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Our Board of Directors

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The Rev. Julie Boleyn


The Rev. Julie Boleyn has served as an ELCA Lutheran Pastor since 2011. Julie earned her Master of Divinity at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Julie works with the Kaleidoscope Institute in congregational vitality, multiculturalism, visioning and strategic planning, and sustainable ministry. In addition, Julie is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory®.


Anna Marin


Anna Marin (pronouns: she/her/ella) has served as a nonprofit and community leader for the past decade as director, community organizer, and consultant. She is currently the Vice President of Berwyn Awake!, and the Co-Chair of the Cicero Community Collaborative (CCC) and the CCC Antiracism Working Group.


Anna consults with nonprofit organizations, educational and governmental institutions, community agencies on racial equity and anti-oppression initiatives, teaching and training curriculum, strategic planning, program evaluation, fund development and grant writing, and capacity building.


She is a 2017 cohort member of the Cultivate: Women of Color Leadership Program, a joint effort of several Chicago foundations, and continues professional development opportunities with other powerful BIWOC (Black, Indigenous, Women of Color) leaders. Anna is fluent in Spanish, and has abilities in Portuguese and Arabic .Anna has lived in Berwyn for the past seven years with her two amazing young children.


Alejandra Reyes


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.


Lisa Polderman


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.


Astrid Schuler


Hi, I am Astrid Schuler, and I have lived in Berwyn for 21 years. I love this community and its diversity. I feel at home here. I became an Awake board member three years ago. I love it! Awake is a community-oriented organization that provides services for ALL children and their families. As a retired educator, I joined Awake’s Educational Committee to coordinate reading, math, and science programs during the summer. During the year, we assist with a monthly program event for families.


Shawnda Steer


Shawnda Steer, 

Small business owner

(Creative Hands)

Board Member since 2015, I lived in North-Berwyn community for 14 years. I have volunteered on several organizations as a Board member and board director in Berwyn / Chicago area. I served on North Berwyn District 98 school committees . PTO president at Jefferson Elementary school D98 for five years. Team membership with I-Noma project pipeline summer camp receiving 10 scholarships for District 98 students. Coordinated 1st National campaign Unity Day Anti-bullying campaigns in D98 receiving the first Proclamation for District in

October 2019.

William Hudson


I love that Awake stands by its mission of being a catalyst for relationships, justice, and leadership. I am grateful to be a part of Awake where I have had the opportunity to build relationships, advocate for justice in our community. and coordinate their Math and Science programs.

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Ben is a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant with RGW Consulting, LLC. as well as a community organizer within Berwyn and our surrounding communities. Having lived in Berwyn for 2.5 years with his wife Charlotte, Ben has been involved in community organizing, raising awareness, and fundraising (including for Awake) around multiple issues that directly affect our community.
Ben is passionate about building bridges and breaking down barriers and is committed to making a difference by engaging his neighbors towards a common goal that will uplift the community and move us forward. We know that Ben will help further Awake's mission and we can't wait to get to work with him! Welcome, Benjamin!

Benjamin Henning


Joel Wallen


For over a decade, Joel has worked with youth in Cicero and Berwyn.  He graduated from Cedarville University with a degree in Pastoral Studies and Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management from DePaul University.  He loves that Awake consistently meets community needs through innovative outreach and programming.  Children (his included) genuinely enjoy and benefit from the programs Awake provide.
Joel and his wife Jackie live in Cicero with their two sons: Deacon and Justus.

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