Summer is a self-proclaimed youth mentor and certified ESL teacher for over 20 years. She’s a graduate of Dominican University and Loyola University New Orleans. She has taught at almost every grade level, and either started or ran after school activities including Girls’ Basketball, Student Council, College Club, Running Club, Scholarship writing advisor, Spelling Bee & Math Club. Summer has co-written curriculum within several school districts and participated on the Leadership & Multi-Cultural Committee Boards at her school. She has attended conferences both at home and away to hone her craft, countless field trips and wrote several successful small grants equipping her classroom with much needed books and supplies. She has demonstrated on multiple levels her commitment to create a positive culture and climate for both her school and residential community. She has been a resident and parent of Berwyn schools since 2010. In 2021, she organized an inaugural Juneteenth UNITY Fest, the first culturally Black event in Berwyn. She believes in equity and fair practices for everyone. She is happily married for 18 years with a stepdaughter and two children.
Erik is a software developer and political educator that uses unconventional tactics to fight political and economic injustice through tech accessibility. He has worked on political campaigns for over a decade as a volunteer and has helped a number of young people of color win their elections. Erik has a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has a Data Science Certificate from Northwestern University.
Erik lives in Berwyn with his fiancee, dog and two cats. Cooking is one of his passions. He did lead abatement and weatherization throughout Chicagoland for his family business before getting into politics and coding.
Lisa Polderman was born in nearby Maywood and has lived and traveled all over the world. She moved to Berwyn with her family in 2008, and loves the creative spirit, range of perspectives, and grittiness embodied in Berwyn's residents. One of the co-founders of Awake, she believes wholeheartedly in the organization's mission to be a catalyst for community-led change. Lisa earned a BA in Latin American History and Literature from Warwick University (UK) and currently works in fundraising at the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Alejandra is an educator with over 10 years of bilingual education experience. For the past two years, she has begun her journey as an administrator where she brings her passion for instruction, parent engagement and student achievement to her role. Alejandra has three brilliant and sweet children. They motivate her to stay engaged in her community and improve the quality of life of everyone around her. Alejandra has experience in event planning, fundraising and networking. She also spent several years working at a non-profit to support parents and help them build strong family supports. As a co-founder of the Berwyn Little Free Library Initiative, she has organized around bi-literacy and community resources for the past three years. Throughout this time, she has met amazing volunteers and organizations who also care about literacy, inclusion and equity.
Alejandra is thrilled to join the AWAKE board. She is most excited to learn from her amazing peers and and bring her passion, expertise and gifts to the team.