Board of Directors

Lori Caravello

Lorene Caravello, has been a Board Member for 2.5 years. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, she also serves on the board of Speh Family Foundation, her family’s private grant making foundation funding programs for youth ages 13-19.

“When I learned more about the issues of Teenage Homelessness in Chicago, I knew that the approach of SUFK could really make a difference in the lives of these kids.  To see a program grow in the right direction has been inspiring.”

Tom Hayden

Tom Hayden, Lecturer in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, has been working with SUFK for nearly 5 years. In addition to serving on the Chicago based board, Hayden also serves on the Stand Up For Kids National board of directors. Hayden also serves on the Board of Chicago International Charter School and lives in Wilmette.

“I’ve found in my work with Stand Up For Kids that there’s nobody that truly cares about the youth we work with. They’re abandoned by their families and society, and are left to fend for themselves. In my work, I feel like I’m making a difference in their lives.”

Peggy Lewis

Peggy Lewis is a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker in Deerfield, loves working with the young adults within the program. She joined the board after recognizing a deep need to offer assistance to those that have nothing.

“It doesn’t take much to show these kids we care, and it can make all the difference in their lives.”

Joey Morelli

Joey Morelli- Chef and owner of Max’s Deli in Highland Park, IL, Joey has been active with Stand Up For Kids for nearly 3 years and has spearheaded the 2013 and 2014 annual Mac and Cheese cook-off. Spearheading the November 2013 first annual Mac N’ Cheese cook-off at Max’s Deli in which over $3,000 was raised in less than three hours, Morelli says about his affiliation with Stand Up For Kids,

“It simply feels good to do the right thing.”

Jeannette Cherie Pawula

Jeannette Cherie Pawula, Founder & Executive Director, Avanse f/k/a Charity4LIFE and Talk Show Host, Everyday Heroes, was introduced to Stand Up For Kids when she went to interview the team for a piece. Avanse works internationally within Latin America and the Caribbean to provide resources to rehabilitate street kids and the parallels with Stand Up For Kids sparked her interest. She now serves as Development Advisor within the organization and witnesses first hand the potential of the youth.

“There are many street kids unsupported in the United States and very few organizations who do actual outreach with these kids.  I believe Stand Up for Kids is very unique and offers the kind of support necessary to make an impact in their lives.”

Brian Russell

Brian Russell- President of Home Run Consultants Inc. of Wilmette, IL has been working with Stand Up For Kids for nearly 6 years. Says Russell,

“I believe we were all put on this earth to be VERY HAPPY. I see how developing nonjudgmental relationships with our youth base moves them through the crucial first step to beginning to make the right day to day decisions and to start rebuilding their lives. I see happiness returning to their lives and I feel extreme happiness knowing I am doing the right thing. Every time I get a hug, report card or a simple smile…I know we are making a huge difference.”


Sharon Weingarten

Sharon Weingarten is a licensed social worker, teacher and an expert on intergenerational communication. She has had over 30 years of educational and therapeutic experience with children, adolescents, adults and families and has worked at National Louis University, the Department of Adolescent Psychiatry at NorthShore University HealthSystem, the Department of Community Wellness at Glenbrook Hospital, the Samoan school system with WorldTeach, Prevention Researcher Magazine and a wide ariety of local and national youth and mental health organizations. She has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology since it began.

She also serves as a professional advisor to Northwestern University’s Camp Kesem Northwestern, a camp for children who have a sibling or other family member with cancer.

Sharon created What I Wish You Knew, LLC to give students all over the world a safe and professional forum in which to share their concerns and to encourage dialogue in families, schools and therapeutic settings.

Kelly Hoxie
Mr. Kelly Hoxie, Director of Operations of 4-Star Restaurant Group has worked with Stand Up For Kids Chicago Chapter for nearly two years. With a passion for food, Hoxie has also volunteered for many years with the Red Cross and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation organizing food drives and walks to raise money for the hungry. After learning about the youth homeless problem in Chicago, he joined the board of Stand Up For Kids.

“My goal is to help and allow those less fortunate to prosper.”