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Tené Gray

Tené Gray is the Director of Professional Development for Digital Youth Network. She designs and delivers high-quality training and professional development for adult educators that range from mentoring, connected learning, badge design and integration, new media literacy, and literacy content.

Tené’s employment experience include teaching middle school in the Chicago Public School system, working as a Literacy Specialist supporting middle school teachers, working as Program Director for Gaining Early Awareness in Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP), and working as a Network Coach for the University of Chicago, Urban Education Institute, supporting charter school principals and instructional leadership teams to enhance shared leadership and responsibility to ensure that every student received high level instruction.

Tené holds a B.S. in Industrial Technology with a concentration on Electronics from Illinois State University, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University, and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Governors State University. She is also a doctoral candidate in the School of Education at DePaul University.




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Elsa Rodriguez

Elsa Rodriguez is the Programs Manager for the Hive Chicago Learning Network. Prior to this role, she worked alongside youth-serving organizations in Chicago to gain understanding of mentoring relationships as Training Coordinator for the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her past work has focused on youth-development programming aimed at providing experiential and content learning to underserved youth in Chicago Public Schools.

As a Program Manager with Project Exploration, Elsa worked to bring authentic experiences with scientists to students in Chicago and programs in Wyoming and South Dakota. Elsa also served as a City Year Chicago Corps Member focused in elementary literacy and after school programming. Elsa completed her Bachelor’s of Art in Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College.




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Bernadette Sánchez

Bernadette Sánchez earned her PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in Community and Prevention Research. She is currently an Associate Professor of Community Psychology at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She conducts research on the role of mentoring relationships in the positive development of urban, low-income youth of color. She is particularly interested how race and ethnicity, such as racial discrimination, cultural mistrust and racial/ethnic identity, play a role in youth mentoring relationships and programs.

Bernadette is working on multiple research projects examining informal and formal mentoring relationships in the educational experiences of urban, low-income adolescents as well as investigating youth’s perspectives about how adults should best engage youth in their programming and in building relationships with them. She also works with community based organizations to enhance their mentoring programs, to assist with training mentors, and to conduct program evaluation. She is a member of the Research Board for the National Mentoring Resource Center and recently received the Ethnic Minority Mentoring Award from the Society for Community Research and Action for her role in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students of color in community psychology.