Welcome Ziggy and Jordan to Golden Apple

We are pleased to announce two new members of our Golden Apple staff. Effective September 3rd, Yaphett “Ziggy” Blackwell will be joining as Director of Recruitment, and Jordan Lanfair, a 2007 Golden Apple Scholar and 2019 Crystal Apple Award recipient, will be joining as the Manager of Academic and Social-Emotional Supports.


Ziggy Blackwell will be responsible for the effort to recruit applicants to the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program. He will develop relationships with K-12 and university partners to recruit highly-qualified and diverse candidates for the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program and other Golden Apple programs. Ziggy will coordinate and lead all recruitment and selection efforts for the Scholars Program.

Ziggy has over 10 years of college admission counseling experience. Most recently, he served as the Assistant Director of Chicago Area Recruitment at Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL. He’s also held positions at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville and Illinois Wesleyan University. He brings a successful history of recruiting, supervising, and advising underserved and underrepresented students. He was recently recognized by the Illinois Association of College Admission Counseling (IACAC) with the Molly K. Arnold President’s Service Award and the Inclusion, Access, and Success Service Award. Ziggy is also a co-founder of Leadership, Equity, Accountability and Diversity (L.E.A.D) within IACAC.

Ziggy holds a Masters of Education in Counseling with a concentration in College Student Development from DePaul University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Creative Writing from Illinois College.


Jordan Lanfair will support the Director of Academic and Social-Emotional Supports, Cheryl Flores, supporting Scholar success from induction through graduation. Jordan will build relationships through campus visits, virtual workshops, and regular communication to engage the Scholar network, both on campus and with the Foundation. In addition, he will foster collaboration with university partners.

Jordan has been a Liaison and Lead at Scholar Institutes over the past few years. He most recently taught 7th-8th grade English Language Arts at Kellman Corporate Community School. He has also taught in Arizona and the United Arab Emirates. Jordan is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership from Northeastern University. 

Jordan holds a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Concordia University, a Bachelors in Elementary Education from Knox College and an Educational Specialist Degree from National Louis University.

Please join us in welcoming Ziggy and Jordan to our team!

StaffTony Bosma