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Community Centered | Meaningful Impact | Values-Driven | Leadership & Agency

Meet Our Fellows

Dominique Banks

Dominique Banks is a proud ELA/Social Studies teacher from the Roseland community in Chicago, IL. In her current role, she teaches for a GED prep program for alternative high schools students. She started out an elementary teacher at a parochial school on the south side of Chicago and has since taught at local and charter institutions for the past seven years in various roles. She’s a mother of three, oldest and a born leader. She’s dedicated to facilitating communication, resources and external relations between local politician and constituents. She’s a proud member of the American Association for Justice and active member of a local nonprofit coming to Chicago.

Dominique earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from DePaul University.

Troy Boyd Jr.

Troy is the Chief Operating Officer of Urban Prep Academies. In his current role, he leads a full-time staff responsible for Urban Prep’s finances, fundraising, technology, facilities, external relations, community partnerships, communications, expansion and student recruitment. A Chicago native, Troy is intensely dedicated to serving, advancing, and engaging with his community. In addition to his work at Urban Prep, Troy serves at the Vice-Chair of the African American Legacy Board (AAL). AAL is a philanthropic initiative of The Chicago Community Trust led by African American civic and community leaders who share the common goal of improving the quality of life of African Americans in Chicago. He also is a founding design team member of Revitalize Black Chicago—a regenerative nonprofit initiative led by African American community leaders and residents focused on restoring historically Black neighborhoods stifled by years of disinvestment, disenfranchisement and economic instability. He is a 15-year member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. 

Troy earned his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Harris School at the University of Chicago and his Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University. Born and raised on Chicago’s Southside, Troy is a product of both the Chicago Parochial School and Chicago Public School systems having attended St. Francis De Sales High School and Burnside Scholastic Academy.

Maximilian Cole

Maximilian Cole is a Special Education Administrator for Chicago Public Schools and has the privilege of helping educators strengthen their craft in the classroom for the benefit of their students.  He is a native of the Chicagoland area.  Although his humble beginnings started in Calumet City, Maximilian moved to Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood after he completed his Bachelor’s degree at Tennessee State University.  Prior to serving as a CPS administrator, Maximilian spent six years teaching at Manley Career Academy High School.  During his tenure, he taught a multitude of different subjects and engaged in various extracurricular activities that helped promote students’ strengths, leadership skills, and overall self-esteem.  Maximilian is determined to bring the same vigor, integrity, and industriousness to the community as a public servant.  He has served on many councils and held distinguished leadership roles; however, a highlight was serving as a mentor to the Brother’s Reaching Out (B.R.O.) program at Saint Katharine Drexel Catholic Church.  Maximilian teaches all his mentees an important phrase, “I’d rather toil over hard work for something that is meaningful, than to leisurely await for something that is meaningless.”  This concept resonates with his mentees, and they continue to set goals and work meticulously to achieve them. Maximilian holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University and a Master of Education from Columbia University. 

Jose De La Torre

Jose De La Torre is a Project Associate at Kids First Chicago. He is responsible for assisting the Chief of Policy and supporting the Student Accountability Redesign project. Previously, Jose worked for local government, non-profits, and higher education institutions. He is a true Chicago native, born and raised in this amazing city and grew up in the Tri-Taylor neighborhood. Jose is a graduate of Chicago Public Schools, and is passionate about uplifting communities and being part of social change issues. 

Jose De La Torre  holds a B.A. in International Relations from Cornell College and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his dog and family, volunteering around my neighborhood, eating good food, and finding the best dessert spots around Chicago.

Jorge Duarte

Born and raised in Chicago to Colombian parents, Jorge Andres Duarte has spent the majority of his professional career in education. He currently works as a school social worker for the 7th-12th grades at Intrinsic Schools-Belmont Campus, a charter school in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Jorge enjoys advocating and supporting his community through his work by offering direct services and linkages to local organizations in his current role. In his free time, he enjoys coaching & playing ultimate frisbee while serving as the president of Ultimate Chicago in order to promote and grow the sport in his community. Advocacy and empowerment are key principles that have guided Jorge’s career and he’s looking forward to enhancing them with this opportunity through CLC!

Vonyell Foster

Vonyell Foster is an activist, author and currently the Dean of Students & Operations at Alain Locke Charter School. Vonyell is responsible for cultivating and sustaining the culture and climate of the school and is committed to helping children reach their full potential by giving them the tools that they need to succeed in high school, college and career. Vonyell started her own girls mentoring program named Jewell’s Gems, named after her grandmother who had a strong hand in raising her. Vonyell was awarded in 2014 by Ebony magazine and Pine Sol as a “Woman who is making a powerful difference in her community.”  U.S. Congressman, Danny K. Davis awarded Vonyell as being an outstanding educator in 2017.In the fall of 2018, Vonyell was selected to participate in The Willie’s Warriors program through the Chicago Foundation of women. Willie Warriors offers participants a space to gain a deeper sense of themselves as leaders, strengthening their personal leadership style and bringing their whole selves to the table. Warriors explore the idea of leadership, personal growth and transformation, and how to sustain themselves while moving our communities forward.  In 2019, Vonyell made a dream come true by publishing her first journal, Stop Wishing & Start Doing, the only journal you need to Do Something Big with your life. In 2020, Techherout50 is a business she started to help eliminate ageism in technology. Techherout50 educates and provides classes for women of color on how to use technology in all areas of their lives. Vonyell received her B.S. from Northeastern, Illinois University and two Master’s in Inner City School Studies and in Educational Leadership from National Louis University.

Manuel Jimenez

Manuel Jimenez shapes the future of our country by teaching the young people in the City of Chicago. He has been teaching business at Aspira Business and Finance high school for 3 years. Manuel fell in love with teaching while working with Just the Beginning Foundation where he traveled to multiple states educating high school and middle schoolers about the legal field. His passion for education comes from his experiences as a student and graduated with his Master’s Degree in Special Education. He plans on focusing his teaching career on people with disabilities so they can achieve their full potential. Representing the needs of the community is a passion he has had since a young age. He regularly volunteers and coordinates food drives and community events.

LeeAndra Khan

LeeAndra Khan currently serves as a leader in the charter school world as the Executive Director of EPIC Academy. She is working to redesign and innovate the school experience for students of color to ultimately improve student outcomes. LeeAndra is a 2019 Chicago Urban League/University of Chicago Booth School of Business Impact Fellow. LeeAndra is a guest author for the Chicago Reporter Magazine and Education Post writing about equity, access and other issues we face in education. She also serves as a faculty member of ASCD traveling the country coaching leaders as well as sharing best practices to schools and districts. LeeAndra has been the CEO of a multi-school charter network as well as a middle school principal in one of Chicago’s most diverse suburbs. She worked in Chicago Public Schools for 10 years as a high school principal, assistant principal and math teacher.  Before beginning her journey into education, she spent 10 years as a Civil Engineer in some of Chicago’s largest firms. LeeAndra is a board member for Link Unlimited Scholars and an Associate Board member of Chicago Scholars. She also serves on the Advisory Council for Chicago State University’s College of Education.

Felicia Lang

Felicia Lang is a social justice advocate who is passionate about community development, social and racial equity, human rights and equitable allocation of funds. Felicia is proud of her Puerto Rican heritage and her experience growing up in Nicaragua, India, and Panama which has given her career a focus on equity. She wants to positively impact communities by collaborating with key stakeholders to co-create effective policies and programs to empower historically marginalized individuals. Felicia works towards this goal as the director of bilingual education at a charter school in Englewood. She constantly engages the community to understand, uplift and improve life outcomes. Felicia has a passion for volunteering with local nonprofits to coordinate voter registration drives, U.S. Census job fairs, execute and moderate public dialogues and co-facilitate Public Narrative’s Arts + Culture Dialogue series. She is studying to obtain her Master’s degree in Public Administration at Adler University and will graduate in August 2021. She intends to continue to learn, research, and develop inclusive methods to transform the lives of BIPOC communities through effective, relevant leadership.

Miquel Lewis

Miquel A. Lewis, Psy.D., LCPC is a licensed clinical professional counselor and holds a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with over 10 years practice experience in Clinical, Forensic, Counseling, and I/O Psychology. Dr. Lewis is a strong believer in educational equity. He spends his free time as an Adjunct Assistant Professor, and professional coach to students. He believes that educational opportunities provide students with the skills needed to succeed in life. Dr. Lewis has also been active with the Noble Network participating on the Board of Directors since 2014. Currently, he serves as the board’s Vice Chairman.

Roosevelt Moneyham III

A native Chicagoan, Mr. Moneyham III has a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Dominican University and is a 2020 Development Leadership Consortium Fellow. Roosevelt has more than 13 years of experience in charter, parochial, and public education working in recruitment, community engagement, partnerships, and philanthropy. In his personal time, he is also a board member for Black Educators Matter, a co-founder and co-principal consultant for The Moneyham Model, LLC., and is an active member of the Evanston Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. 

William Reese

For over 20 years, William Reese has served as a security officer in the public and private sectors. He is passionate about ensuring individuals are treated fairly and with respect, which has guided his public service and advocacy endeavors. Mr. Reese has strong roots in his community. He serves as the block club president in the Roseland community, where he and his wife Lucy raised their family. You can often find the Reeses hosting events in the community to support partnerships between residents and the Chicago Police Department. They are known for their BBQs, and are active in the Church community. Mr. Reese also sits on the Local School Council where his youngest son attended school. He works to improve his community through advocacy work at the Capitol with our state elected leaders, throughout Chicago communities, and is a staunch proponent of school choice and equity for all youth. His motto is to “treat others as you want to be treated” and “kill them kindness”. 

Jarol Rendon

Jarol Rendon is a field organizer at the Illinois Network of Charter schools. He works with schools, community partners, and local stakeholders to bring equitable education to families. 

Jarol holds a B.A. in history and political science from Hope College. He is a first-generation college graduate and alumni of Pritzker College Prep. His inspiration to advocate for families comes from his family’s struggles with systematic inequalities. 

In his free time, Jarol co-runs a community organization called “Represent Your Community,” which serves the needs of families. In addition, he enjoys reading, biking, and photography.

Carlos Rivas

Carlos Rivas, born and raised in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, is currently the Alumni Supports & External Affairs Manager at UIC College Prep. He joined the staff at UICCP in 2014 as a Spanish instructor. Later, he joined the college team as an Alumni Counselor supporting many of the same students he taught. As the External Affairs manager, he is responsible for building parent and family engagement. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Administration and Foundations from Illinois State University.