STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

Project: VISION’s staff and volunteers are the core of the organization. Their hard work and dedication make it possible to serve our community.

Karen Chiu

Karen Chiu

Executive Director | Co-Founder

While taking time off from medical school in 2003, Karen took a part-time job tutoring at-risk teens, an experience that ignited her passion for youth development. Realizing there was a need in the community for a safe place that youth could call their own and get the support and guidance they need, Karen founded Project: VISION with a few fellow volunteers. In 2009, she assumed the role of Executive Director on a volunteer basis, managing many facets of operations including administration, fundraising, and board development. However, her favorite part of this experience continues to be working directly with the students whether it be tutoring, teaching ACT, or doing service projects alongside them. She believes that positive after school programs go a long way in helping kids succeed, and she looks forward to helping PV continue to grow in order to bring these programs to even more students in the coming years.

Andrew Don

Andrew Don

Director of Operations

After more than 4 years as a Project: VISION board member, Andrew recently joined the staff as their new Director of Operations. In this role, he will look to provide leadership in many key areas including strategy, operations, finance, HR, and technology to help support the staff and Project: VISION’s youth programs. Andrew was a longtime software professional who is passionate about using Agile methodologies and technology to help nonprofits execute and scale in order to amplify their impact. In Project: VISION’s case, this means helping scale the organization to bring its high quality programming to more students in Chicago. By joining the staff, he is excited to have more opportunities to work closer with the students to make an even larger impact.

Sandy Ruan

Sandy Ruan

Director of Development

Sandy has a degree in Public Relations/Advertising and Psychology from DePaul University. She joined Project: VISION in 2013 as Development Intern and has since taken on the role of Development Manager and now the Director of Development. She is eager to use her past experiences with the Red Cross and other nonprofit organizations to help Project: VISION secure the resources it needs to support its growing youth programs. Sandy’s role also allows her to work directly with PV’s youth. She loves putting creativity to good use, especially when helping students in reading and writing, while connecting with her students and sharing with them her love and passion for learning. Sandy loves to encourage and motivate students to reach for happiness and success academically and in all aspects of their lives. She is proud to be able to provide students an important part of growing up: chances to learn something new every day!

Elvina Ng

Elvina Ng

Operations Coordinator

Elvina graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 2012. After working at the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce for 4 years, she developed a passion for helping the community. After working at the Chamber, she realized the impact that nonprofits have within the community. She joined Project: VISION in 2018 because she felt that her experience at the Chinatown Chamber was meaningful and that it could be used towards her new position as the Operations Coordinator at PV. Elvina is excited to be able to watch the PV youth not only grow academically, but to become leaders of their generation.

Faith Hong

Faith Hong

Youth Program Coordinator

Faith graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a B.A. in Biological Sciences. She is a born and bred Chicagoan, born to immigrant parents from South Korea. Throughout her college years, she worked as a youth tutor and a peer tutor in many subjects, her favorites being history, biology, and sociology  While growing up in the dynamic city of Chicago, she was able to learn and experience the needs of the community, especially in terms of youth health and advocacy. Faith seeks to empower and partner with the youth to be active seekers and effective leaders of change in their communities.

Elaine Tang

Elaine Tang

Youth Program Coordinator

Elaine graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Psychology and English Language & Literature. She is originally from Plano, Texas, and is grateful for the strong education she received and the people who invested in her throughout her life. Throughout her college years, she worked as a tutor and as a teaching fellow for middle school students, and she is passionate about building relationships with kids and seeing them learn and grow. She believes in the importance of students having supportive adult figures in their lives and hopes to instill a sense of responsibility in kids to effect change in their communities.

Abby Millner

Abby Millner

Youth Program Coordinator

During her time serving as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Chicago, Abby developed her love and appreciation for youth education & development. She loves working directly with youth and seeing all the incredible, necessary, additions they bring to our world. Abby is very excited to grow along-side students as they develop both themselves and our beautiful city.

Grace Cannell

Grace Cannell

Youth Program Coordinator

Grace graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures. She was born in Illinois and grew up in Shanghai, China, where she found a love for community, history and food. During her gap year, she served as an English teacher in Hangzhou, China. This experience instilled a passion for ESL teaching and youth empowerment.  She is passionate about providing a welcoming environment for all to grow towards their personal and academic goals.

Cindy Hu

Cindy Hu

Youth Program Coordinator

Cindy graduated from Wheaton College, IL with a B.S. in environmental science and urban studies. She was born in Wenzhou, China, and she spent most of her teenage years in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Growing up in Tanzania, she has overcome many obstacles as a third culture kid. She wants to support the children who are going through a similar immigrant transition. She believes that relationships are the key to personal and community development. She is excited to befriend with the youth and to see how they grow and impact their community in the city.

OUR TUTORS

Celoa Adriatico

Celoa Adriatico

Staff Tutor

Will Blodgett

Will Blodgett

Staff Tutor

Nim Yan Chan

Nim Yan Chan

Staff Tutor

Camila Crausaz

Camila Crausaz

Staff Tutor

Taylour Daubert

Taylour Daubert

Staff Tutor

Heidi Friedeck

Heidi Friedeck

Volunteer Tutor

Tim Gietl

Tim Gietl

Volunteer Tutor

Josh Hong

Josh Hong

Staff Tutor

Eli Ginsburg-Marcy

Eli Ginsburg-Marcy

Volunteer Tutor

Hongjie Jiang

Hongjie Jiang

Staff Tutor

Andy Kong

Andy Kong

Volunteer Tutor

Jieyi Kuang

Jieyi Kuang

Staff ELL Tutor

Rebecca Lai

Rebecca Lai

Volunteer Tutor

Heqi Li

Heqi Li

Staff Tutor

Steven Li

Steven Li

Staff Tutor

Willie Li

Willie Li

Staff Tutor

Steven Liu

Steven Liu

Volunteer Tutor

Samuel Long

Samuel Long

Staff Tutor

Blanca Medina

Blanca Medina

Staff Tutor

Aditi Mehta

Aditi Mehta

Staff Tutor

Brianna McKenna

Brianna McKenna

Staff Tutor

Kaitlyn Novak

Kaitlyn Novak

Staff Tutor

Chris Powell

Chris Powell

Staff Tutor

Andrew Shih

Andrew Shih

Volunteer Tutor

Chenxi Wang

Chenxi Wang

Staff Tutor

Dean Welby

Dean Welby

Staff Tutor

Michelle Wong

Michelle Wong

Staff Tutor

Ivy Zhu

Ivy Zhu

Staff Tutor