Our mission is

to empower Chicago’s youth to become agents of community change through academic success, healthy living, and leadership development.

We drive systemic change by connecting stakeholders and strengthening the social fabric of the community.

Participants based
on Race/Ethnicity:

  • Hispanic/Latino: 51%
  • Black/African American: 43%
  • Asian/Pacific Islander: 2%
  • White & Other: 4%


92% of Urban Initiatives participants come from low-income families.


Urban Initiatives works in 50 Chicago Public Schools throughout the city.

Make an Impact

Your donations allow us to create positive change in the lives of Chicago’s youth. All donations are tax-deductible.

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Executive & Management Team

  • Jim Dower, Co-Founder & Executive Director, President

    newjimbio2Jim graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Political Science. He started his professional career as a substitute teacher at Cabrini-Green’s Byrd Academy, where the inspiration for Urban Initiatives began. Jim serves on the Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness and is a member of Leadership Greater Chicago’s 2014 class. He is in his eleventh year as a professional soccer coach for the Wilmette Wings Soccer Club. Jim oversees the day-to-day external operations of Urban Initiatives.

  • Julie Chelovich, Managing Director, Vice President

    julie staff photoJulie graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Political Science. She played many sports growing up and has always had an interest in youth development and health education. Previously Julie worked at Black River Farm and Ranch where she served as the Program Director. After volunteering as a Work to Play Assistant Coach at Schiller, she knew she had found a great organization for which to put her professional skills to work. Julie oversees day-to-day internal operations of Urban Initiatives.

  • Kyle Haskins, Development Director

    Kyle graduated from the University of Virginia in 2010 with B.A.s in English and History and a minor in Art History. Prior to joining Urban Initiatives, Kyle spent two years in Hong Kong, where he taught English to adults and high school students and learned to count to ten in Cantonese. Kyle played soccer throughout his childhood and high school. Kyle manages Urban Initiatives’ individual and corporate development efforts.

  • April Lillstrom, Program Partnerships Director

    april staff photoApril received a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois and a M.Ed. from UIC, where she specialized in elementary education. April worked with AmeriCorps at educational non-profit groups including First Place School in Seattle and Jumpstart for Young Children in Chicago. Now, she catalyzes program partnerships to help Urban Initiatives leverage the best allies in the field to benefit the kids in our programs.

  • Becca Martinson,  Program Director – WTP & TTL

    Rebecca graduated from DePaul University as a Community Service Scholar with a BA in Art History. She is passionate about the role of sports in youth development specifically as a method to address gender equality. You can find Rebecca putting her youth development skills into practice on the weekends when she coaches soccer and roller derby. In her spare time, Rebecca skates for the internationally ranked Windy City Rollers derby team or can be found rescuing puppies and traveling the world. Rebecca is the Work to Play Program Director at Urban Initiatives.

  • Brendan McAlpine, Program Director

    Brendan earned a M.A. in Education and Community Development at Wheaton College. Brendan’s favorite Urban Initiatives memory is witnessing one of his Team Captains on the Claremont soccer team excitedly lead the team in pump-up cheers as they prepared for a Friday Game Day and then later that year be awarded with the Team Captain of the Year Award. Brendan spearheads program development and the development of new school partnerships.

  • Andy Neilsen, Director of Coaching and Training

    Andy graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with B.A. in History with a thesis on conflict resolution in Rwanda. After starting his alternative education career at an elementary school-age nature camp, Andy spent more than two years with a housing advocacy organization, doing policy research and creating trainings for nonprofit housing developers. At Urban Initiatives, Andy has worked for the last five years in numerous roles, and now leads Urban Initiatives’ training efforts.

  • Joy Nelson, Program Director – PWP

    joybioJoy graduated from Butler University where she double majored in Chemistry and Anthropology. She also received an M.Ed. from UIC where she is focused on youth development. She loves scrapbooking, reading, and writing and in her spare time, she manages being a mom to two wonderful children. Joy is Director our Urban Initiatives recess program, Play with Potential. 

  • Anndriene Bell, Administration Coordinator

    Born and raised on the south side, Anndriene is no stranger to the struggles within Chicago’s Urban communities. She owes her many successes to her ability to access extracurricular activities at a young age. Those opportunities helped to mold her into an advocate for early exposure to youth development and family resource programs within the city’s low-income neighborhoods. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Communications from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and is also a recent AmeriCorps VISTA alum. Anndriene is the Administrative Coordinator at Urban Initiatives.

  • Cynthia Dominguez, Operations Manager

    Cynthia graduated from Grinnell College, where she received a degree in both Psychology and Spanish and she also played on the women’s soccer team. She has spent her whole life saying that she’s from Chicago, when in reality she was born and raised in the western suburb of St. Charles. Prior to UI, Cynthia lived in Spain for 2 years teaching English to children and adults alike, and she most recently worked as the Coordinator at Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation. Cynthia manages office operations at Urban Initiatives.

  • Emily Fallon, Development Coordinator

    Emily graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Political Science where she focused on how law shapes race and identity in the U.S. Emily grew up in St. Louis, Missouri but considers her birthplace in Southern California to be her true home. Growing up Emily participated in a number of athletic activities, including playing soccer for over ten years.

  • Linda Galib, Research & Evaluation Manager

    Originally from Rhode Island, Linda holds a B.S. in Exercise Science from Ithaca College, and an M.P.P. and M.P.H. with a focus in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan. Prior to UI, she conducted federal health program and policy evaluation. Linda volunteers for a child and family services agency in Chicago and previously worked to empower youth using PhotoVoice in Quito, Ecuador. Her love of sport stems from her childhood, as she played soccer through high school and softball into college. Linda will manage program evaluation for Urban Initiatives.

  • Alison Hung, Development Manager – Strategy & Corporate Partnerships

    Alison graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in English Language and Literature. After graduation, she worked for McMaster-Carr, an industrial supplier, where she completed some warehouse infrastructure design projects and later supervised a team in the Merchandising arm of the company. Alison grew up in Hong Kong and worked closely with youth and non-profits throughout college. She is excited to contribute to UI’s development efforts.

  • Kaitlyn Klapperich, Development Manager – Community Engagement

    Kaitlyn was born and raised in the very cold land of Wasilla, Alaska! She attended Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri where she double majored in Communications and Sociology and minored in English. Kaitlyn is UI’s Community Engagement Development Manager.

  • Cristobal Martinez, Communications Manager

    Born and raised in Chicago’s Little Village community, Cris knows firsthand the difficulties of growing up in a tough neighborhood. Cris has a passion for sports and says if it weren’t for sports he would have gone down the wrong path. Instead Cris found his way to Urban Initiatives and started as a Program Associate where he implemented the Work to Play program in 5 schools. Today, Cris has graduated from program implementation and now manages Communications for Urban Initiatives.

  • Alex Salsky, Development Manager – Foundations & Special Events

    Alex was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas. She attended Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida where she double majored in Environmental Studies and Spanish and minored in Visual Arts. Alex is the Development Coordinator for Foundations & Special Events.

  • Sara Shanley, Program Director – WTP & TTL

    Sara is from Arlington, Virginia and earned a M.A. in International Studies with a focus in African Studies and sports-based youth development. Following her graduate studies, Sara joined the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club where she directed the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s sports-based childhood obesity prevention program, Soccer for Success. Prior to joining Urban Initiatives, Sara spent a year in Rwanda as the Program Manager for Kids Play International where she managed their sports-based gender equality education program.

  • Katie Sullivan, Manager – Evaluation & Database Manager

    Originally from Connecticut, Katie holds a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in International Development with a focus in Public Health from the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. Following her graduate studies, Katie was commissioned by the World Health Organization to draft an evaluations policy paper on partnering for public health. Her love of soccer stems from watching her first derby games between AC and Inter Milan, a rivalry that is now as close to her heart as the Yankees/Red Sox. Katie manages program evaluation and volunteer engagement.

  • Jared Thomas, Program Manager – PWP

    Jared Thomas is from South Bend, Indiana and received a B.A. in Art History and Fine Arts from Indiana University. Jared grew up playing baseball, but has fallen in love with the “beautiful game.” He is a lifelong Notre Dame football and Chicago Cubs fan. Before taking on the role as a program manager, Jared was a SBPC at North River Elementary, and a Recess Facilitator at Otis Elementary. He couldn’t be more excited by the new opportunity to manage the Play with Potential program at seven partner schools.

  • Eugene Tsipris, Program Manager – WTP & TTL

    Eugene grew up in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He attended DePaul University in Chicago where he majored in Sports and Fitness Management and claims to have soccer running through his blood. Eugene is the Take the Lead Program Manager.

  • Christina Valencia, Program Manager – WTP & TTL

    Christina is a native Chicagoan and grew up an still resides in the city’s Pilsen community. She attended Northern Illinois University where she majored in History with a minor in Anthropology.

  • Preethi Varma, Program Manager – WTP & TTL

    Graduated from the University of Virginia, Preethi studied Public Policy and Gender Studies. Preethi was a large part of the University of Virginia Women’s Center where she assisted adolescent girls as they navigated middle school in the Young Women Leaders Program. Prior to Urban Initiatives, she taught 5th-8th grade special education and volunteered heavily with elementary and middle school youth here in Chicago. Preethi played a lot of soccer growing up and is looking forward to bringing that passion to UI’s Take the Lead Program.

  • Kazim Walji, Program Manager – PWP

    Originally from Minnesota, Kazim graduated with a degree in elementary education from the University of MN.  After developing a behavior management plan based on youth sports, Kazim recognized the impact sports can have on a student’s academic success and moved to Chicago to complete a Masters in Education from the University of Minnesota and a Masters in Sports Administration from Northwestern University. Kazim is excited to begin a career in the youth sports field as the Program Manager of Play With Potential.

School-Based Program Coordinators

  • Jonathan Cruz, SBPC at Lowell, Goethe, & Otis

    J-Cruz grew up in the Philippines and received a Bachelor’s degree in I.T. from AMA University. Throughout his time there, he played on the University’s basketball team for three years. His love for sports extends past basketball and he uses this passion to engage with the kids. Up until now, he has five years of experience of working with kids. He started working for Urban Initiatives in September 2015 as the REC Coordinator. He is now looking forward to his new role as a School-Based Program Coordinator.

  • Kevin Gray, SBPC at Jahn

    Kevin is a lifelong sports fan and has played soccer since he was five years old. He was attracted to Urban Initiatives for the opportunity to work with other passionate people helping to improve Chicago communities and those living in the area. Before coming to Urban Initiatives as Program Associate last year, Kevin worked in a youth rehabilitation center outside of Kansas City and as the head coach of his former high school soccer team in Fort Scott, Kansas. Kevin is looking forward to another year at Jahn Elementary.

  • Will Green, Community Resource Coordinator at King

    Will had spent years working in schools in different capacities before he found Urban Initiatives. He believes that sincerity and openness with kids and communities are the keys to effective youth development work. A veteran of positive discipline and restorative practices as well as enrichment program, Will is the first Community Resource Coordinator at Urban Initiatives, bringing resources of the neighborhood to before- and after-school programs in partnership with the Community Schools Initiative at King Elementary.

  • JP Hernandez, SBPC at Nobel & Little Village

    JP was born in San Luis De La Paz Guanajuato Mexico, but raised on the South Side of Chicago. He is attending his second semester at Richard Daley College. JP volunteered for four years and now also works for Metropolitan Family Services working with after-school programs coaches the Metro Raptors for the Midway Youth Center. JP has worked for Marquette Elementary, Irene Hernandez middle school, Little Village Academy, and is currently the SBPC at Nobel and Little Village.

  • Chanelle McFarland, SBPC at Tarkington & Marquette

    Chanelle has a BA in Sports Administration from Southern Illinois University. Next to her love for coaching basketball, she has always had a passion for working with children and being a positive role model. She has worked in child-care, summer camps, and after school programs that has helped shape her passion of working with children.

  • Ella Ralston, SBPC at Bateman

    earlbioElla graduated from Florida State University with a BA in Theatre. Her mission since graduation has been to educate a diverse pool of communities on the benefits of using creative and performing arts as a healing tool. She has had the pleasure of managing a creative arts studio for kids 0-12, and co-founding a non-profit organization that focuses on “at risk youth” of all ages. She is currently the REC Coordinator and Soccer Coach (through the Work to Play program) at Bateman Elementary.

  • Michelle Ramos, SBPC at Ravenswood, North River, & Barry

    Michelle is originally from the Ashburn neighborhood on the Southside of Chicago and studied Therapeutic Recreation at Southern Illinois University. She has worked with several youth programs over the past 10 years. She’s played rugby for the past 5 years and currently plays with the Will County Morrigans. Last year Michelle was a facilitator and assistant soccer coach with Urban Initiatives. Michelle is currently running UI programming at Palmer, Lloyd and Barry.

  • Kevin Schoenfeld, SBPC at Prieto

    Kevin Schoenfeld grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and went to high school on Chicago’s east side. He graduated Illinois State University in 2014 with a BA in Political Science. It was there he developed his passion for community involvement. He spent the past year at UI as a program Associate running our Work to Play program at five west side schools. He is SUPER excited to experience his first year of recess as an SBPC at Prieto Elementary on Chicago’s Northwest side.

Work to Play & Take the Lead Staff

  • Arianna Bell, Program Associate

  • Chris Espino, Program Associate

  • Dajuan King, Program Coordinator

    Dajuan was born and raised on Chicago’s West Side. He is an Alum of Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, and recently received his B.A in Social Work from Wartburg College in Iowa. For the past five years, Dajuan has dedicated  his summers to working with Chicago’s under served and under privileged youth. This year, Dajuan will be working as a Program Associate at 5 different West Side schools. He is excited about having the opportunity to give back to his community and positively influence youth who may be experiencing the same dilemmas he experienced while growing up.

  • Danny Lagunas, Program Associate

  • Victoria Medrano, Program Associate

  • Cecilia Pedroza, Program Coordinator

    Cecilia was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Nutrition. She plans on continuing her educational goals with hopes to obtain a masters in Counseling of Mental Health. Cecilia is ecstatic for her role as a first time Program Associate at Lee, Stevenson, Jackson, Kominski, and Morrill elementary schools. She hopes to be an influential role for the youth. Cecilia is a White Sox fan and enjoys attending games with her family.

Play with Potential Staff

  • Anna Bradsher, REC Coordinator at Piccolo

    Born and raised in the best state of the US, North Carolina. Anna went to Appalachian State University, who beat Michigan in an epic football game. She’s played sports her whole life and has worked with youth from all nationalities and ages. Anna recently moved back to the US after living in China for 2.5 years. Don’t worry, she speaks zero Mandarin. Although she’s about decent at everything, she plans to be excellent at UI. God willing. 

  • Jamila Davey, REC Coordinator at The Chicago Academy

    Born & raised on the south side of Chicago, biggest Bears fan you will meet!  With various “jobs” under her belt, Jamila always found happiness working & enriching the youth through sports and relationship building exercises.  She started by volunteering at her daughters school when she was young and then began working for UI as an Assistant Coach. Having the great opportunity to have worked in various schools throughout Chicago, she is excited bring innovative ideas to the REC Coordinator position at The Chicago Academy.

  • Erica Davis, REC Coordinator at Dulles

    Erica Davis is a native of Chicago holding a Bachelors degree in Education from Lane College. She has worked with children for roughly 10 years and is truly passionate about helping young people learn and blossom.

  • Ruth Guerra, REC Coordinator at Gunsaulus

    Ruth was born and raised in Back of the Yards and attended CPS growing up. She is experienced with alternative educational engagement through arts programming, and grew up playing every kind of sport imaginable at recess. Ruth is excited to get build relationships with her school community and help kids be more aware of each other’s feelings.

  • Bernadette Hansen, REC Coordinator at NW Middle

    Born and raised in the heart of Chicago. Family, work and sports Complete her! Since her younger days being athletic and competitive was like second nature. As she got older her passion grew stronger for sports and physical activity. Most importantly it became her dream to encourage such upon children of all ages. Being able to be a role model that the kids can look up to as well as guide them through lessons that will benefit them in the game and throughout life. Bernadette worked within CPS for five years. She loves with working with kids that come from all different back-rounds. It’s her goal to make a difference for as many kids possible. Every child deserves a chance and opportunity at a bright future!

  • KyJuan Hardin, REC Coordinator at Claremont

    Born and raised on both the south and east side of Chicago and a product of cps schools, sports has always been a big part of his life . Finding football as his first love then basketball as his true love , he graduated Kenwood academy in 2013 as a member of his high school basketball team . Since high school he has been involved in Derrick Rose basketball camps and park district programs based in Chicago.Growing up in the city he’s seen and experienced first hand how youth sports can save and change lives.

  • Omari Moore, REC Coordinator at King

    Originally from Canton, Ohio, Omari Moore received his BA in Psychology and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies from the University of Chicago in 2014. Since moving to Chicago from Ohio for college, he has been involved in activities and organizations based around youth development, education, race and/or social justice. After graduating, he began serving with New Sector where he worked with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on the Transform Neighborhoods Project, which was based on the intersections between race, poverty, housing, and innovation.

  • Victor Ramirez, REC Coordinator at Castellanos

    Victor recieved his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the American Academy of Art. His love of art and sports has taken him down a path to work side by side with kids. Sharing his skills and experiences that he’s learned through art and sports that he knows he can and will break barriers.  Victoe syas those skills will transcend the canvas or the sports field and help kids on their path to become a responsible adult and to become a positive and active member in their communities.

  • Robin Rankin, Curtis

    Robin is the REC Coordinator at Curtis.

Available Jobs

Play with Potential REC Facilitator

Start Date: Immediately

You will work with the school’s REC Coordinator to oversee recess for all ages, implementing Urban Initiatives’ Play with Potential recess curriculum. This curriculum emphasizes positive youth development and scaffolds students towards self-directed play. Our goal is for students to be safe, active and engaged in play that contributes to social and physical development.

  • Responsibilities

    Recess Facilitators will organize students in the play space (usually outdoors or in the gym) and offer a series of structured games as well as opportunities for self-directed play. The goal is to teach students how to play games, then supervise and support them until they are familiar enough to play in a more self-directed capacity. Facilitators will also be responsible for managing behavior during recess to ensure that all students are safe. A variety of equipment (playground balls, cones, etc) will be available, although the curriculum is adapted for minimal equipment needs. The Recess Facilitator will train with the Urban Initiatives staff in order to be prepared to serve all functions of this position.

    Other duties will include:
    Participating in periodic evaluation/report meetings with Urban Initiatives and/or school staff
    Completing time sheets and minimal administrative tasks
    Emphasizing healthy lifestyles and positive character development during recess time

  • Skills + Qualifications

    Ability to engage with students in physical activity by demonstrating, supervising and enjoying recess games
    Commitment to positive discipline; desire to keep recess safe, active and engaging for all students
    Ability to be creative and adapt play spaces as needed (for example, when recess is indoors for winter months)
    Ability to work independently and in a team environment
    Ability to work a flexible schedule
    Fingerprint Background Check (required in-house)
    CPR certification (training provided by Urban Initiatives)
    Negative TB test (required)

  • Position Type

    This is a part-time position. During the school year, the Recess Facilitator hours are approximately 10:00am-1:00pm every day school is in session. You may also attend periodic trainings and meetings with supervisors at the school or Urban Initiatives (approx. 20 hours total for the year).

  • Salary + Benefits

    This position pays $10/hr and does not include benefits.

Apply by sending your resumé and a cover letter describing why you would be a great addition to the team to april@urbaninitiatives.org.

Play with Potential REC Coordinator

Start Date: Immediately

At an elementary school site in one school in Chicago, coordinators will implement the Play with Potential recess curriculum for students in grades K-8. This curriculum emphasizes positive youth development and scaffolds students towards self-directed play. Our goal is for students to be safe, active and engaged in play that contributes to their social and physical development.

  • Responsibilities

    Recess Coordinators will organize students and additional staff in the play space (planned for outdoors or indoors) and organize a series of structured games as well as opportunities for self-directed play. Coordinators will work with school support staff to train them on games and develop effective behavior management during recess to ensure that all students are safe. A variety of equipment (playground balls, cones, etc) will be available, although the curriculum is adapted for minimal equipment needs and diverse spaces. The Recess Coordinator will complete an advanced (paid) training in order to be prepared to serve all functions of this position. Apart from facilitating recess time at a partner school, your role will expand outside of recess to address health and character in other ways that are fitting to the school. This will vary according to each school site, and will involve teaching lessons in the classroom.
    Other duties will include:
     Participating in bi-weekly meetings with other Recess Coordinators to share best practices and problem-solve
     Collaborating with school staff to implement programming
     Participating in school community activities and contributing to the Urban Initiatives blog
     Completing weekly reviews of recess, working to meet chronological milestones
     Completing evaluation tools, time sheets and as-needed administrative tasks
     Actively emphasizing positive character development and healthy lifestyles at all times

  • Skills + Qualifications

     Bachelors Degree in Education or a related field preferred
     Minimum of 18 years of age, US citizen or permanent resident status
     Desire and ability to work with families and children living in low-income, distressed neighborhoods
     Ability to engage with students in physical activity by demonstrating, supervising and
    enjoying recess games
     Sincere belief in the power of sports to change kids’ lives
     Ability to be open and flexible and meet challenges head-on
     Commitment to positive discipline; belief that physical activity is an essential part of the
    school day
     Ability to be creative and adapt play spaces as needed (for example, when recess is
    indoors for winter months)
     Ability to work independently and in a team environment
     Self-starter
     Ability to complete periodic constructive program evaluation
     Good written and oral communication skills
     Ability to work a flexible schedule
     Access to a car (recommended)
     Fingerprint Background Check (required in-house)
     CPR certification (training provided)
     Negative TB test (required)

  • Position Type

    This is a part-time, 30-hour per week position based at a single school site. Schedule is generally 9am-3pm.

  • Salary + Benefits

    Coordinators work all student attendance days. Starting salary is $22,000 and the position does not offer benefits.

Apply by sending your resumé and a cover letter describing why you would be a great addition to the team to jobs@urbaninitiatives.org

Where We Work


  • Barry 2828 N Kilbourn Ave

  • Bateman 4220 N Richmond St

  • Beethoven 25 W 47th St

  • Beidler 3151 W Walnut St

  • Castellanos 2524 S Central Park Ave

  • Chicago Academy 3400 N Austin Ave

  • Claremont 2300 W 64th St

  • Curtis 32 E. 115th St

  • Daley 5024 S Wolcott Ave

  • Davis  3014 W 39th Pl

  • Dulles 6311 S Calumet Ave

  • Faraday 3250 W Monroe St

  • Goethe 2236 N Rockwell St

  • Goudy 5120 N Winthrop Ave

  • Greene 3525 S Honore Ave

  • Gunsaulus 4420 S Sacramento Ave

  • Howe 720 N Lorel Ave

  • Jackson 917 W 88th St

  • Jahn 3149 N Wolcott Ave

  • Jenner 1119 N Cleveland Ave

  • Jordan 7414 N Wolcott Ave

  • King 644 W 71st St

  • Kozminski 936 E 54th St

  • Lawndale 3500 W Douglas Blvd

  • Lee 6448 S Tripp Ave

  • Libby 5300 S Loomis Blvd

  • Little Village 2620 S Lawndale Ave

  • Lloyd 2103 N Lamon Ave

  • Lorca 3231 N Springfield Ave

  • Marquette 6550 S Richmond St

  • McNair 4820 W Walton St

  • Morrill 6011 S Rockwell St

  • Morton 431 N Troy St

  • Nixon 2121 N Keeler Ave

  • Nobel 4127 W Hirsch St

  • North River 4416 N Troy St

  • Northwest Middle 5252 W Palmer St

  • National Teachers Academy 55 W Cermak Rd

  • Otis 525 N Armour St

  • Pasteur 5825 S Kostner Ave

  • Piccolo 1040 N Keeler Ave

  • Prieto 2231 North Central Ave

  • Providence Englewood Charter 6515 S Ashland Ave

  • Ravenswood 4332 N Paulina St

  • Reavis 834 E 50th St

  • Spencer 214 N Lavergne Ave

  • Stevenson 8010 S Kostner Ave

  • Tarkington 3330 W 71st St

  • Walsh 2015 S Peoria Street

  • Ward 2701 S Shields Ave

Communities Served

  • Albany Park

  • Armour Square

  • Ashburn
  • Auburn Gresham
  • Austin

  • Avondale
  • Belmont Cragin

  • Brighton Park

  • Chicago Lawn

  • Dunning
  • East Garfield Park
  • Englewood
  • Gage Park

  • Grand Boulevard

  • Greater Grand Crossing

  • Hermosa

  • Humboldt Park

  • Hyde Park

  • Irving Park

  • Kenwood

  • Logan Square

  • Lower West Side 
  • McKinley Park

  • Morgan Park
  • Near North Side
  • Near South Side

  • New City
  • North Center

  • North Lawndale
  • Rogers Park

  • South Deering
  • South Lawndale

  • Uptown
  • West Elsdon

  • West Englewood

  • West Lawn

  • West Town


Board of Directors

  • Ralf Hilpuesch, Board Chair, Storck North America
  • Neil Hirshman, Board Vice Chair, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Shawn Broadfield, Allstate Insurance Company
  • Chris Campbell, C.B. Campbell & Co.
  • Yang Chao, FourKites
  • Pete Cherecwich, Northern Trust
  • Patrick Croke, Sidley Austin LLP
  • Thomas Dammrich, Partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.
  • Jim Dower, Urban Initiatives
  • Joni Duncan, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Connie Falcone, Chicago Cubs
  • ME Girgenti, Civic Leader
  • Alaina Harkness, Fellow in the Centennial Scholar Initiatives at the Brookings Institution
  • Adam Hitchcock, Guggenheim Partners
  • Marco López, Elemento L2
  • David Mahoney, CBRE
  • Brian McBride, U.S. Men’s National Team (Ret.) – ESPN FC, Analyst
  • Michael McGrew, Constellation Brands
  • Corey Minturn, William Blair
  • Sarah Naim, Grainger
  • Jimmy O’Connor, William Blair
  • Richard S. Parisi, Silver Point Capital
  • Katy Reichert, Civic Leader
  • Randy Rivera, BBVA Compass Bancshares, Inc.
  • Jimmy Samartzis, United Airlines
  • Karen Schweickart, Outcome Health
  • Stacy Stutz, McKinsey and Company
  • Joe Taets, Archer Daniels Midland Company
  • Cedric Thurman

Builders Board

  • Solomon Barnett, Citadel Securities
  • Annie Couyoumjian, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
  • Eric CrowleyeSpark Learning
  • Richard Douglas, Themis Bar Review
  • David Grass, Mosaic Sales Solutions
  • Jaime Hitch, Quaker/Pepsico
  • DeJuan Lever, IMI Precision Engineering, 28 To Brush
  • David Schumacher, RelaDyne LLC
  • Kathleen Strand, McKinsey & Company
  • Jonathan Taylor, IMC Financial Markets

Associate Board

The Urban Initiatives Associate Board is a group of young professionals dedicated to raising awareness about and funds to support Urban Initiatives.

Executive Committee

    • Annie Couyoumjian, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, President
    • Paul Damato, Freelance Marketing, Vice President
    • Jason Batliner, Performance Trust Capital Partners, LLC, Volunteering
    • Ashley Dobbins, Mediavest | Spark, Awareness
    • Greg Friend, Comcast, Fundraising
    • Jeremy Guterl, March Communication, Fundraising
    • Ronnie Westmoreland, Northern Trust, Volunteering
    • Hannah Jones, Egg Strategy, Events
    • Young Kwak, PPM America, Fundraising
    • Sarah Lewis, PwC, Awareness
    • Annie Luecke, Evergreen Park School District 124, Events
    • Dan Singer, United, Events
    • Derek Skoog, PwC, Awareness
    • Catie Wilber, OMD, Volunteering


  • Orlando Aguirre, CBRE
  • Emily Allen, Mission Measurement
  • Brad Archibald, Duff & Phelps
  • Kevin Arrogante, Citadel LLC
  • Muhammad Azfar, Auctus Group, Inc.
  • Gene Barrett, Deloitte
  • Andrew Bartush, Honeywell UOP
  • Michelle Baumann, IRI
  • Jessica Bechtel, Pepsico/Quaker
  • Beatriz Beckwith, InContext Solution
  • Liz Bell, Aberdeen Asset Management
  • Kevin Berliner, Millennium Health
  • Devin Booth
  • Maegen Boucher, Alliance Bernstein
  • Lorne Boutte, Nike
  • Bill Buhr, Wells Fargo Advisors
  • John Burgoyne, Mission Measurement
  • Stephanie Bylos, Valspar
  • Nicholette Cameron, Fifth Third Securities
  • Shreya Canakapalli, DiMeo, Schneider & Associates
  • Mike Carlson, Highbridge Principal Strategies
  • MacKenzie Christie, Grundfos
  • Annika Clutch, Storck USA
  • Alexandra Coello, Northwestern University
  • Andrew Cole, Arthur J. Gallagher
  • Tori Conway, mcgarrybowen
  • Sean Cook, Salesforce
  • Ellen Dammrich, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Christopher Dardi, KPMG
  • Victor Diaz, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Brian Dobmeier, United
  • Katie Doyle, Cass Junior High School, District 63
  • Jillian Duffy, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Rachael Dula, Salesforce
  • Jubril Durijaiye, Northern Trust
  • Kiley Falcone, The Revel Group
  • Matt Figueroa, Performance Trust Capital Partners
  • Brian Flanagan, PwC
  • Rachel Flanagan, Accenture
  • Catherine Fox, Prentice Women’s Hospital
  • Christopher Fry, Lockton Companies
  • Mauro Fuzetti, Marsh
  • Sebastian Garcia, GTCR
  • Emily Golan, RXBAR
  • Alex Gorniak, United
  • Katie Grass, Groupon
  • Austin Haas, Cision
  • Chris Hamilton, Kirkland & Ellis, LLC
  • Matt Hartford, The Southern Bank Company
  • Brianne Henrichs, Glen Ellyn Park District
  • Steven Herrmann, Grenzebach Glier and Associates
  • Irene Hickey, The University of Chicago Law
  • Sam Hong, Kirkland & Ellis
  • Thomas Hughes, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
  • Sarah Jonathan, StratEx Partners
  • Brett Joseph, Uline
  • Dani Kaufman, Protivit
  • Steve Kim, Accenture
  • Anthony Knierim, Stridecick
  • Kelsey Lantz, Chicago Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery
  • Bill Lawrence, Sidley Austin
  • Andreas Laxgang, Urban Bound
  • Alex Lee, PwC
  • Kyle Lee, Yelp
  • Maggie Lee, A.T. Kearney
  • Zach Lessem, Huron
  • Jordan Lewis, Daley Financial Partners
  • Margot Mache, Mongerson Gallery
  • Patrick Mahal, Antares Capital
  • Cale Mannesto, PwC
  • Joe Mark, OMD
  • Julia Marks, Northwestern University
  • Rick Marquardt, Ernst & Young, LLP
  • Matt Matosian, Arbor Investments
  • Nidhin Mattappally, Discover
  • Brian Mattoni, Priority Sports and Entertainment
  • Stephen McCormick, Northern Trust
  • Aaron McGinley, Stockbridge Capital Group, LLC
  • Meghan McKeever, Rush University College of Nursing
  • David Mielcarek, Pepsico/Quaker
  • Ronald Milsap, Urban Partnership Bank
  • Ryan Movahed, RSM
  • Katie Nestle, Allstate
  • Meagan Nickell, Glassdoor
  • Susan Nichols, William Blair
  • Kara Nitti, Advocate Health Care
  • Jack Nordholt, Salesforce
  • Ryan Nugent, Centro
  • Liz O’Brien, Chicago Scholars
  • Elise O’Connor, MB Real Estate
  • Matthew Otto, Apex Companies
  • Tom Osial, United
  • Brennan Ouellette, PepsiCo
  • Mike Perconte, Fooda
  • Alejandra Piers-Torres, Chicago Park District
  • Rishi Potdar, Gogo
  • Brian Quirke, NERA Economic Consulting
  • Michael Quirke, Accenture
  • Patrick Quirke, Magnetar Capital
  • Alex Rafael, DigitasLBi
  • Joleen Ramos, COTG
  • John Reglin, ColorJar
  • Patrick Reilly, 120 Sports
  • Steven Resnik, Fifth Street Asset Management
  • Brittany Reynoso, Chicago Cubs
  • A.J. Riddell, Kellogg School of Management
  • Kerry Roach, agencyEA
  • Paul Rossman, PepsiCo
  • Elyse Ryan, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
  • Shereen Sater, Conversant LLC
  • Kate Schnake, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
  • Courtney Schultz, CH Robinson
  • Rusty Scott, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Ryan Seager, Associated Agencies, Inc.
  • Kyle Smith, Kraft Heinz Company
  • Aaron Snyder, Group One Trading
  • Eric Sullivan, The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
  • Sam Sustarich, CD Distributors
  • Ali Syverson, Allstate
  • Martin Syvertsen, Cook County
  • Emily Taft, Optiver
  • Phil Terrazzino, TKK
  • Dan Thomann, Volunteer Immigrant Defense Advocates
  • Michael Videira, Perfomance Health Systems
  • Jon Wagner, Groupon
  • Kate Walsh, Raymond James
  • David Whitfield, Whitfield, McCAnn & Ketterman
  • Meg Whitty, Uptake
  • Alec Wise, Frontenac Company
  • Scott Wozencraft, Advocate Charitable Foundation
  • Coety Wyse, The Competence Group
  • Lucy Xie, GTCR
  • Sean Zhang, Belvedere Trading

Student Board

  • Allyce Armstrong Loyola
  • Sarah Ashley Loyola
  • Madison Banas Loyola
  • Thomas Braun Latin
  • Annie Bredemann Loyola
  • Gracie Brett Loyola
  • Bella Broccolo Loyola
  • Sam Buck Loyola
  • Hannah Burgess Loyola
  • Claire Daffada Loyola
  • Cross Daffada Loyola
  • Lauren Daffada Loyola
  • Emilie Dawson Loyola
  • Annabel Doerr Walter Payton
  • Clare Eilers Loyola
  • Hannah Fortier North Shore Country Day
  • Nick Goschi Loyola
  • Kate Grass Loyola
  • Sean Hickey Loyola
  • Julian Hilpuesch Loyola
  • Anna Hirshman Glenbrook North
  • Georgie Hurst New Trier
  • Jackson Hurst New Trier
  • Caroline Iserloth New Trier
  • Hannah Karlson Loyola
  • Teddy Kamin New Trier
  • Carol Kavison Loyola
  • Grace Kennedy Loyola
  • Matthew Kirby Loyola
  • William Kirby New Trier
  • Taylor Kozloski Loyola
  • Andrew Kuhn New Trier
  • Adrien Lana New Trier
  • Maddie LeClercq Loyola
  • Emily Lindblad New Trier
  • Ben Lissner New Trier
  • Stephanie Lyman Loyola
  • Kelsey McGarvey Loyola
  • Luke Michels Loyola
  • Dylan Moore Walter Patyon
  • Matthew Moriarity Loyola
  • Colleen Murtagh Loyola
  • Hailey Nesci Loyola
  • Elizabeth Nichols Loyola
  • Thomas Nugent New Trier
  • William O’Connor North Shore Country Day
  • Bradley O’Connor North Shore Country Day
  • Gabby Parma Loyola
  • Ann Pigott New Trier
  • Brady Reichert Loyola
  • Kelly Reichert Loyola
  • Colin Reinhart New Trier
  • Samantha Roggekamp New Trier
  • Jonathan Ruiz University of Chicago Lab School
  • Matt Salter Loyola
  • Jimmy Stanton Loyola
  • Ben Street New Trier
  • Anna Trapp Loyola
  • Cam Walsh New Trier
  • Riley Walsh New Trier
  • Elizabeth Zidar Loyola


Sustaining Sponsors

Champion Partners

  • storck
  • Allstate
  • union-pacific
  • nike
  • jralbertfoundation
  • Cubs
  • IMC
  • Skender Foundation
  • Quest Foundation
  • University of Chicago Medicine
  • Kraft
  • ADM

  • The Crown Family
  • Stuart Family Foundation
  • Solomon Barnett
  • Alison & Robin Winslow
  • Northwestern University
  • The Orlebeke Foundation
  • The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation
  • The Helen Brach Foundation
  • Chris Campbell 
  • Bewo Foundation
  • The Sun Times Foundation, a Fund of The Chicago Community Foundation


  • Anonymous
  • Paul and Nancy Armstrong
  • Lisa & Dan Barry
  • Richard Batliner
  • Ellenna Berger
  • Bob Bernstein
  • Mary & Brad Bissell
  • Pamela Bless
  • Jim and Sue Blomberg
  • Michael Boyce
  • John & Kim Braeseke
  • David and Mary Madeleine Brett
  • Brittany and Eben Britton
  • Marc Brown
  • Kim & Nick Calamos
  • Andrew Campbell
  • Doug Carlson
  • Robert Chapman
  • Cindy & Peter Chelovich
  • Chris Cole
  • Bill & Cheryl Considine
  • James & Rita Crimmins
  • Laine & Martin Cobb
  • Michael Croke
  • Patrick Croke
  • Thom and Carol Dammrich
  • TJ Dammrich
  • Kittie & Bill Devers
  • Beth Dickstein and Brad Slavin
  • Peter & Lisa Doerr
  • Richard & Ellen Douglas
  • Jim & Susan Dower
  • Dayle Duchossois
  • Joni Duncan
  • Barry and Kathleen Dunn
  • Rochelle Edens
  • Dave Edington
  • Connie & Charlie Falcone
  • Julie & David Farina
  • Lauren & Kemmons Feldman
  • Timothy Flood
  • John and Joanne Fox
  • Alice & Jim Forrest
  • Helen & Kipp Friedli
  • Joshua Friess
  • Patrick & Anne Gallagher
  • Andrew and Katie Geant
  • General Iron Industries Charitable Foundation
  • Dan and Deb Gill
  • Christopher & ME Girgenti
  • Grainger
  • Grippo & Elden
  • Dalton Hastings
  • Daniel Hastings
  • Christina & Richard Heidrich
  • Maike & David Height
  • Helmer’s Helpers
  • Mair & Rich Hill
  • Jutta & Ralf Hilpuesch
  • Beth & Neil Hirshman
  • Adam Hitchcock
  • Tony and Cammie Hoban
  • Adam and Denise Hoeflich
  • Stephanie Hoit
  • Nancy & David Hyser
  • Bob and Phyllis Jaffee
  • Sue & Bill Johnson
  • Adrianne & Paul Johnson
  • Darrin and Michelle Jolas
  • Bryan and Debbie Keyt
  • 0John Koutoupis
  • Michael and Merrillee LePore
  • Daniel and Allyson Lewis
  • Jeanne and Michael Licata
  • LTS Chicago
  • Arjen Mackaay
  • Larry and Mary Mages
  • Dave & Rachel Mahoney
  • Jonathan Martinson
  • David and Leslie McGranahan
  • Michael and Sheila McGrew
  • Mary Dower & Eric Miller
  • Matthew and Sheila Miller
  • Sylvia & Constantine Mitsopoulos
  • Charles Mulaney
  • Jeannette Mullins
  • Dan Nudelman
  • Joe O’Connor
  • Matthew Otto and Marissa Strassel
  • Richard Parisi
  • Batra Paritosh
  • Bruce Pfaff
  • Kathy Pick
  • James & Heather Pigott
  • Sheila & John Pigott
  • Tom & Susan Pigott
  • Play for Life International
  • Mary & Barry Quirke
  • Joe and Marianne Quoyeser
  • Thomas Raines
  • Susan Rancourt
  • Geri & Ron Redd
  • Katy & Kurt Reichert
  • Laura & Michael Rice
  • Robertson-Ryan & Associates
  • Mimi & Ben Rodman
  • Jonathan and Piper Rothschild
  • Steven Roy
  • Gary and Maureen Sagui
  • Jimmy and Elizabeth Samartzis
  • Karen Schweickart
  • Darlene Vorachek & Clifford Shapiro
  • Roy Sharda
  • Michaela Sheehan
  • Brooke Skinner and Laura Ricketts
  • Gary and Nancy Strassel
  • Joseph Stratico
  • Rob and Stacy Stutz
  • Jonathan Taylor
  • The Boston Consulting Group, Inc
  • Joe and Margaret Tilson
  • Anand and Shivani Twells
  • Michael and Audrey Weishuhn
  • Wilmette Wings Soccer Club
  • William and Denise Wozencraft

Soccer Ball Sponsors

Presenting Sponsors

All-Star Sponsors

  • J.R. Albert Foundation
  • Archer Daniels Midland
  • Boeing
  • CBRE
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
  • The Hirshman Family
  • IMC
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • Rachel & Dave Mahoney
  • Leslie & David McGranahan
  • Melissa & Jeff Miller
  • Northern Trust
  • The Anthony & Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation
  • J.B. & M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation
  • The QBE Foundation
  • Storck
  • United Airlines
  • Katie & Jeff Woodman

Goal Sponsors

  • Advocate Children’s Hospital
  • Ariel Investments
  • Batliner Family
  • Bear Costruction
  • Nicole & Dave Berger
  • Chapman Spingola
  • The Competence Group
  • Constellation Brands
  • Direct Food Service
  • Ellen & Richard Douglas
  • Dower Family
  • ME & Chris Girgenti
  • Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
  • Sarah Kammerer & Adam Hitchcock
  • Loeb & Loeb LLP
  • Limelight
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • National Student Leadership Conference
  • Nest
  • Optiver
  • Polsinelli
  • Quaker Oats
  • Reed Smith
  • Sheehan, Dammrich, and Fox Families
  • Skender Foundation
  • Themis Bar Review
  • University of Chicago Medicine
  • Winston & Strawn
  • Wozencraft Family

Trophy Sponsors

  • AbelsonTaylor
  • Edward A. Anderson
  • Bansley & Kiener
  • Katherine & John Buehler
  • Exelon
  • Jutta & Ralf Hilpuesch
  • Mawi Learning
  • Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP
  • Stacy & Rob Stutz

In-Kind Sponsors

  • Beam Suntory
  • Chicago Indoor Sports
  • Constellation Brands
  • The Cubby Bear
  • DJ Freddy Phatz
  • Elemento L2
  • InnerWorkings
  • Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
  • Limelight
  • Optimus
  • Revel
  • Sound Investment
  • Storck
  • Bub City
  • Cafe Ba Ba Reeba
  • Mon Ami Gabi
  • RPM
  • Stella Barra Pizzeria
  • Summer House
  • Three Dots and a Dash

Work to Play Cup Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

In Kind Sponsors

  • Aramark
  • Chicago Park District
  • Flood Brothers

Team Sponsors

  • Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund
  • Cherecwich Family
  • CME
  • Coffman Family
  • Dammrich Family
  • CTC Trading
  • Douthit Family
  • Fortier Family
  • GCM Grosvenor
  • Girgenti Family
  • Glew Family
  • IMC
  • JT
  • Julie & Steve Kaiser
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • Hirshman Family
  • LGC Class of 2014
  • Loeb & Loeb
  • Long Grove Dental Studio
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Rachel & Dave Mahoney
  • MB Real Estate
  • Michael Lewis Company
  • National Student Leadership Conference
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Optiver
  • Pigott Family
  • Shook, Hardy & Bacon
  • Solomon Barnett
  • Storck USA
  • Stout
  • Themis Bar Review
  • United Airlines

Corporate Challenge Cup Sponsors

Team Sponsors

  • Accenture
  • Balyasny Asset Management
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • CBRE
  • CDW
  • Grainger
  • GTCR
  • IMC
  • JLL
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • Limelight
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Northern Trust
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Optiver
  • PepsiCo
  • PwC
  • Raymond James
  • Storck
  • Stout
  • Traders League
  • United
  • William Blair

In Kind Sponsors

  • Chicago Park District
  • Constellation Brands
  • Limelight

Financial Archive


Urban Initiatives is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization operating in the state of Illinois. 

93% of expenses directly support our programs.

For the fiscal year ending July 31, 2016, Urban Initiatives had:

  • Total income: $3,435,262
  • Total program expenses:$2,766,645
  • Total fund raising expenses:$188,779
  • Total administrative expenses:$240,007
  • End of year net assets:$3,195,431