OUR STAFF & HISTORY
MEET OUR STAFF
As a Chicago native, born and raised, Wole joins the GRIP staff after spending time working for Accenture as a consultant analyst. He's passionate about using his gifts to build the Kingdom of God through our work with youth in Chicago. Wole enjoys playing and watching sports, experiencing a diverse range of cultures, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Tobi Adewodu joins staff as GRIP's Future Steps Director, responsible for equipping our students for future careers and college opportunities! Growing up in Virginia Beach, Tobi graduated from Howard University and previously worked with Goldman Sachs before he moved on to serve at Twelv2Athlete and then By The Hand Club for Kids. He enjoys playing basketball and watching sports, as well as spending time with friends and family over a good meal. He goes by Tobi, but as a Nigerian-American his full name is Oluwatobi, which means "God is great." Tobi shares, "I love the diversity of people and being a part of what God is doing in the city of Chicago!"
Isaac Arsenault grew up in Homewood, Illinois and graduated from Homewood Flossmoor High School; for college he attended Moody Bible Institute. He has previously worked as a freelance Video Editor and Music Producer, and as a Satellite Network Operator at Moody Radio. At GRIP, he serves as the Multimedia Coordinator, which allows him to make creative video that tell the stories of students and coaches involved in SLAM and Streetlights. Isaac currently lives in West Humboldt Park; he enjoys hanging out with the kids from his neighborhood and also pursuing fun creative passion projects. He is Latino, and his family is from Peru.
Bill Ferrell grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is a graduate of Coronado High School, Arizona State University, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has lived in Chicago for 28 years and loves the culture, diversity, food, and weather (seriously). He has served as a campus pastor, local church pastor, Executive Director of a nonprofit ministry, and a marriage and family counselor. At GRIP, he serves as Community Relations and Development Director, presenting the mission and vision of GRIP to individuals, groups, and churches for the opportunity of partnership. Bill currently resides in Northbrook with his family; he enjoys biking, swimming, running, and skiing.
Sue Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the U.S. at the age of 6. She has lived in Chicago for 17 years, and is a graduate of Palatine High School and University of Illinois. She previously worked as a Process Management Consultant with Accenture. At GRIP, she serves as the Director of Operations, in which she supports and encourages staff in their roles so that they are thriving and growing in what God has called them to do at GRIP.
Sue currently lives in Logan Square with her husband and son; she enjoys spending time with extended family and friends, playing and watching sports, playing board games with her son, and going out to dinner with friends.
Lauren Jackson grew up in Houston, Texas, and is a graduate of Texas A&M University; she has spent the last two years living in Chicago, working on her Master’s degree at Moody Theological Seminary. She has previously worked as an Event Planner for Crain’s Chicago Business. At GRIP, she is the Special Events & Projects Manager; this position allows her to showcase the work that God is doing through thought-felt events. She loves her work because it invites others to respond in praise to the Lord and also motivates them to join GRIP in furthering its impact. Lauren lives in Woodlawn and loves running long distances and spending time with her church family.
Brooke Roskam grew up in Estes Park, Colorado, and is a graduate of Estes Park High School and Moody Bible Institute. She has lived in Chicago for the last eleven years. Before GRIP she served as Volunteer Coordinator, Assistant to the Executive Director, Middle School Team Leader, and High School Leader at By the Hand Club for Kids. Currently, she serves as the GRIP the School Program Coordinator, where she has the privilege of connecting passionate mentors with motivated students in mentorship capacities throughout the school. These relationships then grow strong enough to continue outside the walls of the school. Brooke currently lives in East Garfield Park, though her favorite part of Chicago is Humboldt park; in her spare time she enjoys running, biking, spending time with friends, spending time with her By the Hand students.
Ryan Orellana grew up the South Side of Chicago, and is a Purdue alumnus who double-majored in accounting and finance. Ryan has background as a Corporate Accountant; at GRIP he is the Finance & Accounting Manager, a position which empowers him to trust God on a daily basis through supporting the financial stability of this organization. Ryan resides in Garfield Park and looks for art and inspiration in all things and all encounters.
Erick Correa is a Chicago native, and Gordon Technical High School alumni. He attended Southern Illinois University for college and is a certified personal trainer. He is a professional mixed martial artist and he likes to exercise. He and his family live in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood. Erick enjoys watching Cubs games, and at one point in his life, he enjoyed singing. He has a strong passion for discipleship and joins GRIP as the SLAM Coordinator to reach at-risk youth in Chicago.
"My favorite part of living in Chicago is waiting to see which happens first: Jesus coming back, or Cubbies winning the World Series," Erick shares.
Itohan Osaigbovo is a Chicago native. She is a graduate of Howard University by way of Oak Park & River Forest High School. Ito previously served as a teacher in Chicago Alternative schools, and as a contracted Spoken Word Teaching-Artist with Oak Park Educational Foundation and Breakthrough Ministries. Traveling, beaching, reading, writing are a few of her favorite things to do. She currently lives in the Humboldt Park community and joined GRIP as a Female Mentorship Coordinator. She's passionate about empowering and encouraging GRIP's female mentors to build Christ-centered, Life-on-Life relationships. Ito shares, “Chicago is home for me. I'm originally from the Austin community, moved and attending school in Oak Park, spent weekends in West Garfield Park and Uptown, and grew up involved in Chicago's poetry community (Wicker Park). So my favorite part of returning to Chicago was watching all those things begin intersecting. Places, people, and identities I formerly thought of separately, are connected as intentionally woven patches making life in Chicago what it is. Much of the city holds memories for me. Through them, I witness Chicago's progress and know well its deepest wounds."
As a Houston, Texas native, Karale joined GRIP staff as the Male Mentorship Coordinator to empower and encourage our male mentors to build Christ-centered, Life-on-Life relationships. Karale moved to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute and upon graduation became a youth pastor in Texas. If he's not reading Japanese Fantasy Novels, he's most likely enjoying a community activity in his neighborhood of Lawndale in the city of Chicago.
In 1999, Scott served on the launch team of SLAM. As one of the first mentors at SLAM and co-founder of GRIP, his own experience of “walking Life-on-Life” with teens reinforced the importance of Life-on- Life relationships as a foundation for true discipleship. With an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and 13-years of experience in the business world, Scott’s diverse background spans international sales, marketing, project management, and financial analysis. Scott and his wife, Jen, have five children: Kaiya, Josiah, Elia, Kianna, and Zechariah.
Josh manages the marketing communications for GRIP’s programs and initiatives. As a graduate of Moody Bible Institute he quickly found his passion in telling stories of impact that move people to take action. He spent 5 years on staff at Park Community Church, and a year helping run a digital marketing agency. He and his wife, Amy, live in West Humboldt Park and have a big heart to see the city of Chicago reached with the Gospel.
Melody is a lover of Jesus, wife to Claudaniel (CD), and mother to Jael and Maria. In September 2015, Melody joined GRIP part-time as one of GRIP’s Female Mentorship Coordinators, empowering and encouraging GRIP’s female mentors to build Christ-centered, Life-on-Life relationships. She enjoys serving in her local church and traveling the US speaking and teaching about faith, love, sex, relationships and marriage. Melody is known for her humorous and animated style of communicating hard truths; she is also very passionate about connecting women to God and connecting them to each other.
Loren La Luz
Loren is a native of Chicago—born and raised in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. A musician at heart, Loren directed his first band at age 16, and experienced great success as a Chicago musician. Loren joined GRIP's staff to help launch Streetlights—the world's first urban audio Bible and multimedia curriculum. He’s married with four children, and serves as the full-time drummer at his church, Chicago Tabernacle.
With years of urban ministry experience in Logan Square and Englewood and over a decade of involvement with Chicago's music scene, Aaron joined GRIP's staff to help launch Streetlights—the world's first urban audio Bible. In addition to managing all the producers, vocal talent, and engineers involved with Streetlights, he is also the drummer and producer for the Chicago hip-hop band ALERT312. Aaron and his wife, Susana, along with their 2 children, Alma (5) and Ian (3), are members at New Life Community Church in Logan Square. In his spare time, he is an avid collector of vinyl records and a "rookie" cook.
Shawn joined the GRIP family in 2011 as the program director of the GTS (GRIP The School) initiative, which trains volunteers from local churches to serve Chicago Public Schools on a practical level in order to build Christ-centered, Life-On-Life relationships with students. Originally from Florida, he worked as an actor and youth pastor prior to attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Shawn also worked as an educator and director for What's Good—a character-based abstinence, education program in Chicago schools. He lives in the northwest side of Chicago and is married to his best friend, Pamela. They have been blessed with two beautiful daughters and other spiritual sons.
Esteban is a Chicago native called to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus through creative outlets and preaching. He is a musician, MC for the band ALERT, and serves as GRIP’s Streetlights Project Director. With a passion to see all engage the Scriptures, Esteban joined the GRIP staff in 2009 overseeing the production of God’s Word through the Streetlights Urban Multimedia Bible, an urban tailored, word-for-word Scripture, multimedia resource. Esteban, his wife, Iris and son attend Edgewater Baptist Church and pray their family will be a genuine light of the redeeming hope of Christ in their neighborhood.
A jack of many trades, Mike worked at a production company for 12 years as a sound engineer, video editor, graphic designer, and production manager. He has been the production manager for the Legacy Conference since 2009, and joined GRIP's staff in August 2011 with the desire to use his creative talent in full-time ministry. Born and raised in Chicago, Mike is an avid Chicago sports fan. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Diane, and they have two handsome sons, Michael and Noah.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Senior Pastor, Philadelphia Church
Director, Event Marketing & Management at Moody Bible Institute
Real Estate Broker, Baird & Warner
Associate Pastor, Chicago West Bible Church
Teaching Pastor, Park Community Church
Executive Director, GRIP Outreach For Youth
CEO, Legacy Insurance Enterprises
Since its founding in 2004, GRIP has introduced a Life-on-Life relationship and the hope of Jesus Christ into the lives of hundreds of at-risk teens who desperately need someone to love them
and walk life alongside them.
SLAM is created and launched
GRIP officially incorporates as a 501(c)3 organization
SLAM impacts 800+ at-risk youth!
GRIP begins running The Miracle Basketball League
GRIP The School launches at Marshall High School
The launch of Streetlights
Wells High School opens its doors to GRIP The School
Vision Nehemiah merges with GRIP bringing with it the Legacy Conference and the UYN
1st Streetlights box set released: Divine DNA
For the 1st time, Legacy Conference sells out
GRIP programs have impacted 5,000 students since inception
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