ILLINOIS JUSTICECORPS FELLOWS

Semaite Abiy - 

Winnebago County (17th Judicial Circuit)

 

Semaite is from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and is a graduate of Beloit College, where he majored in Anthropology and minored in Philosophy and Political Science.  He is currently pursuing a Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Specialized Studies from Northwestern University.  Semaite has interned at Prairie State Legal Services in Rockford, Danya Institute, and at the United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. 

 

Semaite is an avid chess player and enjoys leisurely reading. 

Jessica Acosta - 

Cook County (Circuit Court of Cook County – Daley Center)

 

Jessica is from Chicago, Illinois and is a graduate of Monmouth University, where she majored in Political Science and International Studies.  While in college, Jessica conducted research on legal and educational barriers for migrant and refugee groups in Mexico, Ecuador, and Jordan.  She also taught ESL courses to students in Amman, Jordan through Jesuit Refugee Services. 

 

Jessica's hobbies include biking, traveling solo, and going to poetry slams.

Derious Braswell - 

Cook County (Circuit Court of Cook County – Leighton Criminal Courthouse)

 

Derious is from Helena, Arkansas and is a graduate of Christian Brothers University, where he majored in Philosophy.  He is currently working toward a obtaining a master's degree in Management and Leadership at Western Governors University.  Derious formerly worked as a supervisor at UPS in Memphis, TN and supports his interest in debate by serving as an instructor for youth at Chicago Debates. 

 

Derious enjoys politics, traveling, skating, cooking, and he practices meditation and yoga. 

Logan Chitty - 

Kankakee County (21st Judicial Circuit)

 

Logan hails from Bargersville, Indiana and has extensive experience helping people in courthouses.He currently attends Olivet Nazarene University where he is majoring in Political Science and Legal Studies, and he is a student athlete on the ONU men's basketball team.While completing his studies, Logan has interned at the Office of the State's Attorney in Champaign and helped establish a partnership for judicial internships at Kankakee County Courthouse.

 

His interests include sports, discussing politics, collecting movies, and he is looking forward to getting married next summer.

Todd Deger - 

Kane County (16th Judicial Circuit)

 

Todd hails from Palatine, Illinois and is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.  He majored in Religion with concentrations in Middle Eastern Studies and Women & Gender Studies.  While in college, Todd was a section leader in St. Olaf's Norseman Band and he studied abroad in Israel.  He most recently served in AmeriCorps as a construction volunteer facilitator for Habitat for Humanity in Minnesota. 

 

Todd spends his time being outside and hiking (he solo hiked 170 miles on the Appalachian Trail), reading mystery novels, and he has a black belt in Taekwondo.

Kattia Gramajo  - 

Lake County (19th Judicial Circuit)

 

Kattia is from Guatemala City, Guatemala and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she double-majored in Spanish and Criminology, Law and Justice.She has extensive experience working on DACA with undocumented students through the Fearless Undocumented Alliance, and is a long-time volunteer with Ravenswood Community Services

 

Kattia spends her spare time swimming and practicing yoga.

Kiasha Henry - 

McLean County (11th Judicial Circuit)

 

Kiasha is from Bloomington, Illinois and is a graduate of Illinois State University, where she majored in Family and Consumer Science.  She launched Charm, Inc., which provides assistance, mentorship, and resources to low-income families and youth in the community.   She also volunteers her time with local organizations that provide school supplies to kids and meals to homeless people in the area.

 

In her spare time, Kiasha enjoys traveling and is interested in social justice initiatives. 

Jacob Hobson - 

McHenry County (22nd Judicial Circuit)

 

Jacob is from Geneva, Illinois and graduated from Illinois State University in 2018. There, He majored in Political Science.  Jacob exceled in legal studies courses and has been admitted into the Northern Illinois College of Law for the Fall 2020 semester. Jacob has previously interned for a law firm and held a field office management position for a gubernatorial campaign.

Jacob enjoys playing roller hockey, watching movies, reading books, and playing video games.

Deja Jenkins - 

Knox County (19th Judicial Circuit)

 

Deja is from Chicago, Illinois and recently completed her BA at Knox College, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in Psychology.  Deja is an award-winning playwright.  During her studies, Deja studied abroad and worked with refugees seeking asylum at the Khora Community Centre in Athens, Greece.  She also worked at Knox College's Audio & Visual Department, served as a teaching assistant, and volunteered at various charities to help underserved communities. 

Deja enjoys knitting and crochet, and she is currently working on her first feature-length movie script.

Bobby Lindsay - 

Madison County (19th Judicial Circuit)

 

Bobby hails from Omaha, Nebraska and is a graduate of Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he majored in English.During his studies, he interned at the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce where he conducted research on economic development issues and solutions.

 

He enjoys reading, watching Nebraska football, and playing Spikeball.

Natisha McAdams - 

Cook County (Circuit Court of Cook County – Markham)

 

Natisha is from Chicago, Illinois and is serving her second term as the Fellow at the Markham courthouse.  She is currently a 1L at UIC John Marshall Law School.  Natisha is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Black Studies.  She also holds a paralegal certificate from Ashworth College.  Prior to joining JusticeCorps, she conducted canvassing efforts for unions, grassroots political candidates, and advocacy groups. 

 

Natisha's hobbies include reading fiction, listening to R&B music, and watching television.

Erica Olson - 

Cook County (Circuit Court of Cook County – Daley Center)

 

Erica is from Palatine, Illinois and graduated from Elmhurst College with a major in Political Science and History.  During her studies, Erica interned with the Global Leadership Network and served as a summer camp counselor for youth and families.

 

Erica likes to read, discuss local politics, work on hand embroidering, and eat tacos.

Lia Raves - 

Cook County (Circuit Court of Cook County – Daley Center)

 

Lia hails from Outer Banks, North Carolina and is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where she majored in Sociology and Political Science with a concentration in Law and Justice.  While in college, she studied abroad in Fiji and Italy.

She enjoys traveling to learn about new people and places, and immersing herself in different cultures.

Caitlyn Schaffer - 

Will County (12th Judicial Circuit)

 

Caitlyn is from Chicago, Illinois and is a graduate of Augustana College, where she graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Ethics.  While in college, Caitlyn was a student athlete on the AC women's tennis team and a part-time mentor and tutor with AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination).  She has also interned at a private law firm specializing in family law and served on the NAACP leadership board at her college. 

 

Caitlyn's hobbies include tennis, justice reform, and graphic design. 

Brittany Rossi Underwood - 

Champaign County (12th Judicial Circuit)

 

Brittany is from Chicago, Illinois and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.  She majored in Political Science and Leadership, and while in college she served as a tutor for local students through America Reads and America Counts. 

Brittany served as secretary for the Minority Association for Future Attorneys, worked at University Housing at the University of Illinois, and served as a minimum-time member for JusticeCorps in Champaign prior to becoming the Fellow. 

 

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, Bailey.

ILLINOIS JUSTICECORPS staff

Stacey Weiler - Program Operations Director, Illinois Bar Foundation –  Administers the program and AmeriCorps grant statewide, coordinates member training and program evaluation. Stacey is also the staff person responsible for overseeing program operations in Kane and McHenry Counties.  Contact: sweiler@iljusticecorps.org or 312-920-4693.

 

Jenna Kearns - Regional Program Coordinator, Illinois Bar Foundation – Works out of the McLean County Law and Justice Center in Bloomington, IL. Manages the day-to-day operations of the program at 7 service sites, recruits and supervises all Illinois JusticeCorps Fellows and Members at those sites. Contact: jkearns@iljusticecorps.org or 872-444-6620.

 

Cortney Redman – Cook County Regional Program Coordinator, The Chicago Bar Foundation – Works out of the Daley Center. Manages the day-to-day operations of the 3 courthouses in Cook and the Lake County courthouse, and supervises the programs role in the Circuit Court of Cook County Resource Center for People without Lawyers. Recruits and supervises all Illinois JusticeCorps Fellows and Members at those sites.  Contact: credman@iljusticecorps.org or 312-914-9521.

 

Kathryn Hensley – Senior Program Manager, The Access to Justice Division, AOIC – Serves as the liaison between the program and the AOIC and ATJ Commission. Works closely with program staff to oversee the program statewide and manage the relationship of JusticeCorps with our court partners. Assists with program evaluation, development and sustainability.  Contact: khensley@illinoiscourts.gov or 312-793-6153.

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