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Chicago Innovation Award Winner

Chicago HOPES for Kids

Winner in: 2020
Winning Product: Virtual Academic Support for Students Experiencing Homelessness
Winner Category: Neighborhood Award
Industry: Non-Profit

Winner of 2020 Wintrust Chicago Neighborhood Award, Chicago HOPES for Kids is the only organization in Chicago providing direct, in-shelter academic services to students experiencing homelessness. These students fall on average 1-2 grade levels behind their housed peers, contributing to lower high school graduation rates and a lifelong lack of opportunities. This population of students has been particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis because they regularly lack access to the internet, computers, and other resources vital to remote learning. In partnership with the Reva & David Logan Foundation, Chicago HOPES for Kids distributed WiFi hotspots, tablets, and ChromeBook laptops,as well as virtual academic programming to families living in homeless shelters across the city during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. As students transition to remote learning this fall, we are continuing to provide virtual resources and socially-distanced in-person programs to ensure students remain on track and encouraged while they are unable to attend school. By providing targeted support for one of the most vulnerable populations of students in Chicago, we are helping prevent them from falling further behind, providing access to greater future opportunity, and closing the digital divide.

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