing a degree in Women and Gender Studies. Aina has a passion for social justice and direct service and is proud to be apart of the Y.O.U. community that teaches her new ways to improve her youth development skills each day. During her free time, Aina enjoys live shows, cooking, exploring new restaurants, and taking advantage of her proximity to the beach (weather permitting).

(847) 866-1200 ext. 512

  Dawes Team

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Simone Hampton
Afterschool Program Manager, Dawes Elementary School

Simone received her BA from Hampton University in 2008. She first joined the Y.O.U. team in 2009 as a Youth Development Specialist at Oakton Elementary School. After an extensive 10-month apprenticeship with Public Allies, she returned to Y.O.U. in the fall of 2011 where she served as a Y.O.U.th Serve Member. She then dually served as a Youth Development Specialist at both Oakton and Dawes Elementary Schools. Simone is currently the After School Program Manager at Dawes Elementary School, where she hopes to continue to share her experiences and skill sets learned as a youth development specialist with peers and the community. She has extensive experience and immense passion for working with youth and development and planning of high quality afterschool programming. In her spare time, Simone likes to travel, read, volunteer and spend time with family and friends.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 265

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Sidika Balogun
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Sidika is from Chicago, and holds a degree in Family Consumer Science with a focus in Family relations and Human development. Sidika received her BA from Illinois State University (ISU) in May of 2015. Sidika used to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of America in Bloomington-Normal and was a former teaching assistant at ISU. Sidika joined the Y.O.U. team because of her passion about investing in our youth’s future. Sidika believes that youth deserve to have positive outlets to develop and grow. Sidika hopes to gain an understanding of the type of environment that youth need in order to thrive and reach their full potential. Sidika enjoys D.I.Y. projects, traveling around the world and she hopes to get a master's degree in Social Work.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 503

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Andrea Edwards
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Born and raised in Evanston, Andrea has been a part of Evanston's community ever since she could remember. She became a First-Generation and Pioneer member of Evanston Scholars Program, in which she is still active today. Along with her older brother, she is also first in her family to attend College; her parents and extended family moved to Chicago from Panama. After graduating, she attended Columbia College Chicago to pursue a Bachelors in Creative Non-Fiction. After only a year, she transferred to Marquette University sophomore year and pursued a Bachelors in Writing-Intensive English with a Minor in Asian Studies. Andrea has always had interest and passion for intercultural affairs and wants to pursue a career teaching ESL in the future. This motivated her to study abroad in China in the summer of 2015 where she enhanced her Mandarin-Chinese speaking skills, along with her intercultural competence. 

After graduating from Marquette in the summer of 2016, Andrea moved back home to Evanston, where she was introduced to Y.O.U. She is very excited and feels extremely fortunate to be a part of Y.O.U.'s community. She believes being a part of Y.O.U. will allow her to exercise her passion for working with youth while building relationships within the Y.O.U. family. During her free time you can catch Andrea reading, writing short stories and free-verse, DJing, biking around Evanston and watching lots of Netflix.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 521

Edison Team

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Gladys James
Afterschool Program Manager, Edison Elementary School

Gladys, a Chicago native, loving wife and caring mommy of one, graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. Her love for working with youth was formed when she decided to embark on a wonderful journey with doing a year of service with AmeriCorps. Gladys served with City Year Chicago, at Howe School of Excellence in Chicago. It is through that experience that her passion for working with youth in the non-profit sector grew tremendously. In her spare time, Gladys enjoys volunteering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, spending time with family and friends, traveling, cooking, and singing. Her ultimate goal is to own her own non profit organization, that will provide resources and funds to underprivileged youth across the world.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 403

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Noelle Velasco
Youth Development Specialist

Noelle, a Chicago native, is thrilled to be joining the Edison team after serving as the Youth Development Specialist at Nichols Middle School in 2016. Noelle graduated from Columbia College with a BA in Theatre Arts. Since then, she has worked as a teaching artist in numerous CPS locations in both in-school and after school programs. Last fall, Noelle co-directed an Evanston-youth original with Mudlark Theater. Noelle is a proud company member of Halcyon Theatre in Albany Park where she also served as a teaching artist for their arts integration program with Henry Elementary. For the past three summers, Noelle acted as a camp counselor for Art Start, a summer arts camp for young creatives. It was in this capacity where she solidified her love for arts education.

In her spare time, Noelle enjoys discovering new restaurants and photographing hidden gems around the city. She's into chocolate, the Chicago Bulls, hip-hop lyrics in different languages and micro pigs. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 414

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Kimberly Katner
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Kimberly is initially from Orland Park, Illinois. She is a senior in Loyola University Chicago's undergraduate program for Psychology and Social Work. Currently, she is applying to graduate school to earn her E.d.S. in School Pyschology. Kimberly had the chance to work as a Fellow for Y.O.U. during the summer of 2016 where she instantly fell in love with working with the youth. She feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of youth, and greatly values the holistic approach that Y.O.U.'s out of school time programs have, focusing equally on social, emotional, and academic development. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 517

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Emma White
AmeriCorps Youth Serve Member

Emma is a Skokie native, having lived in Skokie for nearly 15 years. She joined Y.O.U. in 2016 as an AmeriCorps Y.O.Uth Serve member for Thomas Edison Elementary school. She recently graduated from The University of Iowa with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, a Minor in Human Relations, and a Certificate in Critical Cultural Competence. Emma is a passionate advocate for social justice and social change, with a special focus on equity in education. Emma's long term goal is to obtain a Master's degree in Social Work and Public Policy. In her free time she enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, reading, and exploring Netflix! 
"To educate a child is to turn walls into doors."

(847) 866-1200 ext. 525

  ETHS Team

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Emily E. Roth
Director of High School OST Programs 

Emily Roth was raised in Evanston, IL and has been a part of the Y.O.U. family since February 2013. Emily previously served as the Y.O.U. Afterschool Program Manager at Dawes Elementary School and Y.O.U. Elementary Team Leader. She is an ETHS graduate who earned her BA in Public Policy: Urban Studies and American Politics from DePaul University in 2010. During her time at DePaul, Emily worked as an AmeriCorps Jumpstart Corps member at two Chicago public schools and served as a S.T.A.R.S. mentor to low-income, first-generation, minority college students.

After falling in love with Ghana during her semester abroad in college, Emily returned to Ghana in summer 2010 to spend a few months working alongside villagers on a school improvement project. When she returned, she worked for an after-school program through the YMCA of Metro Chicago.

Emily has a deep passion for working with youth and families in the urban out-of-school time setting. When Emily isn't working, you will most likely find her on a soccer pitch, performing on a Chicago stage, or traveling. 


Y.O.U. Office: (847) 866-1200 ext. 243
ETHS Office: (847) 424-7737

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Janelle Norman
Manager of Post-Secondary Success

Janelle was born and raised in Chicago, primarily in South Shore and Hyde Park. After graduating from Walter Payton College Prep, she attended the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she first began mentoring young adults. As an undergraduate, Janelle majored in Global Studies and French langauge, with a concentration in International Development, and spent a sememster abroad studying in Cameroon.

She joined the Y.O.U. family in 2016 after having spent two years with Chicago Public Schools as a Post-Secondary Coach. Previously, she served as a College Access & Outreach Specialist with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, and with City Year Chicago at Roberto Clemente Community Academy as a Corps Member.

Janelle is a fan of Game of Thrones and an all around TV buff. In her free time, she collects books and music, and enjoys traveling, reading, and brunch.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 424

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Randy Johnson
Senior Youth Development Specialist

Randy is a native of Evanston and graduated from King Arts and ETHS. Randy attended Quincy University where he took leadership opportunities working as a student adviser for both the Men's Awareness Committee and the First Year Leadership Experience while also serving as President of Brother of Unity. Randy graduated Quincy University with a BA in Human Services. After college Randy continued working with youth and also ventured out to become a case worker at a nursing home for mentally ill adults. Randy joined the Y.O.U. family in March 2015 and hopes to impact youth lives. In his free time Randy enjoys volunteering with the Partnership to Educate and Advance Kids (PEAK) in Chicago.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 406 

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Ivan Guadarrama
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Ivan Guadarrama proudly graduated from DePaul University with a BA in psychology, the first in his family to graduate college. A Chicago native, Ivan has spent more than 20 years in Humbolt Park. Ivan first came to Y.O.U. as a 2015 Inspire Fellow, throughout the the 2015-2016 he worked with the Oakton Elementary program as an AmeriCorps Youth Serve member. Ivan has decided to come back for a second as an AmeriCorps Youth Serve Member in the Evanston Township Highschool program. Ivan’s favorite pastimes are soccer and anything soccer-related, whether it’s watching it, reading about it or playing it.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 506

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Josh Dyer
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Josh is a lifelong Illinois resident, having spent time in Springfield, Chicago (South, North, West, and Suburbia), Champaign-Urbana, and Rockford. Seldom is the IL metro area he hasn’t driven through. He holds degrees in English and Rhetoric--with a focus on creative writing--from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Josh comes to Y.O.U. after a two-year term serving Rockford and Northwest Illinois as an ISACorps member for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. In his prior capacity, he assisted first generation, low-income high school students in navigating the college-going process. His experiences, both privately and professionally, have informed his belief that education is the primary vehicle by which equity is attained. Josh’s interest lies in discerning the most prudent mechanisms for making education accessible and affordable across societal landscapes.

Josh loves consuming music, and does so liberally. He guarantees that there is some overlap between your and his tastes; see for yourself by casually shouting song lyrics at him. He is a diehard White Sox and Bulls fan, and is therefore constantly vigilant for signs that he has, indeed, finally had a stroke. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 513

  King Lab Team

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Jafet Melendez
Afterschool Program Manager, Martin Luther King Laboratory School

Jafet enjoys making a positive impact in our youth in Evanston. Jafet was born and raised in Mexico City and lived there for eleven years before moving to Chicago in 2004. Since then he has continued his education by attending Noble Street College Prep, where he was involved in many activities and sports, including rugby for four years, leading his younger teammates to become better players. He was also involved in the cross country team, which he led in his senior year. Jafet attended Camp VIDA for youth in 2009. Jafet attended the City Colleges of Chicago, where he received his associate’s degree in Art. Jafet transferred to Northeastern University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Jafet enjoys trying new things and adventures. He also loves to play sports, is a marathon runner and has run the Chicago marathon three times and is also a skydiver.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 212

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Danielle Sullivan
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Dani grew up in South Florida, but moved to Chicago for college. She graduated Cum Laude from Loyola University Chicago, and studied Advocacy & Social Change and Peace Studies. Dani is passionate about educational equity and is excited to be working with Y.O.U. She has experience working with diverse youth in non-profit and community center settings. in her free time, you can find Dani reading and exploring Chicago's neighborhoods with her friends. She hopes to return to school to study social work.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 522

  Lincoln Jr. High Team

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Nancy Moreno
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Nancy was born and raised in the Pilsen community from the lower west side of Chicago. Nancy graduated from Northeastern Illinois University and earned her BA in Social Work making her the first college graduate in her family. Nancy interned at Youth Crossroads Inc. in Berwyn serving local youth in the community and plans to continue her passion helping youth at Y.O.U. as an Americorps Y.O.U.th Serve member. Nancy hopes to expand her education next year and earn her masters at Loyola to continue working with youth. Nancy enjoys attending concerts and spending time with her friends, family, and her dog Milo. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 519

Photo Coming Soon!

Beck Helgeson
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Beck is a native of Lake Villa, Illinois, a small suburb near the Wisconsin border, with strong family roots in the Morton Grove and Skokie area. Michigan also holds a special place in her heart, as she earned her B.A. at Michigan State University, where she studied Arts and Humanities as well as Anthropology. 
Beck's passion for teaching and youth work began during a study abroad trip to Mali, in West Africa, where she used arts and active learning methods to teach basic English to elementary and middle school students. Since then, Beck has had a variety of jobs and internships in informal education, primarily in museums. Most recently, she spent a year teaching workshops and facilitating learning through play at Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing, MI.
Outside of work, Beck's other passions include food, intersectional feminism, music and theater, and her dog, a chihuahua named Clove.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 516

  Nichols Team

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Matt Gauen
Afterschool Program Manager, Nichols Middle School

Matt is very excited to be joining Y.O.U. after spending the past three years serving with AmeriCorps. Matt moved to Chicago after graduating with a BS in Theatrical Studies from Ball State University. He spent a year as a Corps Member with City Year Chicago, serving as a full-time tutor and mentor at Chicago Vocational High School. He returned for a second year with City Year as a Team Leader at the same school, and spent the past year as a Program Coordinator for Playworks Illinois at an elementary school in Englewood, Chicago. Matt also worked as a camp counselor and a team leader at Presbyterian Camps in Saugatuck, Michigan for four summers.

Matt has a passion for social justice and for working with and empowering youth. He enjoys leading and participating in service projects, including those led by City Year Chicago, and volunteering with various non-profits around the city. In his spare time, Matt enjoys running, playing guitar, exploring his neighborhood in Chicago, and following various sports teams, perhaps a little obsessively. When he can, he keeps in touch with his amazing parents, two sisters and brother-in-law, who are always there for advice and support. (And his dog Kami, who's also very supportive). 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 412 

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Chanquel Jones
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Chanquel Jones’s undying passion for working with youth led her to pursue a BSW in Social Work from Western Illinois University with a minor in Forensic Psychology. Chanquel will be attending Loyola University next year to pursue her MSW with a concentration in non-profit and school social work. Chanquel’s experience working with youth includes interning with the Department of Children and Family Services, working as a residential and day camp Girl Scout counselor, volunteering as a college core member for three high school Pay It Forward tours with an organization called Students Today Leaders Forever, and leading a high school leadership camp. Chanquel continues to work with youth because nothing feels better to her than knowing she made an impact on someone's life for the better. Chanquel loves working with Y.O.U. because it allows her to put her professional skills to the test and allows her to devote her time and heart to making a difference in our communities.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 508

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Travon George
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Travon George, or "Tray," was born and raised on the southside of Chicago. Tray was raised in a single family household and moved around the Chicago area a few times, and is a product of Chicago Public schools. He enrolled into Urban prep Charter Academy For Young Men as a freshman in 2006 and graduated in 2010. Afterward, Tray went to college in Ohio at Denison University and then transferred to Eastern Illinois University where he is currently a senior working towards his Bachelor's in Sociology. Tray got involved with social justice while working with the Chicago Freedom Schools as a sophmore in high school. He was inspired with making change and influencing youth coming from a low-income community surrounded by street violence and drugs.

Tray has worked with at risk youth for the past three years around Chicago and Evanston and is glad to have the opportunity to be a part of AmeriCorps and to be a part of the middle school team with Nichols. Tray likes to travel, play sports, socialize with friends and listen to music. He also likes to learn about different cultures through forms of “Arts”. His goal for this school year is to grow as a mentor and to build his leadership skills, and also to build stable relationships with youth. He wants to help meet youth's needs to the best of his ability.

(847) 866-1200
  Oakton Team

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Emily Fishman
Elementary Age Team Lead and Afterschool Program Manager, Oakton Elementary School

Emily is originally from Highland Park, IL and is a graduate of Indiana University's School of Public Health. In high school, Emily found a passion for youth work while tutoring and mentoring middle school students. In college she volunteered for many public health organizations and decided to join the Y.O.U. team in 2013 as a Y.O.U.th Serve Member. As the After School Program Manager at Oakton, Emily hopes to engage youth and families in productive academic, social, and emotional growth activities so they can continue to impact their lives and the lives of others around them. In her free time, Emily likes to read, swim and spend time with her friends and family. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 326

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J'nae Thurmond
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

J'nae grew up in Evanston and is a proud alum of Chute and ETHS. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studies Integrative Biology. Her passion for Youth Leadership Development and STEM Education began over eight years ago. In high school, J'nae worked as a math tutor at Kumon and eventually went on to be Summer Camp Director at the Science Museum of Minnesota for four consecutive years.

In addition, she participated in the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry's SDSE program during the summer of 2014 where she conducted research on oral health disparities. J'nae also dedicated several semesters to serving the medically underserved population of Champaign County as a clinical intern at the Frances Nelson SmileHealthy Dental Clinic.

J'nae is excited to join the Y.O.U. team as an AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member at Oakton Elementary while concurrently applying to dental school to fulfill her dreams of becoming a community-oriented dentist! In her spare time, J'nae enjoys playing her cello, birding, and painting abstract art.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 523

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Darien Wendell
AmeriCorps Youth Serve Member

Darien is from Pontiac, MI but is a transplant to Chicago from Phoenix, AZ. Darien got their start in Evanston by attending Northwestern University and entered the larger Evanston community through volunteer work and position at Literature for All of Us. At Northwestern they majored in Performance Studies and Art Theory & Practice, focusing their efforts within the community on the histories and lives of queer and trans people of color. A long time advocate for gender, sex, and sexuality rights and education, Darien has worked in the field of youth empowerment for 7 years with a variety of organizations. They are incredibly excited to continue this work as an AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member at Oakton Elementary. They hope to impact youth positively over the next year through the arts and positive empowerment. Darien is also a working artist, avid baker, loves to read comic books and watch horror movies.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 524

Old Orchard Team
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Katherine Rack
Afterschool Program Manager, Old Orchard Junior High

Katherine grew up in Oak Park, IL and has always enjoyed being an active member in her community.  During her time studying at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, she served a summer term as an AmeriCorps member with the Illinois Public Health Association. Katherine graduated with dual BA degrees in Anthropology and Sociology with a concentration in Public Health and Community Development. Katherine worked with Y.O.U. as an AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member and then a Youth Development Specialist at Oakton Elementary School, and is excited to now continue her work at Old Orchard Jr. High as an Afterschool Program Manager.  Katherine’s two most meaningful life experiences have been working with children during volunteer service trips abroad in rural Ghana and Cusco in Peru.  Katherine is excited to continue on the path of service to community through positive youth development during her time at Youth & Opportunity United.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 301

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Michael West
Youth Development Specialist

Michael is a local product, growing up 20 minutes north of the Evanston/Skokie area in Highland Park, IL. Michael recently graduated from Miami University in 2014 with a degree in Middle Childhood Education with concentrations in Math and Language Arts.

Outside of his university experience, Michael has spent a lot of time working with youth in all settings. Michael has experience tutoring youth, as well as coaching baseball and basketball with youth at the junior high level. Before coming to Y.O.U., Michael spent a year as a teacher’s assistant at Northwood Jr. High. When not involved with Y.O.U., Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, cheering on the local Northwestern Wildcats, and traveling. Michael is beyond excited to begin his journey at Y.O.U. and to develop long-lasting relationships.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 413

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Shirley Khong
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Shirley Khong graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Social Work. Before joining Y.O.U. during the summer of 2014, Shirley was a Summer Community Advocate intern at The Family Advocacy of Champaign County where she co-facilitated a Restorative Justice Training for youth aged 12-14. This past summer, she had worked as a Y.O.U. Inspire Fellow at Old Orchard Junior High where she taught both Civic Leadership and Gardening electives. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking a variety of Asian dishes, reading novels, writing, and catching up with friends. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 505

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Christopher Essex
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Christopher is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. He is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, with a degree in Media and Information and a concentration in TV, Cinema, and Radio.

In his spare time you could find him writing screenplays, playing sports, or Netflixing (and yes that's a thing). He is very passionate about fostering positive youth relationships and looks forward to his year of service with Y.O.U. His favorite quote is "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” by Frederick Douglass. And last but not least Go Green!!!

(847) 866-1200 ext. 514

Walker Team

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Victoria Robbins
Afterschool Program Manager, Walker Elementary School

Victoria has been working with Y.O.U. since the summer of 2014, starting as an Inspire Fellow at Y.O.U.’s elementary summer program site and then working as an AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member at Dawes and then Walker Elementary Schools before transitioning to being the Afterschool Program Manager at Walker in the fall of 2016. Victoria graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science in 2013. Victoria spends most of her time hanging out with her sister and best friend who encourage and follow her passion for movies. Victoria now owns close to 300 movies. Victoria hopes to make a difference in the world and is excited that Y.O.U. provides her with that opportunity.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 300

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John Gallagher III
Youth Development Specialist

John was born and raised in Cleveland, OH, and has spent the last seven years bouncing around the Midwest. In their travels, John received an undergraduate degree in Social Work and Gender Studies while attending Saint Louis University. Their academic journey next led them to Ann Arbor, MI where they successfully completed their Masters of Social Work in Community Organizing and Interpersonal Practice at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. 

After moving from East Harlem, NYC in August, John joined the Y.O.U. Team in September 2015. John brings a deep commitment to Social Justice and a passion for identity-based conflict navigation to the organization’s skill set. In their free time, John enjoys exploring Chicago and learning more about the multiversity of the city.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 415

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Andrew Clayton
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Andrew graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor's degree in English, where he tutored English second language adult learners in literacy. He then entered Jewel Osco's management training program, where he learned organization and planning skills to thrive as a department manager. However, Andrew's passion drew him to education and youth development in the social sector. As a college access mentor with the Chicago Scholars Foundation, Andrew emotionally and academically supports ambitious high school students from under-resourced neighborhoods across Chicago as they apply to competitive schools nationwide. He connected with Y.O.U. as an AmeriCorps member in September of 2016, and is thrilled by the opportunity to provide holistic growth in the service of youth and families. Andrew loves to do yoga, run, read, write poetry, and spend time with friends and Daphne Lentil, his blind cat.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 526

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Krystin Madison
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Krystin Madison was born and raised in Evanston, IL. She graduated from King Arts and Evanston Township High School. Krystin is a proud granduate of National Louis University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with endorsements in Middle School and Art. She is licensed to teach grades K-9. While in college, she student taught at Orrington Elementary school and King Arts, where she had the pleasure of teaching 1st and 4th grade students. Teaching is a passion of hers and she loves working with youth and giving back to her community. Krystin is a board member of the Dajae Coleman Foundation whose mission is to uplift, encourage, empower, and reward our youth. In her spare time, she loves to shop, travel, and eat!

(847) 866-1200 ext. 518

  Washington Team

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Froilan Landeros
Afterschool Program Manager, Washington Elementary School

Born and raised in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, Froilan has spent his entire life in the Chicago area. As a teenager, he moved to Evanston and spent his high school years as a scholar in Boys Hope Girls Hope program.  Following his graduation from DePaul University with a bachelor's degree in Women's and Gender Studies, he did an AmeriCorps year with Public Allies, working as a crisis call center supervisor at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS).  He remained at NRS as a volunteer supervisor for nine years before joining Y.O.U.

Froilan is an avid bike mechanic and cycling advocate. He helped to start a non-profit bike shop called the Recyclery, which is located at the border of Evanston and Rogers Park. You can still find him there on the weekends, facilitating classes and creating programs for youth and adults.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 272 

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Connor Hanna
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Originally from Ipswich, Massachusetts, Connor is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago, where they majored in French literature and minored in music. While at school, Connor helped found a New Orleans-style music group called the Dirt Red Brass Band, volunteered at Gary Comer College Prep through the Neighborhood Schools Program, and joined Y.O.U. as a 2015 Inspire Fellow at Washington Elementary after graduation. An aspiring public school teacher, Connor is excited to pursue an intersectional approach to education, mental health, and identity.

In their spare time, Connor writes music about gender and body dysphoria, bikes along the lake, and tries to expand their perspective by exploring as wide a variety of music and writing as possible, with an emphasis on works from marginalized cultures and individuals (recommendations welcome)!

(847) 866-1200 ext. 501

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Megan Pilquist
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Megan, born and raised in Stillwater, MN, moved to Chicago to attend Loyola University Chicago where she earned degrees in Political Science and International Studies. She took advantage of her time in school to travel, visiting Tunisia twice with Loyola’s study abroad travel course, and spending a semester in London, England, where, as a Hansard Scholar, she interned with a member of the UK Parliament. However, the most influential part of her time in undergrad was working at the National Runaway Safeline where she provided crisis-intervention to runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth and their families. In her free time, Megan volunteers at a women’s shelter in Chicago, bakes lots of cookies, and bikes around the city to find the perfect coffee shop to spend hours reading in.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 520