Program Administrative Assistant
Elena Martin is the Program Administrative Assistant to Dr. Toinette McClellan Gunn, VP of Programs. If you have a question about existing or future programs at Chicago Scholars or would like to schedule time to meet with Dr.Gunn, Elena is the team member to contact. Through her support of the program team, her mission is to help manage the day-to-day operations of the department, allowing the team to focus on creating the best possible programs for Scholars.
Elena believes that college gives each of us the freedom to discover what makes us unique. College gave her the ability to explore her musical talents as she earned her Master of Music degree in opera from New York University. Music was the first tool Elena used to connect with her community in a meaningful way. During her time at NYU, she began working in education through America Reads where she tutored a fifth grade class in Reading and Math for two years. This experience showed her the powerful effect mentorship can have in the lives of students.
Before joining the team at Chicago Scholars, Elena worked as the first Program Coordinator for OPERA America - a nonprofit organization in New York that provides resources and support to the opera field. This experience showed her that when an organization of dedicated individuals focuses on the mission of the company, a community can be transformed for the better.
Elena’s advice to scholars is to use your time in college to become the best version of yourself. Develop your skills and character and take advantage of every wonderful opportunity that comes your way. Do not fear the unknown or worry that you’re not ready for a new challenge, simply give new experiences a try. College is a great opportunity to build friendships that will last a lifetime, so leave your door open in the residence hall to meet new people. Everyone is just as nervous as you are and will be excited to make new friends.
In her free time, Elena spends time singing, playing piano, running, cooking and exploring the city with her husband of three years, Matthew. She also enjoys relaxing with her three-legged “tripod” shelter kitty, Kat.