our team

Board members

JENNIFER CHANG

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Jenny's frustration and feeling of helplessness as she taught in Austin, Chicago, is what led her to create MEF with the other founding board members. She holds an Elementary Education degree from Wheaton College, and Masters degrees in Special Education and Educational Leadership, both from Northeastern Illinois University. Her passion is to nurture young people to grow in their positive impact on the world. Jenny enjoys an occasional game of laser tag or go karting with her kids and hanging out at Maggie Daley Park. Jenny is married to her awesome husband, Michael, and has three children, Matthew, Andrew, and Samantha.

KYU CHOI

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VICE PRESIDENT

Kyu is VP of MEF and the President of D.F. Wireless, Inc. He started his business endeavors in Englewood in 2005. After working there for many years, he wanted to give back to the neighborhood he had come to love. With the desire to support young leaders in Chicago, he then partnered with Jenny, Mike, and his wife, Gina, to start Monster Education Foundation. Kyu earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois. His passion is to seek and expand new business opportunities. Kyu and Gina have two sons, Caleb and Asher, and two daughters, Annabel and Kaylee.

MICHAEL CHANG

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TREASURER

Michael is the treasurer and a founding board member of Monster Education Foundation. He graduated from University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign, and University of Illinois in Chicago Pharmacy School. He chairs the donor outreach committee and advises the president. Michael is an executive director at a healthcare company and a licensed pharmacist. You can find Michael gardening, making hot sauce, or grilling in the backyard. He is determined to go through his mid-life crisis by making a monster positive impact in Chicago through MEF. Michael is married to Jenny and has three teenage children, Matthew, Andrew and Samantha.

JERRY RILES

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MARKETING COMMITTEE CHAIR

Jerry is the main host & executive producer of "The Rewind Sports :60" on live TV Comcast 25 and an Emmy Award recipient for his producing work on the talk-show Off 63rd Street hosted by Dr. Garrard McClendon. Jerry was a finalist for the Achievement in Radio Award as the "Best Sports-Talker." He also served as executive producer/talk-show host for WSCR “The Score” Sports Radio 670AM.

In MEF, Jerry as our go-to MC at all our public events and always connects our Monster Scholars with great opportunities. He spearheads our annual Monster 5K/3K each September. Jerry’s interests includes God, family & friends, The City of Chicago, The Ohio State Buckeyes, sports, dining, cigars, wine, travel, reading, live music, and occasional weekend golf. He has a beautiful wife Lisa, and two amazingly talented daughters.

RENE ALVARADO

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ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR

Rene served as the Interim Director for a Housing Organization on Chicago’s North Side of the city. Born and raised in Chicago, Rene is passionate about developing the city and loves supporting others who endeavor to do the same. Rene has spent the last 20 years professionally in Human Resources in both private industry and the Non-Profit world growing organizations, managing their talent, resolving labor disputes, training employees and developing business processes. Rene holds a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Public Administration.

CHRIS AGYEMAN-KNIGHT

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MENTOR PROGRAM CHAIR

Chris was born and raised near Englewood and Calumet Park before moving to Iowa City as a child where he was part of the Youth Leadership Program as well as the Youth For Christ mentorship program. He attended the University of Iowa to study film and comparative literature and interned at Walt Disney for management and leadership. After returning to Chicago, he had the chance to travel to Africa to trace his lineage and began helping to establish one of the first telecommunications programs and facilities in Western Africa. Chris moved to California in 2018, working as a senior engineer and program manager in the technology field in Silicon Valley. Even though he moved across the country, Chris continues to be a committed MEF board member and mentor to our Monster Scholars in Chicago, making an impact in the same neighborhoods he grew up in. Chris excelled in trombone and was part of a 3 time grammy award winning band/ensemble. Chris is currently pursing his private pilots license, loves traveling and exploring internationally, and golfing. Chris is happily married to his wife Natalie and have 3 brothers, and 3 sisters between the two of them.

RASCHELE HIMALAYA

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BOARD MEMBER

Raschele is a former CPS teacher and currently works as a consultant for Grace Educational Resources. She received her B.A. in education from the University of Iowa and is pursuing a master's degree in reading education from Concordia University. Raschele is passionate about serving the city and particularly the youth. Raschele lives in Bucktown with her husband and three adorable children, Veera, Niam, and Miles.

EILEEN CHYNA NORWOOD

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BOARD MEMBER

Chyna currently serves as the Monster Education Foundation secretary. She began her journey with MEF as a volunteer along with her family but her strong belief in MEF’s vision led her to grow her engagement by joining the board of directors. Chyna enjoys student mentorship and is a director at Excellerate Learning Studio, Glenview, Illinois. She is a Chicago native, Navy veteran, and has a degree from National-Louis University.

ALANA GROVES

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BOARD MEMBER

Alana Groves has worked in the mental health field for over 7 years at Thresholds and Jewish and Child and Family Services.  She is a residential support specialist.  She graduated from the University of Illinois, with a bachelor's degree in Public Health and a minor in Spanish in 2006.  After graduation, she worked with Catholic Charities in partnership with 311 answering crisis calls and then moved on to provide services in a direct care setting. She then transitioned into a two-year grant contract position building an after-school and Saturday tutoring program with the University of Chicago Charter School Corporation for students with learning disabilities and a number of mental health diagnoses.  The grant was was from Public Allies, a nationwide apprenticeship program where the Chicago location was founded by Michelle Obama.  Public Allies also provided her with a wealth of training in non-profit development, funding, and administration.  While building the school's programming, she partnered with The University of Chicago's Civic Engagement department to place university students in tutoring positions. After her contract position ended, she settled into her two current positions and is currently working towards a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner degree with Olivet University.

DE'AIRIUS SALIBI

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BOARD MEMBER

De'Airius attended Iowa State University and graduated cum laude with a degree in food science in 2017. He began his career with US Foods and now serves as the research & development manager for Leahy-IFP. To date, he has managed and executed the development of 39 new and innovative food and beverage products. De'Airius is passionate about helping make the livelihoods of those who face poverty and food insecurity sustainable through lasting solutions. In addition, he prides himself on motivating and passing his experiences on to the next generation. He enjoys the outdoors, exercising, and playing sports, especially football; he grew up playing and eventually became an Iowa Shrine Bowl and Midwest Football Alliance (MFA) all star, and MFA champion with the Des Moines Blaze, a semi-professional football club.

As an MEF mentor, De'Airius was able to witness firsthand what the scholars experience which prompted him to join the MEF board. He is passionate about preparing students for life and to "be the change" that God has destined them to be. Even though De'airius loves living in the big city, he has been riding horses since he was 8 years old and is a cowboy at heart.  De'Airius is engaged to his beautiful fiancé, Aaliyah, and they have a large fur baby (dog) named Bear.

JISU KIM

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BOARD MEMBER

Wanting to partner with like-minded Christians who have the heart to positively impact the next generation of young leaders towards servant leadership, Jisu joined the board of MEF in 2021. Jisu holds a Bachelors of Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1992), Doctorate of Medicine from Rush Medical College (1996) and a Masters in Clinical Research at Rush Graduate College (2014). He is currently an attending physician at Rush Hospital in Chicago. Jisu enjoys singing and being part of Lakeview Church's worship band. He stays active and recently started rock climbing to spend more time with his son, who is a much better climber than he is. Jisu completed 2 marathons in his life (both under 4 hrs...barely). He is married to Linda (Choi) Kim and blessed with two children, Ben and Natalie and is also a dog-dad to Fletcher.

leadership team

CHRISTINE TOY

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BUSINESS MANAGER

Christine joined Monster Education Foundation in 2016. She is inspired by the Monster scholars who shine as leaders in their communities while facing adversity on a daily basis. She enjoys interacting with the scholars and learning about their passions and dreams. Originally from the East Coast, she is finally starting to call the Mid-West home. Christine is grateful for the support of her amazing husband, Andrew, and four wonderful children, Sarah, Stephen, Samantha, and Samuel, who also volunteer with MEF. In her spare time, she likes to travel, knit/crochet and is always open to a good book recommendation. Christine is a pharmacist and has her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.