Board of Directors
Beth Palmer – Director
Beth Struck Palmer started the Tutoring Program with volunteer tutors in 1985, because children in her choir could not read the words of the songs. Growing from that were the Saturday Tutoring Program with 8th graders from Wilmette Jr. High as tutors, and the Summer Piano Program with volunteer piano tutors. In 2016 Ms. Palmer received the United Voices for Children Child Worker Award. In 2018 she was declared a “Living Treasure” by the Edgewater Historical Society. Ms. Palmer also plays the pipe organ at Epworth Church.
Meghan Ford - Chair
Meghan is a Supervisor of Administrative Services at a consulting company. She has been involved with Inspired Youth since 2013, and since joining the board has focused on the organization’s fundraising and social initiatives. In her free time, Meghan enjoys taking advantage of the lakefront, traveling and spending time with friends and family.
Dan Solomon – Secretary
Dan is a retired software engineer who lives in West Rogers Park. In addition to his work with Inspired Youth, he serves as secretary of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, and as volunteer coordinator for Adult Education at the Unitarian Church of Evanston. In his spare time, he likes to backpack, read, and participate in philosophy discussion groups.
Kenny Roman – Treasurer
Kenny has resided in the Uptown neighborhood for 25 years. Kenny is a former student of the Tutoring Program; he received tutoring services during his high school education. After completing his doctorate degree, Kenny volunteered as an Inspired Youth tutor for several years and subsequently joined the board. In his spare time, you can find Kenny reading science journals at coffees shops, planning family events, and enjoying the great food our city offers with friends.
Joy Negron - Technical Coordinator
Joy graduated from Malcolm X College with an Associate in Science during the Fall of 2021. She has a passion for helping others and using technology as a tool to further do so. Joy loves to spend her downtime playing the guitar and spending time with her two older sisters and parents.
Clay Cerny has been a tutor with Inspired Youth since 2016. He owns AAA Targeted Writing & Coaching, a career coaching and resume writing firm located in Andersonville. Clay earned a PhD in English literature from Northwestern University. As part of Edgewater’s Kiwanis Club, he has supported neighborhood youth and public schools for more than ten years.
Rochelle is of counsel to the law firm of Funkhouser, Vegosen, Liebman and Dunn. In addition to her work on the board, she has been a tutor with Inspired Youth as have her sons since they were at Wilmette Junior High School. She also volunteers with the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and likes to cook, travel and spend time with family and friends.
Dan graduated in Accounting from Marquette University and later received a MM in Business from Northwestern’s Kellogg School. He recently retired after a long career in Structured Finance. Dan has been married to a Physical Therapist for 30+ years, and they have 3 sons and 3 grandsons. Following a passion, Dan has been a tutor, mentor and ESL teacher for many years. He has been an after-school tutor at Inspired Youth for the last 3 years and joined the board in 2019.
Mark is the manager of the Bezazian Branch of the Chicago Public Library in Uptown. This is where he became aware of Inspired Youth and the dedication of founder Beth Palmer to the well-being of the children in this community. Mark enjoys, but does not excel at, bicycling and Ultimate Frisbee and is an appreciator of a well cooked meal, even if he’s doing the cooking.