Meet the Staff
Talent Search and Upward Bound Programs
Ms. Basley has been working with RMU Talent Search and Upward Bound since 1999. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cheyney University, where she was the recipient of the Cheyney Incentive, Class of 1941 and the Richard Humphreys scholarship. As an undergraduate, she led an AIDS Awareness research project for minorities at the renowned Princeton University and was selected for the Neuroscience Institute at the Bryn Mawr University. Ms. Basley has a Masters Degree in Education with a concentration in College Counseling from the State University of New York at Brockport where she obtained a full tuition fellowship and worked for their Educational Opportunity Program. She also studied Social and Political Change at the University of Ghana in Accra. Ms. Basley is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and is a Trio Alumni as a former Upward Bound student from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Ms. Basley believes and continually affirms that her purpose and responsibility lies in serving others. She is committed to providing pathways that educate, encourage, enlighten, and inspire young people to live their best life and become productive citizens. As a leader, Ms. Basley promotes the development of strong relationships, model of continuous improvement, and build a capacity for organizational change. Having an innate ability to interact and relate to people from all walks of life is an asset she considers a natural spiritual gift. Cultivating teamwork, inspiring leadership in others and promoting a positive outlook to every undertaking are the tenets to which Ms. Basley attributes her personal and professional success.
Veronica Infante, affectionately known as Ms. Veronica, has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the place she considers her second home, which is none other than Robert Morris University – Illinois. Ms. Veronica is a true advocate for educational achievement, student success, and realizing dreams. She joined RMU over a decade ago as an Administrative Assistant and excelled to her current position through positive hard work, true dedication to assisting students, and taking progressive action in the services offered.
Through the years, Ms. Veronica has served many Chicago high schools. She works and collaborates closely with mentors, tutors, counselors, teachers, and principals to achieve the ultimate goal of helping students attend college. Every day is demanding; but yet, meaningful to her. As Ms. Veronica enables dreams to come true, she fulfills her dream of truly helping others
Ms. Veronica believes that students come first. The philosophy, for Ms. Veronica, is to support student goals, aspirations, and dreams with all the commitment, passion, resources, and any new student advantages that she can create.
Amy Lawrence earned a B.A. in English from Carthage College and an M.A. in English from DePaul University, graduating with distinction. Now in her ninth year with RMU Upward Bound, Ms. Lawrence started with the program as an English tutor and teacher. Previously, Ms. Lawrence taught literature and writing courses to undergraduates and led study abroad courses in several European cities. Ms. Lawrence’s commitment to TRiO is driven by her personal experience as a first-generation college student. She strives to empower others to realize their academic potential and follow their dreams. “We teach more by what we are than by what we teach.” -William Durant
Yolanda Pittman earned a B.S degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from RMU Talent Search and Upward Bound. Through her role as Academic Coordinator, she offers Academic Support Services to low income/first generation students by conducting assessments and providing educational, career and personal counseling; developing Individual Action Plans for project participants and taking the necessary steps to ensure that students adhere to and complete their plans to graduate from post-secondary education. Her longtime commitment to the program allows her to provide opportunities for our youth with bright futures and watch them blossom into adults.
Danielle Mitchell holds both her Bachelor & Masters of Science in Mathematics from Chicago State University. Prior to transitioning into the role as the Educational Specialist/Coordinator, she was a Math tutor for the RMU Talent Search Program. In the work setting, she is excited to work with the low-income and first-generation middle school & high school students. Working primarily with the middle school students, they keep her energetic, on her toes, and always searching for ways to increase their knowledge of various colleges/ universities. Her viewpoint is that all students are capable of being successful; some just need that extra boost of support and that is where TRiO comes in.
Talent Search and Upward Bound
Yesenia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from DePauw University. Yesenia’s passion for volunteering followed her throughout college. During her time at DePauw, Yesenia volunteered with ‘Student Friend’, an after-school program at the local middle school. There she mentored and tutored a student for three years in various subjects like Math and Reading. The three years of mentoring made her realize the importance of motivating the youth to seek higher education. Yesenia’s dedication to student success comes from her own experiences as a first-generation college student, POSSE Scholar and previously being part of the Educational Talent Search Program in high school. Yesenia believes that if we provide the necessary tools and skills early on, students will feel more prepared for college success.