When adults improve their literacy skills, the ripples extend to benefit their families, their communities, and beyond.”
Christine’s passion for adult literacy started in high school when she volunteered as an ESL tutor at a refugee center. That passion has served her well during her many years as an English language instructor, both locally and abroad, and as the Executive Director of Literacy Works. Under Christine’s leadership, Literacy Works has provided essential training to more than 10,000 professionals and volunteer tutors and thoughtfully developed innovative programs that help organizations better serve individuals with low literacy. When Christine is not at work, it is likely that you will find her in triangle pose on her yoga mat or dancing with friends in a Zumba class.
Literacy is a fundamental human right. Widespread access to adult literacy instruction is essential to alleviating poverty and shaping a more just society.”
Colleen McGaughey, MA, has been working in nonprofit resource development and program strategy for over 20 years. She specializes in linking Literacy Works’ mission and impact with funders and donors who share our vision. Experienced in grant writing, communications, program planning and evaluation, event coordination, and donor stewardship, Colleen brings these skills together to build support for Literacy Works. She enjoys wordsmithery and taking her kids on “surprise rides” to destinations around Chicago. She’s got a pair of sneakers for every occasion.
Access to literacy is fundamental for a fair and just society and necessary for individuals, families, and communities to thrive.”
Adult & Family Literacy Specialist
Melanie Sampson, MA, has nearly 15 years of experience in adult education, including teaching, program administration, and volunteer management. At Literacy Works, she creates materials and designs training for professionals at parent education, adult literacy, workforce development and other programs. Melanie refers prospective students to literacy programs through our Adult Education Helpline and provides interactive parent education to adult learners. She also manages Literacy Works’ social media and web resources. In her free time, Melanie enjoys reading, hanging out with her dog, and taking long walks around Chicago.
Literacy is a key that opens doors. When individuals improve their literacy skills, they are more able to advocate for themselves and participate in their communities.”
Becky DeForest has over 15 years of experience in education. She started out as an elementary school teacher, but found herself drawn to adult education and its rewarding combination of teaching and public service. Becky brings knowledge and skills in ESL and ABE instruction, job readiness training, textbook publishing, and low-literacy materials. For Literacy Works, Becky creates training curricula, manages our staff of trainers, oversees Adult Learning in the Library at the Chicago Public Library, conducts workshops in expressive writing for adult learners, coordinates tutor training and networking events, and facilitates Literacy Connect trainings. She enjoys taking dance classes, cooking, and falling down Wikipedia rabbit holes.
Adult education has a transformative impact on individuals and their communities. Improving access to literacy is vital in enabling people to flourish.”
Before moving to Chicago, Melissa spent a year teaching ESL in Chengdu, China at an English training school. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Administration. During her year of service with LVI VOCAL, Melissa is assisting with Literacy Works’ Adults Learning in the Library program, as well as overseeing membership and registration for Literacy Works’ Tutor Essentials training. In her free time she enjoys hiking and going on Dungeons & Dragons campaigns with her sisters.
Literacy empowers individuals to make decisions appropriate to their needs and circumstances.”
Jeong Shin has nearly 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, ranging from legal advocacy for prisoners in British Columbia to affordable housing for homeless women and children in Chicago. She is trained and experienced in nonprofit administration and bookkeeping. Jeong assists with agency finances and is currently attending graduate school for accounting. Outside the office, Jeong can be found reading, watching British and Korean television, and exploring new restaurants.
Board of Directors
Christine Sullivan, President
CAS Consulting, LLC
Celina Chatman-Nelson, PhD, Vice President
Assistant Director, Graduate Career Development, University of Chicago
Jeannette Mihalek, Treasurer
Director of Development, Voices for Illinois Children
Judith Gaston, Secretary
Corporate Counsel, Allstate (retired)
Women’s Leadership and Economic Empowerment Director, YWCA Evanston/North Shore
Financial Advisor, Waddell & Reed
Managing Director of Enterprise Science, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Mary Ann Dyar
Adult Redeploy Illinois Program Administrator, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
Senior Outreach Planner, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Matthew C Hynes
Portfolio Manager, The Northern Trust
Director of Frontline Focus, Chicago Jobs Council
Richard Levenfeld, Director Emeritus
Attorney, Allstate (retired)
Principal, Will Linder Marketing Communications
Partner, Foley and Lardner, LLP
Associate Professor of Instruction, Northwestern University
Christine Kenny, Ex Officio
Executive Director, Literacy Works