Rockford Promise is fortunate to have dedicated staff members who help lead the daily efforts and promote the power of Rockford Promise.

Kaylene Groh

Executive Director

Cole Bathje

Advancement Manager

Jesse Campos

Academic Mentor Coordinator

Gabrielle Foreman

Program Support Coordinator

Tamica Fricks

Academic Mentor Coordinator

Lamar Powell

Academic Mentor Coordinator

Alexis Prendergast

Academic Mentor Coordinator

Aurora Schnorr

Community Engagement Manager
Alondra Torres

Alondra Torres

Special Projects Coordinator


Rockford Promise is led by a passionate group of board members who believe in the power of education to transform lives and communities. By volunteering their time and expertise, they are changing lives and transforming Rockford. We thank them for their dedication to making our community better for all who live here.

Maurice Redd

President, Redd Insurance Group

“I became involved in Rockford Promise because this is the single greatest initiative that could transform the Rockford region. A fully funded Rockford Promise will attract and retain talent to the region.”

Susan Fumo

Susan Fumo

Vice President
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Freeport Public Schools

“Rockford Promise is the single biggest strategic thing that can change our city. It's simple; it's practical; it's immediate. Kids win; schools win; businesses win. There are literally no down-sides to this strategy.”

Emily Hartzog

Emily Hartzog

President, Chartwell Agency

``A Promise Program has the power to positively impact every facet of our community. An investment like this will help us realize the future we want for the Rockford region.``

Jon Pick

Chief Operating Officer, Rockford Urological Associates


Mustafa Abdall

Director, Solutions Business Center & Rockford Today Network

“Rockford Promise makes education affordable, fosters growth, and retains talent. Investing in our community's education contributes to Rockford's long-term prosperity, empowering individuals to achieve their full potential. I'm honored to be part of this transformative journey and dedicated to the noble goals of Rockford Promise.”

Evan J Bonnett

Attorney, AGHL Law LLC

“I am proud to be involved with Rockford Promise and its amazing mission to change lives and our community. I am particularly excited about our efforts to mentor RP scholars as they begin their college journeys, helping to solidify the students' hard work by working with the whole student instead of just handing a check. It is truly an investment in the student and in Rockford!”

Scot Dobbs

President, Summit CPA Group

``As a former student of the Rockford public school system, I am proud to be involved with Rockford Promise. I appreciate all the work they are doing for the students in the Rockford region. They are making a lasting impact on the students, families, and future generations of the Rockford community.``

Keith Kruchten

Operations Manager, The Ground Up

''Why Rockford Promise? Education is the great equalizer. Education is hope. Education is change. Education is growth. Education is lower crime. Education is better jobs. Education is a vibrant community. Rockford Promise is the key to Rockford's renaissance.''

Jeff Lewis

Advisor, Savant Capital Management

“Investing in yourself is the best investment any person can make. With help from Rockford Promise, our community has the potential to provide affordable education to high school graduates who otherwise may not go to college. If providing access to education for hundreds of individuals who otherwise wouldn't go to college doesn't give you goosebumps, then nothing will.''

Patrick Peyer, Rockford Promise

Patrick Peyer, Ed.D.

Vice President of Student Affairs, Rock Valley College

''I am honored to support the amazing efforts of Rockford Promise and serve the Rockford region. The value of one's education cannot be overstated. Education allows us to be the best version of ourselves and improve the lives of those around us.''

Damon Raynor

Damon Raynor

Engineer, Collins Aerospace

''I'm honored to serve on the board of Rockford Promise. We step into these students' lives - to remove financial barriers, provide mentorship, encouragement and perspective - because we care about our community. These students are our future.''

Kristina Reuber

Director of Welcome Center Relations, RPS205

''Having been both a first-generation college student and graduate of Rockford Public Schools, I firmly believe in the boost Rockford Promise gives to families. As a resident of Rockford, it's a great feeling to know every house and apartment gives everyone in my community a pathway to fulfill dreams. ''

Jake Trotter

Attorney, Cicero, France & Alexander, P.C.

Diego Valdivia

Immigrant Services Supervisor, YWCA of Northwest Illinois

“I truly believe education is the foundation of any strong community. Rockford became my home as a high school student. As an immigrant new to the area, I experienced the struggles of understanding and navigating the systems involved with higher education. I was drawn to joining this team because I believe Rockford Promise can assist students with much more than scholarships. I also believe a diverse and educated workforce would greatly contribute to the continued growth and prosperity of the Rockford region”

Robert Young

CEO/President, Midwest Container & Packaging

The great African Statesman Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela’s compelling words poignantly applies to our community here in the Rockford region. I am a proud Board Member and supporter of Rockford Promise because there is no greater investment in our future than our children. If we aspire to achieve our potential as a community, we must invest in the education and development of our next generation of leaders. By helping our scholars reach their goals and dreams, we are helping Rockford do so as well. ''


Elaine Breck

Advisory Board

“As the years have passed, I have become more committed to and inspired by the Promise Scholars, their energy, and their hopes and dreams. I'm excited when I think about the impact our Scholars will have in our community and the talent and strengths they will bring to our local employers.”

Brian Kobischka

Former CFO, North American Tool

“The economic vitality of a community is reflective of and limited by the collective educational and training levels attained by its citizens.”