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 2018 Spirit of Giving Awards were presented to:

The Chicago Women’s Health Center, an organization dedicated to facilitating the empowerment of women and trans people by providing access to health care and health education in a respectful environment where people pay what they can afford. CWHC is one of the longest-running partners in CIS’ community partnership network, returning to schools year after year and working closely with those schools to develop programming that fits the unique needs of students.

Ms. Ylonda Ware, school counselor at CIS of Chicago site coordinator at Charles R. Henderson Elementary School in the West Englewood neighborhood. Ms. Ware sees CIS of Chicago community partnerships as integral to her work at the school, which has recently lost students and graduates to gun violence. Ms. Ware has prioritized connecting violence prevention and relationship-building services for her students, including the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The 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 33 students with a Tenacity Award, which includes cash awards compiled from donations by current and former staff members.

The 2018 Tenacity Awards were presented to 10 students:
Jazmen, Michele Clark Academic Preparatory Magnet High School
Isamari, Cesar E. Chávez Multicultural Academic Center
Victor, James R Doolittle Jr Elementary School
Gabriela, Foreman College and Career Academy
Danielle, George Washington High School
Zahriyah, Hayt Elementary School
Darreon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy of Social Justice
Jonathan, Stephen Tyng Mather High School
Berlyne, Rowe Elementary School
Takayla, Westcott Elementary School