HEI is honored to feature Hope Chicago in our next client spotlight! Founded by entrepreneur & philanthropist Pete Kadens in 2021, Hope Chicago is the second iteration of Kaden’s HOPE scholarship programs, also known as “Helping Our Population Educate.” Inspired by the positive impact of “promise” scholarships around the country, Hope Chicago was founded to improve educational outcomes for underserved graduates of selected Chicago high schools by offering last-dollar scholarships to cover the cost of postsecondary attendance. The scholarships cover 100% of tuition, room and board, books and fees, as well as an annual stipend for students. In addition to funding, the program also provides wraparound services for the student scholars such as advising, mentoring, and internship placements.
Hope Chicago differs from other promise programs in two significant ways: the program also covers tuition expenses for one family member of each student and there is no minimum GPA requirement. Having both a student and family member enrolled simultaneously allows them to motivate and support each other and is another way of increasing the likelihood of a student graduating with a postsecondary credential. According to Hope Chicago, “Addressing intergenerational inequities requires multigenerational action.” In this way, Hope Chicago seeks not only to impact scholars and their families, but also their schools, neighborhoods, and Chicago at large.
Additionally, Hope Chicago has the exciting distinction of having as its founding CEO, Janice Jackson, a former CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Upon joining Hope Chicago in 2021, Jackson shared:
HOPE Chicago has a bold vision and an ambitious goal…With the help of the community, civic and business leaders, we have the opportunity to redefine the education landscape in our city.
HEI has partnered with HOPE Chicago to create and implement an evaluation that will provide insights into program progress and the experiences of its beneficiaries. With the first cohort of Hope Scholars selected in summer 2022 and starting their postsecondary pathways this fall, we will be excited to learn and grow with this innovative new program in the years ahead!
To find out more about Hope Chicago, click here.