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STAFF MEMBERS

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ARKHAWAN SALIH

Assessment and Special Projects Officer, arkhawans@refugeefora.org

Bio coming soon!

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DAVID MCKENZIE

Chief Administrative Officer, david@refugeefora.org

David McKenzie 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.

KEVIN KLEIN CARDEÑA

Director of Program Quality, kevin@refugeefora.org

Kevin Klein Cardeña 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 of Staff and Chief Outreach Officer, laurenk@refugeefora.org

Lauren Kearns 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 worked as 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, a summer camp counselor, and an instructor of ESL in a variety of settings. As her greatest passion is providing education and literacy as means of empowerment in under-resourced communities, she feels incredibly fortunate 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.

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SIMRAN ARORA

Family-School Partnership Program Coordinator, simrana@refugeefora.org

Simran Arora (she/her) grew up in New Delhi, India, and moved to the United States for her undergraduate studies at Claremont McKenna College, majoring in Psychology.  She has taught in classrooms in multicultural classrooms in India, Indonesia, Denmark, and the United States. She aims to create a meaningful impact on the lives of children around the globe. She finds working with communities extremely fulfilling and feels strongly about women’s rights, multiculturalism, and mental health. After work you can find her painting, cooking, meditating, doing yoga, or exploring Chicago - her new home!

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SUWAIBA OSMAN

Chief Operations Officer, suwaibao@refugeefora.org

Suwaiba Osman 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.