On July 15, Urban initiatives was lucky to welcome our two newest members to the team: Ana acosta and joy nelson. ana is joining the operations team as the Administration coordinator and joy is joining the PrograM management team as a play with Potential program ManageR. wheN asked about why he is most excited about Ana and joy, Executive Director Jim Dower says that, “Ana has already becoMe An extremEly imPactful addition to our operations team and joy is already integral tO spReading our impOrtant wOrk in the communities we serve.” keeP reading to leArn more about tHese amazing ladies!
Ana was born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela until the age of nine. Living in those countries allowed her to experience personally the adverse effects that inequality and poverty can have on youths’ educational, personal, and social development – leading her to choose a career in social change. Ana graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University with a B.S in Economics and a minor in Political Science and is ecstatic to be working towards a cause she finds true value in. At Urban Initiatives, she will focus her administrative efforts on operational systems, finance, and communications.
When asked why Ana chose to work at Urban Initiatives she said, “I wanted to dedicate my time to supporting a social mission I believe in, and UI’s mission to help students, especially underserved youth, reach their full potential through holistic, sports-based youth development programs, is certainly a cause worth working towards.” Ana is further enthusiastic about working at UI because of the team-focused work environment. She’s eager to work with others in pursuit of a shared vision that supports the common good. We look forward to her role at UI flourishing this year!
Joy graduated from Butler University where she double majored in Chemistry and Anthropology. She received her MPH from Kaplan University and is currently pursuing an M.Ed. from UIC where she is focusing on youth development. She has volunteered teaching ESL to Burmese refugees, teaching the importance of STEM careers to Girls Scouts, and helping young women transition into motherhood. Her passion, overall, is working to develop a healthier, more whole youth. At Urban Initiatives she will manage the Play with Potential recess program at seven of our partner schools.
Joy said she was drawn to UI because of our focus on health and sports. She is most excited about getting into the schools and playing games with kids! She hopes to be able to bring to UI her passions and experiences and develop the PWP program into something even better than it is now. UI has a great team, and she can’t wait to get started!