The second cohort of Illinois Early Childhood Fellows served from July 2011 through June 2013.
Melanie Garrett is serving her Fellowship at HealthConnect One, where she supports advocacy work at both the state and federal levels. Melanie was co-coordinator of the group’s National Action Summit held in February 2012, and she also coordinated HC One's meetings with federal officials at the Health Resources and Services Administration in November 2011. Melanie is working to promote the community-based doula model both through HC One and through assistance to the National Community-Based Doula Leadership Institute Advisory Board. She staffs the Policy Work Group for Training and Certification Project for the Chicago Community Health Workers Local Area Network. Consultant Laura McAlpine and Program Director Wandy Hernandez are her mentors at HC One.
Prior to becoming a Fellow Melanie worked with families with newborns as a social worker at the University of Chicago and Mt. Sinai Hospitals and as a Healthy Start Manager at Henry Booth House. Melanie has an AM from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, a BA from Lafayette College, and an Infant Mental Health certificate from the Erikson Institute.
Angela Hubbard is serving her Fellowship at the Ounce of Prevention Fund, where she is engaged in several policy-related efforts. She is the lead editor for the group’s policy newsletter, Early Edition, and staffs its internal Policy Workgroup. Along with Fellow Artishia Hunter and 2009-11 Fellow Candace Williams, Angela is part of a team working with early childhood experts to draft Early Learning Guidelines for Illinois children ages zero to three, which will become part of Illinois statewide standards. “The past six months have been an amazing experience,” Angela says. “Through the Early Learning Challenge Collaborative, I was able to provide support to one of the state teams that vied for the recently awarded Early Learning Challenge Grant. Never have I been so awestruck and inspired by the caliber of thinkers and proven experience within one room.” Diana Rauner, President and CEO, and Bela Moté, Vice President of Bounce Network, are her mentors at the Ounce.
Prior to becoming a Fellow, Angela, a National Board Certified early childhood teacher, taught for eight years in the Chicago Public Schools and also taught elementary school teachers through Northern Illinois University. Angela holds an MAT from National-Louis University and a BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Artishia Hunter is serving her Fellowship at Positive Parenting DuPage. She has been working with communities including Grundy County, Northwest Cook County, and the City of Elgin on collaborative systems building. Along with Fellow Angela Hubbard and 2009-11 Fellow Candace Williams, Artishia is part of a team working with early childhood experts to draft Early Learning Guidelines for Illinois children ages zero to three, which will become part of Illinois statewide standards. Executive Director Jeanna Capito and board member Michel Frendian are her mentors.
Prior to becoming a Fellow Artishia taught both elementary and preschool in Evanston and Bloomington, worked as a Head Start education consultant, and developed a child nursery for a non-profit organization. She has an MEd in Early Childhood Administration from National-Louis University and a BA in Elementary Education from Illinois State University. Artishia served on the board of the Childcare Network of Evanston and chaired the Program Committee.
TeeNeka Jones-Gueye is serving the second year of her placement at Health Connect One , where she is helping to integrate aspects of development, advocacy, communications, and program in early health and early learning community health worker and peer-to-peer support programs . At Health Connect One, her mentors are Cindy Ogrin, development director, and Wandy Hernandez, program director. TeeNeka’s first-year placement (2011-2012) was at Health & Disability Advocates.
Prior to becoming a Fellow, TeeNeka worked as family support coordinator and parent educator at Chicago Child Care Society. She holds an MSNM in Human Services Administration from Spertus College, a BSW from Southern Illinois University, and an Infant Specialist certificate from the Erikson Institute. She has also worked as a lead infant teacher in Evanston and Chicago.
Saleem Hue Penny is serving his Fellowship at Illinois Action for Children, where he has been helping expand the Teen Parent Project and developing community outreach strategies for the new Family & Neighborhood Partnerships Department. “Additionally, I am beginning to explore incorporating community-based, participant-driven advocacy in parent engagement activities,” Saleem adds. “Outside of my placement, I’m hoping to become a volunteer Hospital Magician for the Chicago area.” President and CEO Maria Whelan and Assistant Director Choua Vue are his mentors at Illinois Action.
Saleem's professional experience prior to becoming a Fellow included youth program development, community mental health, urban agriculture, and therapeutic arts. He holds an AM in Social Work, with a specialization in community schools, from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and an MA in Psychology from Catholic University. His research focused on teen parenting, domestic and community violence prevention, and school-based health care.