FORA_Pattern_Green (1).png

STAFF MEMBERS

DGMPhoto.jpg

DAVID MCKENZIE

Chief Administrative Officer, david@refugeefora.org

David McKenzie, Chief Administrative Officer, grew up in California and moved to Chicago more than 20 years ago. Possibly the only person who really loves the weather here, he enjoys taking long walks around the city, even when most people would much rather be indoors. David would like to spend more time at the Art Institute of Chicago and in Millennium Park, but he's pretty happy living in Logan Square because there are trees everywhere. He has a law degree and a degree in Chinese Studies. He has done a lot of different things over the years, from computer programming to sculpting, and spent many years running his own small manufacturing business, but he always says that FORA is by far the best and most rewarding work he's ever done.

different photo (1).png

KEVIN KLEIN CARDEÑA

Pandemic Response Director of Mentoring, kevin@refugeefora.org

Kevin Klein Cardeña, Pandemic Response Director of Mentoring, coordinates FORA's tutor-mentoring team and has lived in Chicago since his family immigrated from Mexico City when he was a child. He has a B.S. in Mathematics from DePaul University (minors in Psychology, Philosophy & Spanish) and is drawn to critical and affective/relational approaches in education and beyond. He likes local organizing and is interested in movements and social thought.

LAUREN KEARNS

Chief Outreach Officer, laurenk@refugeefora.org

Lauren Kearns, Chief Outreach Officer, grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada with a bachelor's degree in International Relations and English. Before joining FORA, she had been a communications fellow for a congressional campaign, an intern for a local refugee aid nonprofit, a Youth Ambassador representing the US State Department for a year in Berlin, and an instructor of ESL in a variety of settings. As her greatest passion is using education and literacy as means of empowerment in under-resourced communities, she feels incredibly lucky to be part of an organization where she can pursue this every day. In her free time, Lauren most enjoys reading historical fiction, walking in nature, practicing languages, and meticulously planning her future travels, as she is an avid backpacker.

Screen Shot 2021-01-28 at 11.18.02 AM.pn

MISBAH NOORWALA

Pandemic Response Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator, misbahn@refugeefora.org

Misbah has dedicated her life to helping others after surviving a 20-year battle with Thalassemia. She has a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and a Human Services credential. Her interactions with the students are brimming with empathy, wit, compassion, and understanding. She believes that sincere kindness is the secret to discovering and achieving our purpose — that it is by giving to others without expecting something in return that we can find and fulfill our purpose.

Bio (2).jpg

SUWAIBA OSMAN

Chief Operations Officer, suwaibao@refugeefora.org

Suwaiba Osman, Chief Operations Officer, was born and raised in the US as a first-generation daughter of
Bengali immigrants. Her formal education ended at the age of ten and only continued when she entered college as an adult with a GED. After completing a degree in Applied Science, she entered the FORA workforce with the passion to assist other disadvantaged individuals attain literacy, grade-level proficiency, and pursue a path to higher education. She believes in contributing to a world that is kinder, brighter, and equal in its compassion for people regardless of their race or background. She also dreams of the day cat owners will finally be appreciated by their pets. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and gaming.