Nov 2005 speakers


to be held at  St. Joseph's School, 1065 N. Orleans, in Chicago on Nov. 17 and 18, 2005.  

This is a list of people who will do workshops and be part of panels at the November 2005 Conference.   All are volunteers!  We thank them for sharing their time and talent.   Workshops and presenters are subject to change without notice.  If you would like to do a workshop at future conferences, or in an 0n-line conference, email the T/MC at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   

Note: Parking for the conference is available at Byrd School, 363 W. Hill. Call 312-492-9614 to request a map be faxed to you.

Avery Austin, Vice President, National Tutors Association, 
Avery Austin received  his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), in 1988 and 1991, respectively.  He recently accepted a Math/Science Mentor position with Western Governors University where he can give educators what h e has learned. With 10 years in the technical industry, he has served as a Scientist, Technical Trainer, Physicist, Senior Analyst/Engineer, and Senior Declassification Analyst.  During his technical career, he learned about semiconductor epitaxial growth technology (Master's Thesis), hyper-spectral imagery, supercomputer architectures, nuclear weapon technology, multiplexed focal plane array engineering, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prototype sensor trials, and much more.

His love of tutoring started in 1986 after being trained as a paraprofessional tutor at the IUP Learning Center. He taught Developmental Mathematics, Algebra, and Physics to incoming freshmen through nontraditional students at colleges in the Western Pennsylvania region.  He has also served as a coordinator for tutorial programs at IUP, Penn State McKeesport Campus, and at his church.  With a total of 15+ years teaching and tutoring experience, he helps students relate classroom material to real world experiences.

Currently he operates an independent private tutoring practice called The Answer Key, where he specializes in tutoring Arithmetic through Calculus, Statistics, Science, Critical Thinking, and conducts "Overcoming Math Anxiety" workshops.  Avery serves the National Tutoring Association (NTA) as a certified Master Level Tutor Trainer, the Distance Learning Chair, and the Associate Vice President.

One of his goals is to fuse his experience in academia and industry to help educators, tutors, and students learn how to use higher order thinking skills to bridge the gap between academia and industry for society's growing demand for competent critical thinkers.

Daniel F. Bassill, Tutor/Mentor Connection
Dr. Daniel F. Bassill is President of Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection, organizer of the Leadership Conference series.  He is also a Commissioner on the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.  Dr. Bassill  has spent more than 30 years, mostly as a volunteer, reaching out to children and youth living in Chicago's Cabrini-Green neighborhood. Bassill first became a tutor in 1973, then became the volunteer leader of the Montgomery Ward/Cabrini Green Tutoring program in 1975. More than 3,500 volunteers and 3,300 children have participated in programs Bassill has led.  Some volunteers have participated for more than 10 consecutive years and some students from first grade through high school.  With six other volunteers, Bassill  formed Cabrini Connections in 1992.  Read Dan's Blog at  

Alex Ciesla, Partners in Education (4th Presbyterian Church), Chicago    
Alex Ciesla is the Tutoring and Scholarship Services Manager of the Chicago Lights Tutoring and Scholarship Program at Fourth Presbyterian Church. She recruits students (mainly form the Cabrini-Green and Henry Horner neighborhoods) and tutors for the program, matches the students with one on one tutors based on educational needs and personality, and helps to maintain the relationships built through these matches. The program currently has close to 400 students enrolled and each student has their own tutor who aides them in completing homework and developing study and social skills. Alex also works with the program's scholarship students by planning monthly meetings and motivating the students to maintain good grades and prepare for college. Alex has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and has been working with at risk youth for over 3  years. For more information,  visit

Paul Collins, Jordan-Webb, Inc. , 
Mr. Collins became an independent consultant in1981, forming his firm Jordan-Webb.  Since 1989 Paul has provided high performance facilitation to clients while using new techniques and technologies that support collaborative problem solving and decision making.  Since 2003, these collaborative technologies and techniques have migrated from the meeting room to the world-wide-web.  Today, Paul helps clients move into the 21st century by hosting and facilitating distributed and virtual meetings, focus groups and surveys, by helping clients deploy web-based collaborative strategies within their organizations and by providing free weekly webinars on internet collaboration.  Paul's facilitation style is described as empowering and leading without directing, and making workshops highly productive and fun.  Paul is active in several professional organizations, including the Midwest Facilitators' Network (co-founder, director, webmaster), Midwest Society of Professional Consultants, International Association of Public Practitioners, National Black MBA Association and International Association of Facilitators.  Paul is a member of the Board of Advisors for Loyola University's Center for Information Management and Technology and has lectured for Loyola, the University of Chicago, De Paul University and the University of Wisconsin.  Paul's hobbies include ethnic folk dance, traditional square and contra dance, folk festival production, web design, hiking, learning foreign languages and public speaking.  Paul is a certified Forté Communications System Facilitator.

Paul's client experience has included: National Aeronautic and Space Administration, GATX Corporation, McDonald's Corporation, Motorola, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, BP Amoco Corporation, U S Cellular Corporation, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Commonwealth Edison, Loyola University, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Pace Suburban Bus Service, Girl Scouts Promise Group and American Traffic Safety Services Association.

Paul's speaking engagements have included: UCGSB Roundtable, American Society for Quality, American Society of Metallurgists, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Toastmasters International, Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conference, Midwest Facilitators' Network, Midwest Society of Professional Consultants, International Association of Public Practitioners, Finance Leaders Association, International Association of Facilitators and Collaboration 2003.

Paul's web site contains links to many presentations presented by himself and by others who participate in quarterly meetings of the Midwest Facilitator's Network in Chicago. This is a valuable on-line resource. 

George Cox, Mentoring Network for Juvenile Court Wards, Circuit Court of Cook County, Juvenile Justice Department.   
George Cox has been a juvenile probation officer for the past 15 years. He has served in the following assignments; delinquent field unit, juvenile sex offender unit, and violence intervention specialist. His current assignment is in the Mentoring Network. George¹s current duties consist of recruitment of mentors/volunteers, public and community relations, speaking engagements, liaison between mentors/mentees and probation officers, training and orientation of volunteers, and community outreach. 

Amalia Diaz de Leon
Ms. Amalia Diaz de Leon is the Bi-Lingual outreach worker for the City of Rockford-Human Services Department, a Public Community Action Agency funded to serve Boone and Winnebago Counties in addressing poverty issues and concerns. She has been with the City of Rockford for eleven years.

Amalia is the founder and coordinator of the Boone County Tutoring Program in Belvidere, Il. This program supports Spanish-speaking high school students in Belvidere, helping them graduate from high school and attend an institution of higher education.  Ms. Diaz deLeon serves on the Board of Directors for Hispanic Community Health Advisory Group in Boone County and the Ethnic Heritage Museum of Rockford. She is active with ALERTA of Belvidere, a community service organization and the Food Security Summit, which promotes organically grown produce.

In September of 2005, Ms. Diaz de Leon was a participant in the Senate Hispanic Leadership Summit in Washington, DC.

Lara Dieckmann, Cabrini Connections, 
Lara Dieckmann is currently the program coordinator and fundraising specialist for Cabrini Connections. Previously, she worked in development at two local non-profit organizations: Beyondmedia Education and About Face Theatre. Ms. Dieckmann received her doctorate in performance and cultural studies from Northwestern University and was on the faculty of the film, theatre and communications department at California State University at Los Angeles. She also taught courses in Creative Writing for the Media at Northwestern and Community Organizing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Lara works at Cabrini Connections with the Art and Video club; she herself is an amateur artist and crafter. Her favorite pasttime is creating handmade cards for friends, family and fundraisers.

Mark Duhon, Executive Director, Highsight.    
A native of Akron, Ohio, Mr. Duhon graduated in 1988 from Ohio State University. He lived in New York City and worked in a soup kitchen before moving to Chicago to work for the University of Chicago. He began volunteering as a second grade tutor at St. Joseph's Elementary School and became chairman of its school board. In the spring of 1992, armed with a lot of heart and a few loft ideas about providing access to educational opportunities for the children of St. Joseph's and Chicago's inner-city, Mr. Duhon helped found HighSight.

Barb Englund, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
Barb Englund is the Executive Director of NET at TWO RIVERS for the past 10 years. Along with many other corporations, this organization has developed a software available on the World Wide Web called "Follow the Yellow Brick Road E-Mentoring" or FYBR located at

This program has allowed many kids from hard hit areas experience the love and knowledge of e-mentors from all over Northern California. One of the many goals of the program is to think "outside of the box" and create possibilities where there would normally be none. To create opportunities out of bleak circumstances and to REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of kids as well as their e-mentors.

Prior to developing FYBR, Barb, along with a wonderful volunteer staff, ran a very successful federal grant given to her organization by the Department of Commerce to train functionally illiterate people how to use the internet in public access points throughout two states. As result of that success, FYBR was born and is still successful today.

Meet Barb in the on-line portal at: 

Audrey George-Griffin, Executive Director, Horizons for Youth, Chicago
Audrey George-Griffin is the Executive Director of Horizons for Youth, which serves children from low-income areas through education and mentoring programs during the elementary school years.  Horizons for Youth offers its students comprehensive, long-term services that involve the entire family.  Students begin with Horizons as early as kindergarten and continue through the eighth grade.  They receive private school scholarships, academic support if needed, adult mentors, and monthly enrichment activities.  Horizons for Youth boasts a 100% high school graduation rate and a 67% college attendance rate for its alumni.      Prior to joining Horizons for Youth, Audrey served as the Director of Development for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation.  Her experience also includes working as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and as the Youth Director for Blessed Sacrament Youth Center.  Audrey earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Notre Dame and her master’s degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.  Contact Audrey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Eloyce M. Gillespie, Executive Director, Collaborative Youth Development Services, Inc., Mission, Kansas
Formerly an elementary school teacher, Mrs. Gillespie has extensive experience working with  youth in grades K-12 in after school and summer programs, such as the Collaborative Youth Development Services, Inc. Primarily serving low and moderate income youth,  CDYS is a non-profit organization focusing on mentoring youth and providing staff development and training to those who interact with youth.

Mrs. Gillespie holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and maintains her teaching certification in Kansas. She received her Master's degree in Education Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas where her focus was urban leadership and policy studies in education.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dr. Edward E. Gordon, Imperial Consulting Corp., 
Dr. Gordon is has been involved in tutoring practice and research for over 30 years. While teaching in Early Childhood Education at DePaul University, Chicago, Dr. Gordon developed a mastery-learning-based tutoring program that provided diagnostic-developmental instruction to over 10,000 children and 20,000 adults.  In 1982 this was the first tutoring program that was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Dr. Gordon's research has been published in such books as Peer Tutoring: A Teacher's Resource Guide (2005), Centuries of Tutoring (1990), and Tutor Quest: Finding Effective Education for Children and Adults (2002), and Literacy in America: Historic Journey and Contemporary Solutions (2003). soon to be published is Tutoring Research and Student Achievement: Best Practices and Policy Implications.  Gordon's work has been featured in ASCD's Education Update, the Phi Delta Kappan, Principal Leadership (NASSP), the Futurist, and the NASSP Bulletin.  

As President of Imperial Consulting Corporation, Ed Gordon has provided a wide array of educational institutions, government agencies, trade associations, and businesses with his research, coaching, and consulting assistance, including tutor training.  As chairman of a Better Business Bureau Trade Practice Committee, he guided the development of the first advertising and professional standards on tutoring for the 150 Better Business Bureaus across the United States and Canada.

Ed Gordon has appeared on the CBS network's "The Early Show," CNN, NPR, and many other TV and radio programs as an advocate for education reform.  Dr. Gordon serves on many boards including the Illinois Literacy Resources Development Center, the Association of Tutoring Professionals, and the Tutor/Mentor Connection.  He is a member of the Education Quality Workforce Committee of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Youth Council of the Chicago Workforce Board. Learn more at: 

Erica L. Harris, Program Manager, Supplemental Education Services, Chicago Public Schools 
Erica L. Harris was hired at Program Manager for Supplemental Educational Services for the Chicago Public Schools in June 2004.  In this role, she manages the relationships between private providers and the district, and works directly with school administrators, teachers and families to ensure that CPS students receive the quality after school programming they deserve.  As a former public school teacher in Washington, DC, Eridca is familiar with the challenges and frustrations that SES raises for schools, parents, and communities. In 2001, Erica earned a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.  She also has a Bachelor's in Political Science from Spelman College. Visit the CPS After School Web Site at

Nathan Harris, IUPUI

Kevin  Hogan, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
Mr. Hogan is a human services professional with a Masters in Public Administration and broad experience providing direct services to individuals with disabilities; writing corporate, foundation, and government grants and development communications for a major non-profit organization; designing, implementing, and evaluating individual transition programs for high school youth; and collecting and analyzing data. He was been with the YMCA since 2001 and was with the U.S. Peace Corps, Tapa, Estonia from 1998 to 2000. Mr. Hogan was Rehabilitation Services Supervisor  with the Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Rehabilitation Services, Champaign, from 1992 to 1998.  Kevin is also Editor, Chicago Area Peace Corps Association’s bi-monthly newsletter and has been a Tutor with East Village Youth Program since January 2004.

Phillip Jackson, President, Black Star Project 
Phillip Jackson is a nationally renowned speaker on educating Black and Latino children.  The Black Star Project, a 501(c)3 organization, is committed to improving the quality of life in the Black and Latino communities of Chicago by eliminating the racial academic achievement gap. The mission of The Black Star Project is to provide educational services that help pre-school through college students succeed academically with the support of their parents, families, schools and communities. Additionally, the Black Star Project helps students aspire to post-secondary educational opportunities and training as they explore careers that will be emotionally, intellectually and financially rewarding. Services are available to all students in Chicago Public Schools, particularly low-income Black and Latino students who attend low-achieving schools in disadvantaged communities. 

Joan Klaus, Bank One Saturday Scholars Program; Founder, Illinois College Access Network
Joan M. Klaus is a Vice President and Philanthropy Manager, JP Morgan Chase, the nation’s third largest bank holding company.  She is responsible for coordinating education grants and initiatives.  In this capacity she oversees the Chase community schools, coordinates special projects, leverages grants with major institutions and other nonprofits.

She was formerly the Vice President and Foundation Director for the First National Bank of Chicago and American National Bank, a legacy company.  She was responsible for coordinating the American National Bank’s corporate contributions, and all of the parent bank, First Chicago, education grants and partnerships.  In this capacity, she formerly directed the Hire the Future Program, founded the Saturday Scholars program, and guided partnerships with four Chicago Public Elementary Schools. 

Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of the University Village Association, a neighborhood economic and community development organization.  She was responsible for all programs and expansion of the organization.  Programs included housing, economic development and education.

Ms. Klaus is currently on the boards of Scholarship Chicago, Associated Colleges of Illinois, The Campaign to Expand Community Schools, and the Notre Dame de Chicago Foundation. .  She is founder and Chair of the Illinois College Access Network at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.  In 2002, the Corporate Responsibility Group of Chicago named her “Person of the Year.”

Ms. Klaus taught school in the Iowa City School System for eight years.  She received her baccalaureate degree from Loyola University.  She lives in Chicago with her husband, Robert.  They have three grown children.

Dr. Sylvia Cobos Lieshoff, National Center for Family Literacy, representing Verizon Literacy Campus    
Sylvia Cobos Lieshoff, Training Specialist at the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), has a Ph.D in Educational Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.  Lieshoff has experience as an Even Start state director, adjunct university instructor, educational consultant, Cooperative Extension associate, equity coordinator, and classroom teacher. At NCFL, she designed workshops and provided training for Head Start and Migrant Head Start staff, provided technical support for the network of Even Start state coordinators, developed professional development materials and facilitated trainings across the country.  Lieshoff creates online courses and resources for the Verizon Literacy Campus,, project.

Devon Lovell, Director, Community Tutoring Program (E-A), Family Matters  
Devon Lovell studied secondary education at Northwestern University with a concentration in Speech Education and English.  She taught high school English, theater and humanities for nine years.  In 2000, Devon came to Family Matters as the Tutoring Coordinator.   In recent years, Devon has pursued training in multi-sensory teaching techniques.  She has attended seminars with the Illinois Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and the North Chicago Chapter of the Learning Disabilities Association.  Devon completed a course in multi-sensory phonics instruction from the Reading and Language Arts Center (approved by the International Multi-Sensory Language Education Council).

Loomis Mayfield, Consultant in Education, Training, and Community Development   
Loomis Mayfield's professional interests are community based policy research and education on urban affairs, collaborative partnerships, and public affairs. He has published articles and taught courses in service learning, urban and community studies, and urban history.

Mayfield’s previous positions include coordinator of the Illinois After-School Alliance; coordinator of the UIC Neighborhoods Initiative; and research coordinator for the Policy Research Action Group (PRAG), a consortium of universities (Loyola, DePaul, UIC, and Chicago State University) and community groups in the Chicago metropolitan area. Before his work with PRAG, Mayfield worked on various academic research projects and in advocacy and field work with political organizations in Washington, DC.

Mayfield’s civic activities and interests include election to the Local School Council for Nicholas Senn High School in Rogers Park, Chicago; and board membership and work with various community groups and associations. He received the Outstanding Community Commitment Award from Renacer Westside Community Network in 1998.

Mayfield received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh; his M.A. from Northern Illinois University; and his B.A. from Indiana University.

Jacqueline McMahon, Illinois Student Assistance Commission, .
 Illinois Mentor is ISAC's free career and college planning tool that promotes access to college for all Illinois students, available this December.

Nathan Miller, Advocacy & Resource Corporation, Cookesville, TN
Nathan Miller is currently employed as a case management team leader at the Advocacy & Resources Center. There he supervises a case management team that provides services for disabled persons in eight rural counties in the Upper Cumberland areas of Middle Tennessee.  Other responsibilities there have included being a mentor, serving on the ARC Mentoring Selection and Rules Committee, as well as program development and coordinating the Advocacy & Resources local involvement with the All American Soap Box Derby.  Miller also worked in a rural mental health center where he was assigned for three years to the Continuous Treatment Team, which provided mental health case management services to the severely and chronically mentally ill. He also has served on several committees for and is member of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth and has recently assisted in establishing two rural adult drug courts in Tennessee. He received his Bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University in 1996 after majoring in Criminal Justice Administration, and in 2002 received his Master's degree in Educational Psychology from Tennessee Technological University.

Debra Brodsky Natenshon
Debra B. Natenshon is the CEO for the Center for What Works.  Since 2004, she has been actively building and managing the organizational infrastructure, research, strategy and relationships to ensure its success. Debra is a social entrepreneur who uses her skills in creative problem solving to advance the organizations she leads. She has extensive experience in organizational development, project management, sales and client services.

In addition to leading the Center for What Works, Debra is the founding leader of the Chicago professional chapter of Net Impact, a global nonprofit network that uses the power of business for positive social change. Prior to her current professional role, Debra worked in several international service industry businesses. Most recently, she helped launch GPSLink, a global relocation technology company, as the lead project manager. In that position, she developed full cycle plans and successfully implemented the first corporate client. Prior to that, Debra worked for IOR Global Services, an intercultural training and consulting company, where she designed and streamlined business processes for several Fortune 100 corporate clients.

Debra holds a Masters degree in Organizational Management with an emphasis on the nonprofit sector from the School for International Training. Her thesis focused on social entrepreneurs and their effective use of performance measurement strategies to improve performance. She received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas, with honors in English. Debra has studied, lived and worked in England, Japan, India, Israel, and Argentina. She uses her evolving knowledge of the world to learn, leverage and contribute on a daily basis. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text45633 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   

The Center for What Works
The Center for What Works is a performance measurement and benchmarking resource center that provides tools, tips, and techniques to improve social sector results.  Established in 1994, The Center underwent a strategic realignment in 2004.  The Center is dedicated to creating a common language that allows the sector to compare accomplishments.  The Center is completing the initial phase of a rigorous research initiative to develop a sector-wide framework of program outcomes and indicators.  The results of this study will help social sector service providers to better measure, manage, and improve performance.  Learn more about The Center’s work by visiting

LaDawn Noorwood, Director of Youth Development, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
LaDawn Norwood is the Director of Youth Development with the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. She is responsible for the development, management and execution of numerous citywide youth development programs that serve
youth between the ages of 12-18. Mrs. Norwood has over ten years experience in the youth development arena. At DePaul University she conducted workshops and seminars on collegiate issues and concerns for freshmen students. Mrs. Norwood served on a research team at Cook County Hospital that researched causes and possible solutions to teen handgun violence. She served as a program development committee member, mentor, and tutor for a Chicagoland mentoring program for female high school students. Mrs. Norwood was also an advisory committee member of the Chicagoland L.E.A.D.E.R. Institute, a leadership development program for high students. In addition, Norwood was a contributing author to Implementing Reform: Stories of Stability and Change in 14 Schools.

Mrs. Norwood has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from DePaul University and will be attaining her Masters of Arts in Education from DePaul University in June 2006.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 

Kristen Palana, William Patterson University, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
Kristen Palana, is an Assistant Professor of Art at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. In June, 2004 she started a website called Aura's House at to help a family in Guatemala get a safe, sturdy brick home. To date my students, friends, and volunteers have helped run the site and we have raised over $12,000 for needy familes in Guatemala, Honduras, and now India, and Zambia. Meet Kristen in the on-line portal at 

Rita Planera
, Corboy & Demetrio; Member of Executive Board, Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Lend A Hand Program,
Trained at Robert Morris College as a legal secretary, Rita began her legal career as a legal assistant at Corboy & Demetrio in April, 1981. Beginning in 1987, and for the following 10 years, she worked as the personal assistant for Thomas A. Demetrio. She was Tom's assistant during his presidency of the Chicago Bar Association. It was during that time that the Lend-A-Hand fund was born, and she had the privilege of being a part of its growth and the establishment of its mission, concurrent with the vision of the man in whose honor it all began. Currently, as the Assistant Administrator for Corboy & Demetrio, she is honored to serve as a member of the CBA's Lend-A-Hand Advisory Board.

VeRita Quinn, Family Resource Coordinator, Rich Township High School District 227
VeRita is a native of Chicago, born on the Southside, raised in Cabrini-Green. VeRita attended, Edward Jenner, Richard E. Byrd, Cooley Upper Grade Center and Robert A. Waller (Lincoln Park Academy) High School. She attended the University of Illinois – Champaign-Urbana, Governor State University, Lewis University (Romeoville), and is now pursuing her degree in Biblical Studies from Evangelical Teaching Association.

VeRita grew up in Cabrini and watched the many changes. As an employee of the YMCA – Isham Branch, she was around when this Tutor/Mentor Program began.  

Now working in the Rich Township High School District 227, as a Family Resource Coordinator, she just recently helped to introduce a Pilot Mentoring Program at Rich Central High School. Formerly in the District, she worked as an Instructional Assistant, with teachers and students in English, Reading, and Social Studies.

VeRita has a passion to see young people succeed, and encourages them in anyway she can. She is an associate Minister at her church, Anointed Word International Ministries, and interacts with the youth there. She is an encourager, exhorter, workshop, seminar speaker and/or teacher. She has worked with young people since the age of 14 years old beginning in the Cabrini-Green area. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine, it would take her to the places and before the people she has met.

Jody Reecer, Advocacy & Resource Corporation, Cookesville, TN
Jody Reecer is employed as a case management team leader at the Advocacy & Resources Corporation (ARC) in the Community Services Division. He supervises a team that provides case management services to the disabled population of the Upper Cumberland Region of Tennessee.  Jody has also served in several capacities at ARC ranging from mentor to co-mentoring coordinator. Jody has also served in several other community activities such as Rotary International, Tennessee Council on Children and Youth, and a team member in a juvenile drug court, and served in developing an adult drug court program in Putnam County, Tennessee. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Tennessee Technological University, and is currently working on his Master's Degree in Education from TTU.

Denis Rigdon, Executive Director, Project HOPE
Project HOPE of Cape Girardeau, MO is a faith based mentoring initiative serving 70 community faith based entities plus other social and community development organizations in S MO and S IL   From its inception 5 years ago, PH has been instrumental in training some 700 faith-based mentors who work in multiple areas of social ministry facilitating life transformation of marginalized individuals, families, single moms, youth and others. PH asks participants to profess a commitment to positive faith and fellowship growth along with a promise to work their life plan to transform their lives.  In addition to the mentoring process carried on by these faith based mentors, areas of ministry include: personal development, financial planning, community and economic development, job search, acquisition skills, reentry and recovery, furniture provision, vehicle provision and transportation, IDA program, regional housing needs, entrepreneurial development, micro-enterprise support and other ministries linking people to community resources thru a flexible, more effective outreach approach. Mentoring is aimed at filling gaps in social services thru the faith community.  PH also works in the areas of providing transportation, job support, transitional and permanent housing. Family education that is life transforming is the focus, teaching individuals to be responsible, committed and becoming contributors to society, family and the faith based community. Mentors supply support to individuals and families in this process of positive change.  The mentoring process allows faith committed individual to participate at all level of human potential development, training, while experiencing positive life experiences of their own lives and those with which they work. . The partnership developed between mentor and participants often result in longtime relationships in a spirit of personal dignity, stewardship of God given talents and life transformation.  The end result is often "a hand up rather then a hand out” in an environment of faith commitment and positive action.

Odette F. Samuelson,  Manager of Organization Development at Pace Suburban Bus Service, 
Odette Samuelson has over fifteen years experience in organization development, adult education, facilitation and quality assurance.  As the Manager of Organization Development at Pace Suburban Bus Service, she facilitates corporate change initiatives as well as managing training and development for non-bargained-for employees.  Odette also has experience in Total Quality Management at Corcom, Inc. and Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

Odette holds a degree in International Business from University of Hawaii and a M. ED. in Human Resource Development from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.   She is also a certified facilitator in Achieve Global’s Leadership and Customer Service systems.

Bernadette Sanchez, Assistant Professor, DePaul University
Bernadette Sánchez is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at DePaul University.  Bernadette obtained her Ph.D. in Community and Prevention Research from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She has been conducting research on youth’s mentoring relationships in Chicago for 10 years.  Her research has mostly focused on the role of mentoring in the academic achievement of Latino and African American adolescents.  She has consulted with an array of mentoring programs in Chicago and Puerto Rico.  Bernadette has also conducted program evaluations with a variety of nonprofit organizations and programs, such as a program targeting homeless adult men and women, a program focused on health behaviors among African American early adolescents, and an organization that provides technical assistance and resources to programs related to HIV/AIDS in the Latino community. 

Beth Swanson, Director, Supplemental Education Services, Chicago Public Schools 
Beth is responsible for the NCLB Program of CPS and the relationships between private providers and the district, and works directly with school administrators, teachers and families to ensure that CPS students receive the quality after school programming they deserve.  Visit the CPS After School Web Site at

Janet Takehara, Recruitment and Partnership Development Manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago 
Janet received a Master's of Education degree in Community Counseling from Loyola University.  Prior to her current position, Janet served Big Brothers Big Sisters as a Case Manager, Outreach Coordinator, Vice President of Programs and a contract trainer for the Chicago Mentoring Institute.  Learn more at 

Alexandria Taylor is the College Program Coordinator for the Associated Colleges of Illinois. 
The Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI) is a group of private colleges and universities rooted in the liberal arts tradition working with business, government, and community leaders. She is responsible for student retention and coordinating the scholarship program. Alexandria comes to ACI with eight years of experience from North Park University as the Director of the Center for Africana Studies. Before leaving NPU, she was promoted to Assistant Dean for Multicultural Student Development. Alexandria has a strong understanding of student success in college. She have presented and created different programs and workshops addressing student needs in higher education. Alexandria holds a Bachelor of Art in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration from Fayetteville State University and a Master of Arts in Multicultural Education with a concentration in International Leadership from Columbia College in Chicago, IL.

Helen A. Warren, Mentoring Network for Juvenile Court Wards, Chicago, Il. 
Helen Warren has been participating in Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conferences for many years. She is Supervising Probation Officer of the Mentoring Network for Juvenile Court Wards of the Circuit Court of Cook County.  Helen has been a family therapist, a group therapist, has worked with Chemical Dependent Clients and has been a volunteer mentor.  She received an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Roosevelt University and a Masters of Science in Correctional Psychology from Chicago State University.  She is a resident of the Southside of Chicago.

Terri Williams, DePaul University
Terri Williams is currently enrolled in the Community Psychology Doctoral Program at DePaul University.  Terri obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Williams College in Williamstown, MA.  She has conducted research with youth in and around the city of Chicago for three years.  Her research interests range from educational based programs to community interventions designed for populations of color.  Recently, she conducted a program evaluation with a local nonprofit organization whose primary focus is to educate and empower high school students within Chicago Public Schools.

Join in planning future conferences: 
One goal of the T/MC Conference is to create a community of people who learn from each other, network, and collaborate to help volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in all places where they are needed.  We encourage all workshop presenters, conference participants and interested supporters, including business and foundation leaders,  to visit the DISCUSSION Section at where you can join one or more groups in this community.

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