Something Every Chicago Student Has Within Them

Community. It’s something that’s integral to a young person’s healthy growth and development. Having a sense of community means that our young people have a safe place to turn to when things get tough. It means they have a place to grow and make friends, a place to celebrate their wins in life, a place to share their concerns. Community means they have some place – and someone – that supports their unlimited potential and empowers them to succeed.

This is the essential role that Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chicago plays in students’ lives. CIS of Chicago surrounds our city’s young people with a community of support so they can achieve in school and life. Together with parents, teachers, and our dedicated community partners, we propel students along the K-12 path to graduation so they can become the next leaders in our community.

Our success as an organization is connected to our students’ success. When they succeed, our whole city succeeds. When they reach their potential, the future is bright.

Letter To Our Supporters

During the 2022-23 school year, CIS of Chicago supported almost 70,000 students on their path to graduation.

Intensive Program

Our Intensive Program embeds a master’s-level professional, or Student Supports Manager, in elementary schools and high schools across the city to provide supportive guidance, goal-setting, and other tailored interventions to students who are off-track in their attendance, behavior, or grades.

Meet Adamaris

Adamaris is a bright and thoughtful student. She enjoys doing hair and makeup, going to the park, and expressing herself through writing. Last year, though, Adamaris was withdrawn. She didn’t participate in class, frequently missed school assignments, and didn’t feel like she had any friends. After developing a strong relationship with her CIS Student Supports Manager Ms. Bajzek, Adamaris built her self-confidence and her academic motivation.
With Ms. Bajzek’s support, Adamaris significantly improved her attendance and her relationship with her peers. “For some people, their house is not their home. For some [people], school can be their home,” Adamaris said. “Having someone like Ms. Bajzek can make school a home for a lot of students, and it’s important to have somewhere that feels like that.”
Adamaris receives a 2023 Tenacity Award
Jaylen and Stephanie

Meet Jaylin

When Jaylin began his high school career on the Northwest Side, he started out strong. But during the second semester of his freshman year, the pandemic hit, and Jaylin faced challenges at home that caused him to lose his focus and his motivation. He disconnected from remote classes and eventually failed two semesters. After Jaylin began weekly meetings with Ms. Estrada, his CIS Student Supports Manager, he learned coping skills and other strategies to deal with stress and regain focus.
Jaylin became engaged in school again and steadily improved his attendance. Jaylin ended his senior year actively engaged in his classwork and in his school’s theater program. “In a time where I was unmotivated, felt isolated, and alone, Ms. Estrada taught me that I can trust others and that I can trust myself,” Jaylin said. “Having her around to listen to me, encourage me, and teach me new skills helped me to become a better and healthier person. I know that I can do great things in the future and I can follow my dreams.”

Partnership Program

The Partnership Program connects the supports of a deep network of community partners to our CIS school partners (more than a third of all Chicago public schools).

In the Words of Our School and Community Partners

"CIS of Chicago has afforded our scholars numerous ways to use the City of Chicago as a classroom, to employ conflict resolution skills, enrich their talents and skills, and nurture their engagement in school."

 – Principal Tamara Davis, Herzl Elementary

"CIS connected our school to many enriching programs that our students would not have had the opportunity to have normally be involved in."

– Principal Tori Williams, Parkside Community Academy

"Our organization is extremely proud to partner with CIS and you inspire us to do the work that we do. We are empowered to reach our youth and communities through the efforts of CIS."

 – Chicago Chess Foundation

Meeting the Moment

In any year, graduating from high school is cause for celebration. But for the Class of 2023 it merits a standing ovation. That’s because these graduates were also the Class of Covid. Hard to believe, but when the virus emerged in early 2020, they were just freshmen. By mid-March of that year, school buildings in Chicago closed as a public health precaution and remained closed until April 2021, the end of their sophomore year.

Throughout their time navigating school closures, remote learning, and the return to in-person learning, our team at CIS of Chicago was there every step of the way to provide unwavering help. We responded to the changing needs of young people, their families, and their school communities.

By The Numbers (2022-23)


students benefited from connected programs and services


students and families received essential needs items like school supplies, hygiene products, and direct cash assistance


programs and services were connected to students


school partners


community partners


Intensive Program sites


case-managed students

0 %

of case-managed students graduated or were promoted

< 0 %

of case-managed students dropped out

Fiscal Year 2023 Revenue was $11.1 million

Government and Schools
Special Events
Interest and Investments

Recognizing Our Students and Partners

CIS of Chicago celebrates young people and the caring adults in their lives with two annual awards: the Spirit of Giving Award and the Carnahan Family Tenacity Awards.

"At the Vivo Foundation, we envision a world where young people of every race, ethnicity, belief system, and socioeconomic status thrive and are inspired to learn, grow, and contribute to society. We are inspired by the work of Communities In Schools of Chicago because they serve a crucial role in providing access to high-impact resources in important areas such as experiential learning, family supports, and health and wellness."

Mara Botman, Executive Director, Vivo Foundation

Investors in Our Work

During the 2022-23 school year, CIS supporters remained committed to building brighter futures for Chicago’s young people. They visited schools across the city to see CIS’ work in action and meet with students. They hosted young people at their corporate offices and helped them explore their career options. They made sure that young people had the materials – and the encouragement – they needed to stay in school through supply drives and personalized notes cheering our students on. They stayed informed about current issues affecting our schools and our city in quarterly investor calls and our Annual Event.

Most importantly, they reinforced the value of our mission and vision in their own networks. Because of our supporters, our CIS team was able to continue providing support to tens of thousands of young people. 

Leaders in Learning Donors (2022-23)

Board of Directors (2022-23)

CIS of Chicago’s Board of Directors works directly with our leadership team to ensure that the organization cements its position as the leading nonprofit empowering the city’s young people to graduate, prepared for continued success. We share our gratitude to the following board members for their service during the 2022-23 school year.

Mark Brady (Board Chairman) Managing Director, Investment Banking William Blair & Company, LLC
Jim Welch (Board Vice Chair) Co-CEO Nexgen Packaging LLC
Michelle Brown (Board Treasurer) Senior Vice President of Operations and Customer Excellence Encore
Brian Moncrief (Board Secretary) Managing Director, Credit Group Ares Management Corporation
Dr. Sherron J. Bibbie Retired Principal Chicago Public Schools
Don Bielinski Managing Partner SMB Interim Management LLC
Craig A. Bondy Senior Advisor GTCR
Lan Nguyen Chaplin, Ph.D. Professor, Medill School Northwestern University
Janel Daley Vice President, Business Development Protera
Miranda Davis Director of Social Services Ascension
Jonathan Guryan Lawyer Taylor Professor of Education and Social Policy Northwestern University
Ryan D. Harris Partner Kirkland & Ellis LLP
John M. Hawn Retired – Former Director of Operations YUM! Brands, Inc.
Torrence L. Hinton President Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas
Ralph Leslie EVP, CFO, & COO The Pew Charitable Trusts
Bradley H. Meyers Managing Director GCM Grosvenor
Jim Parsons Retired President The Brinson Foundation
Valli Perera Retired Partner Deloitte
David Schuppan Senior Partner Vistria Group

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