Executive Director

Laura Muriello

Muriello, a first-generation college graduate joins WFF from OneGoal, where she served as Sr. Managing Director of Program. During her tenure, Muriello defined and managed the overall direction of the OneGoal program in Chicago, growing their reach from approximately 20 schools to nearly 80, and to achieving ambitious goals of college enrollment and persistence for nearly 6,000 CPS students.

Previously, Muriello was the Director of Instruction, Middle School at the Lighthouse Academies. During her time, the academy saw a 27% increase on their state achievement exams and was named to the Illinois Honor Roll two years in a row. Muriello has also worked for Teach For America as an instructional coach and for Chicago Public Schools as a middle school teacher.

Muriello earned a BS in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Dominican University.

Program Manager

Alex Scheidemantel

Alex graduated from DePaul University in 2012 and shortly afterward found herself volunteering at a Wood Family Foundation event. After being a part of the incredible week long baseball clinic, she decided to pursue a more permanent position. Over three

years later Alex is proud to see the work of the foundation result in our feature program, Pitch In.

As Program Manager, Alex enjoys building relationships with Lawndale Elementary staff, the students and families and the community as a whole. Designing curriculum and leading Pitch In each week keeps her busy but in her free time, Alex enjoys reading a good book, enjoying the outdoors and exploring the incredible city of Chicago.

Youth Development Specialist

Nate Olison

Nate Olison is a writer, performer, and teaching artist living in Chicago, Illinois. He received a BA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College in 2012. He has been teaching and performing poetry in the city for 10 years, most notably winning a spot on the finals stage of the National Poetry Slam with Mental Graffiti slam team. As a youth development specialist and prison abolitionist, he is dedicated to helping young people overcome obstacles presented by systemic oppression. He’s also a competitive video game player and aspiring comic book creator in his spare time.

Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Events

Mike Bruce

Affectionately known as “Intern 3” just a few short years ago, Mike was born by fire into the Wood Family Foundation during the summer of 2013 with Woody’s Wiffle Ball Classic, before formally graduating from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2014.

While in school, he was involved in a variety of organizations serving as President of Student Government, Vice President of Public Relations Student Society of America, a Staff Writer for The Sojourn, 94.3 DJ, Event Planner for the Student Activities Council, and Executive Director of his campus PR agency – all while mentoring youth at Francis Slocum Elementary School.

While continuing to volunteer with WFF in his free time, his experience allowed for him to follow through working with incredible leaders and non-profits in the Public Relations and Special Events industry.

Mike’s passion for working with nonprofits across the world from has led him to assist numerous organizations with PR, events and programming from Sydney, Australia and Tijuana, Mexico to Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Indianapolis and Chicago focused on making a difference in the lives of youth.

As Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Events, Mike is certainly looking forward to making a difference in the North Lawndale community by planning new and returning events, and raising funds for the foundation. In his free time, you can catch him at Taco Bell, listening to “RnB” and spontaneously exploring the beautiful city of Chicago!