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BMW, Women who #PayIt4Ward Honorees

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Chicago Doctor Yolandra Johnson Aims To #PayIt4Ward One Patient At A Time

Dr. Yolandra Johnson
Dr. Yolandra Johnson

Dr. Yolandra Johnson was born in South Carolina and raised in Columbia, Maryland. She went to college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Sociology. It was there that she was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and began her love of service to others. She is now a life member of the sorority and an active member of the Xi Nu Omega chapter in Chicago, Illinois.

Her medical degree was obtained from New York Medical College. While there she was a member of the student senate and also the associate regional director of the Student National Medical Association for all of the medical schools in NY and New Jersey. She received the parent’s council award from NY medical college for her service to the school and community.

Her residency in Internal Medicine was completed at Yale University.  While there she did an elective in Zimbabwe to see first hand how medicine could be delivered with minimal technology. It was a life-changing experience. She then moved to Chicago for her Gastroenterology fellowship at The University of Chicago. There she learned the importance of educating patients about the importance of preventing colon cancer.

After completing her training, she joined Gastroenterology Consultants of the North Shore, SC.  She was the first and remains the only woman in her group. She was also the first female and first African-American gastroenterologist at Evanston Hospital, in Evanston, Illinois.

She is in private practice and spends her days treating patients with various gastrointestinal ailments and performing colonoscopies. She teaches medical students, interns, residents and fellows and is on the clinical faculty of the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine.

In the Evanston community she has cared for the underserved and continues to participate in community outreach. Every March (Colon Cancer awareness month), she is an active participant in getting the word out about colon cancer prevention month via radio interviews and magazine articles.
In July 2015, she became the president of Gastroenterology Consultants of the North Shore, S. C.
While this latest accomplishment has been fulfilling, her aim now is to continue to get the word out about the importance of colon cancer screening and prevention. There is now a national goal to get 80% of Americans screened by 2018.  She plans to be sure African-Americans are educated about the need for screening as this is a preventable cancer.

Dr. Yolandra Johnson has been recognized by BMW, UPTOWN Magazine, Fame Enterprises and Heart and Soul Magazine as one of the women who #PayIt4Ward!

 

Architect Katherine Darnstadt Designs Ways To #PayIt4Ward

Architect and educator Katherine Darnstadt
Architect and educator Katherine Darnstadt

Architect and educator Katherine Darnstadt is the founder and principal of Latent Design, a collaborative of individuals whose projects focus on social, economic and environmental impact beyond the building. Katherine brings innovative design to those in resource and budget limited environments through a holistic, creative approach to design driven by community needs that leverages other partners and assets to address project challenges. Her passion for public interest design through participatory strategies and diverse background have allowed her to collaborate with change agents in design, science, arts and philosophy.

As the founder and principal of Latent Design, Katherine merges her passion for public interest design through participatory strategies and diverse background have allowed her to collaborate with change agents in design, science, arts and philosophy.

Since founding her practice in 2010, Katherine and her firm have been recognized as an emerging leader in the architecture profession and have been published, exhibited and featured widely, most notably at the International Venice Architecture Biennial, Chicago Ideas Week, the 2013 AIA National Young Architects Honor Award winner and Crain’s 40 Under 40.

Katherine Darnstadt has been recognized by BMW, UPTOWN Magazine, Fame Enterprises and Heart and Soul Magazine as one of the women who #PayIt4Ward!

 

Executive Director Hallemah Nash Pays It Forward For Chicago Youth

Halleemah Nash Executive Director of ​iMentor Chicago
Halleemah Nash
Executive Director of ​iMentor Chicago

 

Halleemah Nash is the Executive Director of ​iMentor Chicago, an organization that builds rigorous, high-impact mentoring relationships that ensure more students from low-income communities succeed in college. She enters this role with a diverse background as a demonstrated executive in nonprofit management and developing signature community based outreach programs and fundraising strategies  for sports entities, faith based organizations, government agencies, and universities. Following her graduate studies, Halleemah relocated to the City of Chicago where over the past ten years her experience has included managing charitable programs, fundraising, and events for the Chicago Bulls, implementing an annual plan of services for over 9,000 youth and leading strategy and external relations for education opportunities for public housing residents at the Chicago Housing Authority, and serving as CEO/Executive Director for NFL veteran Israel Idonije’s Foundation focused on social and emotional learning.

As a consultant, Nash’s philanthropy and project management portfolio includes large individual brands like Nike, the United Nations, the Mayor of Compton, California Aja Brown, Actor and Hip Hop Artist Common, as well as charity projects and foundation management for athletes Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) Dwayne Wade (Miami Heat), Larry English (San Diego Chargers), Luol Deng (Miami Heat), Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls), Tyrus Thomas (Charlotte Bobcats), Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks) and Israel Idonije (Retired Chicago Bear).

Halleemah Nash is a proud product of Compton, California – a city that has greatly shaped her ambition, values, and interest in reaching back as she climbs. She is a first generation college graduate who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Howard University, and a Master of Divinity and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. Halleemah acknowledges that a large part of her success is attributed to the influence of mentoring relationships from high school to her professional career and in addition to charitable consulting, she has committed the next season of her career to this effort.

Hallemah Nash has been recognized by BMW, UPTOWN Magazine, Fame Enterprises and Heart and Soul Magazine as one of the women who #PayIt4Ward!

 

Meet Farissa Knox BMW #PayIt4Ward Honoree

Farissa Knox Founder RLM Media and WhatRUWearing
Farissa Knox
Founder
RLM Media and WhatRUWearing

A native New Yorker, Mrs. Knox relocated to Chicago in 2007 and founded RLM Media in 2008. RLM Media is a full service, 100% minority owned, media planning and buying advertising agency.  Mrs. Knox has grown RLM Media to gross billings of over $13 million in 7 years by providing excellent customer service, complete solutions, and a team approach for her clients.

In addition to founding RLM Media,Farissa founded WhatRUWearing in 2012. It is a fashion social networking APP available on ITunes that brings together groups of people all across the globe who have a love for style and fashion.  The brand also has a website that is a style, fashion and lifestyle online magazine providing original content each week to it’s readers. Lastly, Mrs. Knox has just released her debut memoir entitled Love, Sex & Friendship: In No Particular Order, available on Amazon, which highlights her 20’s: The years she spent in NYC getting her career in advertising off the ground, making life long friendships, and dating and getting to know her now husband.

Farissa received her B.A. in Communications from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA in 2003 and lives in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood with her husband and two daughters.

Farissa Knox has been recognized by BMW, UPTOWN Magazine, Fame Enterprises and Heart and Soul Magazine as one of the women who #PayIt4Ward!

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