Executive Director Report

Dear Friends of Chicago HOPES for Kids,

Fall is upon us; school is back in session; and our fall HOPES After-School program has begun. I want to welcome our new volunteers and welcome back our returning members. You are providing a unique service - academic support for the children at seven shelters in Chicago. We are looking forward to working with the children to improve their reading skills while providing fun projects for enrichment. Our enrichment partners – Mad Science, Code Play Learn, and Harmony, Hope, and Healing – are with us once again to help make learning FUN!

Much has happened during the past month. Our Board of Directors is involved with strategic planning to carry HOPES through the next three years. Our Board Retreat in late September focused on Sustained Organizational Growth; Program; and Staff and Volunteer Performance.

HOPES has received an AmeriCorps formula grant in the amount of $140,000, to provide the living allowance stipend for 20 part-time AmeriCorps members. To date, 5 AmeriCorps members have joined HOPES and have started to provide services in HOPES shelters. They will be in our shelters on a daily basis and helping with projects to provide additional support to HOPES students.

Two Social Work Interns from the Jane Addams Graduate School of Social Work have joined the HOPES team for the coming academic year. They will be working with a girls group at Cornerstone Shelter, and will be overseeing monthly parent meetings at shelters beginning in October. They are also working with students in the after-school programs at Cornerstone and Ridgeland.

We are appreciative of the ongoing support of our community partners. Student volunteers from colleges and universities, such as Wheaton College, Loyola University, Northwestern University, DePaul University, the University of Chicago, Dominican University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Chicago City College, are role models to encourage our children to value their education.

We are excited to be starting a new program year with our children and our volunteers. With your support, we are looking forward to having a fun and productive year.

Patricia Rivera

Executive Director