Increasing Family and Community Partnerships

Crain’s 2021 Notable Black Leaders and Executives

As she heads into her 3rd year with KIPP Chicago, we couldn’t be more thrilled for Jennifer Hodges’ well-deserved feature in Crain’s Chicago Business’ cohort of 71 notable Black Leaders and Executives. Check out her video feature to hear more about the early experiences that shaped her current purpose. As mentioned in the article, “Jennifer Hodges is responsible for the strategic direction and implementation of KIPP Chicago’s Whole Child Initiative. During the pandemic, she led food distribution efforts and also coordinated with the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide free and immediate access to vaccine clinics for Englewood and Austin residents. In recent months, KIPP implemented the 1619 Project into the curriculum of middle schools to help reframe how history is taught and to share the contributions of Black people to U.S. and global societies. Another initiative featured 18 weeks of content aligned to topics that parents said were critical to their families’ success, such as nutrition education, financial literacy, mental health and assisting formerly incarcerated people.”


Milton Rodriguez, Featured Speaker

The Association of Fundraising Professionals: Chicago Latinx Affinity Group celebrated their last gathering of 2021 with a featured talk with KIPP Chicago’s Milton Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Growth Strategy & Development. Group members heard Milton speak about his career journey and lessons learned along the way.


Danny Trevathan Brings Holiday Joy

Chicago Bears linebacker, Danny Trevathan, generously offered a donation so that some of our KIPP families would be able to shop for holiday presents. KIPPsters were presented with Target gift cards on the last day of school before winter break and their smiles say it all! Thank you, Danny and Chicago Bears!


Gratitude toward Bloc and Cruelty Free You + Me

Thank you so much to The Bloc and Cruelty Free You + Me for generously donating clothing and winter items to our students and families. Both of these organizations were founded by former KIPP teachers and we are so happy to continue our partnerships together!

The Bloc (co-founded by former KIPP Academy Chicago teacher, Juli Cannon) spreads the love of boxing to provide resources and opportunities to Chicago’s communities. The Bloc offers a no-cost, enriching opportunity, connecting boxers to mentors, engaging them in academic services, and expanding their horizons with college trips and explorational learning. Since 2016, The Bloc has maintained 100% high school graduation and college acceptance rates. Fighters’ average GPAs have been over 3.2 every year. Youth who come to The Bloc to learn to fight, ultimately learn how to fight for their success.

Cruelty Free You + Me (founded by former KIPP One Primary teacher, Victoria Hauptman) strives to build a cruelty-free future in the Chicagoland area by making plant-based options accessible in under-resourced communities, advocating animal rights and vegan lifestyles through outreach and education, and strengthening awareness and support for animal sanctuaries.

CFY+M is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago that started in early 2020 as a cruelty-free club for vegans, activists, and those curious. Founder, Vick Hauptman, who has been both vegan and a teacher for over eleven years, wanted to merge her passions to build a community that focuses on education and partnership to lead a more compassionate world.


Penn Foster Expansion

Starting February 7th, a cohort of 20 KIPP Chicago parents will participate in a virtual program, in partnership with Penn Foster, to complete their high school diplomas. One KIPP Chicago staff member will act as a liaison for each campus to ensure all needs are being met to facilitate this partnership. Thank you to Bryan Warner, Carla Crespo, and Tiffany Sommerio for your dedication to seeing that this opportunity for our students’ families can happen!


Stedman Graham’s Identity Learning Program

On November 18th, Stedman Graham led a group of KIPP Ascend Primary parents through a virtual introduction to his program, Parent Identity Learning. Parents have shared their excitement for this program:

“I exited the school that evening with a new found motivation. I now have a grander purpose that is centered with myself in mind. I no longer feel selfish because I now know that I have the tools to truly be a great leader…by way of knowing who I am as a person and being able to keep from allowing others to define who I am. As he puts it early on in the book, true leaders are looking to make a difference and to fulfill their mission in life.’”

“It was really a transformative experience. I could feel the positive energy in the air. We all left the library at Ascend a little lighter despite the burdens we carried before participating in the pilot Identity Learning program. Thank you for the book, autograph, and conversation.”

“I learned information that I didn’t know and it made me look at many things differently and helped me to understand the positive decisions and changes that I’ve made in my life.”

We are looking forward to partnering with Mr. Graham to launch his new parent curriculum, Parent Identity Learning, across all campuses. The Identity Learning program is driven by the proprietary Nine-Step Success Process™, based on the philosophy that individuals hold the power to their educational, career, and personal success or failure. The goal of the curriculum is to help people self-actualize their own potential. “I get to help people and turn them into identity leaders. They are able to understand authenticity, how to create a vision for themselves, how to build a plan and a dream team for themselves, and make up a lot of their own rules.”