Meet the Team
Chief Program Officer
Demisha has over 15 years of experience in nonprofit organizational leadership, higher education, student development practices around college readiness for adolescents, and partnerships with secondary schools, colleges, and universities.
Previously, she served as the Chief Education Officer for the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, where she managed all aspects of programming, recruitment, and partnerships with high schools and partner organizations. Her previous experiences also include serving as the Director of College Counseling for the Schuler Scholar Program, and leadership roles furthering the recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations at Smith College and Amherst College. Demisha attended Williams College for undergraduate and has an M. Ed from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Higher Education Policy. Her graduate research focused on economically disadvantaged students and creating effective tools for their success in elite colleges and universities.
Demisha currently lives in Evanston with her partner and son. Contact Demisha at dlee@.
Director of College Access
After a year of mentoring a class of 2017 Scholar, Laura discovered a passion for college access and success and began contributing more volunteer time to the ES program. In 2013 Laura began as a volunteer Mentor Coordinator and by August of 2014 the Mentor Coordinator job became a paid staff position with Laura responsible for mentor recruitment, Scholar matching, mentor training and communications. With her background as an educator, Laura also continued to add duties on the college access side of ES, becoming a POD leader and college access counselor in 2015. In 2018, she took over the role of Director of College Access.
Laura has a degree in English Literature/Music Education from the University of Illinois and has worked with youth in Evanston community for many years. She began her career working as Youth Arts Programming Coordinator for the City of Evanston Parks and Recreation Department where her duties included directing the Evanston Arts Camps, producing and directing for Evanston Children’s Theater, and other fine arts programming for youth. After taking time off to raise three children, chair fundraisers and parent committees, coach volleyball and write and direct children's theater plays, Laura returned to the (for pay) workforce in 2004 as the school librarian at St. Athanasius School where she taught for twelve years, eventually transitioning to her full time role at ES. Laura is a lifelong Evanston resident and ETHS graduate and parent of three ETHS graduates and feels privileged to be part of Evanston Scholars' efforts to help deserving Evanston students make the most of their academic promise, turning hopes and dreams into realities.
Contact Laura at lmaloney@
Director of College Success
Formerly coordinator for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented engineering students at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Eve brings a wealth of experience and passion to her position as Director of College Success for Evanston Scholars. During her tenure at Illinois, the retention of underrepresented engineering students greatly increased. She is a graduate of Illinois and obtained a master of social work degree from UIC. A lifetime Chicagoan, she spends her spare time enjoying her granddaughters and cooking.
Contact Eve at eearles@
Director of Development
Kay holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois, and an M.B.A. from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. After 15 years in the Electronics Supply Chain industry, Kay has expanded her involvement with local non-profits focusing on underprivileged youth, including serving as both a grant writer and member of the board of directors for both the Ted Muller Camp Scholarship Fund and the Open Studio Project in Evanston.
Contact Kay at kisraelite@
College Access Associate
Charity was born and raised in Evanston, and graduated from ETHS in 2012. Following her time at ETHS, she attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish. At Wash U, she had the opportunity to volunteer with students in the St. Louis community as well as study abroad in Madrid, Spain for a semester.
After graduating in 2016, Charity went on to work as an Americorps Scholar Coach with the Schuler Scholar Program, a college access organization based at several high schools in the Lake County area. During her time as a Scholar Coach, she developed a passion for working with high school students and guiding them on a path towards success. She is excited to continue this work in her 炫乐彩票平台apptown and give back to her community. In her free time, Charity enjoys dancing on a hip hop dance company, cooking, and spending time with her friends and her pet cat.
Contact Charity at cwilliams@
College Success Associate
Nancy Cardenas is an Evanston Scholars Alumna (Class of 2013) and a recent graduate of Lake Forest College (B.A 2017) where she studied Spanish, Sociology and Anthropology. While at Lake Forest she worked in the Off Campus Programs Office advising students on study abroad programs and guiding them through the application process. Nancy herself spent a semester studying abroad in Spain during her junior year, and she also completed a service/learning project at the Mexico-US border doing research on gender roles.
Nancy has previous experience as a mentor for first generation college students. She is also a role model for her four younger siblings.
As a lifelong Evanston resident, Nancy is excited to be working within her community to help first generation college students achieve college access and success.
Contact Nancy at ncardenas@
College Access Associate
Andrea Guy is an Evanston Scholars Alumna (Class of 2014) and a recent graduate of Lake Forest College (B.A. 2018) where she majored in Communications with a minor in Elementary Education. At LFC, Andrea worked in the Admissions Office for 4 years where she collaborated with admissions counselors to increase enrollment by communicating with prospective students to generate interest and attract students to Lake Forest College. Additionally, she was on the cheerleading team and a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority.
Andrea is excited not only to return back to Evanston, but to be apart of the Evanston Scholars team where she hopes to utilize and share her knowledge and experiences with first-generation students to help them identify a "good fit" college.
Contact Andrea at aguy@
Career Readiness Associate
Ali previously served as our Director of College Access, and is thrilled to return to ES in the role of Career Readiness Associate. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience helping young people identify their needs, connect to resources and realize their potential. As College Access Director, she formalized and enhanced the college access curriculum and expanded ES's college partnerships. In addition to her experience at Evanston Scholars, Ali's background includes 15+ years in college admissions, college counseling, college access and career readiness work, including having served as a Career Coach for Northwestern University's Higher Education Masters Program.
She lives in Evanston with her husband and three sons. Contact Ali at asegal@
Becca joined the Evanston Scholars staff in 2015 after a 15-year career in non-profit management and social service supervision, assisting those impacted by foster care and adoption. She holds two undergraduate degrees from Truman State University and a graduate degree from Hofstra University. She loves to travel and enjoys her family time in Evanston. Contact Becca at bnolan@
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Emily first became involved with Evanston Scholars as a Mentor and joined the staff in 2018, using her many years of experience in Marketing Communications and Strategy to help the organization build its reach and awareness both in the larger community and amongst stakeholders. She holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Northwestern University. Emily grew up in Evanston and currently resides in Northfield. Contact Emily at eberlinghof@