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.



Executive Assistant | Office Manager

Brittani Emmons

Photo courtesy of the Obama Foundation