Our mission is

to empower Chicago’s youth to become community leaders through academic success, healthy living, and social-emotional learning.

We build on the inherent power of sports and teamwork to unify diverse stakeholders and strengthen communities.

Our Participants:

  • Hispanic/Latino: 53%
  • Black/African American: 38%
  • Asian/Pacific Islander: 3%
  • White & Other: 6%


83% of UI participants come from families who qualify as low income


Urban Initiatives works in 57 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.

Make a Donation


Executive & Management Team

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

    Jim 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 graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Political Science and has a Kellogg Executive Scholar Certificate in Nonprofit Management. 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 at Urban Initiatives as an Assistant Coach, 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.

  • April Lillstrom, Program Partnerships Director

    April 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.

  • Brendan McAlpine, Chief Program Officer

    Brendan earned a M.A. in Education and Community Development at Wheaton College before joining the Urban Initiatives team as a Program Associate in 2012. Brendan oversees the Continuum of Programming and Evaluation departments, ensuring that the Work to Play, Take the Lead, and Coach for Success programs operate at high levels of quality and impact. In addition to the amazing students, families, and teammates that make this organization great, Brendan loves his job because it allows his inner nerd to make peace with his love of sports.

  • Sara Shanley, Projects Director

    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. 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. Sara spearheads program development for WTP, TTL and CFS.

  • Joy Nelson, Culture and Climate Program Director

    A Chicago native, Joy graduated from UIC with a Master’s in Education, focusing on Youth Development. After working as a Program Manager at Urban Initiatives for 2 years, she was promoted into the role of Play with Potential Program Director, overseeing recess at 24 local schools. In 2017, she took an opportunity to work with the National YMCA and spent a year and half traveling the Midwest and West Coast, supporting out of school time programming in underserved communities. She returned to Urban Initiatives in 2019 as the Culture and Climate Director and oversees the day to day operations of our Play with Potential and Community School’s Initiative programs. She will begin her doctorate in Educational Leadership at DePaul in the fall of 2019. Joy is fun-loving supermom with a knack for connecting to people, children, and all things under the sun.

  • Cynthia Dominguez, Administration Director

    Cynthia grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, but now resides in Pilsen. She graduated from Grinnell College, where she received a degree in Psychology and Spanish, and she played on and captained the women’s soccer team (GC PRIDE!). Prior to UI, Cynthia worked as an English Language Assistant in Galicia, Spain for two years, and later she worked as the Coordinator at a nonprofit in the western suburbs for another year. Cynthia has been with UI for two years and oversees office operations including finance and human resources.

  • Emily Fallon, Director of Communications

    Emily graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Political Science. Emily grew up in St. Louis, Missouri but considers her birthplace in Southern California to be her true home. Emily oversees our marketing and communications strategies.

  • Linda Galib, Research & Evaluation Director

    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, volunteered for a child and family services agency in Chicago, and interned in Quito, Ecuador, where she worked to empower youth using PhotoVoice. Her love of sport AND data stem from her childhood, as she played soccer through high school and softball into college, and grew up eagerly programming her grandfather’s computer in Basic (for example, to make the screen color change)! Linda manages program evaluation for Urban Initiatives.

  • Samantha Suh, Special Projects Manager

    Sammy earned her B.A in Elementary Education at the University of Michigan and taught 2nd grade at a CPS school on the northwest side of Chicago. She wanted to continue growing her passion for education and youth in Chicago so she joined the Urban Initiatives team as a Special Projects Manager. In her free time, Sammy frequents many cafes throughout Chicago and believes coffee is an essential part of any day.

  • Wesley Quevedo, Research and Evaluation Coordinator

    Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Wesley received his B.A. in Environmental Analysis from Pomona College. For the past 5 years, he has worked with several cultural institutions in Chicago as an educator, and more recently, as an evaluator. Wesley is passionate about inspiring people to recognize and reach their potential. Wesley is intrigued by the intersection of the arts and sciences, and enjoys a really good slice of cheese and pepperoni pizza. As Research and Evaluation Coordinator, Wesley supports evaluation strategy, implementation, and impact across Urban Initiative’s programs.

  • Taryne Moore, Development Manager – Corporate Partnerships

    Born and raised in California, Taryne graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Sociology. Following graduation, she completed two years of national service as an AmeriCorps member and Team Leader with City Year Boston. She then worked as an Impact Manager leading teams of City Year AmeriCorps members serving in Boston Public Schools. Upon relocating to Chicago she worked with Mikva Challenge as a Special Projects Consultant. Taryne is so excited to join Urban Initiatives to help connect corporate partners with this important work as the Development Manager – Corporate Partnerships.

  • Kelli Manning, Program Manager – Continuum of Programming

    Originally from Racine, Wisconsin, also known as the city that brought the United States Danish Kringle, Kelli graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. When Kelli wasn’t playing volleyball, she participated in many social justice and community development events; events that shared her passion for walking with underrepresented people. After committing a year of service as an Americorps member for College Possible, a nonprofit that helps low-income, first generation college bound students get to and through college, she transitioned to Urban Initiatives, an organization that shares her love of sports and social justice. As a Program Manager, Kelli is excited to be a part of a program that breaks down barriers, develops healthy lifestyles, and builds cross cultural interactions. Kelli also likes to cook, dance and watch thriller movies.

  • Lauren Gaynor, Director of Institutional Partnerships

    Lauren graduated from Michigan State University with a double major in English and Professional Writing with a concentration in Communities and Cultures. Prior to Urban Initiatives, Lauren was a Development Associate for the DuSable Museum of African American History. At UI, Lauren oversees the management of institutional partnerships and outside of work, Lauren spends most of her time training for the Chicago Marathon and other upcoming races.

  • MaryGrace Pankratz, Development Coordinator

    MaryGrace was born and raised in Madison, WI. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Political Science and International Studies with a focus in international relations and global security. After graduating, MaryGrace worked for non-profits in the Madison area with strong dedication to education and community building. As Development Coordinator, MaryGrace works to support fundraising and engagement efforts at Urban Initiatives.

  • Rebecca Daaleman, Program Manager – Culture & Climate

    Rebecca grew up in New Jersey and graduated from University of Michigan with a B.A. in Psychology. Prior to her time at Urban Initiatives, she served as an AmeriCorps Member and a Team Leader at City Year Chicago.

  • KyJuan Hardin, Program Manager – Culture & Climate

    Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, KyJuan attended Kenwood Academy from 2010- 2013 and immediately begin working with youth sports programs after graduating. He believes that sports play an essential role in both physical and emotional development and knows sports has been a personal safe haven in his own life. He started with Urban Initiatives in 2016 and has continued his growth and development taking on multiple roles for the past four years. He is now excited for his new role as a leader for the Culture and Climate team.

  • Michelle Ramos, Program Manager – Culture & Climate

    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 five years and currently plays with the Will County Morrigans. Michelle started working with Urban Initiatives as a Facilitator and Assistant Coach.

  • Eugene Tsipris, Program Manager – Continuum

    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.

  • Chanelle McFarland, Program Manager – Continuum

    Chanelle has a B.A. 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. Going into her 4th school year with UI, she loves being apart of the school community and all the opportunities they provide for students.

  • Dani Berny, Program Manager – Continuum

    Dani graduated from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in May of 2016 with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, and she has worked in places such as nursing homes, mental health hospitals, summer camps and schools.  She currently serves in the Illinois National Guard as an Aviation Operations Specialist working with Blackhawk helicoptors.  Her passion for working with students is second only to her desire to pet every dog she sees on the street!

  • Dajuan King, Program Director- Continuum

    Dajuan was born and raised on Chicago’s West Side. He is an Alum of Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, and received his B.A in Social Work from Wartburg College in Iowa. For the past 6 years, Dajuan has dedicated his time to working with Chicago’s under served and under privileged youth. 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.

  • Arianna Bell, Program Manager – Continuum

    Arianna earned a B.S in Community Leadership & Civic Engagement from the Northern Illinois University. She attended Howe Elementary one of the many CPS schools we serve throughout the Chicagoland area. She owes many of her successes to her ability to access extracurricular activities at a young age.

School-Based Program Coordinators

  • Chris Espino, SBPC at Jahn

    Chris is passionate about sports and youth development and sees Urban Initiatives as an opportunity to give back to the community he grew up in. He enjoys grilling, watching sporting events, and rooting for all Chicago teams.

  • Ebony Stallworth, SBPC at Shields

    Ebony has a bachelors in Exercise Science from North Central College in Naperville, IL where she accomplished being a 4x All-American in shot put and a 6x national qualifier in throws. She recently finished her first masters’ program in Educational Leadership and is working on completing her second masters’ in Sports Administration. Both her masters degrees are from St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, FL. She’s an SBPC which requires an abundant amount of energy and she prides herself on brings lots of enthusiasm to the program. She strives for continual growth in her everyday life as well as networking with individuals that can build her knowledge on the road to success.

  • Daniel Lagunas, SBPC at Prieto

    Daniel was born in Chicago, Illinois then he moved to Arlington, Texas when he was 8. He graduated from Timberview Mansfield High School in 2011 and moved back to Chicago in 2014. Daniel worked a variety of jobs post-high school, including stints as a pool cleaner, and work in the warehouse, restaurant, factory, cleaning, medical and office industries. Daniel loves the work he does at UI where he gets to interact every day with kids and games, but he also has aspirations of becoming a professional computer geek someday. One day that aspiration will be realized! Until then he will continue to grow as a person and coach at the best sports-based youth development organization in the city and, not arguably, the world.

  • Brandy McMahan, SBPC at Lawndale

    Coach Brandy is a School-Based Program Coordinator at Lawndale where previously she was an Onsite Program Director.

  • Victor Ramirez, SBPC at Davis and Gunsaulus

    Victor was born in Chicago and grew up in Cicero. He would have loved to have had recess growing up and someone to be a role model during recess. Having always been drawn to art, he studied illustration at the American Academy of Art and received a Bachelors of Fine Art. He paints, draws, and sculpts and plans to be creating art lifelong.  He was never the star athlete, but he has always played sports and understands the power of play. His goal is to show kids that the new skills they acquire playing different games and sports will transcend the playground and help them in their path to adulthood. Victor has been married for close to five years, and his wife has been his unconditional support. He believes that having a family or at the very least a caring adult to support us in our lives can and will make all the difference in the lives of the kids we serve.

Program Coordinators & Associates

  • Will Ensign-Church, Program Coordinator

    Will graduated from Knox College in 2018. He has learned and grown as a soccer-playing individual/teammate since he was about 6 years old. Will hopes to make meaningful connections with students and to impart some of the knowledge he picked up playing, watching, and coaching soccer.

  • Moises Saucedo, Program Coordinator

    Moises is a family-oriented individual with a passion for helping youth and communities grow. He attended Benito Juarez high school while growing up around the southwest parts of Chicago. Moises is currently working on attending Richard D. Community College and is excited to be working for Urban Initiatives as a Program Associate!

  • Daniel Serna Geitz, Program Coordinator

    Daniel played soccer and water polo while studying Sociology at Carnegie Mellon University. After college he worked in Family and Community Engagement for Denver Public Schools, where his passion for school support and community outreach flourished. He is excited to bring his interests together to serve Chicago students and families!

  • Jackson Boleky, Program Coordinator

    Born and raised in the North Side Suburbs, Jackson graduated from Loyola Academy before getting a BA in Economics and International Nonprofit Management/Development from Tulane University. After working in New Orleans with multiple nonprofit organizations, He moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. He learned spanish, studied public health/politics, and worked with Argentinian youth while there. Upon relocating back to Chicago he worked in tech and for Catholic Charities. As a hockey player and a sailor Jackson loves physical activity and being outdoors. He is very happy to be back working in youth development with Urban Initiatives in his role as Program Coordinator.

  • Mia Jackson, Program Coordinator

    Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Miyah spent her first two years at Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga and later returned home to complete her B.A. in Sociology at Roosevelt University. There she was able to continue developing a strong passion for art, social justice, educational reform and activism. Being a first generation graduate only fueled Miyah’s passion to become more involved in her community.  She understands how important it is to bridge fun, equitable and quality opportunities for marginalized youth, and is a strong believer in community pride and support. More so, Miyah believes the biggest opportunity as leaders is the need to work on giving one another, especially our youth, spaces to develop personal autonomies in a safe and non- judgmental environment. 

Culture + Climate Staff

  • Lakita Chandler, Recess Coordinator at Brighton Park

    Hi, my name is Lakita Chandler. I am a mom of 3 intelligent, beautiful young ladies. My passion and joy for working with youth goes back to my childhood when I was always the teacher or mom. I’ve been a volunteer and cheer coach with CPS for 6 years. I am so excited to be apart of the UI team and continue to fulfill my passion of empowering our youth.

  • Bernie Hanson, Recess Coordinator at Ravenswood

    Bernie is the Recess Coordinator at Ravenswood.

  • Ruth Guerra, Resource Coordinator at King

    Ruth was born and raised in the Back of the Yards neighborhood and attended CPS growing up. She is experienced with alternative educational engagement through arts programming and has her BA in Applied Behavioral Sciences. Ruth grew up playing every kind of sport imaginable at recess and is excited to build relationships with her school community.

  • Amere Washington, Recess Coordinator at Tarkington

    Amere is the Recess Coordinator at Tarkington.

  • Tiffany Washington, Resource Coordinator at Spencer

    Tiffany Washington is an experienced people leader who’s passionate about growth and development. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois @ Champaign, and spent the last decade of her career building and leading high performance teams at Kaplan University. Tiffany is from the Austin neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago and is proud to be contributing to the community through her work as a Resource Coordinator at Spencer Elementary. 

  • Reggie Scruggs, Resource Coordinator at Doolittle

    Reggie graduated from Columbia College Chicago with degrees in Sports Magazine Journalism and Marketing. Following college he followed his love for youth development by serving two years with AmeriCorps with a focus in education and community outreach. Reggie brings experience teaching and facilitating youth programming in public and non-traditional settings. He is excited to share his love of sports, yoga and mental wellness as a Program Coordinator for the Continuum team.

  • Catrina Reynolds, Resource Coordinator at Barnard

    Catrina is the Resource Coordinator for the Community Schools Initiative program at Barnard.

  • Javon Wright, Recess Coordinator at Daley

    Javon is the Recess Coordinator at Daley Elementary.

Available Jobs

REC Coordinator

Application Deadline: July 24, 2019

The REC Coordinator (RC) position is dedicated to implementing recess that is safe, active and engaging at one school-based site. The RC works with recess support staff and administrators to organize recess that maximizes social and emotional learning and physical activity during recess. This is achieved at recess every day as well as through regular meetings with administrators and support staff to implement positive youth development strategies that continually improve recess (indoor and outdoor). Beyond Recess, the RC works with school administrators, deans, and culture and climate, and health and wellness teams to impact the social and emotional development of students 

  • Urban Initiatives & Culture & Climate Overview

    Urban Initiatives is dedicated to intentionally fostering a climate of purposeful inclusion in our workplace, and candidates of diverse backgrounds and identities are strongly encouraged to apply. Urban Initiatives is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. This is in accordance with federal and state law.
    Founded in 2003, Urban Initiatives is a nonprofit organization that runs youth development programs in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Urban Initiatives’ mission is to empower Chicago’s youth to become community leaders through academic success, healthy living, and social-emotional learning. We amplify the inherent power of sports and teamwork to unify diverse stakeholders and strengthen communities. Urban Initiatives takes a collaborative, whole child approach to development in order to provide children with ongoing opportunities to reach their full potential. Currently, Urban Initiatives serves 17,000 students throughout the City of Chicago.
    The Culture and Climate department oversees two programs: Play with Potential (PWP) and Community School’s Initiative (CSI). PWP is a structured recess program that maximizes the fun, physical activity, and learning opportunities of recess time. CSI is a federally funded program that utilizes a year-round approach to impacts youth, families, and the broader community with comprehensive supports in the out of school time (afterschool) space.

  • Responsibilities

    Oversee the day-to-day operation of Play with Potential at one partner school. This includes: support the recruitment of recess facilitator(s) and participate in biannual RF training sessions; attend week long training for school based staff, August 19-23, as well as, periodic training sessions during the year; lead conversations with UI staff, youth, families, coaches and external stakeholders; advocate for recess and student outcomes with school administration and community stakeholders; deliver feedback regularly to RF
    Program Evaluation:  Completion of annual implementation plan, ensure collection of pre- and post-year surveys from principals, teachers, and students
    Implement the UIC/UI supervisory manual (ie: weekly reflections and attend bi-weekly meetings with Program Manager) Additionally, the RC will: act as a role model, gaining the respect and trust of the community and youth served; attend monthly Professional Learning Community meetings (PLCs) with other school based staff members; attend the following Annual UI Fundraising Events: Soccer Ball and Work to Play Cup

  • Requirements & Qualifications

    ● Passion for Urban Initiatives’ mission
    ● Commitment to interrupting all forms of oppression in the workplace
    ● Committed to supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for youth
    ● Ability to build relationships and communicate effectively with a diverse set of stakeholders including other staff members, youth, coaches, families, partner organizations and funders through a variety of different mediums.
    ● At least two years experience working in the youth development field (experience in a supervisor role preferred)
    ● Superior communication skills, both spoken and written
    ● Strong presentation and group facilitation skills (demonstrated experience preferred)
    ● Quick learner and problem solver, experience in managing conflicts
    ● Strong time management, administrative, analytical, and organizational skills
    ● Self-directed while balancing multiple tasks within a team-based work environmen● Ability to be flexible and manage multiple priorities while maintaining high quality of work
    ● Demonstrated experience working with a diverse group of people, particularly those living in underserved neighborhoods
    ● Willingness to travel locally as needed
    ● Fingerprint Background Check (required in-house)
    ● CPR certification (training provided)
    ● Negative TB test (required)

  • Compensation Package

    ● Base salary of $21,000 (approximately $19.50 an hour, 30 hours a week) with a​$1,000 retention and performance bonus to be paid out on your last paycheck of the school year. Note that your first check may be prorated based on your start date.
    ● 36 hours (6 days) paid time off per year, with increases available for the number of years with Urban Initiatives (PTO may be prorated based on start date)
    ● Paid holidays (Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day)

How to Apply: Send a resume and cover letter to jobs@urbaninitiatives.org​ and include “REC Coordinator” in the subject line. Your application should include your email address, a copy of your resume, as well as a cover letter describing any related experience and an explanation as to why you think you would make a great REC Coordinator. Application deadline: July 24, 2019.

Where We Work


  • Barnard 10354 S Charles St

  • Barry 2828 N Kilbourn Ave

  • Bateman 4220 N Richmond St

  • Beethoven 25 W 47th St

  • Beidler 3151 W Walnut St

  • Brighton Park 3825 Washtenaw Ave
  • Christopher House 5235 W Belden Ave

  • Claremont 2300 W 64th St

  • Daley 5024 S Wolcott Ave

  • Davis 3014 W 39th Pl

  • Doolittle 535 E 35th St.

  • 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

  • Henry 4250 St Louis Ave

  • Howe 720 N Lorel Ave

  • Jackson 917 W 88th St

  • Jahn 3149 N Wolcott 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

  • Marquette 6550 S Richmond St

  • McNair 4820 W Walton St

  • Morton 431 N Troy St

  • Neil 8555 Michigan Ave
  • Nixon 2121 N Keeler Ave

  • Nobel 4127 W Hirsch St

  • North River 4416 N Troy St

  • National Teachers Academy 55 W Cermak Rd

  • Northwest Middle 5252 W Palmer St

  • Orozco 1940 W 18th St
  • Otis 525 N Armour St

  • Passages 1643 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
  • Pasteur 5825 S Kostner Ave

  • Piccolo 1040 N Keeler Ave

  • Powell 7511 S South Shore Dr

  • Prieto 2231 North Central Ave

  • Providence Englewood Charter 6515 S Ashland Ave

  • Ravenswood 4332 N Paulina St

  • Reavis 834 E 50th St

  • Sandoval 5534 S Saint Louis Ave

  • Schubert 2727 N Long Ave
  • Shields 2611 W. 48th St

  • Spencer 214 N Lavergne
  • Stevenson 8010 S Kostner Ave

  • Stone 6239 N Leavitt St
  • 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

  • Hermosa

  • Humboldt Park

  • Hyde Park

  • Irving Park

  • Kenwood

  • Lakeview

  • Logan Square

  • Lower West Side

  • McKinley Park

  • Near North Side

  • Near South Side

  • New City

  • North Center

  • North Lawndale

  • North Park

  • Rogers Park

  • Roseland

  • South Lawndale

  • South Shore

  • Uptown

  • West Elsdon

  • West Englewood

  • West Lawn

  • West Town


Board of Directors

    • Neil Hirshman, Board Chair, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
    • Sarah Naim, Board Vice Chair, Grainger
  • Solomon Barnett, Citadel Securities
  • Shawn Broadfield, Allstate Insurance Company
  • Pete Cherecwich, Northern Trust
  • Patrick Croke, Croke Fairchild Morgan & Beres
  • T.J. Dammrich, Mercer Oak LLC
  • Jim Dower, Urban Initiatives
  • Alaina Harkness, Current Innovation
  • Adolfo Hernandez, Pritzker Community Health
  • Ralf Hilpuesch, Storck USA
  • Adam Hitchcock, Sovereign Infrastructure Group
  • Eric Kyereme, Sika Capital
  • Michael Landers, Sodexo
  • David Mahoney, CBRE
  • Brian McBride, US Men’s National Team
  • Edwin McDonald, MD, University of Chicago Medicine
  • Dave McGranahan, Relative Value Partners
  • Michael McGrew, Constellation Brands
  • Jason Pritzker, The Pritzker Organization, LLC
  • Dawn Reese, Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education
  • Katy Reichert, Civic Leader
  • Karen Schweickart, CGC Law LLC
  • Stacy Stutz, Independent Consultant
  • Joe Taets, Archer Daniels Midland Company

Partners Board

  • Dario Bolanos, Northwestern Mutual
  • Annika Clutch, Storck USA
  • Molly Costich, J.P. Morgan
  • Annie Couyoumjian, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
  • Richard Douglas, Themis Bar Review
  • Mike Galibois, Reed Smith
  • David Grass, Wilson Dow Group
  • Sean Harness, Atkore International
  • Patty Hester, National Student Leadership Conference
  • Jaime Hitch, Quaker/Pepsico
  • Enrique I. Juarez, Grainger
  • Lee Lampley, Northern Trust
  • DeJuan Lever, Luxe Business Partners
  • Kathleen Strand, McDonalds
  • Jonathan Taylor, XR Trading

Associate Board

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

  • Coety Wyse, Competence Group, President
  • Harrison Freund, Avant, Vice-President
  • Libby Rice, Agency EA, Vice-President
  • Young Kwak, Citadel, President Emeritus
  • Ashley Dobbins, Spark Foundry, Vice President Emeritus
  • Greg Friend, Ampersand, Vice President Emeritus


  • Orlando Aguirre, CBRE
  • Benjamin Andrews, Heartland Alliance
  • Kevin Arrogante, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Nathan Asher, Health Strategy
  • Munzer Awad, Accenture
  • Andrew Bartush, Honeywell UOP
  • Michelle Baumann, Geometry
  • Ben Bayles, Allstate Investments
  • Kim Bird, Fit City Kids
  • Paola Blanca, PACO Collective
  • Dennis Bond, Grainger
  • Doug A. Bowen, BDT
  • Jack Buehler, Kinesso
  • Nicholette Cameron, UBS
  • Andrias Campbell, Fidelity Investments
  • Shreya Canakapalli, DiMeo, Schneider & Associates
  • Jeff Cassidy, McDermott Will & Emery
  • Nick Cauley, Northwestern University
  • Justin Cho, CIVC Partners
  • Benjamin Cohen, Lee & Associates of Illinois
  • Andrew Cole, Arthur J. Gallagher
  • Chris Dayal, Citadel
  • Keegan De Silva, Great Point Capital
  • Michelle Dear, Wind Point Partners
  • Brandon Deger, The Pritzker Organization
  • Shay Deverell, Citadel Securities
  • Caroline DeWeirdt, Mindshare
  • Brian Dobmeier, DoorDash
  • Joshua Dunn, Arcadis
  • Thomas Durr
  • Kevin Eisele, William Blair
  • Chris Ellison, Jump Trading
  • Jamie Ende, David A. Axelrod & Associates, P.C. 
  • Jeffrey Farina, University of Notre Dame
  • Holton Faust, Rush University Medical Center
  • Brian Flanagan, KPMG
  • Rachel Flanagan, Accenture
  • Dillon Flynn, JBS Energy Solutions
  • Larry Fogel, Sidley Austin
  • Nick Franz, Loyola University Chicago
  • Harrison Freund, Avant
  • Elise Goodman (O’Connor), MB Real Estate
  • Alex Gorniak, Proxima Group
  • Jeremy Guterl, Ketchum
  • Austin Haas, Sprout Social
  • Brian Hail, STATS 
  • Emily Han, PwC
  • Kyle Hannon, BlueNote AI
  • Daniella Hemsley, Madison Rose
  • Wilfrido Hernandez, William Blair
  • Emily Holmen, ActiveCampaign
  • William Holz, BP
  • Sam Hong, Perkins Coie LLP
  • Patrick Hopkins, Peak6
  • Liz Hoppe, Lurie Children’s Hospital
  • Lauren Horn, All Stars Project of Chicago
  • Katherine Hupp, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana
  • Erica Iantorno, Glassdoor
  • Marty Imber, Deloitte
  • Angelica Jalasco, Kirkland & Ellis
  • Mark Jaskolski, Glassdoor
  • Patrick Jones, Robert W. Baird & Co
  • Ashley Jordan, re:work training
  • Brett Joseph, Resolution Media
  • Ben Joslin, Northwestern University
  • Blake Kocian, Aronberg Goldgehn
  • Chris Laackman, Nielsen Catalina Solutions
  • Lauren LaVan, Morningstar
  • Bill Lawrence, Sidley Austin LLP
  • Carly Levick, Avant
  • Jordan Lewis, Daley Financial Partners
  • Sarah Lewis, Home Chef
  • Patrick Mahal, Antares Capital
  • Joe Mark, Spark Foundry
  • Rick Marquardt, PepsiCo
  • Ivette Marquez, DiMeo Schneider & Associates
  • Connor Martin, Huron Consulting
  • Kathy Matos, William Blair
  • Matt Matosian, Arbor Investments
  • Brian Mattoni, Priority Sports and Entertainment
  • Stephen McCormick, William Blair
  • Meghan McKeever, Robert Lurie Childrens Hospital
  • Joe McLean, Mutual of Omaha Mortgage
  • Brandon Medina, Wind Point Partners
  • Elise Marrinan, Qualtrics
  • David Mielcarek, Pepsico/Quaker
  • Bridget Mikols, Pentwater Capital Management
  • Preston Murphy 
  • Katie Nestle, Allstate
  • Hannah Nichols, Fidus Investment Advisors
  • Susan Nichols, William Blair
  • Erica Nied, Denimcratic
  • Austin Pagnotta, JP Morgan Chase
  • Mike Perconte, Fooda
  • Manny Peredo-Muniz, Accenture
  • Kellan Pierucci, TD Ameritrade
  • Carol Platt, Midwestern University
  • Christen Baillie Plotkin, UBS
  • Clara Purk, Accenture
  • Brian Quirke, NERA Economic Consulting
  • Michael Quirke, Accenture
  • Molly Quirke, Salesforce
  • Jose Ramos, Community Investment Corporation
  • John Reglin, US Soccer
  • Liz Reichter, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Patrick Reilly, Stadium
  • Steven Resnik, Northwestern Law and Kellogg School of Management
  • Libby Rice, agencyEA
  • A.J. Riddell, Levy Restaurants
  • Chris Ritter, Crafty
  • Erica Romero, Hedge Fund Research, Inc
  • Colleen Rooney, creative werks
  • Cliff Sakutukwa, CPA, Yale University
  • Shereen Sater, Conversant
  • Connor Sharples, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Lars Skattum, William Blair
  • Derek Skoog, PwC
  • Kyle Smith, SC Johnson
  • Annaka Stoeckel, Archer Daniels Midland Company
  • Kaitlin Straits, Glassdoor
  • Nicolette Sulaiman, Fiserv
  • Phil Terrazzino, TKK
  • Taylor Thorndyke, Grainger
  • Hannah Tzeghai, PepsiCo
  • Tyler VanGilder, PPM America
  • Phillip Wadle, Huron Consulting
  • Kate Walsh, TopBloc
  • Christopher Wang, Grainger
  • Chet White, Invenergy
  • Catie Wilber, Spark Foundry
  • Nicole Willens, Northwestern Medicine
  • Scott Whiting, William Blair
  • Lauren Wolf, Enova International
  • Coety Wyse, The Competence Group
  • Gini Yost, KPMG
  • Stacy Zabrin
  • Katie Zara, Lazard Middle Market

Student Board

  • Kate Abdo, Saint Ignatius College Prep
  • Ben Anderson, Hinsdale Central
  • Luke Anderson, Hinsdale Central
  • Chase Armstrong, New Trier High School
  • Frankie Baio, Loyola Academy
  • Athan Chiampas, Loyola Academy
  • Katia Chiampas, Loyola Academy
  • Caitlin Chiavola, Resurrection College Prep High School
  • Landon Douthit, New Trier High School
  • Rylin Douthit, New Trier High School
  • Natalie Duquette, North Shore Country Day School
  • Reighne Dyson, Whitney Young
  • Augie Gallun, North Shore Country Day School
  • Sophie Gerstman, New Trier High School
  • Alex Glueck, New Trier High School
  • Thor Graham, Latin School of Chicago
  • Isamu Handwerk, Lane Tech College Prep
  • Andrew Hoepfner, Loyola Academy
  • Matthew LeClercq, Loyola Academy
  • Makayla Meers, New Trier High School
  • Aidan Olson, Lane Tech
  • Sandra O’Malley, St. Ignatius College Prep
  • Daniel Rau, Lane Tech
  • John Sprenger, North Shore Country Day School
  • Will Terry, New Trier High School
  • Lauren Tiemann, St. Ignatius College Prep
  • Charlie Turner, Lane Tech
  • Sam Weber, New Trier High School
  • Graham Weiler, New Trier High School
  • Max Weldon, Jones College Prep
  • John Wilson, Loyola Academy
  • Alex Winslow, North Shore Country Day School
  • Grace Wolfe, New Trier High School
  • Teddy Woodman, New Trier High School

Advisory Board

  • Jen Axelrod, Chicago Community Trust
  • Megan Bartlett, WeCoach
  • Eddie Bustamante, UIC
  • Felicia Davis, Chicago Foundation for Women
  • Connie Falcone, Northwestern Memorial Foundation
  • ME Girgenti, Philanthropist
  • Alicia Gonzalez, Cubs Charities
  • Christian Gordon, Depaul University
  • Kate McAdams, Arabella Advisors
  • Nelson Padilla, Youth Development Worker
  • London Rakestraw, SCR Transportation
  • Nancy Sullivan, Illinois Ventures
  • Cedric Thurman, Federal Home Loan Bank
  • Jasmine Thurmond, King Academy of Social Justice
  • Lisa Wiersma, IMC Chicago Charitable Foundation


Sustaining Sponsors

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • Archer Daniels Midland Company
  • Baskin Family Foundation
  • Belvedere
  • Cubs Care, a fund of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  • Chicago Department of Family & Support Services
  • Crown Family Philanthropies
  • IMC
  • J.R. Albert Foundation
  • The Kraft Heinz Company
  • Lettuce Entertain You
  • Michael Lewis Company
  • Nike
  • Optiver
  • Orbitz
  • Orlebeke Foundation
  • Polk Foundation
  • Prince Charitable Trusts
  • Quest Foundation
  • Revel
  • Sodexo
  • Sprout Social
  • Storck USA, L.P.
  • Target Corporation
  • Union Pacific
  • United Way of Metropolitan Chicago

Champion Partners

Attorney’s Title Guaranty
Bessemer Family Trust
Solomon Barnett & Camila Salvisberg
Belvedere Trading
Sue & Jim Blomberg
BMO Harris Bank
Andy Campbell & Susan Rancourt
Cherecwich Family
Chicago Department of Family & Support Services
Cubs Care, a fund of the McCormick Foundation
Gallagher Family
Hirshman Family
Jalmar Foundation
McGranahan Family
Cece & Tom Ricketts
Storck USA, L.P.
Winslow Family


Soccer Ball Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

  • Allstate
  • Storck

All-Star Sponsors

  • Ampersand
  • Barnett, Hill & Twells Families
  • Belvedere
  • Boeing
  • CBRE + Rachel & Dave Mahoney
  • Clayco
  • Gallagher
  • Global Water Technology
  • Kirkland & Ellis Foundation + The Hirshman Family
  • IMC
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • National Student Leadership Conference + Themis Bar Review
  • Northern Trust
  • Optiver
  • Revel
  • Sprocket Sports
  • Tully Family
  • Uber

Paddle Raise Sponsor

  • William Blair

Goal Sponsors

  • Advocate Children’s Hospital
  • Ariel Investments
  • Nicole & Dave Berger
  • Blue Star Properties
  • Susan & Shawn Broadfield
  • Chicago Cubs Charities
  • Constellation Brands
  • Core Mechanical Inc. 
  • Courtesy Electric
  • Carolyn & TJ Dammrich
  • DFS Company
  • Ellen & Richard Douglas
  • Dower Family
  • Exelon
  • EY
  • Fox & Dammrich Families
  • Girgenti Family
  • Joe Kelly
  • Sara & Kip Kirkpatrick
  • Jackson National Life Insurance
  • JOS Services
  • Mawi Learning
  • Nitel
  • PPM America
  • The Pritzker Organization
  • Reed Smith LLP
  • Shook, Hardy & Bacon
  • Stacy & Rob Stutz
  • Wozencraft Family

Trophy Sponsors

  • Edward A. Anderson Company/Paul L. Armstrong
  • Bear Construction
  • Buehler Family
  • Carlin Group
  • Chicago Fire Protection
  • Eugenie, Ashley & Sam Hong
  • Paine Family Foundation Corporation
  • Quaker, a division of PepsiCo
  • Karen Schweickart
  • Will & Jennifer Tippet

In-Kind Sponsors

  • Beam Suntory
  • Constellation Brands
  • Hart Davis Hart
  • Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
  • Limelight
  • Optimus
  • The Revel Group
  • Sorry Studio
  • Sound Investment
  • Storck
  • Weird Life Films

Work to Play Cup Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

  • Target

Team Sponsors

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • Armour Family
  • Avant
  • Blitz Capital Group
  • Coffman Family 
  • Matt Colman, Sam Hong & Dan Lewis
  • Brian Crabb and Christine Cucinotta
  • Crimmins Family
  • Daley Financial Partners
  • Fortier Family
  • Friedli Family
  • Gallagher
  • GATX
  • Girgenti Family
  • Glew Family
  • Grainger
  • Hatch con Arepas
  • Hilpuesch Family
  • Hirshman Family
  • Hudson Family
  • IMC
  • Jackson 
  • Steve and Julie Kaiser
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • Sheila and Mike McGrew 
  • Mulaney-Gryzenia Family 
  • National Student Leadership Conference
  • Northern Trust
  • PPM America
  • Karen Schweickart
  • Storck, USA
  • Themis Bar Review
  • Tilson Family
  • The Urban Initiatives Partners Board
  • William Blair
  • Woodman Cison & Associates
  • Denise & Bill Wozencraft
  • 2018 Thanks-for-Giving Paddle Tournament

In Kind Sponsors

  • Aramark
  • Chicago Park District
  • Flood Brothers
  • Split 

Corporate Challenge Cup Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor


Team Sponsors

  • Accenture
  • Allstate
  • Bain
  • BDT & Company
  • BDT
  • Belvedere
  • Blitz Capital
  • Chicago Reach
  • Citadel Securities
  • Gallagher
  • GATX
  • Glassdoor
  • Grainger
  • Huron Consulting
  • IMC
  • Jump Trading
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • Limelight
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • Morningstar
  • Northern Trust
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Optiver
  • PwC
  • ReedSmith
  • Sidley Austin
  • Spencer Stuart
  • Storck
  • Taft Law
  • William Blair

In Kind Sponsors

  • Chicago Indoor Sports 
  • Constellation Brands
  • The French Pastry School
  • Limelight
  • RXBars
  • Starbucks

Financial Archive


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

87% of expenses directly support our programs.

For the fiscal year ending July 31, 2018, Urban Initiatives had:

  • Total income:  $4,504,868
  • Total program expenses: $3,831,434
  • Total fundraising expenses: $156,854
  • Total administrative expenses: $462,541
  • End of year net assets: $1,332,068