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Chicago’s Most Impactful Young Professionals Recognized As Part of Chicago Scholars 35 under 35 Awards, Poised to Become the Next Generation of Leaders

Chicago Scholars 5th annual 35 under 35 Awards recognizes a group of diverse, talented young professionals making an impact in Chicago. Chicago Scholars is a mentoring and leadership development organization that helps first-generation college students and students from under-resourced communities navigate the complex transitions into college, through college, and beyond to a career.

“We are so impressed by the immense talent of this hard-working, forward-thinking, diverse group of honorees,” says Dominique Jordan Turner, CEO of Chicago Scholars. “Keep an eye on these 35 individuals who are making an impact on the community. We believe they will be the future leaders of our city, our state, and our nation.

The 2019 class of 35 under 35 recipients was selected from a highly competitive group of 140 nominees who all possess outstanding professional accomplishments as well as a commitment and dedication to making an impact on their community. The selection committee is made up of Chicago Scholars staff and members of the Chicago Scholars’ associate board. The Awards will take place at Chicago Scholars’ UnTied Gala on April 26. The 35 Under 35, Class of 2019 List:

  • Abel Ochoa – Executive Director of College Readiness + Access, Office of Civic Engagement, University of Chicago
  • Ariel DeNey Rainey – Founder and CEO, Hustle Mommies
  • Ben Head – Political Director, Schakowsky for Congress
  • Brittney Cleveland – Senior Manager of Partner Engagement, College Greenlight
  • Caroline Robinson – Dermatologist, Northwestern Medicine
  • Chanelle Bell – Senior Community Organizer, Noble Network of Charter Schools
  • Channing Lenert – Program Officer, Polk Bros. Foundation
  • Charlie Hoover – Founder, Chicago Reach
  • Christopher MacDonald – Assistant Public Defender II, Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender
  • Ciere Boatright – Vice President, Real Estate & Inclusion, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives
  • Cory Croft – City Manager, Rinse
  • Courtney Quigley McGovern – Executive Director, Hope’s In
  • Daniel Epstein – Associate Attorney, Jenner & Block LLP
  • Darren Goodson – Senior Claims Counsel, Commercial Litigation, ALAS, Ltd.
  • David Rojas – Co-Founder, The Alliance 98
  • Dawn Reese – Director of Strategic Development, The Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education
  • Elle Ramel – Director of Development, Farpoint Development
  • Frank Brown II – Economist , U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Jasmine Gurneau – Manager, Native American & Indigenous Initiatives , Northwestern University, Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion
  • Jen Kamins – Co-Founder, Executive Director, Brave Initiatives
  • Jeremy Wilson – Director, Legal Counsel, JLL
  • Katrina Jackson – Global Manager Talent Management, Underwriters Laboratory
  • Kelly Grimes – Call Center Supervisor- Homelessness Prevention Call Center, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Keven Stonewall – Cancer Researcher, Motivational Speaker, and Health Advocate
  • Nahiris Bahamón – Pediatrician, Esperanza Health Center
  • Nicholas Martin – Community Impact Director, American Heart Association
  • Nicole Granacki – Customized Program Manager, IES Abroad
  • Paige LaCour – Community Engagement Associate, William Blair
  • Precious Jacobs – Partner, Jenner & Block, LLP
  • Rashanah Baldwin – Journalist, Baldwin Media Group
  • Samantha Loo – Senior Associate Director, Center for the Health and Social Sciences, University of Chicago
  • Shaun Zhang – Associate, Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP
  • Sierra Wallace – Assistant State’s Attorney, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Stephen McClain – Co-CEO, Empowered Community Schools
  • Watchen Nyanue – Vice President of Marketing Partnerships, Chicago Sky

On Friday, April 26 the 35 under 35 will be honored at a VIP Awards Ceremony & Reception at 6:00 p.m., which will be followed by the UnTied Gala celebration at 7:30 p.m. at Moonlight Studios (1446 W. Kinzie St.). Tickets to the 35 under 35 VIP Awards Ceremony & Gala are $250, while tickets to attend only the Gala are $150. Sponsorships are available at the $3,000, $6,000, and $12,500 levels. If you are interested in attending, sponsoring, or learning more about the event, please visit