At Chicago Scholars we strive to prepare our Scholars for the world and the world for our Scholars. Preparing our Scholars for the world means supporting them through college acceptance, matriculation, persistence, and career access. Preparing the world for our Scholars allows our students to go beyond surviving to thriving, from achieving to excelling, from attending and working to belonging and exceeding. To achieve these goals, we approach everything we do with a focus on racial justice, equity, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion (READI).
Our vision of a vibrant city powered by diverse leaders from every neighborhood is not something we can achieve alone. It relies on strong partnerships with key organizations, businesses, and community leaders in every sector.
We partner with community based organizations, colleges and universities around the United States, Chicago businesses, and high schools across the city. Through these partnerships, we are able to reach more students, provide new opportunities to our Scholars, and make a greater impact on the city of Chicago.
Inspired by the 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team, we call ourselves the Dream Team because we hire the best and most talented people. Without our team, we have no chance of achieving our mission or goals.
Our work is challenging and rewarding. We value the voice and opinion of each and every member of our team, encouraging all staff to share their ideas and opinions regardless of where they sit in the organizational structure. We embrace our differences, and we believe that when our staff, Scholars, and stakeholders can be their true authentic selves, they can activate their superpowers.
The Alumni Leadership Association Board (ALA Board) is a group of talented Chicago Scholars Alumni who are early-career professionals committed to developing their leadership skills and building meaningful relationships that will transform our neighborhoods and our city. ALA Board members live across the country and commit to a year-long term and a $50 fundraising give/get. Board Officers are strongly encouraged to serve two terms.
The ALA Board plays an integral role in the leadership of the Chicago Scholars Alumni Leadership Association. The ALA Board and Chicago Scholars co-lead broader Alumni initiatives and plans up to two annual professional development events.
Chair: K. Kristann Carey, Constellation Brands
Vice Chair: Nathan A. Ulery, The Mx Group
Secretary: Suzanne L. Shier, Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC
Treasurer: Joseph G. Lansing, Harrison Street Real Estate Capital
Past Chair: Kourtney Gibson, TIAA
Chief Executive Officer: Jeffery Beckham Jr., Chicago Scholars
Nataly Barrera, A Better Chicago
Oliver Bevan, McKinsey & Company
Raj Bhatia, Merrill Lynch Private Banking & Investment Group
Nyerere Billups, Abbvie
Gary Caplan, Office of the Illinois Attorney General and Chicago Scholars Founders Council
Mark Cassata, CBRE
Paula Daniliuc, Oak Street Health
Wendy Kornick Friedman, Consultant
Bridget Geraghty, Vote.org (Associate Board Chair)
Lee Gordon, Mesirow Wealth Advisors and Chicago Scholars Founders Council
Reginald J. Hill, Jenner & Block
Dan Hoffenkamp, EY
Suzy Kahn Weinberg, Big Shoulders Stories
Girish Kashyap, GCM Grosvenor
Greg Kranias, GSC Investment Partners
Gerald E. Lewis, Jr., BMO Private Bank
Maria C. Lin, Consultant
Phyllis Lockett, LEAP Innovations
Katherine Mann, Consultant
Isaiah Moore, Lee High School (ALA Board Chair)
Nisaini Rexach, Microsoft
William Ritchie, Madison Dearborn Partners
Manny Sanchez, Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman and Chicago Scholars Founders Council
Timothy R. Schwertfeger, Nuveen Investments and Chicago Scholars Founders Council
Rex Sessions, Winston & Strawn LLP
Brian Sims, One World Network of Schools
Carl Tannenbaum, Northern Trust
Kathryn C. Thomas, Chilton Yambert Porter LLP
D.V. Williams, Match Group
Kristin Wolf, Ulta Beauty
Systemic change in our society cannot happen until more people of color from marginalized communities are in positions of leadership – young people like our Scholars. Chicago Scholars is committed to building a future society that works for everybody. We believe education is social justice.
Amid the current events and injustices in our country, I urge you to think about ways to be part of the social change. Chicago Scholars is currently accepting applications for our Associate Board. We’re looking for young professionals who are passionate about equity and inclusion.
Our mission is to use our unique position as emerging leaders to enhance organizational capacity, raise funds and awareness of Chicago Scholars across the City of Chicago, and ultimately help Chicago Scholars to build a vibrant Chicago powered by diverse leaders from every neighborhood.
If you have any questions about our Associate Board please email Michelle Patterson, Managing Director of Development.