Gisele was born in the NY area, growing up with a passion for graphic design. She worked in a corporate setting for a Fortune 500 Company in New York City, and later, for a music recording company. Gisele made the switch to the non-profit world and gained a variety of experience including educator training, workforce development and rental housing, which is what she does currently at NCR.
Gisele has been a Chicago resident, specifically in Rogers Park, for over a decade. She also has over ten years of experience assisting the homeless, tenants, and landlords with rental housing issues. She joined the NCR team in October 0f 2017 and has always strived to make a difference for those seeking hope.
Aga immigrated to the United States in 1997 and has lived in Chicago ever since. At the time, she did not speak English nor know how to properly adjust to her new life, but she received support and has been paying it forward throughout her entire career. Aga speaks multiple languages, and she has spent much of her time working with immigrants, refugees, and asylees by helping them to navigate the new landscape upon their arrival to the US. At the beginning of her career, she worked with high school students and their families by organizing enrichment activities for the youths and assisting parents to navigate the new academic system. Aga also spent time as a Community Organizer in the north east side of Chicago. She worked on city, state and nationwide wide campaigns to encourage policy reform on education, immigration and youth violence prevention.
Aga began working at NCR in 2017 as the Director of the Multicultural Resources Program, and she leads her team in providing services such as case management and referral services around education, immigration, housing, assistance with social services applications, public benefits and translations.
Aga is passionate about helping her clients, and her end goal is for each of them to be independent, self-sufficient, and to improve their well -being and that of their family.
Rick Nichols is the proprietor of Counting House Bookkeeping, LLC (CHB). He received a BS in Finance and a BS in Business Administration from Indiana State University. In February of 2014, Rick decided to launch his own business. Based on his love for analyzing numbers, along with his strong business sense, he started his own bookkeeping company. Currently, CHB and its employees provide bookkeeping services to small and medium sized not for profit and for-profit businesses. CHB also provides financial reporting and grant management for a subset of its clients. Rick has been a member of the Northside Community Resources and Northside Community Development Team since 2014.
Prior to joining Northside Community Resources, Chris served as the Director of the Council on Asian Affairs for the City of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations. Chris helped serve the interests of the Asian American community in Chicago and raised the visibility of the needs of the community by identifying and addressing practices, which had a discriminatory and/or disparate impact on the community. Chris’ role was also that of community liaison between City government and the Asian American constituency, in order to enhance communication and improve the community’s access to city services and programs.
For a short time prior to his appointment at the City of Chicago, Chris served as the Associate Director of the Mikva Challenge, a non-profit youth leadership organization in Chicago that was started by the Hon. Abner Mikva, former White House Counsel to President Clinton. Before joining the Mikva Challenge, Chris was the Executive Director of the Indo-American Center (IAC) in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood. Under Chris’ leadership, the Indo-American Center grew from a five staff member organization to over thirty and went from serving seven thousand people per year to over twenty thousand per year.
Chris currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Indian American Medical Association’s Charitable Foundation (IAMACF) – a free, non-profit medical clinic serving Chicago’s West Ridge community. His former volunteer activities include serving as a committee member on the City of Chicago’s Community Development Block Grant Public Services Committee and past president of the Network of Indian Professionals, Chicago.
Violet is an experienced and dedicated caregiver utilizing her skills to improve the overall wellbeing and health of the elderly through her work at Northside Community Resources as the Senior Service Manager. She grew up in the Uptown neighborhood in Chicago, attending school on the northside of the city, and later began working in elderly caregiving and hospice. Violet transitioned to her role at NCR in October of 2018 and currently manages the ICAS program which helps seniors who have been referred to the City of Chicago’s Dept. of Family Support Services for crisis intervention. Additionally, she works with the SARFs program, providing free small home repairs to elderly community members through licensed contractors who can help make their home more accessible and safer. She is passionate about the work she does and is dedicated to providing resources necessary to improve the quality of life of her clients.
Betsy Shuman-Moore is an attorney and is the Fair Housing Program Director for Northside Community Resources. Before that, she served for over 25 years as the Director of the Fair Housing and Bias Violence Projects at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. Betsy’s work includes providing legal representation to housing discrimination victims, educating tenants and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities, and working to eliminate discrimination and break down entrenched segregation in the Chicago area through changes in laws and policies. Betsy has tried dozens of civil rights cases, brought some of the first sexual harassment in housing cases in the country, and participated in Bloch v. Frischholz, in which the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Fair Housing Act covers discrimination that occurs after a housing contract is entered into, reversing a harmful decision to the contrary. Before joining the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, she served as legal director for the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities. Betsy has a bachelor of social work degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and a law degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. She is on the board of directors of Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance and Metropolitan Tenants Organization.
She grew up in the Chicago suburbs and has lived all of her adult life on the north side of Chicago. She’s a tutor for an 11-year-old girl with Family Matters and has been sewing masks for neighbors through the Rogers Park Community Response Team. She is passionate about living and working in a racially, culturally, and economically diverse area and eliminating discrimination.
Elia was raised in the Ravenswood, Uptown, and Rogers Park Neighborhoods of Chicago. Early in life as immigrants, her family of six faced challenges in finding affordable and quality housing. As an adult Elia found herself volunteering with organizations that work to preserve and create affordable and diverse housing. Personal experience in the national housing crisis of 2008 has strengthened Elia’s mission to empower communities and become a guide to available resources.
In 2016 Elia began at Northside Community Development Corporation facilitating and developing the Home Buyer Education Program. Later, she assisted with the various Foreclosure Prevention Programs including the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund. Elia ascended to Housing Program Assistant who collaborated with the NCDC Housing Director to ensure strategic oversight and compliance of all programs and awarded grants. On June 30, 2020, Elia passed the HUD Housing Counselors Certification Examination.
As of November 2020, Elia transitioned to Northside Community Resources and now serves as the Fair Housing Testing and Outreach Coordinator.
Growing up the song of immigrants, Alberto would gain a perspective that would influence his career path. Alberto was raised in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago, and he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Global and International studies from Loyola University Chicago. This enriched his passion for immigrant rights and services. Whilst in college, Alberto worked as a teen mentor and program instructor for Concordia Place, a non-profit in Avondale, which allowed him to interact with many teens of immigrant, and in some cases, undocumented parents. Having seen the needs of this community, and having the desire to serve, Alberto began working at NCR in March of 2020 as a Program Coordinator of the Multicultural Resources Program. Alberto works with the diverse community members of the north side by providing services such as translation and interpretation services, legal referrals and public benefit applications.
Jordan Golding (Fair Housing Intake Specialist) is an activist, theater artist, and musician from Louisville, KY. Shortly after starting his career as an actor in Chicago in 2015, he also began working in tenant’s rights and fair housing, finding his way to NCR’s Fair Housing Program in January 2021. He is thrilled to join the NCR team, and looks forward to working on behalf of residents in need. When he’s not investigating cases of housing discrimination, you might find him composing music for a podcast or roasting vegetables.
Paulina grew up in Queretaro, Mexico until the age of 18. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and is understanding of immigrant refugee groups of different backgrounds. Paulina is passionate about building relationships and shows compassion to all her clients. Her knowledge on immigrant and public benefits has made her an asset to the Multicultural Resources Program since her joining of the NCR team in October of 2020.
In 2003, Paulina moved to Chicago, and shortly after earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication, Media, and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. She worked as Music Assistant for WRTE 90.5 FM Radio Arte, a Community Radio Station in Pilsen, Chicago, and she co-produced and co-hosted two Spanish radio shows for Spanish Public Radio which showcased local artist interviews and cultural events. Paulina also conducted interviews for the public interest with community leaders and organizers sharing stories for the public interest about affordable housing, economic development, education, and community dynamics.
Michael has been a Rogers Park resident for more than ten years and is deeply invested in the community. He previously served as a member of the agency’s Board of Directors for three years before resigning to join the NCR staff. Prior to joining the NCR team, he served in various development and communications roles in workforce/local economic development, adult education, and K-12 education. Michael earned a B.A. in Political Science, and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from Loyola University, an NCR partner institution.
Diana Medrano serves as NCR’s Multicultural Resources Program Coordinator. Diana was born in Tijuana, Mexico and moved to Chicago with her family in 2001. As a fluently bilingual staff member (English and Spanish), Diana is an invaluable asset to the NCR team.
Diana discovered her passion for social services work while working for a non-profit organization that focuses on assisting immigrant children, and quickly learned the importance of building trust and having compassion for others.
Being an immigrant herself, Diana sympathizes with immigrant families who face cultural and language barriers and hopes to make a difference by offering guidance and resources for those in need.
Diana is currently pursuing a degree in nursing with a focus is on spinal cord injury patients. Diana has always felt passionate about helping others and feels a great sense of accomplishment in knowing that she can make a difference in someone’s life.