Honoring Our Partners

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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.