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JULIANA STRATTON LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS
Lieutenant Governor Stratton’s entire career has focused on bringing people together, building consensus, and solving problems. She started her own consulting firm focused on alternative dispute resolution and served as a mediator, arbitrator and administrative law judge for several government agencies. As a lifelong advocate for youth and creating safe spaces for our young people, Lieutenant Governor Stratton is a restorative justice practitioner and trained Peace Circle Keeper. Lieutenant Governor Stratton was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. She is the proud graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and DePaul University’s College of Law. She and her husband Bryan live in the Bronzeville community and have four daughters.
AMORION BELL, KENWOOD ACADEMY, ‘22
Amorion is a tenth grader at Kenwood Academy who learned about the Comer Education Campus through a family connection. He soon discovered the visual arts department and has since become an esteemed artist whose work is displayed in today’s art gallery. Amorion is passionate about art and its correlation with healing our communities and social enterprise. With that said, he is considering art as an entrepreneurial opportunity.
JOSHUA BUTLER, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY, ‘24
Josh is a Gary Comer College Prep alumnus who currently tutors at Gary Comer Youth Center and partakes in a fellowship program led by UtmostU. In addition to academics, he is a photographer, graphic designer, musician, and someone who enjoys working with young people. Josh’ favorite Stevie Wonder quote is “We all have ability; the difference is how we use it.”
KIANA KALI COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO, ’22 MODERATOR
Kiana is a 2018 graduate of Gary Comer College Prep who recently received her associate’s degree from Olive Harvey College and is currently attending Columbia College to complete a bachelor’s degree in music. In addition, she is a member of the Comer Crops Leadership Crew, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, One Million Degrees organization and The Remix Project initiative. Kiana recently finished her internship with the Comer Education Campus as a Comer Crops crew member and social media manager, demonstrating Comer Education Campus’ influence and impact amongst our young people and the community.
NINA WEST UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, ‘22
Nina traveled annually to Yellowstone National Park to learn about conservation as a founding member of Expedition Yellowstone, a group that evolved out of our urban agriculture program Green Teens. During her four-year involvement with the program, Nina discovered that although the country’s first park rangers were former members of Black army regiments from the Civil War, individuals identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color actually make up the smallest demographic among park visitors today. Seizing a leadership role, Nina advocated for the evolution of park curricula featuring first-person narratives of BIPOC people and their historic involvement with the land that would eventually become the country’s first national park. Nina's passion for social justice led her to major in African American Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.