It takes an incredible team to support our unique model. Here are the people who bring our mission to life.

Leadership Team

Jackie BarajasDirector, Partnerships & Advocacy

Jackie is responsible for managing relationships with corporate, community, and individual partners for volunteer initiatives. She serves as the liaison to the Board of Directors and supports the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic goals.

Prior to joining Horizons, Jackie worked at La Casa Student Housing, an initiative of The Resurrection Project, to support the persistence and graduation efforts of first-generation college students. She became passionate about education and mission-based work while studying at Marquette University, where she earned her Bachelor of Art in Social Welfare and Spanish, and became the first in her family to obtain a degree.

Since Marquette, Jacqueline has remained in the non-profit sector advocating for stronger educational opportunities for folks of all ages.

Greg BorkowskiExecutive Director

Greg has spent his entire career working in Chicago’s non-profit sector. He began his career teaching kindergarten for two years with the Jewish Council for Youth Services before starting a fundraising role at the Golden Apple Foundation. In addition to the Golden Apple Foundation, he has held executive leadership positions at Ronald McDonald House Charities, Inc., Northwestern University and, most recently, DePaul University before joining Horizons for Youth as the Executive Director in the fall of 2020. While proud of the organizations and missions he has represented, Greg’s greatest professional satisfaction has come in roles that engaged directly with youth. He’s coached boys and girls high school soccer for more than 20 years at St. Benedict, Josephinum Academy, Lake View and Roycemore and has been part of the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy staff since 2011. Greg earned his Bachelor of Art from the University of Notre Dame.

Meghan ColganSenior Director, Program Services

Meghan is an integral part of the leadership team, working on key areas of management, mentorship, finance, and operations. She leads the program team in day-to-day operations, staff training, and development opportunities. She coordinates between the program and development teams for strategic initiatives and program evaluation. Meghan initially worked at Horizons for Youth from 2006-2010, spent some time working at nonprofits in the California Bay Area, and then returned to the Horizons for Youth team in 2014. Meghan has her Bachelor of Art from the University of Notre Dame and Master of Art from DePaul University.

Chanita JonesDirector, Academic Support Services

Chanita manages the academic support services for Horizons for Youth elementary and high school students. A National Board-Certified Teacher-Exceptional Needs Specialist, she joins Horizons for Youth after 12 years as a teacher-leader in Illinois’ traditional public and charter schools. She is passionate about education and improving conditions for children in Chicago from disadvantaged backgrounds. Chanita is a Horizons for Youth alumna and feels that there is no better place for her to serve. She has a Bachelor of Science from SIU-Carbondale and a Master of Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Lupe RuizDirector, Finance & Operations

Lupe is responsible for overseeing the financial strategic planning of Horizons for Youth and providing executive-level human resources support. She manages a wide range of complex and confidential administrative duties, directs the day to day operations and staff, and also oversees all internal control financial processes and reporting. Prior to joining Horizons for Youth, Lupe served for seven years as an Assistant Manager at The Children’s Place, managing payroll and scheduling for her team. Lupe is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep and holds her Bachelor of Art from Northeastern Illinois University.

Development Team

Adriana MartinezSenior Manager, Data Strategy & Annual Giving

As the Development and Data Strategy Manager, Adriana is primarily responsible for the development and management of the Horizons for Youth database systems. She also provides support across the organization with data collection and reporting, manages the gift entry processes, and creates and implements strategies to further grow our fundraising efforts. She is a Horizons for Youth alumna and is excited to have the opportunity to give back to the Horizons for Youth community. Adriana holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Iavora VlaytchevaSenior Manager, Corporate & Foundation Relations

Iavora is responsible for managing corporate and foundation donor relationships, including grants, as well as some major donor relations, external communications, and general development growth. Prior to joining the team, Iavora worked with Common Threads Chicago as a grant writer, as the Office Manager at Ohio Citizen Action, and on several progressive political campaigns throughout the Midwest. Iavora holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Missouri in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration and Policy from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She is currently pursuing a Juris Doctor at DePaul University College of Law. 

Program Team

Raven AllenProgram Manager, Middle School

Raven is responsible for managing and advocating for the elementary students in our Empower group. In addition to providing academic support to her group, she also manages enrichment outings and parent workshops. Raven has always had a passion for giving back to kids in the community. Prior to joining Horizons for Youth, Raven worked as a Lead Paraprofessional and Cheerleading Coach at Learn 8 Middle School for six years. Raven attended Columbia College Chicago where she received her bachelor’s degree in theater.

Teri FordSenior Program Manager, Post-secondary Success

Teri works closely with our high school seniors as they navigate the college admissions and financial aid processes.  Teri also works with our students upon graduation from high school to help them make a smooth transition into college, navigate the course selection process, and work towards obtaining internships during college and full-time employment upon graduation.  Teri is a first-generation college graduate herself and is passionate about providing support to Horizons for Youth students as they work towards their college degree.  Teri attended Illinois State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and DePaul University where she earned a Master of Education.  

Jamal GrahamProgram Manager, Middle School

Jamal is the Middle School Program Manager at Horizons. He is a licensed high school English teacher and has a passion for working with youth.

Jamal has hosted a bevy of different charity events from clothes drives to basketball fundraisers. He hopes to help guide families and students in the right direction, and is extremely excited to be a small piece of students’ overall success!

Jamal got his BA in the Teaching of English from UIC in 2020 and graduated from UIC’s honors college. He also has his MA in English from ASU (Arizona State University) in 2022.

Nicole MaldonadoSenior Program Manager, High School

Nicole Maldonado is the Senior Program Manager for High School, where she advocates for students and their families. She specializes in youth development and empowerment, by guiding scholar’s through challenges and opportunities. Nicole strives to inspire student’s growth, resilience, and success. She takes great pride in her roots as a Latina hailing from the vibrant Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. These experiences have shaped her commitment to community and cultural awareness, which is incorporated in her everyday work life. Nicole attended Northeastern Illinois University where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Social Work. 

Jocelyne SalgadoIntern, High School Program

 Jocelyne Salgado, also known by “Josie,” is currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is pursing a degree in Psychology with a minor in Disability and Human Development, and is working toward a position at the Shirley Ryan Ability lab as a specialist for children with disabilities. Prior to interning with Horizons, she volunteered at the monthly outings, supporting with registration and event operations. In her role as an intern, she will work supporting the Senior Program Manager, High School and aiding in the programing for 9-12 graders.

Fran WalkerProgram Manager, Elementary

Fran brings 16 years of experience working with children and families. She’s committed to fostering a nurturing environment, and wants to be a resource to families and their children. 

Prior to joining Horizons for Youth, Fran worked in the Higher Education sector and also within Chicago Public Schools working with children from K-High school as a Special Education Assistant.

Fran attended DePaul University where she received a bachelor’s in political science and also has her masters from Governors State University in Political & Justice Studies. 

Partnerships Team

Emma MitchellManager, Volunteer Engagement

Emma is responsible for recruiting and managing individual and group volunteers. Before joining Horizons for Youth, Emma completed an AmeriCorps service year at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, working with their Volunteer Engagement team. Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Emma found a second home in Chicago after moving to the city for college. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Leadership with a focus in Event Management from DePaul University.

Shae MitchellAssistant, Volunteer Recruitment

Daeshanae Mitchell, also known as “Shae,” is a multifaceted individual blending a passion for community service, entrepreneurship, and communication expertise. She currently serves as the Assistant, Volunteer Recruiter at Horizons for Youth, and plays a pivotal role in connecting passionate individuals with meaningful opportunities to impact young lives positively.

Shae attended Moraine Valley Community College and Columbia College Chicago, where she majored in Mass Communications & Broadcast Journalism.

Arlecia TaylorAssistant, Volunteer Services

Arlecia has been in education for over 15 years, with the honor of supporting students and families as a college counselor, AVID program manager, at-risk youth coordinator, and most recently, as an academic programs coordinator. While Arlecia has had varied experience in education, she is most passionate about helping first generation college
students to enroll in and matriculate through college. In her spare time, she serves as a mentor and advisor to college students. As a first generation college graduate, Arlecia
instills in her students that attending and graduating from college can not only change their own lives, but also positively impact their families and communities. Arlecia holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a M.S. in Public Administration from DePaul University.


Board of Directors, 2023-2024


John Skakun
Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

Vice Chair

Anne Carey
Horizons for Youth Tutor, Former VP of Industry Advisory Services at Bank of America


Chris Romans
Partner, Ernst & Young

Secretary – Operational

Patrick Collins
Partner, King & Spalding

Secretary – Administrative

Greg Borkowski
Executive Director, Horizons for Youth


Darren Bank
Director, Investment Banking, William Blair

Tim Coffey
Director of Communications, OMI Industries

Phil Fry
Senior Project Manager, University of Chicago

Chardai Johnson
Senior Vice President & Director, BMO Commercial Bank, BMO Harris Bank

Peter Leonard
Director of Student Assessment, Chicago Public Schools

Debbie Ludolph
Vice President Workday Professional Services – North America, Alight Solutions

John Philbin
Founder and CEO, Happy Work Spectacular Life

Ardis Tabb
Director, Global Investment Banking, Baird

Feyisara Williams
Tax Director, PwC

Jeffrey Wright
Managing Partner, Gold Leaf Capital

Young Professionals Board, 2022 – 2023


Erin Moston


Mollye Lent


Colin Houlihan

Social Chair

Alex Brekke

Recruiting Chair

Brandon Luebbehusen


Ali Barranco

Brett Blum

Amanda Broadus

Titoriano Broadus

Mike Dow

Callie Forkenbrock

John Gizzie

Amanda Harbrecht

Cindy Hou

Rajesh Kalvakota

Zoheb Khan

Ashley Koltun

Mollye Lent

Jenna Nizamoff

Alyse Patrick

Maria Skorcz Roehmholdt

Hunter Smith

Mike Speranza

Johnny Sullivan

Mac Sullivan

Dan Teich

Courtney Thompson

Stephen Valencia

Kristin Zavertnik