Executive Director Report


Dear Friends of Chicago HOPES for Kids,

The summer has flown by! Our children, staff, and volunteers had an outstanding summer!  Our thanks to everyone who volunteered, who provided services as an enrichment partner, and to our field trip sponsors:  Sloma Real Estate and Village MD. Children from Su Casa and You Can Make It spent an afternoon learning to make frittatas, and then got to sample their creations.  Children from Cornerstone spent a day at Navy Pier visiting the Chicago Children’s Museum and then sharing lunch with volunteers from Village MD. We were also able to incorporate some of our middle school youth into programs at Primo Englewood and Cornerstone Shelters.  At Primo, the students worked on real world problems with Classroom, Inc. At Cornerstone, the students were treated to Math Circles. We hope to continue these programs in the fall.

As the summer comes to an end and we prepare for fall programming, we are saying “good-bye” to three of our VISTA members:  Brenda Cabrera, Joanne Bryja, and Jerry Winn. Brenda has worked to build our partnerships and outreach while also developing a Resource Fair for SRHAC shelter and building the Family Game Night program there.  Joanne has been busy keeping the HOPES Facebook page and website up-to-date, providing data for grant applications, and developing marketing materials for outreach events and our Seeds of HOPE Gala. Jerry has worked on developing math assessments and preparing videos explaining math common core concepts that can be used for training Site Coordinators and volunteers.  We will miss their energy, creativity, and dedication to HOPES and the children we serve.

We are also sad to say  “good-bye” to Andree DeLeon, our bookkeeper who straightened out our accounts.  She provided a valuable service to HOPES.

As we look toward the 2018-2019 year, we are excited to welcome our incoming AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members: Melissa Whitehouse, Ambria Holman, Hana Crnvorsanin,  Alexandra Galvan, Trisha Miller,Alexandra Kirchner, and Namratha Meesala. They will be working to build the capacity and sustainability of HOPES while also providing services at the shelter site.  We are fortunate to have so many committed, caring, and creative individuals on our staff.

Our volunteer recruitment and training for the fall semester has begun.  We would like to encourage you to volunteer and to bring your friends. We anticipate a great year ahead with the children as we work to expand and improve our HOPES programs!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Patricia Rivera

Executive Director