Recognition Programs

The Al G. Ward Spirit of Giving Award recognizes both a community partner and a school partner who have consistently gone beyond expectations to positively impact Chicago public-school students through a commitment to creative partnership and who have carried out this work largely under the radar, doing it day in and day out simply because it’s the right thing to do. It honors Alfred G. Ward, a founding board director who spent 15 years enriching our organization.

The 2019 Spirit of Giving Awards were presented to:

The Respiratory Health Association, an organization dedicated to preventing lung disease, promoting clean air, and helping people live better through education, research, and policy change. For more than 20 years, RHA has collaborated with our organization to support students, schools, and families in the fight against asthma. Rates of asthma, a leading cause of student absenteeism, are high in many Chicago communities, so having a trusted partner like RHA to connect to our school network is essential.

Ms. Mary Terhune, a guidance counselor at Turner-Drew Elementary School on the far South Side. Ms. Terhune has been dedicated for years to working with CIS of Chicago and our community partners to help empower students to succeed in school and life.

Hear from one of the 2018 Spirit of Giving award winners, Ms. Ylonda Ware.

The Carnahan Family Tenacity Awards recognize hard-working students who have overcome educational threats – academic stumbles, low attendance, poor behavior, or tremendous personal challenges – which could have derailed their grade completion or graduation. With support from CIS of Chicago’s Intensive Program, these students persevered to work through challenges and improve their school performance. Since 2014, CIS of Chicago has presented 53 students with a Tenacity Award, which includes cash awards compiled from donations by current and former staff members.

The 2019 Tenacity Awards were presented to 20 students:

Braulio, Cárdenas Elementary School
De'Avian, Michele Clark Academic Preparatory Magnet High School
Alexis, Clay Elementary School
Salvador, Cesar E. Chávez Multicultural Academic Center
Edward, James R. Doolittle, Jr. Elementary School
Mercedes, Foreman College and Career Academy
Nayla, George Washington High School
Uriel, Hayt Elementary School
Valeria, Marsh Elementary School
Liberty, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy of Social Justice
Israa, Stephen Tyng Mather High School
Berlyne, Rowe Elementary School
Ranesha, Mireles Elementary Academy
Gilberto, Phoenix Military Career Academy
Fabiola, Rowe Elementary School
Angelina, Pilsen Community Academy
Jaden, Randolph Magnet School
Roselyn, Saucedo Scholastic Elementary Academy
Esequiel, Vaughn Occupational High School
Macail, Webster Elementary School
Montrell, Westcott Elementary School