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Our Team

Elad Gross, Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Elad - known on schoolyards as Mr. E - has been working with youth in the St. Louis area for the past ten years. Elad has led a teacher professional development course, trained numerous volunteers, coordinated with schools and district staff, and met many wonderful families and their children in the St. Louis area.

Elad is a Missouri-licensed attorney. He previously served as an Assistant Attorney General of Missouri for two years. Elad is also the founder of Missouri For All, an organization working all across the state to empower Missourians to improve their communities. Elad serves on the board of directors for Caring Ministries and the advisory boards for Clay Elementary, DukeEngage, and the Citizenship Education Clearing House.

Elad graduated from Washington University School of Law in 2014 and from Duke University with degrees in Economics and Political Science, and a minor in English in 2010. While at Duke, he was cut from the football team at least three times because he wasn't good and likely would have been the smallest player in NCAA history, so he picked up rugby instead.

Anat Gross, Vice President and Chief Creative Officer

Anat was one of the original participants in the pilot service program in 2008. In her teaching capacity, she has served as a Latin instructor, an Ultimate Frisbee coach, and an engaged mentor for many children.

Anat is a law student at St. Louis University. She graduated from Wash U in 2015 with a degree in Mathematics, and she completed her Masters in Biostatistics in 2017. 

Anat is a battle-tested athlete. After playing football in high school, she eventually became a dedicated Ultimate Frisbee player. She played for Washington University and for a year at The Ohio State University, where her team competed in the National Championship tournament. 

Johnny Buse, Vice President

Johnny serves on the board of the Education Exchange Corps, offering his creativity and teaching experience to improve EEC programming. Johnny has a long history of working with St. Louis area children in traditional classroom and summer programming settings.

Johnny is an English teacher with the Chicago Public Schools. He received his Masters in Education at Northwestern University. Previously, he taught high school English at Villa Duchesne. He graduated from Grinnell College in 2011 with a degree in English.

Johnny could often be found at SummerQuest during the summer months. He led the Sith in a winning campaign against the Jedis in the longest Star Wars Monopoly game ever played during the pre-care program.

Aaron Gardner, Board Member

Aaron Gardner is a veteran educator in the St. Louis area. He worked with the St. Louis Public Schools for two decades. He served as a Community Collaborative Specialist in north St. Louis City and was responsible for working with community partners to develop programming for children and families.

Aaron currently works as an education consultant helping area teachers develop more creative and effective classroom programming. Aaron graduated from St. Louis University with a degree in Computer Science.

Kielah Harbert, Board Member

Kielah is a published author; she wrote the Admitted Guide to help students apply to college. She is very involved in finding ways to connect college student mentors with high school students in St. Louis.

As a student at Wash U., Kielah served on several committees at Washington University, working to improve campus diversity and support for underserved communities.

Kielah graduated from Clyde C. Miller Career Academy in 2014 and is passionate about providing more students with opportunity by connecting them to resources available in St. Louis.

Jessica Lambrecht, MSW, Board Member

Jessica wants to see people better served by their institutions and community organizations. Her work has involved a variety of fields - youth services, residential treatment, education, criminal justice - and she has experience running political campaigns in the St. Louis area.

Jessica received her MSW with a focus on Social and Economic  Development from Washington University in St. Louis. She formerly served as the Persistence Program Manager for the Wyman Center's Teen Leadership Program.

Jessica has been working with the Education Exchange Corps for several years to develop organizational capacity and infrastructure. Jessica has worked with under-resourced communities in both St. Louis and East St. Louis in the area of economic development.

Ariel Arpadi, MSW, Board Member

Ariel is all St. Louis. She has spent nearly a decade working with youth. In 2010, Ariel volunteered to coordinate the Education Exchange Corps' summer operations. She managed volunteers working in several summer schools throughout St. Louis City and helped the St. Louis Public Schools receive managerial interns. Her effort helped lay the groundwork for the Academies the EEC runs today.

Ariel believes that education can open many doors. She spends her days as "Ms. A," a school social worker for the St. Louis Public Schools. She maintains the link between the home, school, and community to provide services for students and families in order to best support students' success. 


Ariel graduated with her Masters in Social Work from Saint Louis University in 2014. 

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