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.

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 Manager

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.

Cynthia Marroquin

Cynthia Marroquin

Youth Program Coordinator

Cynthia graduated from the University of Illinois in Chicago with a bachelors degree in Urban Studies with a focus in community development and planning. Being a Chicago native and participant of youth groups herself, she became aware of the educational disparities seen in Chicago neighborhoods. This is what inspired her to become more involved by becoming a peer tutor at UIC’s Writing Center and joining an organization dedicated to preparing underprivileged incoming students by hosting civic engagement days and fundraising for scholarships. She believes that one of the first steps towards creating a positive community is youth empowerment and is excited to set youth up for everyday success in their lives.
Cecily Smith

Cecily Smith

Youth Program Coordinator

Cecily graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Sociology and Chinese. After college, Cecily joined Americorps with College Possible, where she led SAT and college preparation workshops for low-income students. Cecily is passionate about college access and success, and she hopes to encourage confidence in students as they navigate the complexities of the education system. Growing up in Bridgeport and the Chinatown area herself, Cecily is excited to work with students from a similar background and support them in their development of being active members of their community.

OUR TUTORS

Mahmoud Abdel-Latif

Mahmoud Abdel-Latif

Staff Tutor

Celoa Adriatico

Celoa Adriatico

Staff Tutor

Sophie Askey

Sophie Askey

Staff Tutor

Will Blodgett

Will Blodgett

Staff Tutor

Ashley Cain

Ashley Cain

Staff Tutor

Vivian Cao

Vivian Cao

Staff Tutor

Alejandra Castañeda

Alejandra Castañeda

Staff Tutor

Zepei Cen

Zepei Cen

Staff Tutor

Nim Yan Chan

Nim Yan Chan

Staff Tutor

Sarah Cheung

Sarah Cheung

Staff Tutor

Sheen Ming Chiu

Sheen Ming Chiu

Staff Tutor

Sabrina Farshori

Sabrina Farshori

Staff Tutor

Mariah Flores

Mariah Flores

Staff Tutor

Heidi Friedeck

Heidi Friedeck

Volunteer Tutor

Tim Gietl

Tim Gietl

Volunteer Tutor

Eli Ginsburg-Marcy

Eli Ginsburg-Marcy

Volunteer Tutor

Josh Hong

Josh Hong

Staff Tutor

Ilona Huang

Ilona Huang

Staff Tutor

Hongjie Jiang

Hongjie Jiang

Staff Tutor

Shirley Kou

Shirley Kou

Staff Tutor

Jieyi Kuang

Jieyi Kuang

Staff Tutor

Phong Lai

Phong Lai

Staff Tutor

Jenny Lee

Jenny Lee

Staff Tutor

Simon Li

Simon Li

Staff Tutor

Steven Li

Steven Li

Staff Tutor

Willie Li

Willie Li

Staff Tutor

Alice Liu

Alice Liu

Staff Tutor

Samuel Long

Samuel Long

Staff Tutor

Bryttani MacNamara

Bryttani MacNamara

Staff Tutor

Brianna McKenna

Brianna McKenna

Staff Tutor

Blanca Medina

Blanca Medina

Staff Tutor

Deriniece Moton

Deriniece Moton

Staff Tutor

Emily Park

Emily Park

Staff Tutor

Christopher Powell

Christopher Powell

Staff Tutor

AJ Reinhardt

AJ Reinhardt

Staff Tutor

David Ren

David Ren

Volunteer Tutor

Kamila Russ

Kamila Russ

Staff Tutor

Tanmayee Vegesna

Tanmayee Vegesna

Staff Tutor

Dean Welby

Dean Welby

Staff Tutor

Rachel Wisniewski

Rachel Wisniewski

Staff Tutor

Michelle Wong

Michelle Wong

Staff Tutor

Yimin Yang

Yimin Yang

Volunteer Tutor

Lisa Zhou

Lisa Zhou

Staff Tutor