Meet The Board

Kelli Haywood – Founder & Executive Director

Kelli_HaywoodKelli Haywood, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, completed her Master’s of Sports Administration program at Northwestern University, where her concentration field was Marketing and Public Relations. In 2008 she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Spelman College where she was a varsity basketball player and Dean’s List Honor’s student. Kelli is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Prior to launching Dream On Education, Kelli worked in Account Marketing for adidas and for Walgreens Corporate as a Strategic Planning Analyst, where she supported, both, the Visual Merchandising and the Promotional Planning divisions. She previously interned with Sprint Nextel (INROADS, Inc.), the Chicago Bulls, and the YMCA of Greater Chicago.

Dream On’s mission is very close to Kelli’s heart. Throughout her life, she witnessed the benefits of academic commitment and the disadvantages of academic negligence. Both of her parents are first generation college graduates who made personal sacrifices to pursue and obtain a higher education.  Because her parents instilled in her the value of academic excellence, she was blessed to attend Spelman College on a full tuition scholarship, study at Stanford University, and later earn her Masters from Northwestern University. While she is proud of each accomplishment, Kelli certain that they were a direct result of her supportive family, academic resources, and early exposure to various career paths.

Growing up, many of Kelli’s peers were extremely bright and talented individuals who simply lacked academic support, an encouraging network, and access unique cultures. Kelli founded Dream On Education to fill the aforementioned voids that are prevalent in many low-income households around the country. Moreover, she founded Dream On to provide hope and opportunity in communities that are rich in potential but poor in resources.

Dream On Education is a combination of some of Kelli’s favorite things – education, art, and inspiring others.

Steven McGee

Steve_McGeeSteven McGee (PhD 1995, Learning Sciences, Northwestern; BS 1988, Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern) is a Research Associate Professor of Learning Sciences in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. McGee’s areas of research are science education reform, teacher leadership, assessment and educational technology. He currently serves as the director of the NU Leadership Academy for School Improvement, which provides teacher leadership support for Chicago elementary and high school science teachers involved in curriculum reform projects. McGee is an active faculty member in the design and implementation of the new masters in teacher leadership program at Northwestern. He is the former director of the Meaningful Science Consortium, which facilitated transformation of high school science departments in Chicago through project-based curricula, professional development, coaching, and aligned assessments. He is also a former director of the NASA Classroom of the Future program, which brings the excitement of NASA science to K-12 schools through the use of advanced technologies.

Felicia Slaton-Young

David_LeeksAs an Edward Jones financial advisor, I believe it’s important to invest my time to understand what you’re working toward before you invest your money. Working closely with you and your CPA, attorney and other professionals, I can help determine the most appropriate financial strategy for you and your family. I can also help with your retirement savings strategy so you have more options when you retire, regardless of what you decide to do.I began my Edward Jones career in 2013 as a financial advisor in Chicago. Today, Edward Jones serves the community from 11 convenient locations.

I attended Savannah State University and graduated cum laude in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and in 2006, I graduated from Webster University with an MBA.

My family and I have lived in Englewood since 1983. I am an active member of the community, serving as executive member for the Resident Association of Greater Englewood. I also am a past director of Membership & Outreach for Younger Women’s Task Force, Chicago chapter.

Relationships are key, and in our view, meeting face to face builds strong relationships. We meet when it’s convenient for our clients because we recognize the challenging needs of their business and their lives.

The financial world can sometimes seem like foreign territory; I can work one-on-one with you to help determine the most appropriate financial strategy for you and your family.

Charita Lucas

Charita_LucasA native of Chicago, Charita Lucas holds an Executive level position in one of the largest Marketing Communications Companies in the world. As head of Information Technology, Charita has over 23 years of experience in a field that has traditionally been highly male-dominated giving her a unique perspective as a long time leader and seasoned technology professional with proven resulted aligning comprehensive technology solutions to complex integrated business models and providing leadership to experts in the field.

Charita grew up on the South side of Chicago in the infamous Cabrini Green neighborhood where she attended Sojourner Truth elementary school.  She was awarded the title of Valedictorian before relocating to Englewood where she attended Middle School.  She graduated from Lindblom High School where she excelled academically and joined the school’s volleyball team.  She attended Columbia College in downtown Chicago while simultaneously working full time and obtaining several Systems Engineer Certifications.

Charita has a unique perspective, relate-ability and empathy towards the plight of low-income children.  And, she is passionate about sustainable programs that encourage, expose and mentor children; providing avenues to seek out new experiences and opportunities aligned with their God given talents.

In addition to serving on the Board of Dream On, Charita is the President of the Chicago Chapter of her organization’s Black Diaspora Social Network group.  She is also an active member of the National Association of Women Professional Network, was a featured panel member of the Women’s Leadership Panel and served as a Board Member of the Young Men of Distinction Non for Profit Organization.

Tom Perros

Charita_LucasTom Perros is a vice president for ESP Properties, a commercial and creative consulting firm for sports and entertainment entities. He helps create turnkey solutions for his clients to optimize their sponsorship strategies in order to help them maximize revenue. He has also worked with numerous causes and nonprofits in developing strategies that help tap into multiple sources of revenue from brands across marketing and philanthropy. Tom is a featured speaker on sponsorship strategy and measurement at IEG’s Annual Sponsorship Conference and other industry events, conferences, professional trainings and summits.