our team

Board members

JENNIFER CHANG

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PRESIDENT

Jenny is the President and Executive Director of MEF. 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. 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 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 Jenny. You can find Michael hanging out their three children (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.

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 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.

CHRIS AGYEMAN-KNIGHT

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MENTOR PROGRAM CHAIR

Chris was born in Chicago on the south side. He was raised near Englewood and Calumet Park 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 programs which won 3 grammy awards. He attended the University of Iowa to study film and comparative literature.  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  working on machine control technologies based on the West Coast. He travels frequently as a hobby and now works to mentor youth in the underserved south and west sides of Chicago.

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

Awesome bio in progress...

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 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.