Auxiliary Board Members
Paula is currently retired after working 37 years as a manager at AT&T. She has enjoyed all the community service work she did with the AT&T Pioneers while working and retired. Her favorite projects were those helping with food, but she especially liked preparing meals at Care For Friends.
Anne is a senior chemistry student from Little Italy, Chicago studying at Lake Forest College. An avid volunteer since childhood, Anne assists Dr. Kevin Malone in running the CFF foot clinic, acting as head volunteer. Currently, Anne is the editor of the health and science column of the LFC Stentor, a research intern at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, and research assistant in Schultz Laboratory. Always excited to lend a hand, Anne spends their semesters organizing the tutoring center at LFC in the role of lead tutor.
Ashley is the former Volunteer Coordinator for Care For Friends. Originally from Northwest Indiana, she attended the University of Missouri for undergrad and spent a few years in Arizona, before returning to the Windy City. Ashley's background is in Hospitality Management, Special Events and Catering, though she always maintained an authentic interest and involvement in social justice issues and volunteer work, which showed through her activism and time with local organizations such as #TheTakeBack Chicago. She loves working with people who care and are striving to create better systems and situations for others. She is currently pursuing her Master's of Counseling at National Louis University, in hopes of becoming a School Counselor in CPS. Entertaining is her jam- She grew up dancing and can still be convinced to bust a move when the timing is right! She and her partner, Sam, live in Pilsen, with her cat Marlyn, and loves a solid podcast, movie or recipe recommendation!
Shannon attended Western Michigan University for her first degree in biomedical sciences, She went on to work in research for about 2 ½ years before moving to Chicago where she decided to go back to school for her second degree in nursing. She has a passion for taking care of people and in the past has worked for other non profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. After graduation this year she will continue working at Luries Children Hospital downtown as a pediatric ICU nurse. She was drawn to Care for Friends through a recommendation and has really grown to love the organization's mission and goals to help the underserved and homeless population.
Will is a graduate of DePaul University with a degree in Business Managment and Community Service Studies. Originally from Massachusetts, he is looking forward to continuing his life in Chicago and exploring the city through food, music, and the beaches! Though he wouldn't consider himself a culinary expert by any means, in his free time, there is nothing Will likes more than cooking with others and sharing a meal.
Devon works for a CPG company called Conagra in the Business Planning department. His interests outside of work include horseback riding, performance cars, trying new restaurants and traveling. He is from Westchester, NY and is a big Yankees fan! A couple of his passions are helping develop people and giving back to his community.
Chuck retired from the U.S. Department of State in late 2020 after 31 years as a Foreign Service Officer, with postings throughout the Arab world and in Turkey, and moved to Chicago a year later. In addition to volunteering with CFF on Mondays and Thursdays whenever he's not traveling, he serves as treasurer of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Lakeview East, sings with the Windy City Gay Chorus, and gets to Wrigley Field regularly during baseball season. He is blissfully car-free and often walks downtown (and back) to attend concerts and shows. Chuck was born in Wisconsin, grew up in the Bay Area of northern California, and called Washington, DC home during his diplomatic career before coming to the Windy City.
Michael is a 4th year medical student at Midwestern University currently pursuing a degree in Osteopathic Medicine. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Michael attended Clemson University for undergraduate where he received a degree in biology before returning back to the Midwest to do medical school. While Michael has always been involved in a variety of volunteering activities, his work with Care For Friends has really helped him to gain exposure and experience to a population base that he plans on working closely with during his career in Addiction Psychiatry. He loves working with people and is always doing his best to improve upon pre-existing programs as well as to help found new programs to address issues faced by the undomiciled population of Chicago. Outside of work and volunteering, Michael loves to hang out with his family and friends, travel, go to concerts, and do movie marathons with his girlfriend Katrina. He is excited for this opportunity to work on the board and is looking forward to what the future holds.
Katie is an employee benefits consultant with over eight years of experience acting as a trusted resource to employers. She is accustomed to managing books of business up to $1.5M, including programs for self-funded and fully-insured businesses nationwide with up to 30,000 lives.
Katie graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor's degree in Sociology, and is a licensed Health, Life, and Accident Producer in all 50 states. She lives in Avondale with her cat, Callie.
Amanda is a healthcare professional who has spent her career helping small businesses navigate the often-complicated healthcare system. She has spent several years working at UnitedHealthcare, where she provides guidance and support to businesses looking to obtain health insurance for their employees. Throughout her career, Amanda has worked with small businesses across the country, providing them with the knowledge and resources they need to make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, where she studied Animal Science as a Pre-Vet student. In school she gained a deep understanding of animal health and welfare but ultimately decided humans were the ones she wanted to help and got herself a dog instead. However, much of her volunteer experience is rooted in animal welfare and animal shelters. Outside of work, Amanda is an avid yogi and spends time working at a local yoga studio. Her dedication to the practice of yoga has not only improved her own physical and mental health but has also given her a greater appreciation for the importance of holistic approaches to healthcare.
Francisco is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served from March 2001 to March 2005. During his enlistment, Francisco participated in combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon his separation from active duty, Francisco had earned the rank of Sergeant and other personal and unit recognitions. Francisco grew up in the Marshall Square neighborhood in Chicago, where he still resides. After his service, Francisco earned a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Francisco has worked in banking, non-for-profits, education, and government. At the age of 3, Francisco emigrated from Mexico with his mother (Adriana), older sister, and younger brother. Fleeing an abusive marriage, Adriana came to the United States for a better future for her children. Francisco was able to obtain his permanent legal residence in 1988 and became a citizen of the United States in 1995. Francisco is also a member of many military organizations and an active community member.
Justeen currently serves as Program Officer at Steans Family Foundation. Prior to her role at Skills, Justeen served as Director of Community Partnerships at Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, and prior to that she was the Future Intact Case Manager and Wrap Around Facilitator for justice involved youth for the Department of Children and Family Services. Justeen received her graduate degree in Leadership and Policy Studies with a focus on Community Development and Education at DePaul University in 2013. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, mentoring youth in Englewood and serving as the Global Goals Ambassador for UNA Chicago, UN Global Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Jennifer has worked in international education for over 20 years. She has taught and advised students and managed programs at a variety of institutions, including the current Politechnika Koszalinska in Koszalin, Poland, Loyola University Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Institute for the International Education for Students (IES Abroad). In her most recent role of Program Dean with IES Abroad, she managed a portfolio of study abroad programs in Australia, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. Jennifer is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
Angelina is a Senior Associate with Grant Thornton where she plans and implements virtual and in-person internal training programs. She was previously a paralegal with Legal Aid Chicago. Her work included increasing access to public benefits, anti-human trafficking outreach and immigration relief.
Angelina is a graduate of Amherst College with a B.A in Environmental Studies and Spanish. She is originally from San Diego and has called Chicago home for the last 10 years. In her free time, she volunteers as a Spanish interpreter through the National Immigrant Justice Center pro bono program.
Arjun is the CEO and Co-Founder of Chicago-based startup, Goodsend, where they provide a mobile platform for localized, peer-to-peer giving. Since launch in late 2020, his team has recruited hundreds of donors onto the platform, and partnered with several nonprofits to provide thousands of dollars in direct cash transfers to vetted recipients in the community.
In addition to Goodsend, Arjun has several years of professional experience in the software industry, as he’s worked on teams developing and supporting SaaS products across various industries in the city of Chicago.
Arjun’s parents moved to Evanston, IL from India in the 1980s and have called the Chicago area home ever since. He later grew up in the NW Suburb of Schaumburg, IL and attended the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Arjun now resides in The Loop downtown with his wife Natasha.