Alumni Spotlights

Take a look at the wonderful things that some of the alumni of Target H.O.P.E. programs are involved in! Top

Dr. Yetunde Patrick, DDS  •  Alfreda Holloway-Beth  •  Candace Williams  • Brittany Hogan •  Pierre Boncy •   Brittany Briggs  •  Dr. Richard Thigpen  •  Jannyse Starks  •  Imani Lewis  •  Lauren McCauley  •  Chavonna Webb  •  Shani Crowe  •  Tiffany Onyemaobi  •  Brandon Avery Stewart  •  John Pitts  •  LaJoi RoystonQuinn RallinsMatoya MarshEfundunke HughesElicia SashingtonGeorgetta BundleyRaliegh FotokiShannon Clemons  •  April Burrage  •  Marilyn Adibu  •  Candace Armour  •  Monique Childress  •  Tiffany N. FordBrandi Snodgrass  •  Jawaan Pollard  •  Elizabeth Jamison-Dunn  •  Sabrine RhodesMalikat RufaiLiana Geddes

Target HOPE Alumni Fall 2016 Spotlight

Jazmin Branch 

Most people wouldn’t give up their Saturday mornings after a long work week but being at Target H.O.P.E energizes me. Every weekend, I am inspired by the stories of previous Target H.O.P.E scholars now serving as major leaders in their respective fields. I am inspired by Saturday academy instructors obtaining their PhDs but traveling to Chicago State to influence the next generation. I am inspired by the current high school students who show their passion by sacrificing their time to improvement- ACT scores, writing skills, mathematics competencies. I have never been surrounded by such a motivated group of people who truly believe in the idea of reaching back as you climb. I appreciate my Target H.O.P.E family for always surrounding me with greatness.

I volunteer my time to Target H.O.P.E because Mr. Williamson and other alum/Saturday academy instructors devoted their time before me. This program has been nothing short of life changing. I came to Target H.O.P.E as a junior in high school, confident in my academic abilities, but uncertain about how far that would take me. After attending several college tours, overcoming my public-speaking fears, and gaining countless connections along the way, I was accepted to Washington University in St. Louis. During my undergraduate career, Mr. Williamson and Target H.O.P.E alumni continued to mentor me.

Currently I am a strategy and planning specialist at Sinai Health System in Chicago. This has been a fabulous opportunity for me to learn more about the business development aspects of health care and to continue growing my network.

I aspire to be a major, national leader in health care by 35 (CEO-level goals). I’ve always been interested in science, and specifically medicine/health care. This opportunity has created a new perspective for me on how I can improve health outcomes on a population level. It’s been great- I love it!


Photo: The Branch Family featuring Jazmin and Jaeda, Target HOPE Scholars


Target HOPE Alumni 2016 Summer Spotlight

 Raleigh Fatoki and Georgetta Buntley

Third year medical students at Meharry Medical School

Raleigh F. and Georgetta B TH

Dr. Yetunde Patrick, DDS is a native of Chicago, Illinois and a graduate of Morgan Park High School (2003). Target H.O.P.E.’s preparation and relationship with other non-profit organizations allowed her to receive the United Negro College Fund Scholarship and Jackie Robinson Scholarship.  After graduating from MPHS Patrick pursued her undergraduate education at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, majoring in Biology. After graduating from Spelman Yetunde pursued her dental degree at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Upon arriving in Baltimore Patrick spent her summers serving as a teacher in the Building Educated Leaders for Life program; a program designed to increase the academic achievements, self-esteem and life opportunities of children living in low-income, urban communities.  In 2008 Patrick worked with colleagues to create “Building Healthy Choices for Baltimore Youth” an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship that teaches Baltimore Youth about nutrition, oral health education, and tobacco prevention. In 2009 Yetunde travelled to Nigeria, West Africa through the University of Maryland’s Global Travel Grant/Fogarty International to conduct a needs assessment of the oral health conditions and challenges facing the country.  She also provided oral hygiene instruction and dental hygiene supplies to mothers and children at affiliated Obafemi Awolofu and University of Ibadan community postings.  In the summer of 2010 Patrick travelled to Hondo Valle a remote town in the Dominican Republic to treat  patients with little access to oral health services.  At Maryland Dr. Patrick served as the President for the Student National Dental Association (SNDA), and a member of the Admissions Committee. In May 2011 Dr. Patrick graduated from the University of Maryland receiving the Darryl Curtis Leadership Award and the Deans Outstanding Community Service Award. Dr. Patrick is currently a practicing dentist residing in Maryland with her husband Sinclair, and newborn son Alexander. Back to Top

Taj2HendersonTaja-Nia Henderson PhD, J.D., M.A.,  Professor Henderson received her A.B. from Dartmouth College, and her J.D., M.A., and Ph.D. from New York University. At NYU School of Law, she was a Dean’s Scholar, Senior Notes Editor of the N.Y.U. Law Review, and recipient of the Gary E. Moncrieffe Graduation Award. After graduating law school, Professor Henderson served as the Derrick Bell Teaching Fellow in constitutional law at NYU School of Law and also clerked for the Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall, U.S. District Court, Central District of California.

Taja-Nia Henderson commenced her affiliation with Target H.O.P.E. during her sophomore year in high school at Kenwood Academy.  She was a dedicated student with tremendous academic aspirations and had a close bond with her wonderful mother.  She volunteered at the downtown Target H.O.P.E. office on a regular basis, and was mesmerized by the Saturday Academy classes at DePaul University.   Through Target H.O.P.E., Taja-Nia applied for and received the Jackie Robinson Foundation scholarship.


Alfreda Holloway Beth- PH.D. University of Illinois  Alfreda Holloway Beth is a graduate of Lindblom Technical High School, now Lindblom Math & Science Academy (1998).  As a sophomore at Lindblom Technical High School in 1995, the students were called to the auditorium for a special presentation regarding a unique opportunity to attend early morning Saturday classes, have additional homework, and take more responsibility for their own academic futures. The presenter, Euclid Williamson, seemed like a nice and enthusiastic person, but the promise of more work for a group of high school students was not as appealing to students as he thought.  At the end of his presentation, he doled out bus tokens so that interested students would have transportation to attend the first Saturday morning class.  That is what clinched the deal for Alfreda, and with a bus token in hand she commenced her 16-year relationship with Target H.O.P.E.  In addition to taking classes, we were afforded the opportunity to go on several college tours.  It was on one of these college tours that Alfreda discovered the school she would eventually attend; Washington University in St. Louis.  Due in part to the efforts of Target H.O.P.E., Alfreda was not only accepted to the school, but was awarded a four-year full-tuition scholarship amounting to over $100,000.  Also, Alfreda has studied abroad in Kenya (Nairobi, Lamu, Malindi, and Mombasa), and in the Republic of Palau as a high school teacher of English, mathematics and science.  Since college, she has graduated with a master of science in epidemiology and is currently a doctoral candidate in environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Alfreda is married to Phillip Beth, a corporate attorney, and they have two children, Kahlil and Aliyah. Alfreda was awarded her PH.D. from UIC Chicago and is currently on the faculty at Chicago State University. Back to Top

Candace Williams (left) earned a master of social work degree (MSW) with a concentration in mental health from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis (2009) She also holds a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia (2007) and is a 2003 graduate of Kenwood Academy.  Candace works for BJC Behavioral Health serving severely and emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. She interned at BJC August 2008-May 2009 and began working full time in June 2009 as a case manager.  Brittany Hogan (right) earned a master of social work degree (MSW) with a concentration in social and economic development from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St Louis (2009).  Her undergraduate degree is in psychology from Hampton University (2007), and she is a 2003 graduate of St. Scholastica High School.  Brittany has worked at Beyond Housing since September 2009 as a social worker. Back to Top



Erica Hubbard is a product of Hyde Park Academy and graduated from our initial class in 1998. She fell in love with Howard University where she excelled as a student leader and scholar. Erica spent three years in Japan teaching English and has worked at a myriad of non-for-profits since relocating to Chicago.

In 2015 Erica was selected to serve as a Chicago Urban League Fellow, this illustrious award will provide extensive shadowing and mentor ship and networking with nonprofit CEO; s in Chicago. This alumnus has chaperoned college tours, volunteered to raise funds for Target H.O.P.E and mentored several students over the years.

Pierre Boncy’s involvement with Target H.O.P.E. began in 2006 during his junior year at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. His two older sisters had been students in the program and both matriculated into Washington University in St. Louis with an abundance of scholarships. Elizabeth and Sabrine graduated with degrees in Education and Psychology from Washington University. After seeing their success and the knowledge they gained, Pierre knew that membership in Target H.O.P.E. would be a wise choice.  Before his senior year, Pierre was able to attend the Journey to Excellence College Tour, where students visited a wide range of top universities. With the tools he gained in the program, he knew what to look for, what he wanted, and what questions to ask at each campus visit.  As a result of his high school accomplishments and the notoriety of being a Target H.O.P.E. student on the tour, Pierre was offered many scholarships opportunities. With recommendations from Mr. Williamson, not only was he accepted, but also received a full scholarship through the John B. Ervin Scholarship Program, at Washington University in St. Louis.  Pierre went on to pursue a bachelor of science in civil engineering at Washington University (2011). Without the wisdom gained in Target HOPE, he may not have been able to meet both the academic and social challenges of attending a top-15 university, especially in an environment starkly dissimilar to Chicago Public Schools. However, Target H.O.P.E. helped empower Pierre to overcome these obstacles and successfully navigate a rigorous engineering program. Currently, Pierre is a civil engineer at an engineering and construction management firm. Sabrine attended the Brown School of Social Work to earn her Master’s Degree in Social Work, married her college sweetheart, and currently has four children. Pierre was awarded a full-ride to attend the University of Michigan MBA Program. Back to Top



Jasmine Darden Hyde Park Academy C/O 1998 (Salutatorian); Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee C/O 2002 (B.S. in Computer Science, Cum Laude); Jackie Robinson Scholar

Target H.O.P.E played an integral role in my academic and personal development. I am so thankful that in 1994 Mr. Williamson chose the students of Hyde Park Academy as the first class of Target H.O.P.E. I know that I would’ve been a great student in high school and even gone to college after graduating but without Target H.O.P.E and Mr. Williamson’s guidance, I don’t know if I would’ve chosen to attend Fisk University. It’s through the Target H.O.P.E college tours every Spring break throughout my high school matriculation that I was exposed to the rich heritage of the HBCU, specifically Fisk.” There are so many other things that I am thankful to Target H.O.P.E and Mr. Williamson for (too many to name).  The Saturday Academy and exposure to Mr. Willie Dixon, the trip to Orlando, the concerts, but most importantly – the mentor program (I had two of these best!) and the belief that you can go to college DEBT FREE!!!  I graduated Fisk University in 2002 with no debt.  I decided to make Nashville my home and spent the next 10 years after college developing a sales and leadership career at Dell Inc.  I am currently a manager at ServiceSource in Nashville, TN and last year I started my own business (JazzyNash Mobile Shoetique), which is a mobile women’s shoe boutique.


Brittany Briggs, RN, MSN, NP-C, is a graduate of Kenwood Academy (2004). With the guidance of Target H.O.P.E she then went on to attend Fisk University where she graduated in 2008 with a bachelor of science in nursing. Brittany was apart of the first graduating nursing class at Fisk commonly known as “The Fisk Five”.  After the completion of her BSN she enrolled in Vanderbilt  University’s master’s program where she graduated with a master of science in nursing in August of 2010 and trained to become a family nurse practitioner.  She currently works in a primary care office in Nashville, TN providing care mostly to the underserved and uninsured population and she loves it. Brittany attributes her success to Target H.O.P.E. stating that she knows her career path would not have been the exceptional experience it has been thus far without the dedication and support of this amazing organization.  She believes that Mr. Williamson and her Target H.O.P.E family have truly played an influential role in her life.  Back to Top


Richard Thigpen, MD University of Michigan Ann Arbor The second of six children did not have a great start to life. His mother’s drug addiction, and the absence of his father placed Richard and his siblings in foster care at an early age. While living with his great-grandmother, Richard attended public school at Edgar Allen Poe Classical School, on Chicago’s South Side. He later attended Morgan Park Jr. High School and Morgan Park High School (MPHS).  With the help of Target H.O.P.E., Richard applied, was accepted, and was offered a scholarship to attend Fisk University to study physics.  Richard graduated from Fisk University in 2003 with a bachelor of science degree in physics, Cum Laude.  After two years of teaching, Richard attended medical school at The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.  Richard is married to Christine Lipscomb Thigpen, and they have two children, Richard and Pierce.

k.allenKendra A. Allen, B.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison-Biological Systems Engineering, M.S. Iowa State University-Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, PhD Student, Iowa State University-Bioplastics and Biopolymers

Kendra Allen is a PhD student in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering with an emphasis on polymer and plastic processing, characterization, and surface modification. Kendra is an alumna of Brooks College Prep where she graduated from in 2005. Kendra attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering with a concentration in Food and Bioprocessing. Kendra then went to Iowa State University to complete

her Masters in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering and is currently there completing her PhD in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering.

On Kendra’s first and only college tour, an alumnus of the Target H.O.P.E program, Harold Allen, talked about his experiences becoming a Chemical Engineering and that day she decided to become an engineer. Growing up, Kendra attended 5 schools and always had a hard time making friends because of the transition from one school and home to another. “I always felt that Targ et H.O.P.E was my home away from home. It was a place where I could develop meaningful relationships and be myself with various students from across the city that all shared the same ideals, goals, and aspirations in life like I did. Target H.O.P.E taught me the benefits of creating my own destiny and taught me how to navigate that successfully whether I attended a Target H.O.P.E school or not.” Kendra continually supports Target H.O.P.E while still in school by driving back to Chicago to facilitate STEM and college related seminars, serving as a chaperone on college tours, talking about her experiences as an African-American woman in engineering, and mentoring Target H.O.P.E and UW-Madison students.

“When I came through the Target H.O.P.E program, alumni gave their stories to make me the person I am today and it is my duty to pay forward my expertise, talents, failures, successes, and most of all my presence to the future generation of Target H.O.P.E alumni.” Kendra plans to graduate with her Doctorate in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering at Iowa State University in December 2017.


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Alauna Dowd Fizer joined Target H.O.P.E in her junior year. Six months prior to matriculating into her senior year, she was notified by her high school (Hillcrest High School) that she had accumulated too many credits to stay and was being abruptly promoted to the next grade. Elated at the accomplishment, yet devastated by the lack of preparation provided, Alauna reached out to Target H.O.P.E. for support.  Alauna had been committed to participating in Target H.O.P.E. Saturday Academy, and when her mentors and instructors spoke, she listened. This dedication to the program helped Alauna secure over $130,000 in merit-based scholarships through Target H.O.P.E.’s relationship with DePaul University. While at DePaul University, Alauna became the 2nd President of the Target Hope Alumni Chapter in Chicago.  She worked diligently to open up the program to dynamic collegiate students who desired to contribute to the mission and legacy of Target H.O.P.E. by mentoring the high school students during Saturday Academy. Sadly, Alauna would experience a great deal of adversity during her collegiate years.

During her sophomore year, both of her parents were hospitalized days apart which required her to move back home to assist in the care of them. While sitting in class her junior year, her father suffered a stroke which required her to take a brief leave of absence from school. Lastly, during her senior year and eight weeks before she was due to graduate from DePaul, Alauna suffered from paralysis and was rushed to the hospital. After multiple tests and procedures, she was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological condition and given a bleak prognosis.

Despite these trials and tribulations, Alauna D. Fizer continued to strive for excellence. She graduated from DePaul with a B.A. in Sociology. Her illness prevented her from entering the workforce for 3 years, but during that time, she researched the efficacy of college prep programming in low income, high risk rural areas through service in AmeriCorps VISTA. Through this research, she was awarded the B.F. Smith Assistantship at Delta State University that fully funded her Master’s Degree in Community Development.

After graduating with a 3.9 G.P.A in 2010, Alauna accepted a position with the federal government .In April of 2015, Alauna created The Fighter Award for Target H.O.P.E. Academy participants. The scholarship will provide over $10,000 to high school students in the program over the next 20 years. Alauna stated, “Target H.O.P.E. believed in me 15 years ago, and now it’s time for me to give back. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for this amazing program.”  Alauna currently works as an Administrator within the Department of Justice.


Amanda (Spires) Wheeler is a graduate of Hyde Park Academy, class of ’98.  She went on to attend Spelman College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 2002.  Amanda then went on to attend the school of Social Work program at Washington University in St. Louis, the Number 1 School of Social Work in the country. She acquired her Master’s degree in 2004. Since that time, Amanda has worked exclusively with children and families who would be considered overburdened or otherwise at risk.  In 2012 Amanda received her license to practice Social Work from the Virginia Department of Health Professions, which qualifies her to professionally practice as a social worker with the most vulnerable populations in the country.  Recently Mrs. Wheeler was asked to take on another leadership role within in her organization by providing quality assurance to Healthy Families’ sites across the nation. She is very excited about this opportunity to impact families at a national level. Although extremely proud of her accomplishments, Amanda knows that without the support of Target H.O.P.E these dreams would not have been made a reality. It was the passion that Executive Director Euclid Williamson demonstrated towards a group of young teens at the start of their high school careers that formed what is now Target H.O.P.E. This organization exposed Amanda to a very stringent college preparatory program and multiple colleges across the country. It is through Target H.O.P.E that Mrs. Wheeler was able to explore the grounds of Spelman College and it was through the Target H.O.P.E’s graduate program that she encountered Washington University’s School of Social Work. She has benefitted greatly from this program, since the age of 14, and encourages other young people to do the same.  Amanda is eternally grateful for the opportunities afforded by Target H.O.P.E and is determined to continue to give back to the organization that gave so much to her.


Jannyse Starks, DNP, FNP-BC, is a 2003 graduate of Morgan Park High School. During her time at Morgan Park, she studied nursing with the Chicago Public Schools Practical Nursing Program. At the age of 18, she was already a licensed practical nurse. Jannyse attended Fisk University in Nashville, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology.  She graduated with highest Latin Honors, Summa Cum Laude, and was granted membership into the oldest and most prestigious national honor society, Phi Beta Kappa.  After graduating from Fisk, Jannyse enrolled in Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. There she completed an RN bridge program and continued on to receive a master of science in nursing degree in August of 2009.  At Vanderbilt University, Jannyse has also earned a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP, 2011).  Being a member of Target H.O.P.E. since 2001, she realizes this amazing academic journey would not have been possible without the love and support of her Target H.O.P.E. family. Jannyse is a board certified family nurse practitioner (FNP), residing in Nashville, TN. She recently started a position as a full-time faculty member in the college of Nursing at Vanderbilt University. Back to Top



Cory Adams is the Operations Manager for Nestle USA in Anderson, IN; a Billion dollar brand operation for Coffeemate, Boost, and Nesquik in the United States and Canada. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with a certification in Waste Management from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC.  After corralling the Trustees of North Carolina A&T University, Cory initiated the partnership with Target HOPE. This fall, Cory will begin work on his MBA in the fall at the University of Maryland – College Park and remains actively engaged in his alma mater through the Alumni association and the Jackie Robinson Foundation Alumni association. “Target Hope was instrumental for me in that it provided me with tools that allowed me to understand what I would like to do from a higher education perspective. I recently started graduate school and the visits to Washington University during my undergraduate career helped me to see how an advance degree would support my continued development and knowledge growth.” Target Hopes mission to support continued growth for young minds is critical today to ensure that business will have talented individuals who are prepared to conquer the challenges created in an ever changing global environment.


Imani Lewis is a graduate of Southside College Preparatory Academy, now Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy (2001).  She earned a bachelor of science in biology at Xavier University of Lousiana (2005); and both a master of public health in health policy (2007) and a master of healthcare administration (2011) at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Currently, Imani is an administrative fellow at Provena Health | Resurrection Health Care, the single largest Catholic healthcare provider in Illinois. Back to Top


Lauren McCauley, PharmD, graduated from Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy (2005). Lauren joined Target H.O.P.E. as a sophomore and was introduced to Xavier University in New Orleans during a college tour. During the turbulent period of Hurricane Katrina, Target H.O.P.E. assisted Xavier students in enrolling into Illinois colleges and then returning to graduate from Xavier University. Mr Williamson personally traveled to New Orleans to ensure students were safe and secure after the storm.  Lauren recently earned a doctor of pharmacy degree (2011) and is now a pharmacist for Walgreens. Back to Top



Aaron Ragsdale is a graduate of Morgan Park High School and attended Tuskegee University and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering.  Aaron is currently completing his P.H.D. in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. Aaron has returned to Target H.O.P.E to motivate minority teenagers to pursue engineering and STEM related majors.


Chavonna Webb, PharmD, is a 2005 graduate of Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy.  Chavonna recently earned a doctor of pharmacy degree at Xavier University of Louisiana (2011).  Mr. Williamson personally came to her home and transported her to the University of Illinois-Chicago after the Hurricane Katrina. He assisted Chavonna in enrolling in the university and purchasing text books. Target H.O.P.E. provided emotional and financial support during her tenure in New Orleans, and she recently returned to Chicago after graduation to motivate other students to excel and reach for their dreams.  Her advice to high school and college students is to practice and master time management.  It will be imperative to your academic success and social life.  Also, students should not be afraid to ask for help; If you need it, get it!  Chavonna is currently a staff pharmacist at Walgreens. Back to Top



Adam Guthrie is currently a brand manager at the Wrigley Company working on Extra chewing gum. He is responsible for managing all aspects of the brand from new flavor launches to advertising.  Adam recently had the chance to shoot a new TV commercial for Extra that has received amazing buzz and over 70MM online views in under a week. When he first attended Target H.O.P.E during his junior year at Kenwood Academy and it was a great experience. “Being around so many peers that were driven to learn and do better was a huge motivator to push myself for excellence.” Adam attended Howard University and received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.


m.kirkwoodMelanie Kirkwood graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2015 with a BA in Secondary Education. She is an Ed. M Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois-Urbana.

Melanie is a product of Morgan Park High School and she commenced her involvement with Target H.O.P.E during her sophomore year of high school. She excelled at the Saturday Academy, participated on college tours and was admitted to a summer’s scholars program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned college credit. Melanie utilized her exemplary leadership acumen to formulate a Target H.O.P.E Chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and spearheaded the partnership with UW-Madison.

This dynamic young women orchestrated the college tour to UW-Madison and arranged for admissions, office of diversity and different departments to participate in this creative endeavor. Additionally, she recruited minority students to attend the Graduate and professional School Conference at Washington University. She along with other scholars were inspired by their involvement with a community of scholars and decided to pursue a Doctorate in Education. Melanie is a spectacular example of a young lady who sacrificed her talents to motivate others to excel. Target H.O.P.E awarded her the Presidents Leadership Award in 2015 for excellence.



Syvia Snowden hails from Chicago’s Calumet Heights neighborhood (fondly known as “over East”), where she attended McDade Classical Elementary and Morgan Park High School. It was during her freshman year at Morgan Park that Sylvia became involved with Target H.O.P.E.  Though initially inspired by the number of high achievers from Morgan Park who’d enrolled in the program, she remained because of the one-on- one leadership training she received from Target H.O.P.E faculty and staff. Aware of her ambitions to work in media, TH instructor Dr. Watson pushed her to re-write every essay she submitted to help Sylvia develop a “collegiate level” writing style.  Professor Dixon featured Sylvia on his WVON-AM 1690 radio program, and Executive Director Euclid Williamson introduced her to key admissions personnel at the University of Missouri-Columbia (who boast one of Country’s top journalism programs) Sylvia received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri and presently works in Chicago, IL as a journalist and blogger. She is the editorial director of CAN TV channel 42, where she has received a special

commendation from the Illinois State Legislature for her work connecting Chicagoans to vital support services through media. Her blog,, has had articles featured on BlogHer, Jet Magazine, Chicago Now, and a variety of other publications.


Shani Crowe is a graduate of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (2007).  Shani earned a bachelors degree in radio, television and film from Howard University in Washington, DC (2011).  She has volunteered as a chaperone for college tours, and a photographer and videographer for Target H.O.P.E.  Shani is an incredibly talented and creative artist interested in nail art and design, photography, and painting. Back to Top


Tiffany Onyemaobi is an alumna of Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy (2005).  She earned a bachelor of science in economics at Washington University in St. Louis (2009), and is currently a second-year law student (2L) at John Marshall Law School here in Chicago.  Tiffany is completing her law internship at the U.S. District Court. Back to Top


Elishia Sashington, Brooks College Prep, North Carolina A&T State University, BS, Electrical Engineering, MS Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University. Elicia was the first in her family to attend college. During her sophomore year at Brooks she realized that she had college aspirations, however, the environmental and community impediments in Roseland were monumental. She recalls that Mr. Williamson promised her that she could attend college if she embraced the Target H.O.P.E blueprint. He insisted that I not seek employment over the summer but simply study for the ACT examination. I adhered to the blueprint and raised by ACT score by (5) points which qualified me for the Full-ride scholarship to NCAT. Equally important, Mr. Williamson transported (7) Brook’s students to our orientation and registration weekend at NCAT on the Target H.O.P.E Coach. We were not familiar with NCAT until our involvement with Target H.O.P.E. We were unaware that NCAT is the Number (1) producer of Black Engineers in the nation. 100% of our class completed college in technology majors 75% have completed graduate school.

I started Target H.O.P.E. as a sophomore in high school with no direction and minimal understanding of the college process. Mr. Williamson picked me up from home every Saturday and transported me to DePaul University . He witnessed my potential and purchased me a laptop computer and sponsored my cost to attend the college tours. Through educational enrichment and understanding the academic benchmarks, I was able to attain a terrific ACT score which earned me a full -ride scholarship to North Carolina A&T State University. I was introduced to Graduate School during my sophomore year in college. I was educated about the under -representation of women and minorities in science and technology and was cajoled to attend graduate school.


N.MorganDr. Natalie Morgan graduated from the University Of Illinois College Of Dentistry in May 2013. She earned her undergraduate degree from Washington University as a Spanish and Biology major. She is an alumna of Target H.O.P.E. and is completing a university fellowship that involves exposing high school students to health disparities and career opportunities. Ms. Morgan conducts ACT preparation workshops at Target H.O.P.E. “Washington University was not on my radar screen without the introduction by Target H.O.P.E.” Despite excellent grades in high school, teachers did not encourage students to pursue greatness such as medical school, law school or a Doctorate degree. Through the guidance and scholarship support from Washington University, I was able to attend this prestigious division 1 research university which prepared me for my DDS at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

“I volunteer to teach in the STEM Initiative at Target H.O.P.E because I am an African-American role model who succeeded against the odds. I mentor students, chaperon college tours and provide ACT instruction because minority teenagers have been marginalized by inner-city public schools. They have not been adequately prepared to excel in science and technology disciplines.”


Brandon Avery Stewart, CIA, MBA began attending Target H.O.P.E. in 2002 during his junior year at Oak Park-River Forest High School.  Despite a late start, Avery successfully matriculated into the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou) on the George C. Brooks Scholarship.  Not being bound by statistics and “the norm”, Avery graduated in three years with a bachelor of science in finance and a bachelor of arts in economics.  During his undergraduate studies, Avery traveled to England in the fall of 2004 where he studied finance and traveled throughout Europe for a semester.  Following graduation, Avery began a career in banking before returning to Mizzou for his master of business administration in international business, which he completed in spring 2008.  During his graduate studies, Avery traveled to China twice both as an international student and an international intern.  Avery is an avid traveler, having journeyed to 13 countries, lived on three different continents and speaks French.  Currently, Avery works for PNC Bank as a Certified Internal Auditor specializing in mortgage servicing audits and will be sitting for the CPA Exam in 2012. Back to Top

j.pittsJohn Pitts, M.D. I am a graduate of Kenwood Academy class of 2000 and I discovered Target Hope my senior year of high school.  Like many of you, I grew up in the inner city, did not have much money, and was raised by my single mom.  Despite these circumstances, with the help of good parenting from my mother, mentors, and programs such as Target Hope, I was able to succeed in education.  In high school I graduated in the top 5% of my class and was very active in leadership roles such as mentoring, student government, the National Honor Society and was also a captain of the baseball and football teams.  In addition, Target Hope played an integral role in preparing me for college.  It provided mentorship, taught us how to interview, network, study for college level classes and allowed us to meet peers with similar goals.  With the skills I learned form Target Hope, I was able secure various scholarships for college including the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship.  Without this financial assistance I would not have been able to afford to attend the college of my choice.

Upon graduating from high school, I attended Emory University in Atlanta, GA.  I initially was interested in Business and decided to major in Mathematics/Economy.  However, after 2 summer internships with the Inroads Program, working at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, I realized this was not a fulfilling career for me.  I then decided to pursue Physical Therapy because of my interest in health and fitness.  I sought shadowing opportunities in Physical Therapy and some in medicine as well. After these experiences and much thought and discussion, I ultimately decided to purse medical school.  It is very important to actually gain experience in the field you are considering so you can have first hand knowledge on what it entails. I never had an interest in becoming a physician prior to my shadowing experience.   Also, I used to think that it required too many years of school! Throughout college I remained active in community service, mentorship, and participated in Track and Field.

I graduated from Emory with a degree in Mathematics/Economics in 2009.  I spent the next year teaching Physical Education at an elementary school back in Chicago while applying for medical school.  I was accepted at Vanderbilt University with a full tuition scholarship.  Upon graduating from Vanderbilt, I went on to residency training at Emory University.  Residency is 4 years for my specialty and I am currently in my third year.  My specialty is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry).  We specialize in treatment of neurological and musculoskeletal injuries and rehabilitation after disability.  We treat patients after devastating injuries such as brain injuries and spinal cord injuries as well common sports related injuries or arthritis.  My field focuses on improving a person’s quality of life after devastating injuries that may leave them physically impaired. It is rewarding to help people improve function after major injuries, gain more independence, and improve chronic pain conditions.

Since beginning medical school I had some of the most difficult but also and some of the best experiences of my life.  During medical school, I met my future wife and we used every opportunity to travel.  Prior to medical school I had never left the country and now I have traveled to over 20 countries on 4 continents.  I was even were married in Mexico in 2011.  So yes we work hard, but we also play hard. One must always have some balance in life, which takes planning, organization, and effective time management.  Furthermore, in medical school I was able to spend a month in Belize volunteering at rural clinics providing free health care to the underserved.  Volunteering in underserviced areas abroad is something I hope to do more of in the future.  For those of you interested in the medical profession, the career choices are vast, I encourage you to gain as much experience in it as you can and not be deterred by the challenges that may lie ahead.  My mother always taught me there is nothing you cannot achieve if you put your mind to it! Back to Top


Whitney Wade joined Target H.O.P.E during her sophomore year at Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois. During her time in the program, she was surrounded by high achieving students from all over the Chicagoland area, which was invaluable to navigating the journey to college. She found the program to be full of academic superstars with the common goals of matriculating from college, securing or creating fulfilling employment, and keeping the promise of exposing the next generation of min ority students to opportunities in higher education. With the guidance and exposure of Target H.O.P.E,

Whitney was able to attend her dream school, Washington University in St. Louis, as both a John B. Ervin Scholar and Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar. Her first visit to the university was on the Target H.O.P.E Journey to Excellence College Tour where she was able to make personal connections with administrators and students. She earned a BA in Psychology and African and African American Studies from Washington

University in St. Louis; and an MSW in Children, Youth and Families and Management from the Brown School of Social Work. Duri ng her MSW program, she completed graduate-level internships in fundraising and philanthropy. Her first position after completing her MSW at the Brown School was in the role of Grant Writer for Target H.O.P.E. In this role, she worked closely with the Founder and Executive Director to shadow his work in nonprofit management; craft compelling grant proposals that capture the depth and effectiveness of Target H.O.P.E’s program; and help staff college tours and graduate school conferences for students of color from Chicago. Since her time with Target H.O.P.E, she has served as a recruiter and project manager at national executive search firms – one with a focus on filling senior level positions at nonprofits, and another firm with a lens on placing diverse professionals i n executive positions across sectors and functions. Whitney is now a Talent Recruiter and Diversity Manager at a philanthropy advising firm in Chicago – a position which satisfies both of her goals of connecting people with meaningful work opportunities, and making space for people of color to thrive in academic and professional settings. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and is heavily involved with the scholarship program of her local chapter’s foundation.

LaJoi Royston, B.S. Elementary Education, M.Ed Curriculum Studies is a 2006 alumni of Morgan Park High School. At the age of 16, LaJoi used the skills she learned in Target H.O.P.E. to develop a five year plan that would put her on a path for success. In her undergraduate career at DePaul University, LaJoi studied abroad in Paris as a Gilman International Scholar. In her junior year of college, LaJoi made the life-saving decision to donate a kidney to her grandmother. While this was not a part of her 5-year plan, she managed to have surgery and make a complete recovery while still staying on track. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University in 2010. Using her grandmother as motivation, LaJoi managed to complete DePaul University’s 2-year graduate program in just a year. She received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum Studies in 2011 at the age of 22. LaJoi credits Target Hope as being a constant driving force in her life. She credits the time she spent around motivated young people in her high school years as a major contributor to her success today. LaJoi currently works as a 5th grade instructor and cheer leading coach at a charter school on Chicago’s Southside. She will be relocating to Boston to obtain her second Master’s Degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University in the fall.

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Quinn Kareem Rallins Master’s Oxford University, 2nd year Law Student

Quinn Kareem Rallins is a Public Interest Law Scholar and J.D. Candidate at Northeastern University School of Law. He enrolled in Target H.O.P.E. at 15 years old and began attending theSaturday Academy Program.  Through the program’s college tour, Quinn was also introduced to Morehouse College, where he would matriculate and graduate magna cum laude with Departmental Honors.  Following graduation, he was accepted into the Masters Program in Comparative Social Policy at Oxford University in England, and specialized in Education Policy. Quinn graduated and began working as a community organizer in Massachusetts and Alabama on several campaigns, ranging from fair housing to criminal law reform.  Quinn has taught college courses in Sociology as an adjunct professor at Stonehill College, and has traveled to more than 40 countries, such as Sierra Leone, Malaysia, and the Dominican Republic.  Currently, he resides with his wife in Boston, Massachusetts. 
“Target H.O.P.E. changed my mental model.  It provided me with mentors, friendships, and menthes to walk through the common challenges we all face.  And moreover, staff like Mr. Williamson and Dr. Eddie Kornegay challenge me to be leader in my generation.”- Quinn Rallins Back to Top

MaToya S. Marsh,Hyde Park Career Academy, Chicago State University alumnus with Master’s in School Counseling   Target H.O.P.E.  did exactly what it promises to do, which is provide healing, opportunities, pride and empowerment. In 1994 my school counselor called all of the freshmen to the auditorium of Hyde Park Career Academy to hear about some program. Well we got to the auditorium and there was this man standing there in a suit and with a notepad in his hand. He talked about African history, math and art classes…I’m thinking we left class to talk about more school? Then he went on to say that these classes would take place on Saturday. School on Saturday is all that I was thinking, as if Monday through Friday wasn’t enough. He continued to talk about “possibly” going on college tours…now that peaked my interest, but not enough to go to school on Saturday. This man just continued to talk about endless opportunities and promises from this program. A program that had no data, no statistics, no case studies, no previous classes, no testimonies only a man with a notepad. At the end of his speech the man with the notepad passed that notepad around asking us to be a part of this nameless program who’s target was HOPE. Some people left, some people stayed and then there were those who actually signed that notepad. The man with the notepad told us if we showed up Saturday we will be exposed to several opportunities. So I went that Saturday and countless other Saturdays up until to my Senior year. Well that man kept every last one of his promises and even gave more.

Target H.O.P.E. put me on a path to college and excellence as a high school freshmen. I was taught by college professors at Roosevelt University. Professor Blair made students understand complex math and this increased our confidence. Professor Dixon utilized his mastery of teaching African-American history to instill pride and power in our spirits. Dr. Cheryl Green, taught students how to foster self-love and strive for greatness despite institutional and family problems. I was able to attend College tours, receive education that I would’ve never received in a CPS classroom, mentors, letters of recommendations, financial assistance, lifelong friendships, life lessons, life skills, employment opportunities, laughs, memories, fellowship, and an endless network.  The framework that Target H.O.P.E. provided prepared me for my career in Education.  I was a Chicago Public School teacher for 9 years teaching in schools such as Percy L. Julian High School, John Marshall High School and even my alma mater Hyde Park Academy.  Currently, I serve as the Director of Student Activities and Student Leadership at my other alma mater Chicago State University.  Thank You Target H.O.P.E. and Euclid Williamson.

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B.LacosteBrienna Junae LaCoste,  Public Relations Practitioner -Flowers Communications Group, Assistant Account Executive.  Graduate of University of Missouri (Mizzou) Bachelor of Journalism – Strategic Communications.

Brienna has served as a leader of Target H.O.P.E in high school, college and her in community since she began the program as a junior in high school. She has held roles including: Vice President of the National Honor Society, Captain of a state-winning dance team, High School and College Mentor, President of the Target H.O.P.E collegiate chapter at the University of Missouri and Vice President of the National Association of Black Journalists, to name a few. She has been honored by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated as a “Thriving 22” award recipient; by the University of Missouri’s NAACP chapter as a Myrlie Evers-Williams Black Student Leader of the Year; and by Target H.O.P.E for Outstanding Leadership as President of Target H.O.P.E at the University of Missouri.

Brienna served as the president of the University of Missouri’s chapter of Target H.O.P.E for two years. In that time, Brienna developed social and professional skills and discovered passions that she continues to foster today. She considers her collegiate exper ience with Target H.O.P.E one of the most impactful times in her life. During her tenure as president, with the help of talented and dedicated executive board members, Brienna was able to implement several new and successful programs for greater campus and community.  Brienna’s post-graduate endeavors do not exclude her favorite organization, Target H.O.P.E. As an alum, Brienna volunteers with Target H.O.P.E as often as she is able — aiding with administrative support, data management, college tour planning and facilitation, mentorship and more. The high school and college and alumni network, have helped Brienna prepare for the rigorous academic work of the University of Missouri’s #1 School of Journalism; navigate through the social and financial struggles that come with a dulthood; prepare for graduate school options; and gain professional opportunities.  Target H.O.P.E continues to be one of Brienna’s biggest encouragements and support systems. Euclid Williamson and his extraordinary vision of Target H.O.P.E has provided the stepping stones for dreams-come-true for thousands of students, including Brienna. She does not take the family that she calls “TH” for granted. She’s proud to continue the traditions that have taken eager Chicagoland high students and guided them into some of the world’s greatest change agents.

Efundunke Hughes, Morgan Park High School, Master’s in Education, Stanford University Efundunke Hughes is another Target H.O.P.E. alumna who commenced her affiliation with Target H.O.P.E. as a high school sophomore from Morgan Park High School. The Saturday academy classes were taught by exceptional faculty who motivated students to succeed. As a Target H.O.P.E. participant, Ms. Hughes was afforded the opportunity to participate in an Urban Leadership Conference in Ghana, West Africa for seventeen days where she studied Ghanian culture, literature, and agriculture in addition to paying homage to her ancestors at Cape Coast and the Elmina slave castles. It was an honor to be a part of the vision of Renee Neblitt and live and learn from her Kokorbiety School in Accra.

Efundunke received her Master of Arts degree in Education from Stanford University. She currently coaches first and second grade year teachers, grades pre-kindergarten through 8th through the academy for Urban School Leadership network. This organization encourages its community of scholars to stay connected because everyone has a story that can turn into a testimony and inspire others to have no excuse to fail. Back to Top

Georgetta Bundley (left) attended King College Prep and commenced her affiliation with Target H.O.P.E. as a sophomore. “It was the sensational exposure that I received on the college tours which drew me to Fisk University,” said Georgetta. “Mr. Williamson recommended me for a scholarship which made it affordable for me to attend Fisk University. I volunteered to be a member of the Fisk University Target H.O.P.E. Chapter and was introduced to the real world of Medical School while attending the Graduate and Professional School Conference at Washington University. I received care packages, stipends and support from Target H.O.P.E. for the entire period I attended Fisk.” She graduated from Fisk with honors and commenced her first day at MeHarry Medical School. Shannon Clemons (center) remembers: “It was a sensational opportunity to graduate from Morgan Park High School and attend Howard University with so many motivated students from Target H.O.P.E. During my tenure at Howard University, the Target H.O.P.E. Howard Chapter won student organization of the year several times. By attending the Graduate and Professional School Conference at Washington University, I was able to interact with associate deans, faculty and medical school students. Equally important were opportunities to communicate with so many talented minority scholars from across the nation. The networking provided a blueprint which was was essential in preparing me for the rigors of medical school. I have continued to volunteer for college tours and mentor aspiring medical school students.” A Howard University alumnus, Shannon graduated in May 2014 from Meharry Medical School and is mentoring first-year MeHarry Medical students as a integral component of our graduate and professional school STEM Initiative. Raliegh Fotoki (right) recalls: “It was a terrific experience to travel on the college tours. I was offered admission and scholarships on the spot at Target H.O.P.E. affiliate colleges. I received a full-ride to attend Howard University, which prepared me for medical school. Target H.O.P.E. arranged for me to attend the Graduate and Professional School Conference at Washington University for two years. Target Hope also introduced my younger brother David to Washington University where he currently attends. I am proud to volunteer my time and expertise to mentor young minority men and women to attain their dreams.” An alumnus of Howard University, Raliegh started his first day at MeHarry Medical School. Back to Top

April Burrage earned her Bachelors of Science in Marketing with a concentration in Sales from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in May of 2013, and is a 2009 graduate of Walter Payton College Preparatory High School. Currently, April is working as an insurance broker in Chicago until she returns to graduate school in the Fall of 2015. April’s excellent high school record and Target H.O.P.E.’s strong relationship with North Carolina A&T, allowed her to receive two scholarships (Lewis & Elizabeth Dowdy Scholarship & Craig Hall Business Scholarship) from the institution which covered her tuition & fees, room & board, books and supplies. While at A&T, April not only was strong in the classroom but joined the Division I women’s tennis team her junior year. April is a two time recipient of the Student Academic Athlete Award (2012 & 2013). She is also the first recipient of the prestigious Chancellor’s Academic Excellence award which is awarded to one graduating senior selected by the Chancellor, for their academic excellence, community involvement, and who has displayed strong leadership skills. April graduated with a 4.00 GPA and plans to become a business professor in the future. Back to Top

Marilyn Asiedua Adibu is the secretary for the Target Hope Alumni Association in Chicago, IL for the 2014-2015 year.

Marilyn obtained a B.S. in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will be receiving her Masters in Community Health with a concentration in Health Policy & Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2015.

During her time with Target Hope Academy, Marilyn became affiliated with the organization her sophomore year (in 2006) while attending Thornwood High School in South Holland, IL. After successfully completing the Target Hope Academy program and attending the university, while finishing her Masters, Marilyn has been a graduate mentor to incoming freshman in her department. She is also an Instructor at the University of Illinois teaching undergraduate college students Modern Society of Drug Use & Abuse. While completing her degree, along with her health administration degree forthcoming, she received an opportunity to be a summer administrative intern at St. Luke’s University Health Network which is a non-profit six hospital health system that provides care to patients in eastern Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she likes to cook and volunteer in both the Champaign and Chicagoland area such as Girl Scouts of Central Illinois and the Heartland Nursing Home Health Center.

“I believe that Target Hope has provided me with the opportunity to work with a great group of friends and professionals while developing my own technical expertise and knowledge to succeed in my career field. I had the opportunity to not only learn from experienced mentors and great professors, but work alongside them as well. Target Hope continues to produce scholars while exposing them to various topics and tours of several prestigious colleges. I am very proud of the growth and elated to be apart of a strong program geared towards excellence and education. I would highly recommend other students to take advantage of this program and to continue building healthy relationships.”

Marilyn can be reached at  Back to Top


Candace Armour is a 2009 graduate of Homewood Flossmoor High School. Her journey with Target H.O.P.E. began in her sophomore year, and through the program she was encouraged to apply to Washington University in St. Louis where she was admitted with a full-ride scholarship. Candace is 2014 graduate of Washington University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA.

During her time at WashU she was able to serve as an ambassador for Target H.O.P.E.’s Graduate and Professional School Conference beginning as a freshman. It was this conference that initially piqued her interest in graduate school. As a sophomore at the conference, Candace interacted with other high-achieving minority students and professionals from across the nation and also with prominent faculty and staff from Washington University. After this experience, she applied and enrolled in WashU’s 3-2 dual degree program where she was able to complete her BS/MBA program within 5 years.

While at Washington University, Target H.O.P.E. served as a foundation for success and empowered her to dream even bigger than she already had. The program allotted her the ability to network with other like-minded individuals, and it is the source of many of Candace’s long-time friendships and mentors. For Candace Target H.O.P.E. was not just about academic achievement; it was about the support of a family. Target H.O.P.E. enabled Candace to achieve her dreams and equipped her with the courage and boldness to continue through higher education as a double minority in two male-dominated fields of study.

While completing her final year of study, Candace started a business, Fancy Extensions, which is an e-commerce website for imported hair extensions. Currently, Candace is an Information Technology Analyst for a consulting firm in Chicago. Candace believes Target H.O.P.E. has been instrumental in her success and is passionate about supporting Target H.O.P.E. and its future initiatives. Back to Top

Monique Childress is a 2006 graduate of Morgan Park High School who joined Target Hope at the beginning of her senior year after attending the Journey to Excellence tour.  In 2010, she graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with majors in Marketing & Organization Behavior.  Over the next few years, she worked in marketing and business development roles in the construction industry.  Currently, she is a rising 2nd year MBA student at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.  This summer, she is interning as a Strategy Consultant with Accenture.

While she did not have the full TH experience of starting sophomore year of high school, she is very appreciative of the support and relationships fostered through the organization.  If it weren’t for Mr. Williamson, she likely would not have applied to or attended Washington University simply from lack of exposure.  Now, she looks back on her college experience and knows that TH was one of the best decisions of her life.  She only hopes that by giving back to TH, whether through volunteering or a financial contribution, another student can have the same opportunities and experiences that she was afforded. Back to Top

Tiffany N. Ford Tiffany N. Ford, a 2010 graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, joined Target H.O.P.E. in her sophomore year. Attending Saturday Academy and multiple college tours helped her to gain the tools to be successful as a collegiate. Tiffany went on to graduate Cum Laude from the University of Miami with a B.S. in Human and Social Development and Economics and a minor in Health Sector Management and Policy in May 2014. While at the University of Miami, Tiffany remained involved with the Target H.O.P.E. network, attending the Graduate and Professional School Conference at Washington University. There, she gained invaluable information on furthering her education beyond the undergraduate experience. In Fall 2014 she will begin a Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she will study health disparities impacting urban communities and communities of color.

It was through Target H.O.P.E. that Tiffany learned the importance of taking an active role in her own education. Without Target H.O.P.E., Tiffany would not have arrived to her campus with the tools and level of preparedness required to be a successful student. Target H.O.P.E. taught her time and financial management, how to cope with being a long distance from home, how to handle toxic relationships, as well as provided her with a network of like-minded young scholars.

Tiffany is passionate about the impact that Target H.O.P.E. has had on her life and on the lives of others from the Chicagoland area. She looks forward to volunteering her time with Target H.O.P.E. and being a strong support in the organization’s future endeavors. Back To Top


b.snodgrassBrandi Snodgrass is a Target H.O.P.E trailblazer and co-founder of the Target H.O.P.E Gamma Chapter. She was introduced to the University of Missouri during a Target H.O.P.E Journey to Excellence Summer college tour going into her senior year of college. Brandi graduated from Hillcrest High School and attended Mizzou from 2003-2007 where she received a degree in Communications with a minor in Sociology. Most recently, Brandi received her Master of Science in Communications from Northwestern University.

Upon graduation in 2007, Brandi was offered a position to work with the University Of Missouri Office Of Admissions as the Coordinator of Culturally Diverse Recruitment Programs.  Brandi firmly believes that the leadership gained through her experiences founding the Gamma Chapter, cultivating relationships across campus between students, administrators, and various departments paved the way to her success. Currently, Brandi works at the University of Chicago, where she serves as the Associate Director of the Neighborhood Schools

Program – a part of the Office of Civic Engagement at the University. In addition to her work at the University of Chicago, Brandi has served as the Target H.O.P.E Saturday Academy Senior Seminar instructor over 6 years. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Chicago Credit Union. Previously, Brandi served in the role of an Admissions Coordinator at the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business, and got her start with it all at Mizzou.  She has remained engaged and supportive with the chapter for over 10 years, and considers the incorporation of the Mizzou Gamma Chapter as her greatest accomplishment. Back To Top

Jawann Pollard has been in Target HOPE since his sophomore year of high school.  He graduated from Morgan Park High school in 2004.   On his first Journey to Excellence College Tour, he was introduced to and fell in love with the University of Missouri (Mizzou).  While at Mizzou, he served as President of the Target HOPE Gamma chapter from 2006-2008.  He graduated from Mizzou in 2009 with his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with emphases in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry & Mathematics.  Being inspired by his leadership & involvement in Target HOPE, he decided to pursue a career in Higher Education.  He served as the Coordinator of Culturally Diverse Recruitment Programs for the office of Admissions for two years and is currently one of the Chicago Regional Admissions Representatives for the Mizzou Office of Admissions. Back To Top

 Elizabeth Jamison-Dunn is a 2003 graduate of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. She joined Target HOPE at the age of 15 as a sophomore, and because of the innumerable benefits that she has reaped from the organization; she remains an active participant to this day.

In pursuance of her passion for service and learning about world cultures, the summer after her high school graduation, she spent four weeks living with a host family and volunteering at an orphanage in Accra, Ghana. She later attended Howard University where she majored in political science and minored in community development. While at Howard, she participated in a number of activities. This included the Chicago’s People’s Union, Phi Beta Kappa Society, INROADS, and serving as social action chair for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She also pursued her passion for travel and world cultures once again when she spent a semester abroad in Granada, Spain. While there, she was able to learn the Spanish language and embark upon a cultural immersion that would find her visiting over seven different countries throughout Europe and North Africa.

During her sophomore year, she founded the Howard University Chapter of Target HOPE with fellow Target HOPE alum, Melanie Page and Walter Cartwright. Target HOPE went on to become a very active agent on Howard’s campus hosting a Saturday Program for Washington, D.C.’s youth, organizing campus wide cultural and service related events, as well as hosting groups of high school students from Chicago throughout the year. As a result of its success, the chapter was able to win the distinction of being named Howard University’s Organization of the Year for three consecutive years. In 2007 she graduated Suma Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.

Upon graduation, Elizabeth joined Teach for America as a corps members and was hired as a 7th grade teacher at Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School.  In an effort to develop her scholars holistically, Elizabeth founded a number of organizations for the Catalyst students. This includes: Catalyst Cougar Cheerleading Team, Graffiti-Art Club, Circle Rock Poets, and Ladies of Distinction.  Academically, Elizabeth’s scholars achieved the highest state test scores in the history of her school with with 92% in math, 89% in reading, and 85% in science meeting or exceeding standards on the ISAT.

While at Catalyst, Elizabeth attained a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Curriculum and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, both from Dominican University.  She was also the recipient of the Catalyst 2012 Agent of Change Award and the 2012 Teach for America Chicago Alumni Distinguished Teacher Award. Because of her demonstrated success in the classroom, during the 2011-2012 school year,  Elizabeth was promoted to the role of Director of Instruction/Assistant Principal, which allowed her to affect student achievement on an even wider level.

Elizabeth owes so much of her success in life to the unparalleled support and guidance that she has received from Target HOPE. She was active in the high school component, founded and presided over the collegiate chapter, and has served on numerous committees for the Target HOPE Alumni Association.  These extended interactions have assisted her in developing leadership skills, growing her network, and contributing to her community in a meaningful and positive way.  Through the program, she was able to meet her mentor, Mr. Williamson, who is by far one of the most selfless, compassionate, and intelligent people that she has ever met.  The lessons that she has learned from Mr. Williamson and the organization are the reasons that she is passionate about education, have a spirit of service, and a thirst for knowledge. She does not know who she would be if it had not been for Target Hope. Her many years of participation in the organization have truly changed her life. Back To Top

S.BoncySabrine Rhodes visited Washington University for the first time during the summer of her junior year on a Target Hope tour. She had received information regarding the university but had no interest in living in St. Louis, until her visit.  She fell in love with the school where she would receive a full-tuition academic John B. Ervin scholarship and spend the next 6 years– 4 in her undergraduate studies in African and American and Legal Studies and Psychology, and 2 years in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work receiving her MSW specializing in Children Youth and Families.  Sabrine would then work for 3 years as an administrator and School Social Worker in the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District. During this time Sabrine would also marry her college sweetheart and fellow Washington University Alum.  She left this formative position after starting her family, but would return to the district a year later to develop and conduct trainings for the district’s teachers in Cultural Responsiveness for the next 4 years.  During this time, her family continued to grow and she and Stephen became the parents of 4 children over the course of 6 years.  While mothering her children and being an active parent in every facet of her children’s  lives is now Sabrine’s primary responsibility, she continues to develop and conduct trainings in various non-profits and has also since started a flourishing photography business.  She credits Euclid Williamson with single-handedly introducing her to the university that changed her live intellectually, socially and spiritually.  She believes that her experiences there shaped her and prepared her for every encounter she has had since that time. Back To Top

Malikat Rufai is a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, specializing in Public Diplomacy, currently serving in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, formerly known as Saigon. Public Diplomacy Officers seek to understand, inform, and influence foreign audiences with the ultimate goal of advancing U.S. foreign policy objectives regarding topics such as youth and women’s empowerment, education, and entrepreneurship. In a world where many foreigners have a distinct image of what an American is “supposed” to look like, Malikat is proud of the diversity she represents, and is honored to expand the perspectives of foreign audiences with limited knowledge of the United States and it’s citizens. Malikat is a 2007 graduate of Northside College Prep High School and an alumna of Spelman College, where she was ranked among the top 10 graduates of 2011, with a double major in International Studies and French. She then went on to receive her MA in International Economics and Conflict Management from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in DC. Malikat credits the firm foundation provided by Spelman and Target HOPE for her accomplishments thus far. She is eternally grateful for the unique support system she found within those institutions, and seeks everyday to prove herself worthy of such support. Malikat believes you leave a mark on everyone you meet, and it is important to make that mark both inedible and positive. Back To Top

Liana Geddes, PT, DPT was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. She is a 2006 graduate of Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy. Liana became a Target H.O.P.E. member during her junior year at Brooks and it was with the assistance of Target H.O.P.E. that she was able to attend Kokrobitey Institute – an urban scholar leadership development and cultural awareness program – in Accra, Ghana.

Liana attended Fisk University where she was awarded the Ella Shepherd Moore Full Tuition Scholarship. She majored in Biology, served as an orientation leader, resident assistant, was a member of the Target H.O.P.E. Collegiate Chapter, studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain and was initiated into the Alpha Beta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Liana graduated in the top 10% of her class with summa cum laude honors and was inducted into the nation’s oldest undergraduate honor society, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society – Delta Chapter.

In 2013, Liana graduated with her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Washington University School of Medicine. She is now helping her patients maximize their functional independence as licensed and practicing Doctor of Physical Therapy in Atlanta, GA. Back to Top