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I am thrilled to serve as the Interim Director of the UIC CHANCE Program. I consider myself a “valued” and invested administrator who has spent over a decade preparing myself to help lead the next generation of CHANCE Scholars and help connect them to society.
Over the past years, it has been a joy to continue to engage with each CHANCE Student and our Alumni who participates in our program. It is an honor to meet and greet each student as I assist them with their personal goals to fulfill their college completion requirements.
Under my leadership our CHANCE Program will continue to offer our participants far more than tutoring and workshops; we also offer access to a “living and learning environment aimed to prepare our students for real-life settings beyond college”. This semester we will strive to develop our future leaders to take their rightful place in society.
On a personal note, Mrs. Khaliah Young received her Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences from Illinois State University, Bloomington, Illinois. Mrs. Khalilah Young hobbies include; she enjoys reading, journaling and spending time with her family.
Mr. Yuji Toefield considers it an honor to serve as the Assistant Director of Educational Outreach for the UIC CHANCE Program. He has worked in higher education for over 20 years, and his expertise lies in the field of College Recruitment, Admissions and Retention. He considers working in higher education a very rewarding experience and enjoys informing potential students, “Yes, you have been admitted!” He is the product of a “non-traditional” college admissions program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, and firmly believes that numbers and test scores should not be the sole factors in determining accessibility to college for students.
He believes that everyone should pursue “higher” education because it takes much more than a high school education to remain competitive in our society. Believing that “Failure is not an option!” he encourages all students to network with as many people as possible throughout their educational and professional career. “Each day when I arrive to the CHANCE office; it brings me joy to be able to help students prepare for life beyond college.”
On a personal note, he enjoys spending time with his family and especially his 2 young sons. His mission is to uplift his community and help inspire the next generation of leaders. Mr. Toefield earned his Bachelor Degree in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education.
Mrs. Sawyer was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and she simply loves our city. She is a proud “Red Bird” who attended Illinois State University where she received both her Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees in social work. In her spare time, she enjoys running and reading. In reference to the college setting, Mrs. Sawyer notes that meeting the academic requirements to complete college can be challenging, however the reward at the end is everlasting and it’s something no one can ever take away from you.
On a personal side, Alicia has completed five Chicago Marathons (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013) and seven half marathons along with numerous smaller races.” Some may drink a cup of tea to relax but I’ve found running is the best way for me to relieve any stress…” Exercise gives me a piece of mind when times are trying, and I also encourage our CHANCE Students to do the same, when times get stressful for them as well! Mrs. Sawyer is also a proud member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Career Coach for the CHANCE Program
Mr. Sims has over twenty-five years of experience of serving as an individual who has helped others find employment and life dreams.