Speakers

 

Nicole Caley

 
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Founded by Chief Executive Optimist, Nicole Caley, Living Virtuously LLC provides the motivation and inspiration to help you overcome the obstacles that are preventing you from reaching your potential! Your current situation never has to define your future success. As you learn my story, you will see that perhaps your cookie doesn’t have to crumble – mine didn’t!

Nicole could have easily become just another statistic in the teenage mom, absentee father narrative – where a quality education, mental and emotional stability, self-confidence, and a safe home were things she could have only dreamed of having. Fortunately for Nicole, it was those exact statistics that drove her to become “anything but her family”.

As a dynamic, results-driven leader, Nicole has demonstrated success as the Director of several operational accounting teams, and while she is extremely committed to her role, the development of others, and being of service to them, Nicole’s true passion is dedicated to serving the Chicagoland area through True Mentors, Women’s Leadership efforts, as well as private speaking engagements. She specifically focuses on the inner city of Chicago and the young girls there. Her hunger to serve girls and women has prompted her to establish Living Virtuously LLC, focusing her efforts in motivational speaking and helping young girls triumph after being sexually abused.


Katrese Kirk

 
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Reverend Katrese Kirk serves as the Pastor of Coleman Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Kenosha, WI. Prior to her appointment in 2017, she has served as the Youth Pastor at Quinn Chapel AME Church in Chicago; Leader of RAGE (Revealing A Generation of Excellence) an ecumenical movement for young adult women under the umbrella of the Fourth Episcopal District Women's Missionary Society; one of the founding creators of Impact 2167 a new take on youth ministry under the Fourth Episcopal District Christian Education Congress; and founder of the mission project Beautiful Brown India. She is a native of Danville, IL and a product of the parsonage, as both her parents are AME pastors. She received her B.A.in Mass Media Communication from Wilberforce University, where she held the title of Miss Wilberforce University 2002. She has a Master of Divinity from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Katrese is a student at Payne Theological Seminary, pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership and Community Engagement.

Before entering the pastoral ministry Katrese's ministry was focused on beauty, with a mission to educate, esteem and empower women and girls through the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Katrese has worked for Macy's, Clinique and Fashion Fair Cosmetics, where she has held various management roles. She is currently Regional Sales Manager for Coty Luxury. Her roles have allowed her to travel to London, Paris, South Africa, Kuwait, Canada and India. She is a pastor and motivational speaker who is committed to helping others unlock their purpose, and live the abundant life that God has purposed for them.


Marilyn Gilbert-Mitchell

 
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Marilyn Gilbert-Mitchell is a second generation educator with over 20 years of experience in higher education and secondary education. For the past 10 years, she has worked with school districts and teams in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri.

Marilyn holds a foundational belief that ALL students can prepare for college and career success through preparation. With this premise, she exudes passion for working with students, particularly first-generation college goers, to help them navigate the journey to and through college. Using skills and experiences acquired through decades in corporate, higher education, community, and secondary education environments, Marilyn is uniquely equipped to a variety of clients and topics. Her background is strengthened by four earned college degrees and continuing education coursework from Chicago State University, American College of Education, University of San Diego, and National-Louis University.

Since focusing on post-secondary preparation in working with students, Marilyn has assisted nearly 300 students in securing more than 1,200 college acceptances and over $16.4 million in confirmed scholarship and grant awards at colleges in 17 states. Helping students reach college graduation is not a career but a mission.


Marchonda Sanders

 
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Marchonda Sanders is a native of Chicago, IL. She has worked in the education field for 10+ years as a Math Specialist, Math Interventionist, middle school Math Instructor, professor and more. Her love for Christ and people has moved her to work in the ministry as a youth pastor and director for five years in the Chicagoland area, bible study teacher, and adviser on the collegiate level for 4 years. Being a military spouse has allowed her to travel and work with the Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) at different bases as a small group leader sharing her devotion with ladies in hopes of motivating them to be brave to be themselves.

While running away from her calling in the church, Marchonda naturally gravitated towards people when it came to encouraging them to love themselves by building their self esteem through love.

Marchonda has a very supported husband of 9 years who allows her to do what she feels led to do and an 8 year old son who feels he must go wherever she goes to “protect her”.