Meet the outstanding nonprofit professionals that make up YNPN Chicago's 2021 Leadership Institute Cohort



Program Coordinator | Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors

Elianne Bahena is an immigration rights advocate with over five years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has a background in community partnerships, nonprofit management, and serving vulnerable communities. Elianne serves as the Program Coordinator for Education and Legal Advocacy at Northern Illinois Justice For Our Neighbors (NIJFON), a nonprofit organization that serves immigrants, refugees, and other migrant populations by providing free immigration legal services, education, and advocacy across Illinois. In addition to her work, Elianne currently serves as the Chair of Mujeres Latinas en Accions’ Young Professional Advisory Council (Mujeres’ YPAC), the Vice Chair of Enlace Chicago’s Associate Board (ECAB), and is a member of the Young Women’s Giving Council at the Chicago Foundation for Women. As a proud daughter to immigrant parents and as a first generation college graduate, Elianne uses her personal experiences to empower and bring justice to immigrant communities.



Program Manager | Project SYNCERE

Emily has over seven years experience developing and managing youth programs and has worked for nonprofits in Chicago, Boston, Nashville, and northern Indiana. She is currently a Program Manager with Project SYNCERE, a youth education organization providing engineering programs to students traditionally under-represented in STEM fields. She has served with Project SYNCERE for over three years and helps manage a team of instructors and programs for students in grades 3-12. Emily is dedicated to providing quality youth-centered programming through school and community partnerships. She holds a Master of Education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College. In her spare time she loves hiking, baking, and playing with her pup, Delta.



Director of Communications | Forefront

Committed to the nonprofit sector for most of his career, Noah Cruickshank has worked in marketing and development at small organizations with direct impact and large-scale institutions with national reach. Currently, Noah is the Director of Communications at Forefront, Illinois' membership and advocacy association for nonprofits, foundations, advisors, and their allies. Originally hailing from Canada, Noah has called Illinois his home for the last twenty years, receiving both a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Chicago. When not at Forefront, Noah produces a monthly event at storied Chicago institution The Hideout called “A Scientist Walks into a Bar.”

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Associate Director, Alumni Relations | The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Alyse Faour is the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. In her role, Alyse oversees all alumni engagement initiatives, including the Alumni Mentorship Program, the Alumni Council, and alumni networking and professional development opportunities. While based in Chicago, Alyse manages alumni relations efforts for The Chicago School's eight campuses nationwide. Prior to The Chicago School, Alyse served as the Communications and Alumni Relations Manager for the Cristo Rey Network. She earned a B.A. in Editing, Writing, and Media and a B.A. in Spanish from Florida State University.



Program Manager | Girls, Inc. of Chicago

Kate is the Program Manager for Girls Inc. of Chicago, overseeing the strategy and implementation of comprehensive pro-girl programming to more than 750 girls throughout Chicago. She received her Bachelor's in Psychology and Fine Arts from Loyola University Chicago and her Master's in Art Therapy from Drexel University. Kate has been supporting youth development in nonprofit spaces for over 10 years, both in her professional life and in several leadership roles for the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Organization. With extensive experience in program development, operations, and community relations, Kate is passionate about creating processes and experiences that mutually strengthen both the organization and those served. The "life" in Kate's work/life balance comes from cooking, reading, home DIY projects, and having fun with her new son Sage.



Senior College Success Advisor | Bottom Line

Moncerrat Gutierrez is Senior College Success Advisor who works with first-generation college students by providing personalized guidance focused on academic, financial, career, and personal challenges to ensure that students have the support they need to earn a Bachelor’s degree. Moncerrat believes that college access support is not only a fundamental part of academic excellence, but providing students with additional one-on-one holistic support all the way until college graduation is of essence. Moncerrat has supported high school seniors through their college application and financial aid processes in the past, and continues to support college students in various universities in Chicago with the goal of eliminating the significant college graduation gap between first-generation students from low-income backgrounds and their wealthier peers. Moncerrat facilitates onboarding training for new advisors. She has executed the rollout and training for Bottom Line's BetterHelp pilot program as region representative in Chicago. Moncerrat has mastered her roles at Bottom Line and regularly exceeds all performance goals. Moncerrat holds a BA in Sociology from Northeastern Illinois University.

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Program Director | Intonation Music

Nubia is an educator, speaker, non-profit administrator and SEL advocate. Currently she serves as a Program Specialist with After School Matters where she supports instructors and community based organizations (CBO's)  with delivering quality programming to teens in the Greater Bronzeville community.  She is also the founder of kids jamm, a children's yoga and wellness brand that partners with families, schools and CBO's to share the tools of mindful movement and meditation. Nubia is a graduate of Howard University and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. To fuel her life's work and spark more joy into daily life, Nubia enjoys practicing yoga and dancing in the living room with her darling daughter, Zahara.



Reproductive Health Clinical Operations and Program Manager | Howard Brown Health Center

Recently Char’Lee was promoted to the Reproductive Health Clinical Operations and Program Manager. In this role Char’Lee will help Howard Brown Health Center build the OB/GYN department to be inclusive for all folks seeking services. Previously in her role as the Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Manager, she oversaw the department Sexual and Reproductive Health Walk-In Clinic, outreach efforts, and programming with several organizations across Chicago. In response to COVID, she coordinated a grab and go kit so young people can have access to sexual health testing even if they did not have access to an address or didn’t want to hang around a clinic for testing. Char’Lee’s overall goal is to help empower all folks when they are navigating the healthcare system as it relates to making informed decisions about their health and maintaining their bodily autonomy.  Char’Lee has been a sex educator the last 6 years and has worked with youth at several nonprofit organizations for the last 9-10 years. In her free time she is a full spectrum doula and volunteers with Chicago Volunteer Doula Network.



Learning Specialist | Shedd Aquarium

Juliann Krupa is a Learning Specialist at Shedd Aquarium where she works to design, manage, and implement educational programming that inspires compassion, curiosity, and conservation. Her areas of expertise include experiential learning, digital learning, museum operations and logistics, marine biology, and environmental science. After more than a decade of working in museums, she is looking forward to the Leadership Institute to learn from colleagues in other nonprofit sectors and to evolve her thinking on how nonprofits can be led efficiently, effectively, and justly. She holds a master’s in science education from DePaul University and a bachelor’s in biology from the College of William and Mary. A geek about both beer and urban agriculture, one of her favorite spots in Chicago is the Whiner brewpub inside The Plant!



Prevention Program Supervisor | Sarah's Inn

As the Prevention Program Supervisor for the domestic violence agency Sarah’s Inn, Chidori brings with her a vast array of experience working in youth development, including curriculum creation, program facilitation, mentoring, and program coordination. Through that work she became curious about the effects of community violence and trauma on youth, which led to pursuing a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she previously obtained a bachelor's degree in Psychology. Her four years at Sarah’s Inn Chidori have afforded the opportunity to empower the next generation to create the change needed to make her job obsolete. In addition to leading the Prevention department in a 123% increase of students served over the last two years, she has also presented professional development workshops for the Illinois Association of School Social Workers, as well as the Chicago based youth organization Youth Guidance. She has also co-chaired the inaugural "Conversations Summit" youth mental health conference hosted by the mental health awareness organization Hope For The Day, and participated on the program planning committee for the "Conversations Summit" and the 2020 City of Chicago "Girls and Womxn Summit".



Operations Manager | Girls in the Game

Tamara Martin is Operations Manager at Girls in the Game. Prior to joining Girls in the Game, Tamara worked as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools and in an unaccompanied children’s program, where she taught English to Speakers of Other Languages, and then transitioned to case management. It was here that she found her love for organizational operations. She has experience in teambuilding, strategic implementation, curriculum development, and company collaboration. Tamara holds a BA in history from Northeastern Illinois University. In her spare time, she likes to read nonfiction, cook, and spend time with her cat.



Communications Associate | Urban Gateways

Erin Matthew is the Communications Associate at Urban Gateways, an arts education non profit in Chicago that engages young people in arts experiences to inspire creativity and impact social change. In her role at Urban Gateways, Erin handles all things related to graphic design, branding, and communications, while also acting as the Staff Liaison to the Associate Board. Previously, Erin worked as Urban Gateways’ Marketing Intern in 2012, and served as Marketing Committee Chair for the Urban Gateways Associate Board before stepping into a full-time role working to support art for all. Erin is a graduate of Butler University with a degree in Arts Administration and Art+Design, and holds a Continuing Studies Certificate in Graphic Design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Erin’s previous work includes LCM Architects, FGM Architects, and work with The DuPage Community Foundation, The Indianapolis Children’s Chorus, and Special Olympics Illinois. Outside of Urban Gateways, Erin is a member of the Young Women’s Giving Council of the Chicago Foundation for Women.



Manager of Career and Exploration |  Chicago Scholars

A proud Tologaise American, and a first-generation college graduate, Noufo has always understood the power of education to be transformative and healing for the self and our communities. Her passion for relationships and community building led her to One Million Degrees, where she worked with community college students at Malcolm X as they navigated their academic journey. Now Noufo serves as the Manager of Career Planning and Exploration for Chicago Scholars. She leads the career and leadership development opportunities for high school and college students. Noufo enjoys reading, writing proses, and running. She looks forward to participating in running challenges post-COVID-19.

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Senior Director of Teacher Support | OneGoal

Molly Rankin is an educator at heart. In her current role as a Senior Director of Teacher Support at OneGoal, she leads a team of teacher coaches seeking to support students in reaching their  greatest postsecondary aspirations. Molly has worked at OneGoal for seven years in several different roles all connected to teacher and student support with postsecondary planning. She believes that teachers are powerful agents of change and generally wonderful humans. Molly is passionate about collaborative leadership, learning, and connecting with others. Prior to joining OneGoal, Molly was an English teacher in Chicago Public schools for nine years. Other areas of expertise include strategic planning, curriculum development, and design thinking.



Program Manager | The Fellowship Institute

David Williams is the Program Manager for The Fellowship Initiative at Youth Guidance, where he helps support young men of color in becoming the next generation of global leaders. David is a graduate of Hampton University (B.S. Business Administration) and National Louis University (Master of Public Policy). He has over 10 years of youth development experience, as a Youth Pastor, Program Manager for Teen Parent Services, and as BAM Counselor with Youth Guidance. David believes that hope is the key to unlocking the unlimited and untapped potential within all youth and seeks to provide that hope through advocacy and education. David, a native of Freeport, IL is a father and avid movie connoisseur.