Kandice is the Founder and Executive Director of the Alive Not-for-profit Center in Naperville, Illinois. The first organization of its kind, Alive aims to provide the community with an inclusive experience of learning, sharing, and discovery that enables people to connect with what makes them come alive. From the merger with NaperBridge in January of 2015, Alive will have an even stronger teen program.
Kandice is a Life Coach and Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT). After spending 25+ years as an executive in the corporate world at Accenture and IBM, she is now following her true passion – helping people to create the life they desire. Kandice is a graduate of Life Coaching school, Coach for Life. She also is a certified Heal Your Life Workshop Leader (Louise Hay’s work). She has her 200hr CYT from Moksha Yoga in Chicago and is currently obtaining her 500hr CYT through ParaYoga (Rod Stryker). She has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Illinois.
Elisa has been at Alive for 5 years as Manager of the Operations Department. Throughout her
long career, she has found herself wearing many hats, and expanding and honing her skills in
operations, human resources and accounting. She is a founding member of a local not-for-
profit that serves families, and was on their board of directors and an officer for many years.
She has found her passion being involved in an organization that works with teens and allows
them to grow and reach their potential. Elisa is married and enjoys traveling and spending time
with her family.
Community Engagement and Development Representative
Kacie Chitwood serves as our Development Manager. Kacie has a background in technology, sales, and online education. Throughout her 30 year career, she has continued to find herself in roles where education and technology intersect with community relations. She loves connecting with people and helping them reach their potential! Kacie is drawn to the development of our youth as she believes they are our future. She has worn several hats throughout her career. Her primary goal has always been to create a balance between work and family as she has no extended family in this area. Kacie’s current role is a natural blend of her sales, development, and community relations experience. She is so grateful to be using all of these at Alive!
Hanover Park Drop-in Supervisor
Alex has spent the past 17 years as a mental health professional helping serve at-risk youth, working with inner-city adolescents and DCFS wards of the state in Chicago and the western suburbs. He graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelors in Psychology, specializing in adolescents with mental illness and behavior disorders. Alex has worn many hats over the years in the social work field, starting as an Recreational Therapist, to a Unit Supervisor for a Residential Group Home, to Treatment Team Coordinator and Milieu Treatment Manager. Alex enjoys being active and works in many different capacities in order to help foster resiliency in youth. He uses his musical skills, humor, passion for life, and listening/understanding for connecting with youth.
Alive Teen Initiate Lead
Melissa has spent the last 20 years in various roles in education. She obtained her Masters in Leadership & Administration from North Central and a Bachelors in History & English Education at Illinois State University. She has a passion for providing a loving and supportive environment for all teenagers so they can reach their full potential. While she has taught all grade levels, her primary focus has been teaching both History and English to teenagers. She has also volunteered to help kids at Hesed House, a local homeless shelter in Aurora, while leading many after school activities for teens as well. When not working or volunteering, she can be found with her family or enjoying one of her many hobbies.
Marketing & Events Lead
Nicole is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree in Communications. She is a licensed Illinois Realtor and Certified Marketing Director. Nicole brings over 20 years of experience from corporate marketing, event planning and sales to the ALIVE Center team. She was a Mentor for Stepping Stones Emergency Housing in DuPage County and Youth Mentor for the Community Consolidated School District 93. She is an active member of the Glen Ellyn Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and has co-chaired their Annual Youth Summit for several years. Nicole is also a member of P.E.G.S. (Parents for Education & Global Success) of the Community Unit School District 308. Nicole is passionate about helping and supporting others with her knowledge and background, while engaging in new and diverse experiences. She enjoys planning events and traveling with her family. Nicole is married to her college love, Horace, and proud mother of 4 children.
Amy has a Master’s Degree in Teaching and a Bachelor’s in Speech Pathology. She has worked the past 10 years writing inspirational children’s books and traveling to schools across the U.S. empowering kids and adults to focus on the power of their everyday kindnesses. Prior to that, she was an Area Leader for a Direct Sales Company inspiring her team of over 100 consultants. She has worked in the schools teaching and mentoring students, and currently runs The Kindness Gala Foundation with her husband and Kindness Ambassadors. She loves being around kids and making sure they know how much they matter.
Alive Aurora Manager
A long-time resident of Aurora, Ady Rubio is a young Latina woman who has a passion for working with youth. In 2016 she received her undergraduate degree in Psychology, 2019 a Master’s in Social work from Aurora University, and in 2020 became a licensed social worker. Ady was one of the first university students to intern at the Alive Center for teens in 2017. A non-profit that serves teens 5-12th grade and helps them find a sense of belonging, resiliency, discovery, and leadership. Alive was the internship she was hoping for, and it solidified her love of making meaningful connections with today’s youth. Seeing the impact a teen center such as Alive had on teens launched her dream of having an Alive Center in her city of Aurora one day. Today, Ady is continuing her journey with Alive, and she has joined the team as the drop-in Manager for Alive’s new downtown Aurora location. She inspires teens to take on leadership roles, be creative, and find a place of belonging.
Digital Media Coordinator
Jayna is a recent college graduate from DePaul University, with a Bachelors in Business, specializing in Digital Marketing. She started here in 2021 as a Marketing Intern and was later hired on as Digital Coordinator. Jayna enjoys using her creative skills through content creation and has grown our social media engagement throughout her time here. Before starting her career in Digital Marketing, she was a swim instructor and kids activities team member, where she enjoyed being a mentor for children and providing positive influence. She enjoys working for Alive where she can use her creative side while also shining a light on the amazing opportunities and resources provided by Alive. A fun fact is that Jayna attended Alive when she was a teen!