Our scholar program is led by volunteer directors and consultants who work to develop strategic programs and evaluations for the scholar curriculum. Our strategic consultants are experts in their fields, recruited from universities, nonprofit organizations, and the public. Together with a dedicated team of program partners they work collaboratively to build a better future today.
Jessica N. George Executive Director and Founder
Prior to founding The Apareció Foundation, Ms. George worked in the Midwest office of J.P. Morgan Private Bank and was an Office Manager for Providus, a legal staffing Firm in Chicago and served as an Assistant Buyer in the Corporate Office of Jimmy John’s Enterprises, Inc. in Champaign, IL.
Her past community service activities include: former head of the Events Committee for Urban Gateways’ New Art Forum, former Co-editor of Bright Pink’s Newsletter and is a member of the Junior League of Chicago.
Ms. George holds a BA from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and resides in the South Loop.
“The true quality of education is the celebration of individual talent and our programs are designed with the whole student in mind. If anything truly defines The Apareció Foundation, it is the value we attach to giving our scholars room to innovate by following their passions.”
Jessica Ryan, M.A. – Director, Organizational Development
Jessica Ryan is the Co-Director of Organization Development for The Apareció Foundation. She also works as a Test Development Specialist at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Professional areas of interest include Leadership Development, Global HR, Assessment/Testing, and Organizational Effectiveness.
Josh Agusti, M.S. - Training Specialist
Joshua A. Agustí is the Training Specialist with The Apareció Foundation in Chicago. Prior to volunteering with the organization, Mr. Agustí has worked in a multitude of capacities as a business manager, research Anthropologist, and training and organizational development consultant. Mr. Agustí holds a BS from Illinois State University in Anthropology and a MS in Training and Development from Eastern Illinois University. Additionally, he has a certification in work performance improvement and continues to follow his passion expanding his repertoire and expertise in all areas of HRD.
NZinga Rasberry, M.A. – Recruitment & Selection Specialist
NZinga currently serves as the head of the Recruiting and Selection Team for The Apareció Foundation. Professional experiences include independent work obtained in the areas of Talent Management, Selection and Placement, Data-Analysis, and Assessment/Testing.
Ms. Rasberry has a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from Kansas State University.
Angelica M. Poon – NY Regional Director, Hasana, Inc.
Angelica is the Human Resources Regional Director in NY. Prior to joining the organization, she completed her B.A. in Human Resource Management at Rutgers University. Currently, she pursues her passion for healthcare as a Physician Scribe and Scheduling Coordinator for Scribe America at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Her past community service activities include: PR and Marketing Coordinator of Student Volunteer Council at Rutgers University and volunteering with Meals on Wheels, YMCA, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the Children’s Specialized Hospital.
Elena Podmareva, MBA – Chief Financial Officer
Elena Podmareva, the Chief Financial Officer, has been with the Apareció Foundation since its inception in 2009. She has an extensive experience in the financial field: valuation, planning, budgeting, financial analysis and control. Elena holds an MBA degree from Zicklin School of Business, and is a 2010 CFA Level II Candidate.
Perle Liebmann, M.S. – Mentor Liason, Research & Development
Perle’s responsibilities include research and development of new mentoring projects for The Apareció Foundation. She has a degree in Business Management from Institut Superieur de Gestion and a MS from the Ecole Centrale Paris, with a specialization in Project Management. Before joining TAF, Perle worked for a major French bank during 7 years as project manager in the HR department.
Heather A. Joseph – Board Development Director
Heather A. Joseph is the Board Development Director (NY). Her range of experiences in the nonprofit field including volunteer management, fund development, skill-based staff training and coaching, and management, makes Heather a strong and perceptive player in both arenas. Heather received a BA in English and Sociology from Binghamton University, SUNY and holds a MS in Nonprofit Management from New School University.
Lauren Dwyer, Nutritionist – Program Development
Lauren Dwyer is a pediatric dietitian in the Genetics and Metabolics division at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She works closely with patients and families whose children have inborn errors of metabolism. Children affected with these conditions require lifelong dietary treatment. Lauren also has a personal interest in obesity intervention in children and adults. Lauren has experience working with children and adults in a number of nutrition education settings as well as being a part of an obesity intervention in American Indian children.
Lauren attended the University of Wisconsin Madison where she earned her bachelor’s degree in dietetics. She completed her dietetic internship at Ingalls Memorial Hospital.
Joseph Sage, MD – Health Curriculum Developer
Dr. Sage grew up just outside Chicago in Northwest Indiana. He moved to Chicago for college. He lived in Hyde Park for 9 years while he attended the University of Chicago to complete his undergraduate and medical school degrees. He moved to Cleveland to work in their safety net hospital and to participate in Case Western Reserve University’s combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency program at MetroHealth Medical Center. After graduation he remained as faculty, attaining a rank of Assistant Professor at Case Western and serving at the Residency Program Director for the Med-Peds Program at MetroHealth. He moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2011 to be closer to family.
Savita Rani – STEM Curriculum Coordinator
Savita Rani is a third year BSc (Hon.) student at Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, studying Life Sciences and Economics. She is a graduate of Lester B. Pearson United World College (UWC) of the Pacific. Savita has a diverse range of interests and skills including experiences in health research, visual communication and youth & outdoor leadership. In her spare time, she enjoys canoeing, hiking and biking. Savita is keen on pursuing her passions with like-minded peers within an international & multicultural environment, and hopes to enter the fields of medicine/public health, health economics and policy.