VANESSA SANCHEZ, DIRECTOR
DA BOSS! She’s been at Yollo since forever. Vanessa climbed the Yollo ladder from intern to director (Did we mention she’s also Director of the WHOLE education department at the museum?). When she’s not busy doing important director stuff she hopes to score some Radiohead tickets, or book them for Villapalooza Music Festival (because she also runs that like a boss). Ask her about her furry bbs, Peloton, or her super sweet ride. Want to woo her? Boujie coffee, sparkly stickers, and fancy pens all day.
Fun Fact: She has a cat named Kitty Sparkle Cheetah.
Hananne Hanafi, Co-Director
Hananne is the freshest of the Yollo crew. So fresh she wears long leather jackets while riding her Vespa to work everyday. Aside from being best dressed, she is the Co-Director here at Yollo and keeps our programs running smoothly throughout the year. Not to mention the magnificent Malinalli Garden she’s grown from a seedling into the beautiful community space it is today! But don’t invite her over, because a plant WILL go missing.
Fun fact: She’s impossible to buy snacks for #peanutallergy #glutenfree #sheshealthy
Jennifer Gonzalez, Programs Coordinator
Like a winged butterfly, Jenni rose from the ashes as a student, to become an intern and is now the Program Coordinator at Yollocalli. Fueled by Starbucks, you might find Jenni in the club (probably sporting Crocs and socks), meticulously replying to emails at Yollo, or listening to The Weeknd on the weekend. She might not remember what she ate for breakfast, but always remembers who hasn’t turned in their Boys and Girls Club form.
(Not so fun) Fun Fact: Since witnessing the alien-like emergence of a butterfly, she has a fear of winged insects.
Whitney Ross, Youth Development Advisor
Whitney, the Photoshop Guru, has worked at Yollo since November 2010. She is affectionately known as “mom” among Yollocalli students, especially those in the Youth Council. She creates the coolest flyers for our Instagram feed, directs staff yoga on Thursdays from 2-2:30 @ Yollo, and makes dreams come true with the awesome parties she throws with the Yollocalli Youth council. She’s pretty cool.
Fun fact: She has a list of band names she comes up with in her notebook.
Fernando Ruiz, Intern
The bearded baddie! Ferny is our resident master photographer (he SNAPPED on these bio portraits, amiright?). Not only does he run around documenting all our programs, but he teaches one as well (shout out to Camera Flux!). He is also a lover of music and a collector of vinyl. You’ve probably seen Ferny walking around Pilsen, hitting up records stores, or shopping for funky furniture and local art.
Fun fact: He watched all 618 episodes of The Simpsons during the pandemic.
Nayehli Alvarez, Intern
Naye had been a student at Yollo for 5 years when she became an intern (solely so she wouldn’t lose access to Adobe Creative Cloud). She’s infamous for her sad-eyed doodles of clowns and flowers, and if you’re lucky you’ll spot one of her stickers in the wild. Everyone wants to know, what does she keep in her red hair besides secrets? Our guess: Poscas, cigarettes, tiny pig figurines, and snacks. Definitely snacks.
Fun fact: She buys platforms but never wears them.
Emmanuel Ramirez, Intern
Yollocalli adopted Emmy from the Boys & Girls Club after we realized we couldn’t get rid of him. He became an unofficial intern at age 11- making coffee, sharing Youtube videos, and distracting us from our work. Now, as an official intern, Emmy loves making coffee, sharing TikToks, and distracting us from our work. You’ve probably seen him in Malinalli Garden twerking to Nicki or finding his light among the Black-eyed Susans.
Fun fact: If you include his platforms and messy bun, he’s legally a giant.
Stephanie Manriquez, Your Story, Your Way (Audio & Radio Production)
Oh, Steph. A perfectionist. She has built the radio program and made it what it is today. Steph has remained loyal to both Yollo and her students since her beginning with RadioArte. You can catch her running around chicago on her days off (she’s training for the marathon!), or DJing at various locations throughout the city.
Fun fact: Her cat looks like Cantinflas
Oh, Steph. Un perfeccionista. Ella ha construido el programa de radio y lo ha convertido en lo que es hoy. Steph se ha mantenido fiel tanto a Yollo como a sus estudiantes desde que comenzó con RadioArte. Puedes verla corriendo por Chicago en sus días libres (¡está entrenando para el maratón!), O pinchando en varios lugares de la ciudad.
Dato curioso: su gato se parece a Cantinflas
CHARLY GARCIA, LA MESITA
Charly is the king of visual and audio production. He has collaborated with some cool musicians across the Americas often doing visuals for their sets, and he is often bringing cool and exciting people to Yollo like visual artist Rimiyoho. Charly is also a founder/member of the Chicago based DJ collective Sonorama.
Fun Fact: HE IS AN AMAZING COOK! ASK HIM TO MAKE YOU A BREAKFAST BURRITO!
Charly es el rey de la producción visual y de audio. Ha colaborado con algunos músicos geniales en todo el continente americano, a menudo haciendo imágenes para sus sets, y a menudo está trayendo gente genial y emocionante a Yollo como el artista visual Rimiyoho. Charly también es fundadora / miembro del colectivo de DJ con sede en Chicago Sonorama.
Dato curioso: ¡ES UN COCINERO INCREÍBLE! PÍDELO QUE TE HAGA UN BURRITO DE DESAYUNO!
LIZ REYES, COMMUNITY LINKS HS (GRAFFITI MURAL PROJECT)
LIZZZZZ! She’s been with us forever helping lead our Graffiti Mural program at Links HS. Her work can be found anywhere from abandoned schools, to CTA Trains during Dia de los Muertos and on the streets of Chicago, including an entire building on 26th Street!
Fun Fact: She hosts an annual graffiti event called SPLASH that showcases female writers!
LIZZZZZ! Ella ha estado con nosotros desde siempre, dirigiendo nuestra clase Graffiti Mural Project en Links HS. Su arte se puede encontrar donde sea, desde escuelas abandonadas, hasta trenes públicos de la CTA durante Dia de los Muertos, y en las calles de Chicago, incluyendo un edificio completo en La Villita
Dato Curioso: Cada año ella organiza un evento de graffiti llamado SPLASH, que promueve Graffiteras en Chicago.