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600 E. Lincoln Hwy, #72

DeKalb, IL 60115

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executive director



Founder/Executive Director

Danita (Little) Sims was born and raised in the inner city of Chicago, IL.  She has a BA in English from Southern IL University at Carbondale with a minor in Black American Studies and several courses in Creative Writing, Journalism, and Secondary Education. Danita also has a Master's in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) from the University of IL at Chicago with a concentration in Community Development. Upon graduating from UIC, she moved to DeKalb, IL to be with family. For nine years, Danita operated as an Employment & Training Representative, Case Manager, and Coordinator of Business Services under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) grant, previously the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) grant. Over the years, she's connected with numerous local organizations including Latino Action Group, Networking for Families, DeKalb Epilepsy Foundation, Adventure Works DeKalb, Conexion Comunidad, DCAHRM, and the DeKalb-Ogle Workforce Development Consortium. With a passion for serving entrepreneurs, small business owners, and career-oriented visionaries, Danita founded Passion Pursuit, Inc. in February 2019. Her dynamic career includes proven strengths in tutoring, GED Instruction, business development, employment readiness, marketing, leadership development, workshop presentations, and strategic partnerships. Danita currently operates as the Business Operations & Administrative Lead/musician for Cathedral of Praise church in DeKalb.  She is a Mompreneur, Life Coach, (Tony Gaskins Academy), Author, Notary, and an advocate for the local treasures found in the #ProudlyDeKalb community. Keep in touch with @CoachDanita via IG.


Verdell A.

Board Treasurer

Verdell is a father of six residing in Hamilton, OH and a Retail Manager at AT&T. He previously led a Krispie Kreme operations for a full decade, tasked with production, product development, staff supervision, quality control, corporate efficiency, and workforce management initiatives. With academic studies in Economics and extensive experience enhancing youth sports teams' performance and fundraising, Verdell has a versatility that encompasses a wide array of talents. He is involved with several community-led programs that allow youth to participate regularly in sports activities, year-round training, and compete at the national level in Cheerleading, Football, Soccer, and Baseball. With a talent for working alongside youth and professionals, Verdell is able to identify, cultivate, and mentor individuals, developing them into outstanding leaders who exhibit creative problem-solving skills necessary for long-term success.


Monica R.

Board Member

Monica lived in DeKalb, IL for +30 years with experiences as a twice-elected Alderman, supporting the DeKalb County Community Block Grant, NIU Arco member, and a Minister for New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. With an Associate's degree in Automotive Technology, she started Monica's Auto Repair, her own thriving business in DeKalb. With the experience of building and maintaining a business for seven years, Monica has a unique, all-encompassing skillset that encompasses entrepreneurship as a parent of 10, loving spouse, and proactive community liaison. She has extensive skills in customer service, childcare, payroll, government policy, business development, and start-up operations. Monica currently resides in Kettering, OH, most recently operating as a Fleet Mechanic/Contractor for AT&T. She brings her expertise and love for DeKalb County business and community development to Passion Pursuit, Inc. Monica recently completed a degree in Business and Entrepreneurship at St. Claire Community College in OH.

board of directors


Tiffani S.

Board President/Secretary

Tiffani was born and raised in DeKalb, IL and has a heart for youth, education, and the arts. Currently operating as an Paraprofessional for the Target Program at DeKalb High School, Tiffani offers her expertise in Office Administration, Team Leadership, Organization, Fund-raising, and Childcare to Passion Pursuit Inc. She also works security during major sports, entertainment, and community events at the NIU Convocation Center. Tiffani spends her free time leading youth at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in DeKalb, IL. She is currently pursuing her Associates degree towards education at Kishwaukee College. If you have a teen or are a teen at DHS, check out one (or more) of the after school programs Tiffani leads throughout the year - Hip Hop Club, Girls Club, Adulting 101, and The Kickback.


Keisha B. S.

Board Member

Keisha is an expert in developing solutions in Hospital Electronic Medical Record Systems, with a keen ability to directing UX processes, optimal patient care, protocol enhancement, ongoing healthcare provider support, and complete compliance with medical industry regulations. She is also adept at controlling Laboratory Information System (LIS) advancements, revitalizing EMR procedures, High Fidelity Prototyping, Usability Testing, Journey Mapping, A/B Testing, and intricate Data Analysis. Keisha has a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences from the University of IL at Chicago and a Master of Healthcare Administration from National Louis University. Her unique expertise and long-standing medical talents allow her to provide a forward-facing insight to Passion Pursuit, Inc. As a wife and mother, Keisha is a well-rounded professional offering her expertise in UX Research, UX / UI Design, Technical Writing, Website Development, eCommerce, and Mobile Application creation.


Ebony A.C.

Board Member

Ebony was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She has a heart for troubled youth struggling with personal barriers in life and seeking self-sufficiency. Ebony studied Criminal Justice at Illinois State University and has worked in Sales, Security, Customer Service, and Legal Office Administration. She worked as a Supervisor at Butler County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) in Ohio for six years - proudly securing the premises and offering support for the clients. Ebony has passion for mentoring youth struggling with maturity and coming into their own purpose in life - often having to overcome personal issues with anger, resentment, poverty, and a lack of resources. She most recently accepted a Detention Officer position for the Harris County Sheriff Joint Processing Center in Texas. With midwestern roots, she continues to bring her insight on rehabilitation in support of Passion Pursuit, Inc. programming.


We could NOT serve our community without our amazing team!~

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