A Lake Forest resident, this will be Karena's fifth Venus de Miles. Her favorite things about Venus de Miles are the gorgeous course, the best after-party EVER, and the feel-good factor of benefitting an organization now very near and dear to her heart. While everyone has their own obstacles to overcome, she believes the young men and women of Greenhouse Scholars are true inspirations to us all to conquer our own personal challenges. 



A self-proclaimed couch potato, Laura started training for the Chicago Marathon in 2010 and has run it every year since. Her interested shifted to triathlons and she completed a 70.3 Ironman in 2015. A married mother of two, Laura loves encouraging other women to challenge themselves both physically and mentally while making new friends and connecting people. Laura is originally from Colombia and Spanish is her first language.  



Lisa is a wife, mother and affordable housing developer who rediscovered her love of cycling as part of a get-healthy journey.  Now 70 pounds lighter, she races triathlon and helps other women discover their inner warriors.  Lisa loves early-morning rides in the forest preserve, trail runs with her middle-schooler, Facebook and Chardonnay.



Liz wears many hats; as a mother, a teacher, a student, and a cyclist.  She believes no child should feel they are not capable of achieving their goals.  She appreciates that Greenhouse Scholars provides multiple levels of support and opens doors for college students. A bike technician at REI, this year will be Liz's second time participating in Venus de Miles. She is excited to share her mechanical knowledge and help other women become more confident riders. 



Stephanie is married with two very active kids and a full time job, but that doesn't stop her from finding time for herself. She loves to run and go for long bike rides to stay active and healthy.  Stephanie has participated in numerous half marathons, a full marathon, and has recently found a new love for triathlons.  Stephanie is always looking for new challenges and different ways to push herself. She is excited to participate in her first Venus de Miles this year and fundraise for Greenhouse Scholars.   



Born in the Philippines, Amor loves the outdoors. She has climbed the summit of Mt. Kinabalu in Malaysia and swam with thresher sharks in Malapascua. She is a scuba diver, yogi and a runner. By day, Amor is an HR Professional specializing in Global Compensation for a Fortune 500 company.Growing up in the Philippines, where millions of families live in poverty, S\she believes that every kid has a right to dream and the right to pursue those dreams. The cause of the Greenhouse Scholars is close to her heart as it aims to empower future leaders in making their dreams a reality.



Nancy is a Certified Yoga Therapist and Clinical Somatics Educator. She's passionate about Greenhouse Scholars because she believe these young people are our future leaders and we need to do whatever we can to help them get the education and guidance they need to change the world. She loves the camaraderie of Venus, the supportive atmosphere, encouraging volunteers (her husband being one of them), and the fantastic finish line party. 



 Denise is a mother of three kids and a fun-loving Labrador retriever. A proud graduate of University of Colorado, Denise's parents encouraged their children to pursue the education they did not have an opportunity to get. Now a runner, cyclist, and yoga lover, Denise is excited to support Greenhouse Scholars and other first generation college students as an Ambassador for Venus de Miles.    





Natali is a runner and triathlete who celebrates every new finish line with a victory beer. She is a huge fan of peanut butter and eats some before every race. This will be her third year as an ambassador and she is really looking forward to getting more women involved and excited about the event and Greenhouse Scholars.   

Visit Natali's blog The Race That Never Ends



Christine became familiar with Greenhouse Scholars two years ago when her sister-in-law invited her to sign up for Venus de Miles in Lake Forest with her.  It was close to home, so she invited her teenage daughter to join her and now they are both hooked!  They are looking forward to our third ride together this year.  Christine was so inspired by the scholars stories, she volunteered to help read applications for the Chicago area students in January.  She’s now even more hooked!  When Christine is not biking, hiking or cross country skiing, she is a speech instructor at a community college. She continues to be inspired by the many challenges that all these young college students face and hopes to be able to share their stories with a larger audience.  



Heather is a recent “empty-nester,” and full-time administrator, who learned about the Venus de Miles during a “Bike the Drive” event in Chicago. She loves travel, art, photography and attempting athletic feats outside of her comfort zone. As a Master’s student in Psychology, she is interested in motivation and is especially encouraged by young people who turn challenges into achievements.