Dear UCYM Community,
Change is inevitable and, while not always all easy, I want to take this opportunity to update you on some shifts in our staff.
Andrea Infante-Martinez has been appointed the new Executive Director of Puerta Abierta Preschool in Evanston! This incredibly exciting and we are so proud of Andrea's accomplishments. Andrea will transition out of her role with us June 30th. Andrea has served in the capacity of Interim Director for UCYM since December and has been helping keep all of the pieces together from administration to ministry. We wish Andrea well!
Josue Ortiz has been appointed Deputy Director of Digital Strategy for the City of Chicago! Josue is a seasoned and incredibly talented digital media professional. Josue has been serving as our Associate Director of Digital Engagement and is responsible for the wonderful videos and much of the professional photography UCYM produces. We wish Josue well!
Chris Radmacher has been accepted into a grad school program for teaching through Dominican University where they will be teaching in their own classroom! Chris joined us just a short time ago as our Coordinator of Young Adult Life and has been instrumental in helping us create a solid base for ministry with young adults. We wish Chris well!
We are very fortunate in that all three of these wonderful people will be staying on as volunteers!
Malakai (Kai) Chuckas was hired in March as our Coordinator of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and has accepted a promotion to Associate Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Kai joined our team to primarily work on the Anti-Racism Youth Pilot program, but has become invaluable in also helping us reframe our outreach and ministry so that it is inclusive, which is really important to us and to young people as the Church continues to seek a connection today. Kai will oversee a broader scope related to topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Vanessa Barajas was hired in January as our Coordinator of Young Adult Engagement. Vanessa has worked hard on making our podcast a big success! Vanessa has accepted a promotion to Associate Director of Young Adult Engagement. Vanessa will be the team leader for young adult ministry and help oversee the wider scope of ministry with young adults.
Katia Silva was hired in December as our Associate Director of Marketing & Communications and volunteered in that capacity since fall of 2021. Katia has worked tirelessly to create a strategy and plan for UCYM's marketing and communications for the community and parishes. Katia has accepted a promotion to Associate Director of Digital Engagement. In her new role, Katia will help oversee the whole scope of digital media: social media, electronic communications, and paper publications.
Mirka Gallo was rehired in March after leaving for a bit as our Coordinator of Administrative Support. Mirka has worked hard to support the staff with administrative tasks not related to ministry so that ministry staff do not become overwhelmed. Mirka has accepted a promotion to Manager of Administrative Support to support the entire scope of administrative work.
New Staff Members
Please join us in welcoming Mireya Dominguez to our staff as the Senior Coordinator of Quinceañera Ministry! Mireya is a seasoned non-profit professional and volunteers with many non-profit organizations in the area. Mireya is also a catechist assistant in the Religious Education program at St. Nicholas Parish. Mireya will be taking on leadership of the Quinceañera Ministry, which provides faith formation and accompaniment to over 50 young women a year.
I want to especially thank our outgoing staff. They are all moving on to incredibly impressive next chapters and I will, again, say we are lucky they are staying on as volunteers.
Please keep us in prayer as we plan for our new year, which begins July 1st. Please be assured of our prayers as well. More change are coming and we are working hard to continue being a ministry that is available to all young people!
James Holzhauer-Chuckas, ObSB
p.s. see our leadership opportunities page for new volunteer and paid staff opportunities. Come join us!