Community Service and Career Day | Led by Tishina Davis, Class of 2017
On July 12, 2015 Tishina Davis watched her hard work come to life. She coordinated and led a career development event for Chicago HOPE’s students, a day that started with everyone in attendance giving back to the community, making 150 Cards that were donated to Cards for Hospitalized Kids, and together donating clothing, shoes, books, toys, and food to the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. The students had the opportunity to improve their interviewing and networking skills by meeting with various professionals that dedicated their time to giving them an inside scoop of their field. 60 “mini interviews” were completed by the students and ultimately they walked away with priceless relationships.”I had the opportunity to host this year’s Community Service & Career Day Event. I learned so many things from this experience, including but not limited to, the value of patience, accountability, open mindedness, persistence, prioritizing, and leadership skills. What I liked most about this event was the fact that we were able to give back to underprivileged children/teenagers while networking with successful, positive, and kind professionals from various fields.
It motivated me to take advantage of the opportunities I’m afforded and to always be grateful for progress.” – Tishina Davis
Career Development and Project Sunshine | Led by Marylyn Rogel, Class of 2017
On July 20, 2014 Marylyn Rogel saw her project-within-a-project ignite. She coordinated a career development event for Chicago HOPE’s students. The students worked on improving their interviewing skills by meeting dozens of professionals from different fields and ultimately walked away with two shadow days, where the professionals volunteer their time to offer an inside look at the career the student is pursuing. In addition to creating internships and career opportunities, the event also resulted in serving over 250 children at Lurie Children’s Hospital. Marylyn designed the first half of the event to ‘delivering sunshine’ by creating art kits with journals for the children to use as a creative outlet during their stay. Hear from Project Sunshine about Marylyn’s impact.
Chicago Hopes Serves Columbus Elementary | Led by Gabby Perez, Class of 2013
On November 6th, 2014 Chicago HOPE’s Gabby Perez, Class of 2013, led a discussion for 60 parents and students on the process of high school and college planning. Gabby who is currently a CPS teacher at Kanoon Elementary “was grateful for the opportunity to partner with Chicago HOPE to help CPS parents better understand the process now before it’s too late”. As a CPS graduate, she struggled with a steep learning curve herself, navigating the college application process on her own.
Chicago HOPE also contributed bookcases, shelving, and a printer/copier to Columbus’s 1st grade class after learning the school needed them. Hear from Columbus Elementary about Gabby’s impact.
Dress for Success | Led by Juan Chacon, Class of 2016
Juan Chacon teamed up with his mentor Dan Pierson to design a clothing drive within the Chicago Hope community, which resulted in car-loads of donations to Dress for Success. DFS is a nonprofit whose mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire and career development tools to help women enter the workforce. Juan led 25 Chicago Hope board members and students for 4 hours in organizing, cleaning and sorting clothing based on the needs of DFS. The entire project is estimated to support the lives of over 200 women in the Chicago area. Juan was inspired to help women in need because of his appreciation for the love and support he has always received from his mother. Hear from DFS about Juan’s impact.
The Rice Center | Led by Lila Chiu, Class of 2014
Lila Chiu chose the Rice Center on Chicago’s north side for her project to work with about 45 severely abused children that receive treatment from the center. The project focused on team building skills and playing with the children in a social environment. She worked with Rice center staff and led about 30 Chicago Hope volunteers in the project that included a Lego activity for the children to build their ‘Dream Home’. The project included a donation of the Legos as well as comforters for the children, a need that Lila learned about from the director of the Rice Center. Hear from the Rice Center about Lila’s impact.
Student Mentoring Program | Led by Jamese Dunlap, Class of 2014
Jamese Dunlap, economics major at Northwestern University, identified the need for mentoring among the student body on campus. Inspired by Chicago Hope’s role model program, she worked with her mentors to apply the same type of one-on-one mentoring on campus. As part of her strategy, she uses her involvement with Northwestern’s MBA (Minority Business Association), where she currently serves as President, to recruit and mentor freshman on campus. Jamese’s recent MBA meeting hosted over 40 students to learn from 2 alumni keynote speakers. Her ultimate goal is to secure University funding so that the mentoring program she created will thrive long after she graduates.
Deborah’s Place | Led by Li Ying Wu, Class of 2012
Li Ying Wu selected and designed a project to lead more than 20 Chicago Hope volunteers in serving dinner at Deborah’s Place. Deborah’s Place is a homeless shelter on Chicago ‘s north side that serves women that have had a temporary setback in their life and need help getting back on their feet. After dinner, Li and her volunteers spent time talking and getting to know many of the women and their stories. Li “has always had the desire to give back to women in need”. Hear from Deborah’s Place about Li’s impact.
Whitney M. Young High School | Led by Stephanie Kuo, Class of 2012
Stephanie Kuo, an architecture and landscaping major at the University of Illinois, “was eager for the opportunity to build her professional portfolio by designing a landscaping project and leading a 25-member crew”. She presented her designs to Dr. Joyce Kenner, Principal of Whitney M. Young, and received approval. Stephanie worked within a budget and led Chicago Hope volunteers in cleaning up garbage, pulling weeds, planting hundreds of flowers and spreading 2,000 pounds of mulch to beautify the campus. Stephanie said after the project, “The hardest part was convincing myself I could do it. I was really nervous because I’ve never led a project like that before.” Hear From Whitney Young about Stephanie’s impact.
Classical Performance at Annual Gala | Led by Julian Cook, Class of 2012
Julian Cook, theology major at Houghton College and opera vocalist, shared his talents with 200 Chicago Hope guests of honor. The performance was the night’s main entertainment and lifted the spirit of our annual Masquerade Ball to new heights. The performance followed a video documentary on the life and talents Julian, as well as a ‘Thank You’ to the Chicago Hope community. Julian’s involvement invigorated guests at the event and inspired many to deepen their commitments to helping more students like Julian persist in getting a college education.
Whitney M. Young High School | Led by the Class of 2012
Chicago Hope Board members and students rolled up their sleeves to give partner high school Whitney M. Young a landscaping facelift. “Because of restricted budgets among CPS schools, we don’t have the resources to make our campus as nice as we would want it to look”, said Principal Dr. Joyce Kenner. “We are so grateful to Chicago Hope for their efforts and also for a donation of gardening tools and supplies to the school’s greenhouse project. Dr. Joyce Kenner, has partnered with Chicago Hope to create an awareness campaign to inform every student in the school of the opportunity to apply for the Chicago Hope Award. Hear from Dr. Kenner about our impact.
American Heroes Essay Contest | Led by the Class of 2013
Chicago Hope Board members, students and volunteers are proud to be Americans. We are grateful for the liberty our country represents and share a deep appreciation for the men and women in the military who sacrifice to provide us with a safe society. We hosted an essay contest among Chicago Public High Schools where students reflected on what that sacrifice means to them. The essays were so inspiring that we decided to mail them directly to men and women currently serving overseas. Our hope was that our students gratitude would brighten their day. Special thanks to First Lieutenant, Kristina R. Huwa, USMC who surprised us by responding to the letter she received from Lila Chiu, Class of 2014. Read the letter!!
Peanut Park | Led by the Class of 2012
With rising budget deficits, the City of Chicago has less resources to maintain its local parks. Chicago Hope Board members and students teamed up to preserve and protect one of Chicago’s coveted public parks. We cleaned up garbage and debris before applying mulch (over 3,000 pounds) to every tree in the park. The fresh mulch helps protect the base of the tree and also provides important nutrients and fertilizer for good long term health. Hear from the Chicago Park District about our impact.
Northwest Middle School | Led by the board
Chicago Hope was informed by one of its volunteers about a need for calculators for the sixth grade class of Northwest Middle School. Middle school students that lack resources to perform well on standardized tests and curriculum are less likely to be prepared for high school and a college transition. The calculators offer Northwest students the same access to tools that their peers are getting at other schools and will enhance the ongoing curriculum for years to come. Hear from Northwest Middle School about our impact.