Recognition Programs

The Al G. Ward Spirit of Giving Award recognizes an individual (or, occasionally, a group of people) from one of our schools or community partners who has: consistently gone beyond expectations to positively impact CPS students through a commitment to creative partnership; and has 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 2017 Spirit of Giving Award was presented to Between Friends, a Chicago leader in programming that helps young people to engage in healthy dating relationships and stop partner abuse. Between Friends has been a CIS of Chicago community partner for 20 years, and its high-quality, evidence-informed programs for students in grades 7-12 has impacted some 15,000 children attending schools in our network. National studies show that as many as 30 percent of teenage girls report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. More than a quarter of all CIS of Chicago school partners made addressing this issue a priority this academic year.

The Tenacity Awards recognizes 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 23 students with a Tenacity Award, which includes cash awards compiled from donations by current and former staff members.

The 2017 Tenacity Awards were presented to eight students:
Aaliya, Chavez Elementary School
Brianna, Dirksen Elementary School
Michael, Dyett High School
Diamond, Gage Park High School
Christian, Elementary School
Aaliyah, Hope College Prep
Gevaris, Rowe Elementary School
Donte, Westcott Elementary School