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:wi

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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Laura Dell
Chief Operating Officer

Laura joined Y.O.U. as Director of Professional Development before becoming its C.O.O. in 2010. Her commitments are to make Y.O.U. a great place to work and to build a strong bridge of leadership for its future. Laura’s work at Y.O.U. is backed by years of consulting to leaders and organizations, customized executive coaching, extensive teaching experience at area universities, several senior leadership positions in both for profit and not for profit organizations, and a master’s degree in Organization Development. She has lived in Evanston for over 30 years and likes to do crossword puzzles and fitness walking, but not at the same time.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 240

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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 Hohimer
Chief Financial Officer

Bio coming soon

(847) 866-1200 ext. 247

  Grant & Development

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Amanda Porta
Development Officer for Major Gifts

 Amanda is thrilled to be part of the Y.O.U. family, as the Senior Development Officer, where she will be working to grow private philanthropy in support of the kids we have the privilege to serve. Amanda is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, where she studied Communication and Culture. During her time at IU, she discovered her passion for fundraising and nonprofit work. Before joining the development staff of Y.O.U., Amanda worked for almost five years on one of the largest fundraising campaigns in Chicago to build Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. She then joined the team at the National Museum of Mexican Art, where she grew the membership and individual giving programs. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys being outdoors, checking out the latest restaurants, spending time with friends, family and walking her dog.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 229

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Meital Caplan
Communications Manager & Development Assistant

Meital first joined the Y.O.U. team as a work study student in 2009 working with the youth of Chute Middle School. After graduating from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International studies, Meital returned to Y.O.U. as its Communications Manager and Development Assistant. Meital looks forward to increasing awareness of Y.O.U.’s incredible work with youth and families and helping solidify its place as a community institution. In her spare time Meital enjoys finishing Sudoku puzzles, exploring Chicago and visiting her family in Argentina.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 221

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Leslie Warner
Grants Manager

Leslie is a graduate of Knox College and has been involved in development and fundraising, both professionally and as a community volunteer, for over 20 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 has lived in Evanston for over 25 years and enjoys gardening, bicycling, running, travel, and following the Joffrey Ballet and Chicago Blackhawks.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 242

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Allie Koolbeck
Grants Writer 

Allie is originally from Iowa, where she graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and nonprofit management. During college, she interned at a variety of nonprofit organizations, including the Iowa Food Bank Association, the Boys and Girls Club, and Everybody Wins! DC and realized her passion was in the nonprofit sector. As Grants Writer, Allie loves highlighting Y.O.U.'s programs and their impact through the written word. In her free time, Allie enjoys trying new recipes, running, reading, and living out her passion to be environmentally responsible. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 444


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Dave Studenmund
Senior Associate in Grant Accounting and Finance Analytics 

Dave is a 1985 graduate of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. After school, Dave and his wife decided to stay in Evanston to raise their three children. They've never looked back. Dave has over 20 years executive and consulting experience in strategic and financial planning for private and nonprofit organizations. He is also known to be a bit of a baseball buff.

(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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Marla Mazzenga
Business Manager

Marla is part of the Y.O.U. Finance team, handling the day-to-day business affairs and assisting with the financial reporting. Marla feels honored to be a member of a staff that is so dedicated to serving youth and their families. Marla received her bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Marla previously worked for the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation in Evanston as a paralegal and volunteer.  Marla loves live music, gardening, photography and especially her 10 great nieces and nephews ranging in ages four to 15.   

(847) 866-1200 ext. 224

  Human Resources

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Alvin Schexnider
Director of Human Resources 

Alvin grew up in Virginia and North Carolina but now calls Logan Square home with his wife and beagle. Prior to joining Y.O.U., Alvin was the Director of HR & Administration at Urban Ministries, Inc. and was also in a two-year HR management training program for Abbott Laboratories where he held roles in both Chicago and Shanghai. Alvin has a BA in Political Science from Morehouse College, an advanced graduate certificate in East Asian Studies from Cornell University, and a master’s degree in Human Resources from the University of Minnesota. Alvin enjoys exercising, reading books, facilitating team-building workshops, and tries his best to support LUCHA and Nobel Neighbors—two community organizations doing critical neighborhood work in Humboldt Park.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 225

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Tara Dolan
Sr. Human Resources Coordinator

Tara is a transplant from Massachusetts who graduated from Salem State University with her bachelor’s degree in English, Philosophy, and the Boston Bruins. She comes to the HR Department at Y.O.U. with experience in nonprofit administration and volunteer recruitment. Her previous work with the Peace Corps Midwest Regional Office and as an AmeriCorps VISTA inspired her to transition from seeking talented volunteers to paid staff, as well as sparked her interest in figuring out what makes the heart of an organization - its staff - tick. Tara looks to use her current studies in pursuit of her Masters of Nonprofit Management at DePaul University as a foundation for her work as Human Resources Coordinator. You can chat her up about hockey, gardening, pizza, and anything on two wheels!

(847) 866-1200 ext. 232
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Rebecca Moore
Human Resources Coordinator

Bio coming soon

(847) 866-1200 ext. 233 


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Melanie West
Information Technology Manager 

Melanie is Y.O.U.'s IT manager 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

  Program Support

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Ellen Muench
Manager, Program Innovation

As Experiential Learning Coordinator, Ellen has the privilege of working to connect two critical components that make up the foundation of Y.O.U.’s success: the incredible work done every single day by our program staff to support the youth in Evanston and the generous civic spirit that our growing community volunteer base embodies when they donate their time and talents to providing learning opportunities for our youth.

Ellen is a native Evanstonian that graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in government and history. She has worked as an intern at Heartland Alliance’s Refugee and Immigrant Community Services here in Chicago, as well as worked as a Classroom Coach in east Austin, Texas.

Ellen loves being back in Chicago because it has the best of all of the things she loves: used bookstores, record stores and excellent comedy.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 323

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Lucy Marcus
Arts Coordinator

Originally from New York City, Lucy recently graduated from Grinnell College where she majored in English and Global Development. Throughout the past four years, Lucy worked as a GED tutor and creative writing teacher in Iowa State Prisons, interned with Encounter, an educational nonprofit, and with McCormick & Williams, an independent literary agency. She also spent two summers as a research assistant at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, supporting an education reform project. Lucy joined Y.O.U. in 2014 as a New Sector Fellow, working as a Special Projects Manager. In her free time, Lucy loves to cook, run outside, and read stories.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 102

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Sofia Porter-Castro
Special Projects Manager and Explore Program Assistant

Sofia, an Ann Arbor native, recently graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Global Health. During college, Sofia studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal and was involved in several student organizations including Northwestern's Hispanic/Latino Alliance and the Ballroom, Latin, and Swing Team. The summer before her junior year, Sofia interned at a community health center in Boston, MA where she developed a passion for public service and youth development. Sofia joined Y.O.U. in 2014 as a Northwestern Public Interest Fellow, and is taking on the role of Special Projects Manager and Explore Program Assistant. Outside of work, Sofia loves traveling, cooking, and social dancing in downtown Chicago.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 223

  Program Leaders

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Maria Rassiwalla
Director of Evanston Afterschool Programs

Maria currently serves as the SD65 Afterschool Program Director where she oversees all dimensions of after school and summer programming for District 65. She manages the implementation of high quality, structured, and intentional programming across all six Y.O.U. sites.

Maria has more than seven years of experience working in the nonprofit and education sector. In her previous positions, Maria was an Extended Day Program Director with Mission Graduates in San Francisco's Mission District where she directed their flagship program. She also holds a Type 10 teaching credential and spent three years designing and implementing visual arts curricula at Byrne Elementary, a K-8 school in Chicago. A strong desire to step in the nonprofit sector after her teaching stint led Maria to conduct volunteer work in Ghana, Africa where she taught art in a remote village school, and shortly after became an AmeriCorps member in Oakland, CA where she empowered the female youth of Oakland through Girls Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Champaign, Urbana where she majored in Art Education.

Maria enjoys traveling, making pottery and most of all trying new foods.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 401

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Brian Williams
Director of Programs, Niles Township

Brian has served youth in a positive youth development capacity for many years. His work in youth development programs has supported the positive voice and choices of youth through goal focused activities. Working at Y.O.U. since September 2004 has allowed Brian to establish new programs and develop long relationships with youth, parents and community partners. Now the Director of the Y.O.U. Spartans program at Lincoln Junior High in Skokie, Brian has reach a new community and has continued to share Y.O.U.’s philosophy and model. Through developing partnerships with Lincoln Junior High, District 69, and the surrounding community, he has continued Y.O.U.’s mission.

Brian’s passion is to guide youth through exploring new opportunities while helping youth to learn about themselves. Brian believes the pathways that youth navigate are an important aspect of their development, and that more opportunities to support youth and their families will help strengthen the Skokie community.

Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Northeastern Illinois University and his master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from North Park University. When Brian is not working and volunteering in the community he is spending his time with his lovely wife and adorable dog.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 260

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Ebele Onyema
Director of Professional Development

Ebele Onyema serves as Y.O.U.'s Director of the CONNECT Center at Evanston Township High School. Charged with leading the Center's strategy and operations, Ebele brings a wealth of corporate and nonprofit programming and research experience to the table.  

Ebele has helped program large-scale events for Oprah Winfrey, MTV, FedEx, the Southeastern Conference, and New York, Los Angeles, and Miami Fashion Weeks.  She has produced concerts for numerous artists including Billy Joel, Ben Harper, Wyclef Jean, and O.A.R.  Ebele has also served as research consultant to a broad array of clients including leading media companies Hearst Magazines, Time Inc., Conde Nast, and Rodale.

After years in the corporate world, Ebele decided to turn a passion for youth development into a career.  Prior to joining Y.O.U., Ebele designed leadership programs on behalf of the Moran Center for youth at Chute Middle School and King Lab.  Most recently, Ebele, co-created the first ever leadership curriculum at the Young Women's Leadership Charter School, the only all-girls public school in Chicago.          

Ebele received her bachelor’s degree in Political Economics from Georgetown University and her master’s degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.  However, the education she values the most is the one she receives from her parents, whose daily example shows her the importance of not only living the length of your life, but the width as well. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 280


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Leah Seligman
Director of Clinical and Child Welfare Services

Leah received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at State University of New York, New Paltz College and her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Northwestern University. Leah has worked with youth since 2003 and has been with Y.O.U. since 2005. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. Leah enjoys making Amigurumi (little crochet animals and toys) and spending time with her nephews and niece.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 321

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Melody Rose
Clinical Coordinator

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 works primarily with youth from ETHS and the young adults in the Street Outreach Program. 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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Karianna Kearns
Youth and Family Counselor

Karianna earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a certificate in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. After working as a probation agent in Wisconsin, she went back to school and obtained her master’s degree in Couple and Family Therapy from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. Since living in Chicago, Karianna has worked with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice around issues of detention. She joined the Y.O.U. family in August 2012 as a clinical intern and is very energetic about her new position as a formal member of the Y.O.U. team.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 325

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Estefanía Elias
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
Youth and Family Counselor

Carla grew up in Minneapolis, MN and attended Gustavus Adolphus College, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2007. There Carla participated in a number of organizations and studied abroad in Ghana and Thailand. After graduation Carla worked for Target as an Executive Team Lead; volunteered at the Salvation Army; volunteered with Bridge of Love Orphanage in Mexico; and became a youth mentor. At that time, Carla realized her passion was to work with youth and families. In 2011, Carla came to Chicago to begin the Masters of Social Work program at Loyola University Chicago. During her time at Loyola, Carla interned as a Therapist at Uhlich Children's Advantage Network (UCAN) in the Residential Treatment Center. Carla also interned as a Prevention Education Specialist at Between Friends Chicago. In August of 2013, Carla obtained her master’s degree in Social Work. In her down time Carla loves to spend time with family, travel, and enjoy varies Chicago sites and foods.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 330 

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Dawn Ravine
Manager of Sexuality Education

Dawn has worked with middle and high school aged youth for over 12 years and currently focuses on providing case management and clinical support to Y.O.U.’s program at Nichols Middle School. Dawn received her bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College in Sexuality Education in 2001 and spent the following two years in Philadelphia working on an 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 crisis counselor.

In 2003 Dawn moved to New York City to earn her master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University with a focus in Sexuality, Gender, and Health. During her eight years in NYC she: coordinated HIV prevention/ peer education services for girls in alternative to incarceration, served on the Juvenile Justice Coalition Steering Committee; spent four years as a 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 sexuality education programming to all Y.O.U. middle and high school programs and increasing supports for LGBTQQAI and gender non-conforming youth. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 236

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Jacob Hostetter
Director of the Allied Against Violence Project and Gardening Coordinator

An alumni of ETHS, Jacob has been involved in community and social justice work since he was youth himself.  After working with a wide range of people, in different communities of Chicago, Massachusetts, and the Caribbean, he has returned work with young people in his home community of Evanston.  Having grown up with a learning disability in the public schools of New York and Evanston he is passionate about youths’ rights to learn and the extra help that many students need.  He also has a strong background in fine arts, and a passion for gardening.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 226

  Community Schools

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Melissa Carpenter
Community Schools Director 

Missy is a native of Northern California, but has lived in many places, including her time as a teacher and student in Guatemala (her heart's true home). She moved to Chicago after completing her graduate studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her master’s degree is in Curriculum & Instruction, with a focus on Language, Literacy, and Culture, and she has a deep passion for building relationships between families, communities, and schools. She is an active member of Teachers for Social Justice as part of the Popular Education committee, and spends her spare time in the company of dear friends and family. Missy also loves to travel with her partner, Paul.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 250

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Erin Moore
Community Schools Director, Skokie

Erin is thrilled to join the team leading Y.O.U.’s efforts to develop a community school initiative at Lincoln Jr. High School in Skokie.  Previously, she held the position of Community School Coordinator at a Chicago Public School through collaboration with Family Focus.  She also worked in parent engagement at a Family Literacy program at Albany Park Community Center supporting immigrant parents.  Erin has a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Urban Studies and American Studies. She speaks Spanish due to extended study in Nicaragua and Mexico.  When she’s not working in the field of education, Erin loves to do yoga, needlepoint and ride her bike.  She seeks to bring joy to all the things she does.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 251

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Amy LaDuke
Community Schools Manager, Chute Middle School

 Amy is originally from Wisconsin, where she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Spanish and Global Studies. After her studies at UW, Amy spent two years serving as a Youth and Family Advocate AmeriCorps member. Most recently, Amy worked as a Community Schools Coordinator in a Chicago Public School through a collaboration with Family Focus. Amy couldn’t be happier to be a member of the team at Y.O.U. as a Community Schools Manager where she is able to bring her passion for community organizing, leadership development, and coordination of services. Outside of work, Amy loves to maintain her fluency in Spanish by traveling and dancing flamenco. ¡Olé!

(847) 866-1200 ext. 253

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Suzy Broz
Community Schools Fellow - Chute

Suzy joined Y.O.U. as an Inspire Fellow last summer and wasn't ready to leave when the program finished. This fall Suzy's back as a Community Schools Fellow at Chute Middle School and is very excited to be a part of a school-based program driven by community voice. Prior to working for Y.O.U., Suzy spent several years teaching ESL in Spain and at home in Chicago, which fueled her passion for educational equity, justice and youth participation. Suzy is currently pursuing a master's degree in education policy studies at University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Suzy thinks up ways to enjoy all of the seasons or listens to podcasts while cooking (hit or miss) meals.


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Nicole Peterson
Community Schools Fellow – Lincoln Jr. High 

Nicole recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Afro-American Studies (focus area: history and race relations) and Sociology as well as a minor in Educational Policy Studies. Over the past year, she held a couple of different positions in Chicago classrooms. During that time, she realized her passion for working with families and communities outside of the classroom. Nicole is excited about the possibilities that stem from community engagement in schools and between members of the school community through Y.O.U. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in the Cultural Foundations of Education program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This program combines her interests of history from multicultural perspectives in curriculum and community engagement in schools. Nicole loves to travel and has been to four of the seven continents - North America, Australia, Asia, and Africa. The goal is to visit six of them before her passport expires! In her spare time she enjoys cooking and hanging out with her dogs, Quincy and Keiko.


  Street Outreach

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Andrea Horton
Street Outreach Director

Andrea earned a bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies with minors in Political Science and Women's Studies from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Andrea earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2003. She is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity Degree at Garrett Evangelical Seminary at Northwestern University. Prior to joining Y.O.U., Andrea was an attorney for the Chicago Board of Education. Andrea began her legal career with the Chicago Board of Education as an attorney in the Board’s School Law division. Andrea has been extremely active in several civic and non-profit organizations including the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Rebecca Crown Youth Center and the Posse Foundation.  She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Women Divine which is an organization dedicated to educating, inspiring and empowering teenage girls.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 246

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Antasia Maddox
Street Outreach Worker

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
Youth Development Specialist/ Street Outreach Worker 

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
Afterschool Program Manager - Chute Middle School, Middle School Team Leader

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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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. He has recently joined Y.O.U. as a Y.O.U.th Serve Member in the hopes to influence the students at Y.O.U. the way 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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Trevor Pontillo
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Bio coming soon


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Abby Marder
Youth Development Specialist

Bio coming soon

(847) 866-1200 ext. 328 

  Dawes Team

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Emily Roth
Afterschool Program Manager, Dawes Elementary & Elementary Team Leader

Emily Roth serves as the Site Coordinator at Dawes Elementary. She was born and raised in Evanston, IL and has been a part of the Y.O.U. family since February 2013. She is an ETHS graduate who earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy: Urban Studies and American Politics from DePaul University in 2010. During her time at DePaul, she 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 2008, Emily returned to Ghana during 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 Chicago Metropolitan YMCA. She has now made her way back to her home community with hopes of collaboratively working to empower and inspire youth in Evanston. When Emily isn't working, you will most likely find her on a soccer pitch, performing on a Chicago stage, or exploring a new country. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 243

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Simone Hampton
Youth Development Specialist 

Simone received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hampton University. She is currently in pursuit of her master’s degree in Social Work. Simone joined the Y.O.U. team in 2009 and temporarily left to join an extensive 10-month apprenticeship with Public Allies. She returned to Y.O.U. in the fall of 2011 where she hopes to share her experiences and skill sets learned during her absence. She has extensive experience working with youth, development and planning. In her spare time, Simone likes to travel, read and volunteer for FA.A.M. - a middle school basketball league in Evanston.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 265

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Victoria Robbins
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Victoria has been working with Y.O.U. since summer 2014, starting as an Inspire Fellow at Y.O.U.’s elementary summer program site and now working as an AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member at Dawes Elementary School. 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

Edison Team

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Peter McGraw
Afterschool Program Manager - Edison Elementary School

Pete McGraw is honored to be the After School Program Manager at Edison Elementary in Morton Grove. As a previous AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member at Y.O.U., Pete enjoyed spending time and building relationships with the incredibly inspiring youth of ETHS, King Arts, Dawes, Oakton, and Washington schools. After a brief time away, Pete is thrilled to return home and reconnect with not only the tremendous young people of Evanston, Skokie, and Morton Grove, but with his talented colleagues as well. He is very excited for the opportunity to bring Y.O.U. to a new community.

Originally from the southwest suburbs of Chicago, Pete studied Political Science at Loyola University. He is the very proud uncle of 11 nieces and nephews. Pete enjoys playing sports, watching movies, talking about current events, and taking walks around Chicago.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 402 

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Gladys Ijelu
Youth Development Specialist

Gladys, a Chicago native, recently graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago, with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. While at UIC, she was involved in several student organizations including Chancellor's Committee, Student Activities Board, Student Advisory Board, UIC Gospel Choir and the UIC Chance Program.

Before attending college, Gladys took time off to do 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.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 403

  ETHS Team

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Derek Mahan
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Derek serves as a Y.O.U.th Serve Member at Evanston Township High School where he assists as a tutor with the Homework Center and develops and implements after school programming for ETHS youth.  Prior to working at Y.O.U., Derek served with City Year Chicago, an education and youth development nonprofit tasked with improving the nation’s high school drop-out rate. Before beginning his youth development career, he received a bachelor’s degree in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality studies with a minor in Family Studies & Social Work from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  

Derek has a passion for working with LGBTQ youth and creating safe space cultures that foster discussions of positive social change. He plans to earn a Master of Social Work degree and focus on clinical practices related to the needs of LGBTQ youth.

Derek has several years of experience with youth as a tutor, mentor, and volunteer.  He has worked with City Year, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and now Y.O.U.  

(847) 866-1200 ext. 284

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Emeric Mazibuko
Youth Development Specialist/ Street Outreach Worker 

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

  King Lab Team

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Hussein Napoleon-Ally
Afterschool Program Manager - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary & Fine Arts School

Hussein received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northern Illinois University. While attending NIU, he interned with the Joliet Youth and Family Services and Joliet Juvenile Correctional Facility. He also worked for University of Southern California as an RA for their Summer and Special Programs camps. Hussein currently works as the Site Coordinator at King Lab. He loves music, trying new food, and traveling. 

(847) 866-1200 ext. 245

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Jafet Melendez
Youth Development Specialist

Jafet has been part of Y.O.U. for about a year, and a half he 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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George Folz
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, George finds himself back home and working for Y.O.U. after eight years of living in the more often than not frozen city of Minneapolis. A practicing cartoonist and illustrator who graduated from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2010, George is looking forward to teaching comic art throughout his career, emboldening the next generation of cartoonists. George taught grade schoolers and middle schoolers in Minneapolis, high schoolers this past summer through Y.O.U.'s Inspire Fellows program, and he currently teaches middle schoolers at King Arts.

George enjoys pinch harmonics, non sequiturs, the sacred art of the deadpan, green tea, and the Autechre album "Tri Repetae". His favorite color is "off-brand orange”.


  Lincoln Jr. High Team

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Erika Alcibar
Afterschool Program Manager - Lincoln Jr. High School

Bio coming soon

(847) 866-1200 ext. 405 

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Jennifer Stolle
Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Jenny is the new Y.O.U.th Serve Member with the Y.O.U. team at Lincoln Junior High. To her, Y.O.U. enables her to work in all her passions; youth development, teaching, coaching, and building a strong sense of community. Jenny is looking forward to the relationships she will build and the challenges she will face.

Jenny came to us from Central California where she was an Instructor/Coordinator in a mobile science laboratory with the National Ag Science Center, a non-profit based in Modesto, Ca.  It served the youth in the Central Valley as a free educational resource through programs like the mobile lab, summer camps, teacher training seminars and a junior scientist program where youth mentor youth. She was with them from the inception of all said programs and was a leading force in their success. Prior to NASC Jenny spent several years as a soccer and softball coach at levels from elementary to junior college, a personal trainer with LA Fitness and smaller boot camps and was a substitute teacher in her local county.

Jenny received her bachelor’s degree in science and kinesiology from California Baptist University. She played two sports while in school, soccer and softball, for which she received athletic scholarships. After earning her bachelor’s degree Jenny further pursued her passion for working with youth through a teaching credential at National University.  Jenny’s passion for coaching was birthed from being a life-long athlete that then led to a passion for working with youth.

(847) 676-3545 ext. 1383

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Aaron Williams
Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Growing up on the east and south side of Chicago, Aaron used sports – like basketball and football – as an escape from neighborhood conflict and negative pressures. In high school Aaron worked for After School Matters at a neighborhood park where he gained a good base for working and interacting with youth. After hearing about the good work that Y.O.U. accomplishes with youth, Aaron joined the Y.O.U. team at Lincoln Jr. High in order to help and empower youth.

(847) 676-3545 ext. 1383

  Nichols Team

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Megan Wall-Orleans
Afterschool Program Manager - Nichols Middle School

Megan joined Y.O.U. as the Afterschool Programs Manager of Nichols Middle School in January 2015. She earned a BA in Geography/Environmental Studies from UCLA in 2010 and is currently working to earn a Masters of Education in Environmental Education through Slippery Rock University. Megan has been managing informal education programs across the country for the past six years, and is thrilled to now call Y.O.U. and the Nichols community her “home.” When she is not at Y.O.U., you can find Megan outside in the garden, hiking or attempting to crochet.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 241

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Alishia Pointer
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Growing up in Evanston, Alishia is an alum of Evanston Township High School and a recent alum of Illinois State University where she studied Criminal Justice and Women & Gender Studies. Alishia traveled abroad to India in 2013 on a trip where she continued to feed her interest in social justice. She found her way back to Evanston after becoming an Inspire Fellow at Nichols Middle School and looks forward to continuing working with Y.O.U. as an Americorp Y.O.U.th Serve Member.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 303

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Mary Grace Bruntrager
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Mary Grace is very happy to be joining the team at Nichols Middle school as a Y.O.U.th Serve member. She moved to Chicago after graduating from Truman State University in 2013 and has enjoyed becoming an active member in various communities of Chicago. Previously, Mary Grace served with the educational nonprofit, City Year, mentoring and tutoring freshmen in high school. Mary Grace is excited to work with youth once again as a facilitator for Y.O.U.'s academic enrichment, and leadership afterschool programs. 

Mary Grace plans to return to school to receive her Masters of Public Administration with a focus in nonprofit management. She would like to stay in Chicago for the foreseeable future and to continue working with youth, especially in regards to leadership development and civic engagement. 

In her free time Mary Grace will most likely have her nose in a book, and proud of it! 


  Oakton Team

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Emily Fishman
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 and now works as the Site Coordinator at Oakton Elementary. 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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Marcus Brown
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Marcus is an Evanston Township High School graduate of 2010. He is currently studying to be an elementary school teacher at Oakton Community College and will be graduating this year to work towards his bachelor’s at North Eastern Illinois University. Marcus has been working with children for five years, serving as a basketball coach in Y.O.U.’s Eat.Play.Learn program, lunch supervisor at Walker Elementary School, dance instructor and camp counselor at Robert Crown Center, and camp counselor for the McGaw YMCA. Y.O.U. has encouraged Marcus to remain focused, determined and humble and he looks forward to teaching the youth similar skills. Marcus is bringing his passion for sports and dance to the Oakton Y.O.U. team and is excited to see how he can make an impact in the lives of others.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 302

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Katherine Rack
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Katherine grew up in Oak Park, IL and has always enjoyed being an active member in her community.  She has recently joined the Y.O.U. team at Oakton Elementary School as an AmeriCorps Youth Serve Member.  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 a dual bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Sociology with a concentration in Public Health and Community Development.  Her two most meaningful life experiences have been working with children during volunteer service trips abroad in rural Ghana and Cusco, Peru.  Katherine is excited to continue on the path of service to community through positive youth development during her time at Y.O.U.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 301

Old Orchard Team
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Jocelyn Nelson
Afterschool Program Manager - Old Orchard 

Bio coming soon

(847) 866-1200


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Randy Johnson
Youth Development Specialist

Bio coming soon

(847) 866-1200 ext. 406 

Walker Team
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Hannah Steinman
Afterschool Program Manager - Walker Elementary School 

Bio coming soon

(847) 866-1200 ext. 404 

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Kevin Crawford
Youth Development Specialist

Bio coming soon

(847) 866-1200 ext. 407 

  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 
(847) 905-4945 

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Kathryn Halpern
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member 

Kathryn Halpern is a recent Northwestern University graduate, where she studied creative writing and philosophy. Kathryn is thrilled to get to spend another year in Evanston at working as an AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member at Washington Elementary School. A lover of the written word, it is her goal to read 100 books before she starts graduate school in the fall of 2015, which will happen when she isn't watching political dramas on Netflix or playing with her cats.

(847) 905-4945

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Brandon Vamarasi
AmeriCorps Y.O.U.th Serve Member

Brandon is joining Y.O.U. as a part of the team at Washington Elementary School. Brandon is an Evanston native, passing through Walker and Chute before graduating from Evanston Township High School where he served as wrestling and baseball captain his senior year. This past school year Brandon attended Lawrence University in Wisconsin pursuing psychology and philosophy programs and was also a member of the baseball team. In his spare time, Brandon spends many hours making R&B records.

(847) 905-4945