Public Allies Chicago Ally Biographies 2010-2011
Joyce Yin ~ Christopher House As Volunteer Coordinator for Christopher House, Joyce Yin recruits and manages volunteers to help fill the needs of the organization’s youth and adult programming. Joyce also heads up Christopher House's volunteer recognition program and assists with event management and planning. Joyce graduated with a B.A. in Gender & Women’s Studies and a minor in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also currently a New Organizing Project blogger with the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) where she writes about popular culture and social justice. In her spare time, Joyce loves to watch the NBA and root for the Chicago Bulls. Brittney Gault ~ The Cara Program After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2007, Brittney Gault returned home to the South side of Chicago with a new zeal for service. She joins Public Allies with high ambitions to be the change she wants to see in the world, using her passion to fuel her success. As a Professional Development Associate with The Cara Program, Brittney assists students re-entering the workforce transform their barriers and challenges into professional strengths and stepping stones. Luis A. Martinez ~ Archeworks At Archeworks, an alternative design school, Luis manages all advertising and marketing efforts and organizes outreach initiatives related to community-based design projects. Being a Program and Project Manager at Archeworks combines Luis’ experience with and passion for both the architectural field and non-profit sector. Luis holds a B.S. in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has studied at L'Ecole De Architecture De Versailles, France. He is a LEED® Accredited Professional and is a certified Construction Document Technologist (CDT) through the Construction Specification Institute (CSI). Hannah Jacoby ~ Chicago Freedom School Hannah was born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, but moved to Chicago five years ago to attend the University of Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science in 2009. While at U of C, Hannah organized with the Southside Solidarity Network, a group that fights against gentrification and displacement. Hannah also worked as the Social Justice Coordinator at the University Community Service Center where she provided training to other student activists. Throughout college Hannah coordinated youth debate leagues for the University of Chicago’s Civic Knowledge Project and the Chicago Urban Debate League. Hannah brings all that experience and her passion for public service to Public Allies and the Chicago Freedom School for a second year, working with and organizing young people. Anthony Hill ~ Chicago Youth Centers – North Lawndale Anthony Hill was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, where his love for literature, poetry and debate was cultivated. Anthony was referred to Public Allies from the Jobs for Youth organization, whose mission is to prepare young adults for the
workforce. As an Ally, Anthony is serving the Chicago Youth Center's North Lawndale site as a Youth Leadership Development Specialist. Darmika Ford ~ Gary Comer Youth Center Darmika serves the Gary Comer Youth Center as a Communications Coordinator. Darmika’s responsibilities include managing the program marketing plan as well as management of volunteers and working closely on an Archeworks community project. Darmika hails from the Westside of Chicago and holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree from Illinois State University where she majored in Interior & Environmental Design. Darmika also recently graduated from the Turner School of Construction Management 2010 Summer Program and enters this, her second term of service with AmeriCorps, intending to strengthen Chicago neighborhoods with positive and sustainable solutions to the city’s issues. David Banks ~ Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development (BUILD), Inc. David Banks was born and raised on Chicago’s West side. A graduate of North-Grand high school, David is a writer and spokenword poet. David facilitates a leadership training program for high school students at B.U.I.L.D. this year. David wants to be a positive role model for the students he works with at B.U.I.L.D. and is determined to make a difference in his community. William Lohr ~ CPS/After School All-Stars William brings a foundation of diverse experiences in the youth development field to his new role with the Chicago Public School’s Office of Students Supports and Engagement. William also works with the After School All-Stars program, evaluating programs at more than two hundred and fifty after-school sites. William, a graduate of Miami University, comes to Chicago to serve as an Ally from his native Ohio. Patricia Posey ~ Disney Magnet School Patricia Posey enters her year of service with Public Allies having already overcome many obstacles in her life in order to become a leader. While homeless and still in her teens, Patricia was elected GLBTQ chair of the National Network for Youth Policy Board, where she served for two years before advancing to the Executive Board. Patricia is also a founding advisory council member of the LGBTQ Host Home Program at UCAN. Patricia is placed this year at the Walt Disney Magnet School where she will assist students and teachers with their IT needs. Ronai Streater ~ St. Sabina Employment Resource Center Ronai was born in New York, raised in North Carolina and educated in Atlanta, Georgia at Clark Atlanta University. Ronai then interned at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL. An artist, Ronai works mostly in graphic design and print design and loves to create on Photoshop/illustrator. Ronai has been an active volunteer since middle school and takes that attitude of service to St. Sabina this year where she works to improve the employment opportunities of Chicago residents. Simone Hampton ~ Disney II Magnet School A native of Evanston, IL, Simone earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Hampton University. Simone is placed at the Disney II Magnet School where she will spend her time collaborating with volunteers to strengthen the after school programming. Upon completion of the Public Allies program, Simone plans to obtain a master’s degree in social work and continue working in the nonprofit sector specifically with youth. Travis Moore ~ Lawson House YMCA Travis is responsible for planning and setting up socialization/motivational groups and events at the Lawson House YMCA. He is also responsible for soliciting in-kind donations for the residents of Lawson House. While Travis’ interests range from spoken word to providing assistance to Chicago’s mentally disabled homeless population, his ultimate goal is to become an asset in building community awareness within Chicago’s underrepresented communities.
Ben Kim~ Project on Civic Reflections Ben, a native of Chicago’s Northside, is working for the Project on Civic Reflections as a Program Coordinator. Ben believes that attending Chicago Public Schools during his youth and being second generation Korean, presented both challenges and opportunities. Ben moved on from CPS to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he earned a degree in Political Science. Ben is extremely excited to be a part of Public Allies and working for the Project on Civic Reflections. Dan Toren ~ CPS Office of Student Support and Engagement Dan, a graduate of Hope College and a native of Lynwood, IL, works with supplemental educational services as a part of the Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Student Support and Engagement to help ensure the highest quality education for Chicago students possible. Dan is rooming with another Ally, Cesar, and is looking to squeeze in as many Bears and Bulls games as possible this winter in between serving his community. Lindsay Litowitz ~ YMCA of USA Lindsay, is working with the YMCA of the U.S.A. this year as an Ally, where she will develop social media strategies for the organization as well as work on college campuses. YMCAs on College Campuses and develop social media strategies. Lindsay is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned degrees in Communication and Sociology. Lindsay is a founding member of the U of Pitt chapter of the Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority Inc. Lindsay values the opportunity to work with those who are different than her and aspires to a career in the non-profit field. Gordon Francis ~ Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.), Inc. Gordon is passionate about music, art and education – all these interests inform him as he serves as a Youth Development Worker at an after school program with Y.O.U. Gordon sees his role at Public Allies and Y.O.U. as one in which he will help youth become empowering forces themselves in society. Gordon is also part of a special initiative for emerging black males. In his spare time he likes to perform and see live music. Graciela Diaz ~ Greater Southwest Development Corporation Graciela’s first experience working with nonprofit organizations came while she was attending Xavier University. After working in Cincinnati with the CODEDI organization, Graciela knew she wanted to continue in the nonprofit sector. The Pilsen native has now returned to Chicago and will be serving parents of Marquette elementary students while placed at the Center for Working Families and with Marquette elementary in Chicago’s southwest side. Graciela works as an employment services specialist and assists parents with resume writing, job searching, creating budgets and helping them find other resources. Christine Koh ~ CPS Office of student Support and Engagement Christine, 24, graduated with a B.A. in comparative literature and international relations at Smith College in Northampton, MA. There, she discovered her passion for public education through volunteer and internship opportunities made possible by the college's Office of Educational Outreach. Her first experience working with CPS was serving as a fellow at Young Women's Leadership Charter School. Having spent the last year abroad teaching English, Christine is excited to be back in her home city to learn more about the issues and challenges facing Chicago. In the long-term, she hopes to pursue a Master's in Education Policy and Reform. This year Christine works with coordinators for the two hundred and fifty schools involved in the After School All-Stars program to make sure that the program is being implemented properly and that they are supported with administrative work. Lamar Jorden ~ Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development (BUILD), Inc. By day, Lamar serves at BUILD, Inc. as a youth leadership development specialist where he puts his passion for youth into action as he assists at-risk youth in various neighborhoods throughout Chicago. By night, the twenty two year old is a spoken-word poetry and hip-hop writer and performer, and is equally as passionate about his craft as he is his community work.
Jessie Robinson ~ Illinois Education Foundation Jessie, 22, was born in west Seattle and raised in the woodsy foothills of Issaquah, Washington. She moved to the Midwest to attend Northwestern University, where she studied political science and international studies. Jessie is very excited about her placement at the Illinois Education Foundation, where she provides support to low-income community college students. She hopes that Public Allies will be the beginning of a long career of community involvement and work in social justice. Alex Gilman ~ After School Matters Alex, 19, grew up in Irvine, California and moved to Chicago in 2009 to work with youth programming and is excited to be able to build on his past experiences. This year, Alex observes and evaluates After School Matters programs at organizations throughout the city. In his free time, Alex enjoys theater, bicycling, and cooking. Simone Mikolich ~ Muchin College Prep Simone Mikolich, 25, is the Enrichment and Community Service Coordinator at Muchin College Prep, where she is responsible for creating interesting educational and service-based programs for Muchin students outside of their school day. She was born and raised in Rhode Island, and graduated from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, in 2007, with a double major in Government and International Affairs. Simone moved to Chicago after graduation, and her experiences in Chicago are what shaped her interest to be involved in Education. For two years, Simone worked for a non-profit in the city which focused on Education, but in the Human Resources department. Upon realizing that she wanted to be involved in Education in a more hands-on capacity and develop as a leader, she applied to be a Public Ally. Ms. Mikolich is thrilled to be the Public Ally placed with Muchin College Prep this year and is excited to create great Enrichment and Community Service programs for MCP students. Mayilu Diaz de Leon ~ Humbolt Park Social Services Mayilu Diaz de Leon is a proud native of Rockford, IL. Her placement is with Humboldt Park Social Services at Ames School through the Center for Working Families. Inspired by the Latino Union of Chicago to be more involved in the local community, Mayilu works with adults to build stronger economic foundations. Her favorite band is Geronimo!, also proud natives of Rockford. Sana Syal ~ Uptown United Sana, 22, graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor's of Science in Environmental Policy and Management, and a minor in Public Health. Sana is placed at Uptown United, where she is a Project Coordinator helping to promote Uptown's litter-free program. Sana works closely with Uptown's public schools in order to educate the students on recycling and develop recycling programs. Sana will also help plan clean-up activities around the Uptown area, including an Earth Day event. Sana is passionate about working directly with communities to improve their health and promote a healthy living environment. Esther Newman ~ Industrial Council of Near West Chicago Esther Newman, born and raised in Chicago, is placed at the Industrial Council of Near west Chicago. At ICNC, she assists with industrial retention and business development. After graduating in 2009 from Knox College with a BA in Spanish and Sociology, Esther worked as an outreach coordinator for a migrant health organization. In addition to social service, Esther is also passionate about cycling, tasty food, and jazz saxophone. Michael Harrington ~ LEED Council Michael Harrington is a 2nd Year Ally from Chicago who is placed at the LEED Council. Michael earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Michael's professional experience includes teaching abroad in South Korea for three years, where he also studied the language and customs. Michael's placement last year was Uptown United, where he developed programs that increased environmental awareness in the community. He is passionate about sustainability issues and serves on the Delta Institute Emerging Leaders Board, helps manage Ginkgo Organic Gardens. and is an active Chicago Conservation Corps member. Michael looks forward to learning about the ins and outs of non-profit management along with sustainable economic development. At the LEED Council, Michael conducts community outreach with members of the business community to provide and obtain information concerning work done on behalf of the Council’s industrial retention initiatives.
Sharrieff Muhammad ~ CPS Office of Student Support and Engagement Sharrieff Muhammad lives the birthright tradition of Bluesman/Griot. The heart of his art lives in the tradition of storytelling and folksong. Sharrieff was raised listening to classical symphonies, Blues Rock, Native Tongue Hip Hop, and Bebop Jazz. He has had poetry published in the Malikah’s Kitchen Anthology ―Storm Beneath Fingers‖ along-side accomplished poets from the U.S. and England. Sharrieff has completed three collections of hip hop recordings - ―Cold in Wendy’s City‖ e.p., ―The Lines of Blue‖ mix tape (accompanied by a one-man show), and "95th and Howard: A cup of Change." Sharrieff is an Illinois Arts Council Award and Fire Next Time Grant recipient. He worked as a teaching artist for Young Chicago Authors from 2005 to 2010. Sharrieff also completed an Information Technology/Leadership Training internship called I.C.Stars in 2008. Sharrieff joins Public Allies this year to make himself a better programmer, organizer, and catalyst of change. At CPS, Sharrieff helps to coordinate and match after school programs with city schools in need. Jose A. Orea ~ Free Spirit Media Born in Puebla, Mexico and raised in Chicago’s Little Village, Jose is a visual artist by day and an agent for change by night. Jose has been involved in the Little Village art community since 2005, along with politically active Pilsen artists, whose work is to empower youth. Those artists and activists inspired Jose, 25, to become the dedicated youth ally that he is now. This year Jose coordinates multiple after school youth programs centered on media and technology skill development in addition to doing some programming during school days. Jose is incredibly excited to work in the North Lawndale and Little Village communities this year as an Ally. Davina Tolbert ~ Quad Communities Center for Working Families Davina Tolbert, 23, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2009. Shortly afterwards, Davina joined AmeriCorps National AIDS Fund, following her passion for access to healthcare in underserved communities. She joined Public Allies to serve her community in a greater capacity. Davina currently serves at the Quad Communities Center for Working Families, powered by the CARA Program, conducting Parent Outreach for parents at Reavis Elementary School. After her service term, Davina plans to attend Medical School and one day become a practicing physician in an underserved community. Cesar Chavez ~ Instituto del Progreso Latino Cesar Chavez, 21, was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He is proud graduate from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Cesar is a member of the Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity. Cesar is placed at El Instituto Del Progreso Latino where he serves families at the Orozco Community Academy as a job and resources coordinator assisting them with job skills training, job searching and time and financial budgeting. Jessica Klinge ~ A Safe Haven Jessica, 27, is placed at A Safe Haven. At A Safe Haven, Jessica contributes in a variety of ways including marketing, communication, development and donor research and outreach, event coordination and programming. Jessica was born in Wisconsin, but grew up in Florida, New York, and Illinois. In December 2009, Jessica received her BA in History and Geography from University of Wisconsin - Madison. She is most concerned with solving the problems of poverty and climate change. While at UW - Madison, Jessica interned with the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group on issues ranging from public transportation, to the environment and homelessness. When she was 17, Jessica joined the Army Reserves as a Paralegal Specialist. She has been stationed in Wisconsin and Germany and is still an active Reservist. Thoai-Phy Tran ~ YMCA of Metro Chicago Hailing from Vietnam, Thoai-Phy, 18, is placed at YMCA of Metro Chicago and the McCormick Tribune YMCA, where she interviews and identifies potential volunteers while developing a management model for other YMCAs to enhance their volunteer engagement and practices. Phy has developed a passion for art and filming production and aspires to implement media in facilitating social awareness. After Public Allies, Thoai-Phy plans on continuing her college education. May Cheng ~ East Village Youth Program May, 22, hails from Brooklyn, NY, and is a graduate of Fordham University with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Sociology. May enjoys traveling, and has studied in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and also taught English in Thailand. May is
serving as a Program Coordinator with the East Village Youth Program where she pursues her passion for empowering others by running a college-readiness class for high school students. May is committed to international human rights and social justice issues and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the near future. Kelsie Kliner ~ Chicago Youth Centers – Centro Nuestro Born and raised in Eau Claire, WI, Kelsie, 23, moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University where she earned her B.A. in Art & Art History and minored in International Studies. As a Second Year Ally this year Kelsie is working as a College and Career Readiness Coordinator with Chicago Youth Centers—Centro Nuestro. Kelsie is excited to continue working on the development and empowerment of youth after Public Allies. Alana Groves ~ University of Chicago Charter School, Donoghue Campus Alana was born and raised in Country Club Hills, Illinois, where she lived until attending college Champaign. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in Public and Community Health Administration and Planning and a minor in Spanish, Alana worked in the region for multiple non-profit organizations, including Catholic Charities. Alana then lived and worked in Indiana at a non-profit organization before finally moving to Chicago and working for Catholic Charities. As a young professional, Alana wants to make a difference in the communities of Chicago by working in education and with community organizations. Alana hopes to combine her past experience with her present goals while working with Public Allies to continue to work in education and community services. This year Alana works at the University of Chicago Charter School, Donoghue Elementary and assists with their after-school and in-school tutoring program. Gladys E. Reyes ~ CPS Office of Student Support and Engagement Gladys E. Reyes, 23, was born in Chicago and raised in between Chicago and Ecuador. After graduating from Pomona College as a Posse Scholar with a double major in Sociology and Political Science and a minor in Chicano Studies, Gladys served as a Fulbright Fellow teaching English in the Secondary School Bilingual Language Program in Madrid, Spain. Ms. Reyes is placed at Chicago Public Schools Office of Student Support and Engagement (OSSE), where she writes content for the new support and engage website, does communications work around the Mash, a newspaper for CPS high school published by the Chicago Tribune, and along with the Deputy of OSSE, contributes to department strategic planning. Gladys hopes to follow her Public Allies experience by attending law school with a focus on public policy. Caitlin Morris ~ Rauner Family YMCA Caitlin, 24, is from the Chicagoland area and is a graduate from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before joining Public Allies, Caitlin spent a year volunteering in The Republic of the Marshall Islands where she taught the English language and core academic subjects to elementary school students and worked towards health, education and community development in the Pacific nation. Caitlin has a passion for dance, photography, traveling, learning about new cultures and people and spending time with family and friends. She will be working with The Rauner Family YMCA on marketing, membership retention and youth program development projects. Sharitza Rivera ~ Chicago Youth Centers – Fellowship House Sharitza Elena Rivera, 23, grew up in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Sharitza is a graduate of DePaul University with a Bachelor's degree in Community Psychology. As CYC – Fellowship House’s Career and College Readiness Specialist, Sharitza helps middle school students get into high schools that afford them the best opportunities and high school students get into college. The curricula that Sharitza builds for the youth helps prepare them for futures as scholars and professionals. Sharitza is also founding member of the Chi Omega sorority and was on the founders of Latinos Unidos. In her spare time, Sharitza serves as a rape crisis counselor with Rape Victim Advocates. A proud Puerto Rican and avid traveler, Sharitza has been to thirteen countries and counting.
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