Our mission is

to empower Chicago’s underserved children to adopt healthy lifestyles, improve their academic performance, and build strong character through sports-based youth development programs.

We maximize our impact by collaborating with parents, schools, and community stakeholders.

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.

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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

    kylebioKyle 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.

  • Lauren Johnson, Research & Evaluation Director

    lalabioOriginally from Destrehan, Louisiana, Lauren holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Seton Hall University and a M.A. from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago where she studied the effects of poverty and inequality on youth’s educational outcomes. Prior to graduate school, she worked as an out-of-school time program evaluator at the University of Chicago. Lauren manages foundation development efforts and program evaluation in order to support quality implementation and development efforts.

  • April Lillstrom, Program Partnerships Director & Senior Program Manager – PWP

    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 oversees structured recess development. April manages the Play with Potential program at seven schools.

  • Brendan McAlpine, Program Director

    brendanbioBrendan 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, Training Director & Senior Program Manager – PWP

    andybioAndy graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with B.A. in History with a thesis on conflict resolution in Rwanda. After teaching 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. Andy leads Urban Initiatives’ training efforts and manages the Play with Potential program at six schools.

  • 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.

  • 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 – 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.

  • Jordan Lantz, Development Coordinator – Individuals

    Jordan graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in History. While at Bowdoin, Jordan involved himself with nonprofits that focused on public health and youth development. Since 2009, Jordan has volunteered with Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, an international organization that inspires youth to engage in community service and develop leadership skills. An outdoor enthusiast, Jordan led hiking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding trips for his fellow Bowdoin students in the Maine wilderness. Jordan assists with Urban Initiative’s fundraising efforts.

  • 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.

  • Becca Martinson, Senior Program Manager – WTP

    A lifelong soccer player and lover of the arts, Becca likes to merge her creative spirit with her passion for the game. Becca earned a BA from DePaul University, where she was a Community Service Scholar and Art History major. She spent extensive time working in an after-school program with kids in Humboldt Park. Becca is the Program Manager for Work to Play and manages volunteers and events.

  • Savannah McKinley Program Manager – WTP

    10991230_10203646329271017_689704988116074954_nOriginally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Savannah graduated from Winona State University with a B.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in English. Following her undergraduate career, she spent a year in Sevilla, Spain where she got to witness the positive effects soccer could have on a student’s academic achievement. Prior to joining UI, Savannah worked for Girl Scouts as a Program Specialist helping to build girls of courage, confidence and character. Savannah is a Program manager for Work to Play.

  • Joy Nelson, Program Manager – PWP

    joybio Joy graduated from Butler University where she double majored in Chemistry and Anthropology. She received her MPH from Kaplan University and is now currently pursuing an M.Ed. from UIC where she is focusing on youth development. She has volunteered teaching ESL to Burmese refugees, teaching the importance of STEM careers to Girls Scouts, and helping young women transition into motherhood. Joy manages the Play with Potential program at seven schools.

  • Katie Sullivan, Manager – Program Evaluation & Volunteer 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.

  • Preethi Varma, Program Manager – 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.

  • Jeff Wozencraft, Senior Program Manager – TTL

    wozbiopicSports have always played an important role in Jeff’s life. Raised in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Jeff played almost every sport growing up, before concentrating on soccer and basketball. He played both at Knox College, where he graduated with degrees in Spanish and Economics in 2010. Jeff then joined the Peace Corps and served two years in Cape Verde, West Africa, working at a youth center. He enjoys facilitating youth development through sports and truly believes in its ability to help develop important life skills. Jeff manages the Work to Play and Take the Lead programs.

School-Based Program Coordinators

  • Earl Aaron, SBPC at Jenner

    earlbioBorn and raised on Chicago’s south side, Earl is a product of Chicago Public Schools himself. He joined City Year and served as a tutor, mentor, remodel, and School & Community Engagement Coordinator at Lafayette Elementary. He loves working with children because children are the future and he wants to have a positive impact on the future, so when the future is the present it will be better than the past. Earl is excited to become the SBPC at Jenner.

  • 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 his first year as the REC Coordinator at Jahn Elementary.

  • JP Hernandez, SBPC at Nobel & Little Village

    jprealbioJP 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.

  • Brandon Price, SBPC at Claremont

    brandonbioBrandon was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side. He attended Marist High School and graduated with a B.A. in Business Management from Central State University, where he was a two-year captain on the basketball team. Since graduation he has worked as a counselor for at risk youth at a residential treatment facility. He is excited to be the SBPC at Claremont Academy and grateful that he’s able to continue to positively impact youth and the community.

  • 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 Palmer, Lloyd, & 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.

  • Jared Thomas, SBPC at North River

    Jared “Uncle Jerry” Thomas is a corn-fed, born and raised Hoosier. He is from South Bend, IN and received a B.A. in Art History and Fine Arts from Indiana University. Jared grew up playing baseball, but in the last several years has fallen in love with the “beautiful game.” He also enjoys watching (and usually weeping like a small child during) Notre Dame football, IU basketball, Chicago Cubs and Bears games. This is Jared’s second year with Urban Initiatives, and his first at North River Elementary. He couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to coach and impact Chicago’s youth through sports.

Work to Play & Take the Lead Staff

  • Kaitlyn Klapperich, Program Associate

    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 will be the Program Associate at Faraday, Lee, Marquette, Tarkington and Ward.

  • Frank Nares, Program Associate

    Frank was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. He attended Indiana State University where he majored in Sports Management. Growing up, Frank played basketball and baseball and says sports played a huge role in his life. Frank will be the Program Associate at Libby, Sherman, Beethoven, Reavis and Morill.

  • Nefeteri Okine, Program Associate

    Nefeteri is a loyal Illinois resident, having lived in Harvey, Maywood and Carbondale. She attended Southern Illinois University on a Track & Field Scholarship where she majored in Social Work. Nefeteri will be the Program Associate at Beidler, Morton, NTA, Kozminski and PECS.

  • Alex Salsky, Program Associate

    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 will be the Program Associate at Lloyd, Otis, Lorca, Nixon and Goethe.

  • Eugene Tsipris, Program Associate

    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 will be the Program Associate at Howe, Lawndale, McNair, Jordan and Bateman.

  • Christina Valencia, Program Associate

    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. Christina will be the Program Associate at Greene, Daley, Walsh, Davis and Pasteur.

Play with Potential Staff

  • Jennifer Ajuzie, REC Coordinator at Daley

    Jennifer joined Urban Initiatives in the Fall of 2015.

  • Victor Ramirez, REC Coordinator at Stowe

    Victor Ramirez joined Urban Initiatives in the Winter of 2016

  • Hassan Chaudhry, REC Coordinator at Castellanos

    hasssanbioHassan received his BA in Psychology from Arizona State University. After graduation, Hassan joined a year-long volunteer program in 2009 which brought him to the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. During his time in Chicago, Hassan has worked for various non-profits, which has inspired his passion in sports-based youth-development. After working at Greene Elementary last year, he is excited to work at Castellanos Elementary as the REC Coordinator.

  • Jonathan Cruz, REC Coordinator at Otis

    Jonathan studied in the Philippines and got his Bachelor’s Degree in IT at AMA University and played basketball for them for 3 years, He loves sports and engaging with the kids. He has been working with kids for almost 4 years now and is excited to start a new chapter at Oits to guide and help the kids to their fullest potential. His goal is to help the organization as much as he could by applying his knowledge and skills from his previous experiences. Coach Cruz is very thrilled and happy to be part of Urban Initiatives.

  • Erica Davis, REC Coordinator at Shoop

    Erica joined Urban Initiatives in the Fall of 2015.

  • 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.

  • PJ Harris, REC Coordinator at Northwest Middle School

    PJ Harris earned her BA in History and Africana Studies from Union College. There she developed a strong passion for education and youth development. After college she served with City Year where she worked as a tutor, mentor, and role model as the Behavior Coordinator at Roberto Clemente Community Academy.  This is PJ’s second year with Urban Initiatives; she enjoys working with youth and truly making a difference. From school wide health initiatives to physical activity, PJ is always working towards actively engaging the youth to build healthier lifestyles. PJ is the REC Coordinator at Northwest Middle School.

  • Omari Moore, REC Coordinator at Ruggles

    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. Omari is now the REC Coordinator at Ruggles Elementary School.

  • Chanelle McFarland, REC Coordinator at Marsh

    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. Chanelle looks to promote healthy lifestyles and teamwork during recess at Kozminski Community Academy.

  • Nestor Rico, REC Coordinator at Davis

    Nestor holds a BA in Communications with a Sports Management minor from the Loyola University of Chicago, and is pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Studies with a concentration in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois Chicago. A lifelong soccer player, Nestor has extensive coaching experience in both school and club settings. Nestor is excited about the potential to help kids develop into strong adults through sports and physical activity.

  • Francisco Salgado & Valerie Figueroa, Jungman

    Valerie has worked at elementary schools for the past four years. Recently she has started working at Chicago Public Schools. She is continuing her education at DePaul University to earn at B.A in Education.  Francisco has worked in Chicago Public Schools for the past two years. He is excited to team up with Urban Initiatives.

Available Jobs

Coach Across America Program Associate

Start Date: August 3

Urban Initiatives is hiring a Program Associate to implement the Work to Play and Take the Lead Programs at five CPS sites. The Program Associate dedicates his/her time to the oversight of these programs by engaging in direct implementation, training coaches at his/her school sites, executing a parent engagement strategy, completing program evaluation, and ensuring program quality by collaborating with Urban Initiatives’ management team and key school staff and stakeholders.

  • Responsibilities

    • Oversee Work to Play and Take the Lead implementation at five school sites
    • Be the liaison between the schools and the UI office
    • Know all contents of the Work to Play Program Booklet including games, lessons, main points, health and character information, as well as administrative documents – also assist in ongoing program development by making suggestions for enhancements
    • Support programming by serving as an Assistant Coach at program sessions
    • Lead field trips, seasonal team parties and Service Learning Projects
    • Other direct service includes assisting with program-related events, paperwork dissemination/collection, snack delivery, program evaluation, and other support
    • Manage paperwork and other administrative duties related to program quality
    • Take photos, videos, and record success stories for UI marketing
    • Implement parent outreach plan at all schools
    • Participate in required staff meetings, development sessions and trainings
    • Identify and build relationships within the school communities of the schools served and reach out to potential program partners
    • Assist occasionally with recess program at Urban Initiatives school sites that need additional support
    • Support Take the Lead by:
    • Facilitating monthly school-based Captains’ Huddles
    • Assisting with leadership retreats
    • Managing TTL paperwork collection and outreach for your schools
    • Other responsibilities as needed

  • Skills + Qualifications

    • Desire and ability to work with families/children in low-income neighborhoods through sports
    • Bachelor degree (preferred)
    • Youth sports coaching experience (preferred)
    • Able to work independently and prioritize wide variety of tasks and deadlines
    • Self-starter
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills
    • Able to work flexible schedule that occasionally includes evenings/weekends
    • Consistent access to a car and personal laptop computer (required)
    • Negative TB Test (required)

  • Position Type

    This is a full-time position that begins on August 3.

  • Salary + Benefits

    AmeriCorps living stipend of $15,105 over 10 months. Upon completion of the 1700 hours, the Program Associate will receive an education award through AmeriCorps for $5,730.

Apply by sending your resumé and a cover letter describing why you would be a great addition to the team to jobs@urbaninitiatives.org by Friday, June 12. Please use the subject “Program Associate” in your email.

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

  • Bradwell 7736 S Burnham Ave
  • Castellanos 2524 S Central Park Ave

  • Claremont 2300 W 64th St

  • Daley 5024 S Wolcott Ave

  • Davis  3014 W 39th Pl

  • Faraday 3250 W Monroe St

  • Goethe 2236 N Rockwell St

  • 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

  • Jungman 1746 S Miller 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

  • Marsh 9822 S Exchange Ave

  • 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 5252 W Palmer St

  • National Teachers Academy 55 W Cermak Rd

  • Otis 525 N Armour St

  • Palmer 5051 N Kenneth Ave

  • Pasteur 5825 S Kostner Ave

  • Prieto 2231 North Central Ave

  • Providence Englewood Charter 6515 S Ashland Ave

  • Reavis 834 E 50th St

  • Ruggles 7831 S. Prairie Ave

  • Sherman 1000 W 52nd St

  • Shoop 1460 W. 112th St
  • Stevenson 8010 S Kostner Ave
  • Stowe 3444 W Wabansia 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

  • East Garfield Park
  • 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

  • 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, Raise
  • Pete Cherecwich, Northern Trust
  • Bill Considine, Considine Financial
  • Patrick Croke, Sidley Austin LLP
  • Thomas Dammrich, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP
  • Jim Dower, Urban Initiatives
  • Joni Duncan, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Connie Falcone, Chicago Cubs
  • ME Girgenti, Civic Leader
  • Adam Hitchcock, Guggenheim Partners
  • Marco López, Elemento L2
  • David Mahoney, CBRE
  • Corey Minturn, William Blair
  • Michael McGrew, Constellation Brands
  • Richard S. Parisi, Silver Point Capital
  • Katy Reichert, Civic Leader
  • Randy Rivera, BBVA Compass Bancshares, Inc.
  • Ben Rodman, Raymond James Financial, Inc.
  • Jimmy Samartzis, United Airlines
  • Karen Schweickart, Citadel LLC
  • Stacy Stutz, North Highland
  • Joe Taets, Archer Daniels Midland Company
  • Cedric Thurman, BMO Capital Markets

Junior Board

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

Executive Committee

    • Annie Couyoumjian, President
    • Paul Damato, Vice President
  • Jason Batliner, Volunteering
  • Chelsea Barry, Events
  • Ashley Dobbins, Events
  • Greg Friend, Fundraising
  • Young Kwak, Fundraising
  • James Hitch, Volunteering
  • Sarah Lewis, Awareness
  • Annie Luecke, Events
  • Derek Skoog, Awareness
  • Ariella Varley, Awareness
  • Catie Wilber, Volunteering
  • Jay Wilson, Fundraising


  • Emily Allen
  • Brad Archibald
  • Michael Attoman
  • Gene Barrett
  • Andrew Bartush
  • Jessica Bechtel
  • Beatriz Beckwith
  • Liz Bell
  • Kevin Berliner
  • Ben Blankenship
  • Sarah Bonk
  • Maegan Boucher
  • Isabel Brown
  • Bill Buhr
  • John Burgoyne
  • Reggie Bynum
  • Nicholette Cameron
  • Shreya Canakapalli
  • Becca Candler
  • Mike Carlson
  • Jarrod Carter
  • Amanda Clark
  • Annika Clutch
  • Alex Coello
  • Andrew Cole
  • Tori Conway
  • Sean Cook
  • Ellen Dammrich
  • Matt Dammrich
  • Shaun Deliberato
  • Victor Diaz
  • Hilary Digel
  • Katie Doyle
  • Jillian Duffy
  • Erica Emerick
  • Kiley Falcone
  • Matt Figueroa
  • Brian Flanagan
  • Rachel Flanagan
  • Catherine Fox
  • Christopher Fry
  • Mauro Fuzetti
  • Emily Golan
  • Katie Grass
  • Marcus Greer
  • Jeremy Guterl
  • Austin Haas
  • Matt Hartford
  • Noor Hasan
  • Brianne Henrichs
  • Steven Herrmann
  • Irene Hickey
  • Ella Himmelrich
  • Sam Hong
  • John Jefferson
  • Brad Jensen
  • Nathan Jochimsen
  • Hannah Jones
  • Brett Joseph
  • Sophia Kassam
  • Anthony Knierim
  • Kelsey Lantz
  • Andreas Laxgang
  • Maggie Lee
  • Patrick Mahal
  • Cale Mannesto
  • Julia Marks
  • Rick Marquardt
  • Shayan Masoudpour
  • Brian Massimino
  • Nidhin Mattappally
  • Stephen McCormick
  • David Mielcarek
  • Ronald Milsap
  • Lauren Monaghan
  • Ryan Movahed
  • Zack Mulhall
  • Heather Nadeau
  • Avi Nagaraja
  • Jake Nast
  • Brandon Nolde
  • Heather Nooks
  • Liz O’Brien
  • Maria Okeke
  • Matthew Otto
  • Sue Patel
  • Mike Perconte
  • Alejandra Piers-Torres
  • Brian Plotkin
  • Patrick Quay
  • Brian Quirke
  • Patrick Quirke
  • Alex Rafael
  • Brittany Reynoso
  • A.J. Riddell
  • Kerry Roach
  • C.C. Ryan
  • Shereen Sater
  • Ryan Seager
  • Kate Schnake
  • Courtney Schultz
  • Rusty Scott
  • Dan Singer
  • Kyle Smith
  • Aaron Snyder
  • Tyler Stanley
  • Johnny Sugrue
  • Eric Sullivan
  • Sam Sustarich
  • Ali Syverson
  • Martin Syvertsen
  • Phil Terrazino
  • Dan Thomann
  • Michael Videira
  • Jon Wagner
  • Ronnie Westmoreland
  • David Whitfield
  • Meg Whitty
  • Scott Wozencraft
  • Cassie Yarbrough
  • Herbert Yu

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


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

Anniversary Sponsors

  • Antares Capital
  • Solomon Barnett
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • Boeing
  • CBRE
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
  • The Hirshman Family
  • IMC Financial Markets
  • Kirkland & Ellis, LLP
  • Dave & Rachel Mahoney
  • Northern Trust
  • The QBE Foundation
  • Sprint
  • Storck
  • United Airlines

Goal Sponsors

  • Advocate Children’s Hospital
  • Ariel Investments
  • Attorney’s Title Guaranty Fund
  • Jason Batliner
  • Cindy & Peter Chelovich
  • Chapman Spingola, LLP
  • Chicago Fire Foundation
  • Citadel
  • Clune Construction Company
  • Constellation Brands
  • Dentons
  • Direct Food Service
  • Ellen & Richard Douglas
  • Susan & Jim Dower
  • Gagen MacDonald
  • ME & Chris Girgenti
  • Gogo
  • Adam Hitchcock
  • Kaye Scholer
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Leslie & David McGranahan
  • National Student Leadership Conference
  • North Highland
  • The Anthony & Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation
  • J.B. & M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation
  • Katy & Kurt Reichert
  • Sheehan, Dammrich, & Fox Families
  • Winston & Strawn

Trophy Sponsors

  • AbelsonTaylor
  • Edward A. Anderson
  • Bansley & Kiener
  • Katherine & John Buehler
  • Cole Family
  • Exelon
  • Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg
  • Stacy & Rob Stutz

In-Kind Sponsors

  • Beam Suntory
  • Chicago Indoor Sports
  • DJ Freddy Phatz
  • Goose Island
  • InnerWorkings
  • Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
  • Optimus
  • Sound Investment

Work to Play Cup Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

imc final

Stadium Sponsors

  • CME Group
  • Loeb & Loeb
  • Sidley Austin LLP
  • Skender Foundation
  • Storck
  • United

Team Sponsors

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Citadel
  • CNA
  • Coca Cola
  • Erie Insurance
  • Gate Gourmet
  • ITW
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • KPMG
  • LSG Sky Chefs
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • MB Real Estate
  • Montessori Academy of Chicago
  • Northern Trust
  • Performance Trust
  • Raymond James
  • Revel Global Events
  • SCB
  • Section 8
  • Silver Point Capital
  • Sodexo
  • Woodman Cison & Associates
  • Bear Construction
  • Friedman Properties
  • Coffman Family
  • Douthit Family
  • Fortier Family
  • Girgenti Family
  • Glew Family
  • Harper Families
  • Hirshman Family
  • Jeff Laski
  • Friends of Lubbock
  • Pigott Family
  • Proesel Family
  • Share Wilmette
  • Team Smiley Face
  • U11 Premier Wilmette Wings Girls
  • Urban Initiatives Student Board
  • Walton Family
  • Winslow Family

In Kind Sponsors

  • Aramark
  • Chicago Park District
  • Flood Brothers
  • InnerWorkings
  • Quaker

Corporate Challenge Cup Sponsors

Team Sponsors

  • 1871
  • AbelsonTaylor
  • Allstate Insurance
  • CBRE
  • Citadel
  • Groupon
  • GrubHub
  • JLL
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • KPMG
  • Kraft
  • Macquarie Bank
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • Northern Trust
  • Spencer Stuart
  • Storck USA

In Kind Sponsors

  • Chicago Park District
  • Inner Workings
  • Limelight
  • Revolution Brewing

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, 2014, Urban Initiatives had:

  • Total income: $1,926,881
  • Total program expenses: $1,607,501
  • Total fund raising expenses: $69,915
  • Total administrative expenses: $155,843
  • End of year net assets: $547,998