Jason Thomas- Executive Director
Jason is the Executive Director at 3 Seeds Mentoring Group. He is the oldest of three children and also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and the 100 Black Men of Chicago.He has an affinity for young people and through his life’s work has learned that without purpose or direction young people will continue to be stuck in survival mode willing to do anything for the pursuit of monetary gain. He believes that we all have a responsibility as educated professionals to give back in whatever capacity we are blessed with, be it time, treasure, or talent.
He is the immediate past Director of the TRiO Talent Search program at Prairie State College where he worked for the past 5 years with 500+ first generation /low income students from 11 schools in the Chicago Heights community. As the executive director of 3 Seeds Mentoring Group he has shifted his focus to work with additional communities here in the south suburbs with a another TRiO talent search program that will
begin in the fall of 2016 at Hillcrest High School.
Lori Welton- Admin Assistant
Lori is the administrative assistant to Jason Thomas at 3 Seeds mentoring Group. She has over 25 years expereince in the area of finance, accounting, and management. She has worked in various capacities including Controller and financial presenter. During her career she has also worked with U.S. Department of Education and Cargill, Inc. Other areas of expertise include Auditing,Treasury, Individual tax and Life and Health Insurance.
Kristie Nieman – Assistant Director – UB
Kristie is an Outreach Specialist at 3 Seeds Mentoring Group where she recruits, mentors and assists in guiding students through high school while encouraging them to attend and complete postsecondary education. While overcoming enormous obstacles and financial hardships, Kristie completed her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Governors State University in 2013. Immediately upon graduation, she was offered a graduate assistantship that would help to pay for her master’s degree in Communication and Training, which she received May 2016, also from Governors State University.
Kristie believes that every obstacle and life experience, no matter how challenging, serves a much greater purpose than what we usually see. “My life is not my own,” she always says, because she knows every test will become a testimony intended to inspire someone else to “keep going”. Kristie has a heart of service and a passion for enlisting change.
Lesley Koroma – Program Coordinator – ETS
Lesley is the Program Coordinator for Three Seeds Mentoring Group, where she oversees the planning and implementation of various academic interventions. Serving as an influential figure in the lives of those aspiring to better themselves is a genuine passion of hers. For more than 7 years, she has coached, mentored, and encouraged diverse students from all walks of life to pursue their dreams in higher education.
Lesley is a proud Graduate of Chicago State University but also studied at Grambling State University with a concentration in Public Relations and Communications. She believes in the importance of community and sincere counsel to students who may become discouraged by the challenges they face while venturing thru their academic career. Laser focused on student success, she seeks to deliver an exceptional student experience and has a proven record of doing so, coupled with first –hand experience in Regulatory Title IV funding and Academic Advising.
Her favorite past-time is going to concerts with live bands. Her favorite book is “The Organic Gospel” By Gary Price and Maisha Hunter. Her favorite quote is “The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children”- Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Mychael Vanarsdale – Outreach Specialist – ETS
Mychael Vanarsdale is an Outreach Specialist for 3 Seeds mentoring program where he mentors young men and women in the south suburbs of Chicago. Mychael teaches the value of persistence, dedication and personal accountability to our youth while providing them with the necessary skills needed to succeed in life. Mychael graduated with a baccalaureate in Communication in May of 2016 from Governors State University, where he served as the Student Senate President.
As Governors State University Student Senate President, Mychael fought adamantly for the Monetary Award Program (MAP Grant) and for his peers right to receive an affordable education. After graduating from Governors State University, Mychael accepted an fellowship at Young Invincibles where he organized and facilitated three legislative town halls that featured United States Senators and Representatives discussing student debt.
Mychael is a life-long learner who is passionate about inspiring and motivating the youth to better themselves and their communities. Mychael wholeheartedly believes in proper preparation, one of his favorite lines being “the future belongs to the people who prepare for it today”.
Ashley Dale – Outreach Specialist – UB
Ashley Dale is an Outreach Specialist at 3 Seeds Upward Bound Program. Ashley was born and raised in the south suburbs of the Chicagoland area. She obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at Ball State University in 2012 and her Masters of Arts in Educational Administration in 2015 from Concordia University. Upon completion of her graduate degree she went straight into the education sector, serving in educational support at Chicago Public Schools. Additionally, Ashley facilitated a mentoring program aimed at fighting the cycle of poverty by connecting at-risk youth with adults who share similar values. Ashley is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated and Alpha Phi Omega, National Service Fraternity.
Ashley developed a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector as a former Upward Bound student while attending Thornwood High School. The experience gave her a deep appreciation for how non-profits seek to improve the quality of life and education for youth in low-income communities. Today, Ashley’s purpose and passion lies in supporting disadvantaged youth inside and outside of the classroom.