BENEFITING: Urban Initiatives
ORGANIZER: Urban Initiatives
EVENT DATE: Oct 08, 2016
Dear Friends and Family,
The day after graduating college, I got my first teaching job working for the Chicago Public School system. I was hired to teach 8th grade math at Marquette Elementary School, located on the southwest side of Chicago. Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) would be taking over Marquette as one of their turnaround schools in June, meaning the school would be shut down, and all the staff let go, due to several years of underperforming on state mandated tests. Alongside a group of first year teachers with a fresh mindset, equipped with a summer of intensive training and planning, we re-opened the school as Marquette School of Excellence in August of 2012.
As a first year teacher, I walked into school thinking I could make a difference; my ambition and enthusiasm would change the lives of the children in my class. The reality was, the neighborhood that my children were growing up in, hadn’t changed. Gangs ruled the streets outside the school, recruiting kids as young as ten. For most, being a member in a gang gave them a sense of purpose and belonging that they had never felt before. In 2014 two of my students, who had graduated the year before, were murdered, both the cause of gang violence.
Last October I ran my first Chicago Marathon. As great as it was to finish the race for myself, I knew that if I ran it again I wanted to do it for a greater cause. This year I will be running the Chicago Marathon to raise funds for Urban Initiatives, a non-for profit after school program that provides children in grades K-4 the opportunity to be part of a soccer team. The Urban Initiatives program teaches children teamwork, builds character, and promotes living a healthy lifestyle through team sports. Students must meet weekly academic and behavioral expectations in the classroom to participate in the program throughout the year. I’ve seen first hand the lasting impact Urban Initiatives has had in the lives of these children, helping them to find a sense of belonging in a positive affirming environment opposed to the gangs on their street corners.
Please help me to invest in the future of Chicago’s youth. The funds raised here will support the 15,000 Chicago children involved in the Urban Initiatives program.
Thank you so much for your support,
For more information about Urban Initiatives visit: