Ruth has spent her career traveling in and out of international development and community development with a notable “out” period at a dot.com. She has always felt strongly about contributing positively to her communities and giving back where she can. After graduating from Pomona College, she served as a Rural Community Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa. Her return stateside was to Northwestern University where she received her Master’s Degree in Political Science. Armed with her degree, she hit the streets and telephones of Chicago with Greenpeace. Despite the great cause, that work did not play to her strengths so she moved on to the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning where she was able to conduct research to her heart’s content. From there, Ruth followed a steady stream of generation X’ers into the dot.com wave where she learned a lot before the bubble burst.
Manjima is a community development professional with experience in the industry dating back to 2004. After a brief flirtation with computer science, Manjima majored in English at DePaul University. Her combination of quantitative acumen and strong writing skills landed her a position at a Chicago based CDFI for four years.
Lolita is a travel buff whose exploration of areas both foreign and domestic fueled a passion for understanding how communities work. After receiving a degree in Slavic Languages and Literature from Indiana University, Lolita landed a job as an employment placement specialist helping Russian refugees resettle in Chicago. This position gave her a peek into the nonprofit world, and the nudge needed to receive a Masters degree in Public Service Management from DePaul university. With strong mentorship at DePaul, Lolita focused on her interest in urban planning and received a certificate in Metropolitan Planning as one of the first Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development scholars.