Jenny is the President of Monster Education Foundation. Her 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. She is the director of children’s ministry at Lakeview Covenant Church in Northbrook, Illinois. 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 is 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 Jennifer, 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 is the treasurer and founding board member of Monster Education Foundation. He chairs the donor outreach committee and helps advise the president on important matters regarding the foundation. Michael is married to Jennifer. You can find Michael hanging out their three rugrats (Matthew, Andrew, and Samantha) at any given time, or playing basketball on Tuesday nights. He is determined to go through his mid-life crisis by making a monster positive impact in Chicago through Monster Education Foundation.
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. Jerry serves on our nominating committee interviewing all our finalists for the Monster Education Foundation program, and works toward connecting our Monster Scholars with great opportunities. He spearheaded our very first 5K this past September and has been serving our Monster Scholars and the city of Chicago for the last 3 years. 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 teen daughters.
ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR
Rene serves 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.
MENTOR PROGRAM CHAIR
Chris was born in Chicago on the south side. He was raised near Englewood and Calumet Park Il before moving to Iowa City where he was admitted into the Youth Leadership Program as well as the Youth For Christ mentorship program. While active in the mentorship and leadership programs in Iowa City, Chris honed his trombone skills to a high level playing in wind ensemble and jazz ensemble bands which won 3 grammy awards. He attended the University of Iowa to study film and biology. After attending the University of Iowa, he was accepted to a Walt Disney internship in Florida for management and leadership. Chris returned home to Chicago In 2010 where he has been working as an Engineer/Program Manager for a Technology company based on the West Coast. He travels domestically as well as abroad frequently and now works to mentor youth in the underserved south and west sides of Chicago.
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.
Jeffrey is passionate about the power of believing and building up the next generation—through realizing and affirming the gifts a young person has to offer to the world. He has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master’s of Arts Degree from Trinity International University. He is currently the English Ministry Pastor at Adonai Presbyterian Church and Team Pastor/Teacher for Move For God Dance Ministry. In the past, he has also taught dance and spoken word on the West Side and South Side of Chicago, and has experience in higher education and administration. As a lifelong learner, he believes education is the key to empower young people and open up the best opportunities for them. Jeffrey is married to his beautiful wife, Ellen, and has a daughter named Aliyah.
Pastor James Owolabi serves Christ a Southside City Life Director with Youth for Christ. He is passionately in love with Jesus Christ. Born and raised in Nigeria, West Africa, and spent his adult life in Chattanooga, Tampa, Seattle, Chicago and Indianapolis. He earned his B.S. in Pastoral Studies from Tennessee Temple University in 2002, a Master of Ministry in 2005 from Northwest Baptist Seminary, and has served in Youth Ministry for two decades in North America and West Africa, in both camps and local churches. In October of 2015, the Lord moved Pastor Owolabi to the southside of Chicago with the mission to reach and disciple 1000 teenagers in 5 years on the southside of Chicago. Since then, he’s launched a national ministry through which he speaks nationally to middle school and high school students in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, the Island of Dominica, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington. He leads four weekly events in Chicago consisting of over 150 students on the Southside of Chicago. You can often catch Pastor Owolabi enjoying deep conversations with his close friends about church leadership, attending conferences, traveling the world, eating Asian food, reading biographies, and watching documentaries.
Christine joined Monster Education Foundation in 2016. She is inspired by the Monster scholars who shine as leaders in their community while facing adversity on a daily basis. Although she is originally from the East Coast, she is finally starting to call the Midwest 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 non-existent spare time, she enjoys travelling, reading, and knitting/crocheting. Christine is a pharmacist and has her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
ELLYN ONG VEA
When Ellyn wrote a blurb advertising Monster’s 2016 banquet and titled it, “Don’t just sit there and sigh,” she realized she was preaching to herself and attended the banquet. She was moved by keynote speaker Calvin Robinson (of Cornerstone Community Church) and eventually committed to contribute to Monster through writing. Ellyn loves drawing out and telling people’s stories--whether good, bad, beautiful, or ugly--as long as they’re true. Her background is in journalism, but she’s experienced in marketing writing--hence her desire to emphasize what’s lovely, excellent, and unique. She works part time for More Than Scores And Tests as a writing and academic coach as well as content editor. She also polishes online instructional materials for McGraw-Hill Higher Education. In journalism, Ellyn wrote award-winning news stories for print, produced feature pieces for public radio, and worked as a newspaper copy editor. Creating the perfect captions for photos she posts makes her feel good---as does going to belly dance class; performing; eating treats, playing games, and lounging in old favorite spots or discovering new ones with her husband, Jonas; and laughing with their kids -- Bennett, Everett, and Aydelin -- and celebrating their talents and quirks.
Paul Shin grew up in the Chicago suburbs and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2017. Looking to make an impact near his hometown, Paul joined MEF as the marketing director to further its reach and raise awareness about the needs of the city. Paul is passionate about videography, photography, entrepreneurship, sports, and traveling.
MONSTER MASTER CHEF
Chef Corey Rice is an amazing personal chef from the West Englewood neighborhood. Inspired by his Mother, Father and Grandmother, he pursued his cooking journey to compete on Master Chef, June 2016. Corey continues to serve the community through his culinary skills with food demos at Whole Foods in Englewood and the Taste of Chicago. He teaching children at Caldwell Academy and is the one and only Monster Chef at our Monster Cookout. Corey has also worked for the Chicago Transit Authority for the past 18 years and is currently a manager in technology. #cheflife #celebritychef
Stella Choi joined MEF with a heart to empower kids in underprivileged areas, specifically the South and West side neighborhoods of Chicago. After 6 years of undergrad and grad school work at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, she returned with a calling to work in the city of Chicago as a middle school science teacher. While in the city, she served as a counselor for incoming freshmen at Northeastern University and continues to serve as a deacon at her church. Stella loves to be in the company of good friends, books, healthy foods, coffee, and the occasional bag of Peanut M&Ms.
Julie’s passion for education is demonstrated by her academic background. She has a BA in Bible/Theology from Wheaton College, BSN from Rush University, and an MSN from Mercer University. She currently works as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Lawndale Christian Health Center, but has extensive experience as an operating room nurse. Julie is married to Pastor William Pak and enjoys building relations at their church, Lakeview Covenant Church. Her hobbies include hiking, jogging, travelling, and playing piano, Julie and William are the proud parents of David, Charis, and Elianah.
Chris Kim is one of the executive directors and a co-founder of More Than Scores and Tests, an educational consulting company. She currently chairs MEF’s Scholar Outreach committee as well as sitting on the nominating committee. Chris graduated from the University of Missouri - Columbia with a BS. in Environmental Design. She is passionate about family and community engagement and partnerships with children’s learning – both in and out of schools. She also brings over 20 years experience as an educator & mentor for youth as well as developing and implementing programs/curriculum for adolescent and family learning experiences. Thanks to Iirum (6) & Iiden (3), Chris and her husband, Jimmy, never experience a dull moment in their lives.
Sarah is a wife and a mom of two boys, Sam & Josh, 5 & 3 yrs old. She works for Bowon Fastener USA as a sales manager. She’s been serving MOPS at Willow Creek Community Church to encourage and nurture new and young moms to keep their purposes and missions and grow with hope and wonder of motherhood. Her spiritual gifts are Encouragement, Help, Hospitality, Shepherding, Mercy, Faith, and Leadership. Her passion is partaking and witnessing lives being transformed.