Dr. Toinette McClellan Gunn, PHD, LLPC

Vice President of Programs


(312) 784-3312

Dr. Toinette McClellan Gunn serves as the Chicago Scholars VP of Programs.  If you are wondering what the VP of Programs does, Dr. Gunn leads the vision, research, and strategy for all current and future programming.  So, if you are interested in speaking with someone regarding the overall program, strategies for growth, and/or program design/development, Dr. Gunn is the team member to consult.

Having been a first-generation college student whose life today has been overwhelmingly influenced by her college education, Dr. Gunn firmly believes in the power that education holds in breaking negative intergenerational cycles.  Dr. Gunn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University in Criminal Justice and Sociology, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Oakland University, a Ph.D. in Counseling Education from Oakland University, and is a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor with a specialization in Mental Health.  She recalls college being some of the best times of her life where her diverse experiences expanded her world to help her to become a well-rounded individual. 

Dr. Gunn feels honored to have served at-risk youth and their families in the Human Service field and non-profit sector for nearly 20 years. She has spent the majority of that time working in organizations that provide at-risk youth with quality educational opportunities, access to college, supportive services to persist through college, and mentoring, through leadership roles within international organizations like Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois (BHGH) and Habitat for Humanity. Prior to working at BHGH, Dr. Gunn served as Executive Director for Chicago’s Partnership to Educate and Advance Kids (PEAK) and Detroit Michigan’s Student Mentor Partners, in providing at-risk youth with scholarships to afford them a quality private high school education, access to college, and one-on-one mentoring support. During her tenure at PEAK, the organization was honored with the Thomas A. Demetrio Award of Excellence for two consecutive years. This award was given through The Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth foundation and recognized PEAK as the “Most Exemplary Established Mentoring Program in the Chicago Area.” PEAK became the first organization in the award’s 17-year history to ever be recognized more than once. 

Dr. Gunn’s non-profit experience is incredibly diverse and includes expertise in youth and program development, recruitment, training & curriculum development, compliance, group home facilitation, low-income housing, psychological testing and assessment, substance abuse and mental health treatment, community outreach, fundraising, marketing, and public relations. 

Dr. Gunn is a native Chicagoan and a product of the Chicago Public School System.  Characterized by her nickname, Toi (pronounced TOY) loves to laugh and have fun!  She is often referred to as the life of the party.  She enjoys entertaining for her family and friends, dancing, roller-skating, and of course shopping.  She is married to her high school sweetheart, Lorenzo, and has two sons, Anthony and Julian.