Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders
Amate House’s passionate staff work closely with fellows to provide meaningful programming while supporting each through their year of service and leadership development.
Jeannie Balanda joined Amate House in the fall of 2016. She has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management most recently as executive director with MayaWorks, a nonprofit social enterprise, and The East Village Youth Program, a college readiness and support program for underserved minority youth. She started her career in the nonprofit sector as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala. Jeannie has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and an MBA and Master of Nonprofit Administration from North Park University. When she’s not working, she loves to cook, follow politics, and spend time with her family and beloved dog, Grizzly.
Matt (he/him/his) joined the Amate House staff in July 2020, nearly 7 years after his own service year with the program. Having graduated with his master’s in student affairs administration from Michigan State University, Matt has worked in higher education since 2011, including four years at DePaul University. As an alum, Matt served on the Associate Board for four years, including three as one of the Co-Chairs. During his spare time, Matt enjoys outdoor recreation, video games, cheering on his beloved Dodgers, and spending time with his fiancé and pup. Matt is also pursuing an MBA in Management at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.
Katie Cashman is an Alumnae of St. Norbert College, where she earned a B.A. in Religious Studies with an emphasis in youth ministry. Katie did a year of service with Cabrini Mission Corps in Philadelphia working with an anti-human trafficking coalition. After her year of service, she served as a prevention and education advocate at a domestic violence shelter in her home state of Minnesota. She was also involved with a variety of youth and young adult ministries. Katie moved to the Chicago Area in 2018 and is currently working towards a Master of Divinity and an MA in Social Justice at Loyola University. In her downtime, Katie loves being outside, playing board games, and drinking coffee.
Tiffany Carmah’ is a born Chicagoan, where she earned her B.S. in Business Management & minored in Administration at National-Louis University downtown. Tiffany served in dual roles as an Administrative Assistant and as a Client Support Coordinator at a domestic violence shelter. She has also worked as a Client Service Representative at Catholic Charities within the 16 WIC Food & Nutrition Centers across the Chicagoland area. She has volunteered with Big Brother Big Sister and mentored young children across Cook county within CPS schools. Tiffany was given the name of smiley by her division teacher in H.S. because of her warm an inviting personality towards others. She enjoys cooking with her daughters, playing music and writing poetry.
Unity Olivencia Ostercamp (she, her, hers) joined Amate House August 2020 after over twenty years of serving in higher education. Originally from New York City, her studies at the Moody Bible Institute brought her to Chicago, and she has come to see Chicago as home (though she can do without the winters). Currently, Unity is working on her Master's Degree in Social Justice from Loyola University, which will be completed in summer 2021. She hopes to create social justice and faith curriculum someday. In her downtime, Unity loves bike riding (bike is affectionally called The Green Machine) around the city, taking pictures, being with friends, finding new coffee shops (coffee is life), playing board games with her husband, going to the Lincoln Park Zoo (One of the ten free zoos in the United States) enjoying Winnemac Park which is her favorite place to relax and read books, and simply being outside. Unity loves to show off Chicago and its lakefront through her amateur photography.