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.
Ashley Stewart – Upward Bound Assistant Director
Ashley Stewart, a Gary, IN native believes in “Making the Best Better”, through her experience in team supervision, coaching, planning and collaborative problem solving. Ashley attended the University of Northern Iowa obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family Services and certification in Nonprofit Management. Ashley’s dedication to impacting youth and developing leaders lead her into the position of New Student Orientation Coordinator at the University of Northern Iowa.
A driven, open minded, creative and successful program coordinator with a strong sense of dedication and commitment to program development and implementation, Ashley displays tenacity in developing leaders, enhancing engagement and cultivating collaborative partnerships and endeavors. Advising student groups such as Black Student Union and Ethnic Student Promoters, Ashley evaluated student experiences and student leadership training to apply progressive alterations for the outreach and support to at risk students. From creating compelling presentations to advocating for innovative programs, Ashley strives to inspire others to achieve better results.
As a supervisor, Ashley has facilitated training sessions, assessed performance and initiated cultural and programmatic change. Ashley also received her a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership at Regent University. Ashley is passionate about enhancing students’ leadership potential and skills, while providing opportunities for students to promote holistic student success and persistence.
Lori Welton- Grant Accountant
Lori is the grant accountant for 3 Seeds mentoring Group. She has over 25 years experience 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.
Mychael Vanarsdale – ETS Program Coordinator
Mychael Vanarsdale is the Program Coordinator 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”.
Gabriela Pierre – Louis – Upward Bound Outreach Specialist
Gabriella Pierre-Louis is an Outreach Specialist for 3 Seeds Mentoring Group. Gabriella was raised in Calumet City, Illinois. She graduated from Governors State University in May 2018 with a Bachelors of Health Science in Community Health. During her college career, she has presented collaborative work at 2 conferences, one regional and one national. She has a passion and experience in working with students from the kindergarten level to the college level.
Before working at 3 Seeds Mentoring Group as an Outreach Specialist, Gabriella has held job positions dealing with data analysis, tutoring, mentoring, and more. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, theater, trying new restaurants, and more. Gabriella enjoys being in the classroom but believes that most learning is done outside of a classroom environment. Her focus now is providing youth with resources they need to develop professionally and personally.