The objectives of the Associate Board Engagement Committee are to manage the Associate Board recruitment process, onboard new members (ensuring they are up to speed and integrated into the board), and monitor the board's give/get goals.


Erica Loper

Erica serves as Finance Associate Manager at PepsiCo. PepsiCo is a mission driven global food and beverage company headquartered in Purchase, New York; and a widely recognized, industry leading brand rooted in sustainable practices and innovation over its fifty-year history. Erica is responsible for supply chain strategic planning and support initiatives to maximize operational performance, while minimizing costs related to sourcing agricultural and packaging materials for Gatorade, Izze and Tropicana brands in the United States.


Outside of her normal work responsibilities, Erica volunteers as a Associate Board Member and mentor at Chicago Scholars and also volunteers as a mentor for the Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Erica received her undergraduate degree of Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University in Washington D.C. and is currently pursing her MBA at Loyola University Chicago.



Arika J. Linton is a Dreamer, Planter and Doer.

By day, Arika works as a proud educator at an inner city high school in Chicago. She enjoys helping young people tap into their authenticity and serving as a guide for teens who are at a crossroads between the college or career pathway. By night, when she's not spending time with her brave and brilliant two-year-old, Zion she enjoys writing about a variety of black culture topics. Her pieces have been featured in Blavity, 21Ninety, Medium.com and Walker's Legacy and is the newest columnist for Chicago Defender.

Arika Linton


Grant Richardson

Grant Richardson is a dynamic social entrepreneur with experience leading and supporting mission driven organizations globally. Grant is a Senior Associate at Promise Venture Studio where he accelerates social entrepreneurs to advance equity and justice in early childhood. Grant co-founded a social enterprise, ICTC Coaching Inc., in 2019 to address barriers Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities face to accessing benefits created by cannabis legalization. ICTC’s mission is to empower 100,000 individual to participate in opportunities created by cannabis through immersive learning experiences. Grant enjoys public speaking, writing, meditating, spending time with family and friends, and nature.

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JCOLE, a Chicago born and raised Technology Sales Professional with a love for new experiences and driving business outcomes. She has positive energy that is contagious while being the perfect mix of Social Architect and Sales Professional. Among her peers she is seen as a financial fitness educator and career coach guiding her clients to reach the full potential professionally and personally in the own lives.

Jessica Cole