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Our Team

Meet the Dream Team — Chicago’s best and brightest, dedicated to our Scholars and our city.


Jeffery Beckham Jr.

Jeffery Beckham, Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer at Chicago Scholars. In his role, he is responsible for leading the development of the organization that serves more than 5,000 first-generation and low-income students to reach their dreams to pursue a college education. Jeffery is a community leader, artist and tech-entrepreneur known for advancing the fight for equity for youth and marginalized communities throughout the United States. Jeffery lives by the quote: “To whom much is given, much is required.” He strives to support traditionally underserved youth, working as a mentor with the 100 Black Men of Chicago, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity INC. and other Chicago programs. Jeffery is also a self-taught painter and uses his art to advocate for social and economic justice.  His work has been on display around the world.


Brooke McKean

Brooke McKean has over a decade of executive-level experience in fast-paced and start-up environments, in addition to experience managing teams in 12+ countries. Brooke is an expert in change management and has developed dozens of systems, policies, and infrastructure across all areas of operations, including IT, HR, finance, data systems, and beyond. Brooke believes in service-oriented and values-based leadership to ensure that Chicago Scholars embodies the values that define its programs to “be the change.”

Vice President of Programs

Tamara Hoff Pope, Ph.D.

Dr. Tamara Hoff Pope oversees the implementation and execution of Chicago Scholars’ seven-year college access, success, and leadership development. Prior to pivoting to the education nonprofit sector, she taught, advised, and mentored minoritized students and students from low-income communities as both a professor and higher education administrator. Her life’s work has been devoted to ensuring equitable, inclusive, and affordable pathways to higher education and economic mobility for historically marginalized youth. Dr. Pope earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics, Master of Arts Degree and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Educational Policy Studies, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a world traveler, an avid bid whist player, and currently resides in Bronzeville with her husband Keyonn, son Keyonn II, and daughter Tamryn.

Chief Development and Operations Officer

Rachael Carbone

Rachael Carbone leads the strategy and implementation of fundraising, communications and strategic engagement to elevate and achieve Chicago Scholars’ mission. She also oversees the teams responsible for organizational operations – the day-to-day of business management – that supports the incredible programming provided to some of Chicago’s most talented young leaders. If you want to learn more about how to support the Chicago Scholars vision through your time, talent, treasure, or testimony, Rachael can help.


Director of Scholar Experience

LaJenné Alcantar

Managing Director of College Access

Nameka Bates, Ph.D.

Associate of Scholar Recruitment

Karla Bonilla-Herrera

Manager of College Counseling

Kimberly Brown

Manager of Postsecondary Leadership Development

Alexis Burr

Managing Director of Volunteer Recruitment & Stewardship

DanaMarie Carreon

Manager of Career Planning and Exploration

Deshauna Carter

Director of College Access (Young Men of Color Initiatives)

Corderius Cowans

Executive Assistant to the VP of Programs

Amanda DeShane

Associate Director of Scholar Supports & Wellness

Bridget Drury

Managing Director of College Success

Alicia Ferraris

Director of Scholar Supports & Scholarships

Amy Galibois

Senior Associate of Scholar Experience

Kyle Larry (I’m a Chicago Scholar Alum)

Senior Associate of Scholar Recruitment

David Leon (I’m a Chicago Scholar Alum)

Associate Director of College Counseling and Family Engagement

Aubrey Monks

Managing Director of Career and Leadership Advancement

Sasha Peña

Associate of College Access Mentorship & Coaching

Valery Pineda (I’m a Chicago Scholar Alum)

Associate of College Success Mentorship & Coaching

Milcla Rodriguez (I’m a Chicago Scholar Alum)

Manager of College Access Communications

Stephanie Rosado (I’m a Chicago Scholar Alum)

Manager of Scholar Virtual Engagement

Amira Shotwell

Manager of Family Engagement

Gusiman Suarez

Development & External Engagement

Associate Director of Major Gifts

Kevin Banks Jr. (I’m a Chicago Scholar Alum)

Managing Director of Strategic Engagement

Derrick Fleming, Jr.

Manager of Special Events

Naya Franklin

Director of Communications and Marketing

Alexandra Greenwald

Director of College Partnerships

Andre Hebert

Manager of Development Operations

Jane Lee

Manager of Marketing

Morgan Mercieca

Managing Director of Development

Michelle Patterson

Strategic Services

Managing Director of Finance and Administration

Sarah Clapper

Manager of Human Resources

Ja’Qwan Hoskins (I’m a Chicago Scholar Alum)

Senior Associate of Data Solutions & Evaluation

Sarah McNeill

Managing Director of Data Solutions & Evaluation

Daniel Rossi

Manager of Talent, Learning, Equity, and Inclusion

Miguel Tull

Director of Information Technology and Data Systems

Daniel Walker

Director of Research

Delaina Washington, PhD

Head of Product, REACH

Kenneth Woodard