Our Cadets and Parents

Our cadets are students ranging from 7th to 12th grade who live in Elgin Community College District 509, which includes Illinois school districts U-46, D300, D301 and D303.  They train together to be future leaders in college, the post-college workplace, and the community at large.

Parent participation is one of our greatest factors as an organization.  For the past 3 years, 100% of our parents participated in at least 4 workshops per year with an average of 51 parents per workshop.


Our Board

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Corey Dixon

Board Member

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Demetrius Smith


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Edwin Alva

Board Member

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Dr. Gillian Stewart-Wells

Vice President

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Jim Cook

Board Member

Corey Dixon is an Elgin City Councilman who works as a Kane County Sheriff’s Department Administrator, overseeing programs that help jail detainees prepare for a productive life.  He has a degree in Business Management from Grambling State University in Louisiana and a master’s in Public Administration.  He completed Elgin’s area leadership programs, including the African American Parent Leadership Institute with U-46 and another program with the local Chamber of Commerce.  In addition, Mr. Dixon has accumulated a wealth of experience as a volunteer and organizer.  Dixon began volunteering with a local Boys & Girls Club and found gratification in helping others and sharing his story.

Dixon worked in banking initially, but later gravitated toward work that involved helping people. He spent five years as an Illinois Department of Human Services caseworker before taking the position with the sheriff’s office as senior Assistant Director of Administration.

Dixon became Elgin’s youngest city council member with his 2017 election. He had served on two other city commissions before running for office. 

Demitrius Smith has spent a lot of time volunteering for community events, reading history, and being involved in various political campaigns.  He is especially proud of his volunteer time from 2018 to the current year with the Bears Youth Football, a local youth football group based in Elgin.  He was a Human Relations Commissioner and member coach and is now volunteering for the program. 

Mr. Smith graduated from Elgin Community College in 2014, where he created TeamEntrepreneurs INC in 2012 to promote entrepreneurship in the surrounding area.  He is currently the owner of 3 D.B.As under TeamEntrepreneurs Corp.,  an organization whose goal is to promote entrepreneurship in youth.

Officer Edwin Alva is the Resident Officer Program of Elgin (ROPE) officer for 310 N. Spring St. ROPE was created with the vision that by working and living in a distressed neighborhood, the department will provide police service and outreach initiatives. It is hoped that their presence empowers residents to work together to problem solve, improve their quality of life, and independently take ownership of the neighborhood.

Officer Alva was born and raised in Elgin and lived on the east side for the entirety of his childhood. He is an alumnus of McKinley Elementary School, Ellis and Larsen Middle Schools, and Elgin High School. He then attended Elgin Community College and Western Illinois University.  Growing up he had the opportunity to participate in Elgin police programs such as Shop with a Cop and D.A.R.E. These, along with other programs, have allowed him to experience firsthand the positive results that community policing can have. 

Dr. Stewart-Wells earned a B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago, an M.Ed. in Education Administration/Multicultural Approaches from the University of Hawaii, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration/Social Justice from Claremont Graduate University/San Diego State University.   She completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, and engaged in research design as a researcher/analyst with the University of Chicago’s Consortium on Chicago School Research. From private CCCU institutions such as Gordon College (Wenham, MA) to larger public institutions like the University of Hawaii, Dr. Stewart-Wells has gained university experience in five states: Illinois, Hawaii, California, New York, and Massachusetts. Her scholarship agenda has focused largely on social justice education.

Dr. Gillian Stewart-Wells, Ph.D. joined the University Cabinet as Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Judson University in 2018. In her 30 years in higher education, Dr. Stewart-Wells has been a professor in undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs. In addition to teaching, she has held administrative positions in secondary and post-secondary education: Dean of Students, Department Chair, Program Director, Chair of Graduate Programs, Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction, and Provost/Chief Academic Officer.

Jim Cook received his degree in Behavior Science from National St. Louis University and then his masters in Sports Management from Nova Southern University.  He is the founder of Midwest Sports Academy, a community-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives. Midwest Sports’ goal is to benefit area residents.  The Academy was established in 2008.


Mr. Cook is also co-chair of the Martin Luther King Celebration for the Elgin community and he works for U-46 school District as  For the last 12 years, he has dedicated his time to providing resources for underprivileged families, mentoring youths, and most recently, expanding the Midwest Sports Academy programs in the surrounding communities.