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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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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Lesley Kennedy
Chief Program Officer

Lesley Kennedy serves as Y.O.U.’s Chief Program Officer, leading the development of Y.O.U.’s long-term program strategy and supervising the daily impact of more than 50 staff members across 11 program sites. Lesley brings an extraordinary breadth and depth of experience to the role. She joins Y.O.U. following five years as a Senior Program Officer at the McCormick Foundation, where she managed the Foundation’s Child and Youth Education Portfolio. Prior to McCormick, Lesley served for seven years as the Executive Director of the Chicago Girls’ Coalition, a Chicago-based non-profit that provided capacity building and technical assistance to girl-serving organizations and programs. Lesley has a master’s degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and a BA in English and Women’s Studies from Stephens College. Lesley is also a graduate of the Boot Camp for New Nonprofit Leaders at the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 410

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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

  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 & Development Manager

Meital first joined the Y.O.U. team in 2009 as a work-study student and mentor to the youth of Chute Middle School. After graduating from Northwestern University with a BS in Journalism and International Studies, Meital returned to Y.O.U. as its Development Assistant. Meital now serves as Y.O.U.'s Communications and Development Manager and looks forward to increasing awareness of the organization's incredible work with youth and families while simultaneously 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 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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Dave Studenmund
Senior Associate in Grant Accounting and Finance Analytics 

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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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

Rebecca 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, Rebecca is thrilled to be the latest member 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 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 of 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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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 

  Program Leaders

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Maria Rassiwalla
Director of Evanston Afterschool Programs

Maria currently serves as the Director of Evanston Afterschool Programs where she oversees all dimensions of after school and summer learning programs for District 65 and 202. She manages the implementation of high quality, structured, and intentional programming across eight schools, elementary through highschool.

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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Megan Wall-Orleans 
Associate Director of Evanston Afterschool Programs 

Megan joined Y.O.U. as the Associate Director of Evanston Afterschool Programs in 2015. She 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 is thrilled to call Y.O.U. and the Evanston community her “home.”

(847) 866-1200 ext. 241

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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

After working with a wide range of communities in the U.S. and abroad, Jacob has returned to serve his home community of Evanston, IL. Having experienced the challenges of going through the public school system with a learning disability, Jacob is passionate about supporting youth’s rights to learn and have access to important resources. Jacob currently manages the Allied Against Violence Project (AAV) after working as a Youth Development Specialist at the Y.O.U. Nichols Program. AAV is a prevention program that engages young men and boys in conversations about relationship violence, domestic abuse, and violence against women. Through AAV, Jacob leads groups of male students through workshops that study healthy masculinity, safe relationships, and effective public relations campaigns. Jacob is currently pursuing a dual certificate in sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture from the Chicago Botanic Gardens with the hope of bringing education about healthy eating and outdoor engagement into Y.O.U. programs.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 226

  Community Schools

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Melissa Carpenter
Community Schools Director 

Missy - a native of Northern California - moved to Chicago in 2008, after completing her Masters of Education at the University of Washington in Seattle. Before joining Y.O.U., Missy worked in public schools in Seattle and Chicago, focusing on bringing community resources into the school, growing parent-teacher collaborative efforts, increasing access to resources for immigrant families, and supporting the development of Restorative Justice practices. Missy has a deep passion for community development and believes strongly in the power of schools and parents to create positive change together. Missy is bilingual in English and Spanish. Missy loves to travel the world her partner Paul and is never happier than when she's goofing around with her six nieces.

(847) 859-8598 

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Erin Moore
Community Schools Director, Niles Township

Erin is thrilled to lead Y.O.U.’s efforts to develop a community school initiative in Skokie and Niles Township.  Previously, she held the position of Community School Coordinator at a Chicago Public School through a collaboration with Family Focus. Erin also worked on parent engagement at a Family Literacy program at Albany Park Community Center supporting immigrant parents. Erin has a BA from Wesleyan University in Urban Studies and American Studies. She speaks Spanish due to extended study in Nicaragua and Mexico. When she is not working in the field of education, Erin loves to do yoga, ride her bike, and spend time with friends and family.

(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

  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

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 

  Dawes Team

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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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Emily E. Roth
Associate Director of Evanston Township High School (ETHS) CONNECT

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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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 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

Erika Alcibar earned her BA in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University.  Before joining Y.O.U. in March 2015, she worked for a number of non-profit agencies that served diverse populations and focused on issues such as housing and tenants’ rights, domestic violence prevention and education. Within the last five years, Erika has focused her career around working with youth and has pursued development and implementation of afterschool programs for middle school and high school youth. Erika has also coordinated mentoring programs in diverse communities.

As the Program Manager for the Y.O.U. Spartans Program at Lincoln Junior High School in Skokie, Erika is looking forward to building strong relationships with youth, families, the school, and the community to provide high-quality programming that supports youth in reaching their full potential.  In her free time, Erika enjoys visiting art museums, trying different restaurants and spending time with her friends and family.

(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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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 

Jocelyn joined the Y.O.U. team in March 2015 after moving to Chicago from Philadelphia, PA. After graduating with a BA in English from Bryn Mawr College, Jocelyn worked as the Special Youth Programs & Partnerships Manager for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. During that time, she developed an environmental arts program and a model for integrating arts into the school day, and facilitated meetings around issues of art education, workforce development, and restorative justice.

Jocelyn is excited to be part of a staff so dedicated to taking a holistic approach to youth development and youth leadership. Jocelyn also loves to cook, play guitar, and hang with her hedgehog, Louie.


(847) 866-1200


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Randy Johnson
Youth Development Specialist

Randy is a native of Evanstonian 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 

Walker Team

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Hannah Steinman
Afterschool Program Manager - Walker Elementary School 

Hannah is an Evanston native who is thrilled to join the Y.O.U. staff as the Afterschool Program Manager for Walker Elementary School. Hannah was a Special Education Teacher in Chicago Public Schools for five years where she initiated many new afterschool programs focused on health and fitness. After seeing the benefits of structured out-of-school time for youth, Hannah was ready to return to Evanston to pursue her passion for youth development in the nonprofit sector. Hannah earned a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in International Studies and Human Rights and her Master's degree in the Art of Teaching Special Education from National-Louis University. In college Hannah studied in Buenos Aires for a year where she fell in love with travel, cultural exploration, and the Spanish language. Hannah is an avid runner, yogi, cook, and traveler.

(847) 866-1200 ext. 404 

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Kevin Crawford
Youth Development Specialist

Kevin was born and raised in the west suburbs of Chicago.  He attended University of Kansas and received a BA in Social Work.  Kevin then spent a year working for the Kansas City Kansas Public School District as a social work intern.  Kevin worked for Lawrence Hall Youth Services for the next year and a half as a Residential Treatment Specialist while working with their extreme at-risk youth.  Kevin is now currently pursuing his Master's Degree in Education from North Park University.  

(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