LaCoya Harris, a Chicago native, with over 20 years of Human Resource experience and holds an Masters of Science in Organization Leadership (Lewis University), Masters of Science in Human Resource Management (Loyola University) and Bachelor of Arts in Management (Clark Atlanta University). She is passionate about helping our youth learn, thrive and become successful. In her own successful business and career, she is aware of the importance of career and education as well as the issues that young people are facing today. She has long since devoted her time and energy to various non-profit causes and organizations, but was determined to do more.
So in 2014, she founded IIMPACT to establish programs in Chicago locally (hopefully nationally), committed to fostering excellence in the lives of Youth. The key IIMPACT initiatives address education, Career and social well-being. IIMPACT is a program who is focused and committed to developing our future workforce.
The IIMPACT process for developing Youth for professional corporate positions and entrepreneurial exposure involves coaching and training, recruitment, multi-year rotational career finder and summer Internships. Through this system, IIMPACT participants begin to learn the distinctive characteristics of the corporate world, develop required social skills and adeptness, and unravel some of the mysteries and complexities of the corporate and business community.
LaCoya has assisted local youth over the years with education and career coaching including Resume and interviewing workshops. When talking about IIMPACT LaCoya says, ”Our children are unequipped/unprepared and someone need to help, why not me. I want to be a solution to the problem and not just sit home and complain about it! It is part of my responsibility to help mold them into the best future professionals and entrepreneurs, through education, mentorship and providing the right resources, tools and exposure.
Karen Purnell is a native of Country Club Hills, Illinois and has worked in the human resources field for more than 20 years. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Saint Xavier University in Chicago in 1997, and a Masters degree in Human Resources from Loyola University in Chicago in 2004. She has made a commitment to continue growing and maintaining her expertise in this field by becoming a certified Human Resources Professional (PHR), which was awarded to her by the Human Resources Certification Institute in 2016.
In 1997 Karen’s passion for the youth was ignited when she became the youth dance leader at her church. It was the youths’ desire to learn and grow that inspired Karen to work with them. This developed into mentorship opportunities and organized meetings with teens where she was able to build relationships and provide leadership and guidance to teenage girls. Karen later served on the board of teenage mentor organizations and established her own mentoring organization called, “Karen’s Mentor Mansion (KMM)”, where her mission was to utilize resources to give the youth a plethora of options to help them succeed in life.
After 20 years, her vision, passion and expertise have come to fruition to form what Karen believes is a phenomenal purpose. In 2017 Karen joined IIMPACT as the Co-founder/Executive Director. In this role, she was privileged to couple her human resources expertise and passion for youth to develop and prepare them for the real world. With a combination of 40 years of human resources experience and a heightened sense of responsibility to develop sharp, well-versed, responsible, knowledgeable and motivated professionals, Karen is thrilled to join the CEO/Founder of IIMPACT on this great endeavor of catapulting youth to a legacy of success.