meet our board of directors

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Daniel Aquino

Bio Coming Soon!

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Elaine Darer

Bio Coming Soon!

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Michaela Marchi

Michaela Marchi is a multi-ethnic educator, singer/songwriter and a stage IV colon cancer survivor, living with Lynch Syndrome, who is passionate about supporting equitable efforts toward the health and wellbeing of underserved communities, using art, music, and nature and storytelling as medicine. She has worked with Chicago’s diverse communities and teachers through The Field Museum and served as Director of a Music Together Center combining her love of teaching music and working with young children and their caregivers. In 2021, she curated an exhibition at Studio 3 of her late mother’s artwork and writings, promoting intergenerational healing through storytelling and creative endeavor - a clear match with the mission of Kids Create Change. Michaela holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and is currently working on an album of original songs. She works with the Cancer Research Institute, American Indian Cancer Foundation, and others, as a patient advocate. Visit her at https://offstagedotblog.wordpress.com

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Marcus Brown

Marcus Brown is the founder of DIME (Dance Is My Everything) in Evanston. He co-owns it with his fiance Jordan Frye. DIME is a company that currently specializes in dancing with students at all skill levels and abilities. Much more than your ordinary dance company they go above and beyond to teach life skills and to boost students' confidence, love and awareness of self and others. Their goal is to make a positive impact on the students their team comes across and help lead the next generation to a better and healthier future than the one we had.

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Brian Molitor

Bio Coming Soon!

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Casey Varela

Casey Lewis Varela is the Vice President of the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation. She is the former Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Youth & Opportunity United (2015-2020) and a former Associate Director at Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights (2000-2005).     

 

Casey was educated at Kenyon College, graduating in 1996, and she received her Master of Arts from

the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice of the University of Chicago in 2000.  

Casey is a member of the ETHS Educational Foundation Board of Directors and serves on the Advisory Board of Open Studio Project.   Casey previously served as a member of the Caring Outreach to Parents in Evanston Advisory Board, McGaw YMCA Board of Directors, Evanston Community Foundation Communityworks Advisory Committee, Kingsley Elementary School PTA Board of Directors and School Advisory Committee, Warren W. Cherry Preschool Board of Directors, Inter-American Magnet School Local School Council, and Lakeview Action Coalition Board of Directors.   

 

Casey is married to George Varela, a Senior Environmental Remediation Project Manager at ComEd. They have two high school aged daughters.