Vanessa Beene

Senior Associate of Scholar Recruitment


(312) 319-7229

Vanessa Beene serves as the Senior Associate of Scholar Recruitment at Chicago Scholars. In this role, she supports students in the application and enrollment process. If you have a question regarding the Chicago Scholars application process, she is the person to contact. 

As a native of the West Side of Chicago, Vanessa understands the power of education to change individuals, families and communities.  She is passionate about finding and supporting academically ambitious youth and starting them on the path to positively impact their communities. This is what led her to Chicago Scholars.

Prior to Chicago Scholars, Vanessa served as an advisor at DRW College Prep. As an advisor, she offered academic and social-emotional supports to her “Beenie Babies” advisory. Through this experience, she developed lifelong relationships and learned that when students are given high expectations and unwavering support, there are no limits to the things that they can achieve. 100% of Vanessa’s advisory were accepted to 4-year colleges and universities.

Vanessa attended Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, Illinois, where she earned a B.A. in English, and Northwestern University where she earned a M.S. in Journalism. While at Northern Illinois, she participated in the Campus Activities Board, National Association of Black Journalists, and Student Association.

Vanessa’s biggest piece of advice to Scholars: remember that you belong. Don’t allow anyone or anything to make you feel as if you are not worthy of a higher education. As Zora Neale Hurston once said, “Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can anyone deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”

In her free time, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and listening to live music.