Patiya Freely brings diverse experiences from numerous professional environments and geographic locations. She earned a B.A. in International Business with a concentration in Marketing from Howard University in Washington, DC. Her career path in Corporate America was soon redirected when an unexpected opportunity to work in child welfare led to a life-changing experience. She then became consumed with improving outcomes for urban youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. This started a journey of engaging several youth-based programs and projects heavily focused on education, housing and workforce development. Her work ranged from administering strategic plans and program management to engaging elected officials, corporate leaders and local community members in collaborative efforts. She later earned an M.S.W. with a concentration in Community and Administrative Practice from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. Ms. Freely continues to enhance the outcomes of youth by working to realize a great future despite challenges and limitations in their past.