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.

OUR STAFF

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 uses 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, watch their growth firsthand, and better tell their stories. 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.

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.
Tammy Wen

Tammy Wen

Youth Program Coordinator

Tammy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and joins us as a 2020 graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Previously, Tammy has worked at the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Spurlock Museum. Her work-study as a Special Collections Assistant fortified her desire to continue serving the public beyond the academic and artistic community. As a first-generation graduate and former ESL student, Tammy believes current and future generations of students should be able to attain higher education and upwards mobility without barriers of affordability or accessibility. At Project: VISION, she looks forward to developing programs and improving her Cantonese to bridge students and their communities closer towards their personal, academic, and professional goals.

 

Taylor Tan

Taylor Tan

Office Coordinator

OUR TUTORS