STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
Executive Director | Co-FounderWhile 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.
Associate DirectorSandy 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 Associate Director. 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!
Youth Program CoordinatorYan graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2016. She majored in Personal Financial Planning. While working on her degree, she also worked as an elementary school tutor, where she found interest in education and working with children and teenagers. She joined Project: VISION because she believes it will be meaningful to help kids that share a similar background as her: immigrant family, non-native English speaker, and first to attend college. She believes that everyone can be successful regardless of his or her background as long as they are persistent and work hard.
Youth Program CoordinatorDennis earned a degree in Integrated Health Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2017. He joined the Project: VISION tutoring staff in January 2016. Since then, he has enjoyed engaging with students directly through tutoring and service projects. Dennis is confident that the youth programs at PV allow students to hone their critical thinking and problem solving skills, thereby equipping them to thrive in their academic, personal, and professional lives. Now as Program Coordinator, he would like to continue contributing to their development. Through his enthusiasm for education and leadership, Dennis hopes to inspire PV youth in excelling academically and developing a strong sense of service to their communities.
Youth Program CoordinatorFaith 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.
Youth Program CoordinatorManny graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a B.A. in economics and history in 2016. His prior experience includes teaching and working with youth at a private school for two years. He joined Project: VISION in November 2015 as a tutor and is now a Program Coordinator with hopes of being able to contribute more to the development Project: VISION’s youth by positively influencing the students to become more aware about issues that affect the community. He also wants to motivate the students to actively participate in the community so that it will one day help them achieve their goals.
Development AssistantLaura graduated from Cornell College in 2017 with a degree in International Relations and minor in Psychology. As a college student, she was involved in helping students and staff learn about software and technology in the local library’s technology studio. As a student of political science and sociology, she believes in the impact that educational attainment and higher education have on the potential opportunities of youth. As a first generation college student from an immigrant family, she knows the difference that having an education has on the future of individuals. Currently, she is working through Americorps VISTA as Project: VISION’s Development Assistant. She hopes to help PV build its capacity, allowing more students to be part of the program, learn to be part of a non-profit with great ambitions, and serve the hometown she loves.