Foundation Announcements for the First Quarter

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Q&A with Eva Giglio, CME Group Foundation Executive Director, and Jadine Chou, Chief Safety & Security Officer, Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) recently launched a pioneering effort to reengage youth who are disconnected from school. As part of the initiative, Urban Labs conducted research which shows that an overwhelming majority of shooting victims have one thing in common: they are not currently enrolled in school.

To learn more about this partnership and what it aims to accomplish, CME Group Foundation’s Executive Director, Eva Giglio, spoke with CPS’ Chief Safety & Security Officer, Jadine Chou.

At CPS, we partnered with the University of Chicago Urban Labs to understand what the research is telling us about gun violence victims in Chicago. The research from Urban Labs found that 10% of all the city's shooting victims in Chicago are under the age of 18...what this program says is, 'You're still our kids and we still care about you.'

Jadine Chou
Chief Safety & Security Officer, Chicago Public Schools


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Chicago Takes the Plunge to Support Special Olympics

CME Group Foundation proudly sponsored this year’s Chicago Polar Plunge, benefiting Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children’s Charities. On March 6, teams took the “plunge” at Chicago’s North Avenue Beach, and virtually, to support athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Chicago. Special Children’s Charities is the fundraising arm of Special Olympics Chicago, whose mission is to foster and encourage mental health improvement for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and closely related developmental disabilities.

The first International Special Olympics Games were held on July 20, 1968 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Today, Special Olympics Chicago athletes compete in 17 sports, in 23 Chicago Park District locations, and through 150 Chicago Public Schools.

Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children’s Charities is so grateful to the CME Group Foundation for their support of this year’s Chicago Polar Plunge. It is through the generosity of organizations such as CME Group that we are able to provide programming and activities for thousands of athletes in the city of Chicago.

Mary Slowik
Executive Director, SOC/SCC


Learn more about the plunge at chicagopolarplunge.org.



Hope Chicago Commits $1 Billion to Send 4,000 CPS Students and Their Parents to College for Free

Hope Chicago, an innovative new college scholarship program, has committed to investing $1 billion in scholarships over the next decade – in February, Hope Chicago announced to 4,000 students at five partner Chicago high schools that they and their parents are receiving full, debt-free college scholarships to partner colleges and universities. The five schools are: Juárez Community Academy, Farragut Community Academy, Morgan Park High School, Al Raby School for Community and Environment, and Noble Johnson College Prep.

Hope Chicago operates a transformative multi-generation scholarship model that seeks to redefine the education landscape in Chicago, led by former CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson. "I know from experience the promise of Chicago's public school students, as well as what limits the ability of those in under-resourced neighborhoods to go to college and eventually build great careers, start businesses, add to the city's economic vitality and contribute to the growth, stability and safety of their communities," says Dr. Jackson. "The city and all of us who live and work here are missing out on so much potential when these students are unable to get the education they want because they do not have the financial resources and support networks they need to make their dreams come true. Now, with Hope Chicago, they do."

Hope Chicago scholarships do not have GPA requirements and are comprehensive, paying for all of college, not just tuition or traditional dormitory life. As importantly, Hope Scholars (students enrolled in a Hope Chicago program) will receive extra support before they start college with mentoring and counseling starting in high school and then, once in college, "wraparound" support that includes non-tuition costs such as books, food and housing. Each of the five partner high schools will receive a fulltime Student Success Coach for helping their students prepare for graduation, which CME Group Foundation is supporting.

Hope Chicago presents a first-of-its-kind multigenerational approach to help lift entire families out of poverty. While students who graduate college build their own economic security over time, parents who graduate or complete other post-secondary educational opportunities build more immediate pathways to better jobs, higher incomes and overall enhanced quality of life for their families and communities.



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CSEd Week 2021: Highlights from CME Group Foundation Computer Science Grantees

In December, CME Group Foundation grantees in Computer Science took part in CSEd Week, an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity in the field and champion the contributions of students, teachers and partners.

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Black History Month: How Foundation Grantees Celebrated This Year

Organizations all across Chicago honored and celebrated Black History Month during February. From the roundtable on "Navigating as Black Faces in White Places and High Places" to literacy table pop ups with featured Black authors, the work of three grantees of CME Group Foundation is highlighted here.

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CME Group Foundation Celebrates Women in Science for Women’s History Month

Gladys Toledo-Rodriguez is an ambitious, goal-oriented senior at Illinois Institute of Technology where she majors in Computer Science. She is also a CME Group Foundation Scholar, a group of students who identify as Black or Latinx who are studying fields like Computer Science, finance, and more who receive up to $20,000 per year in scholarship dollars for college from the CME Group Foundation. Gladys has roots in Chicago – she grew up here and graduated from Lane Tech College Prep.

When she’s not in classes, Gladys is a Teaching Assistant for Intro to Computer Science, Object-Oriented Programming, Data Structures and Algorithms, and Interprofessional Projects. She also leads the Association for Computing Machinery Women and the Google Developer Student Clubs.

In these photos, she is speaking to high school students at Intrinsic High School in Chicago, who are mentored by CME Group women employees in finance and technology, about pursuing a degree in Computer Science.

“I’m involved in organizations outside of just my classwork because it lets me be part of supportive communities. As a woman in computer science, I might have only one other female in the class. Being part of organizations lets me meet people who believe in my abilities and lets me meet more women who are also pursuing the same degree as me.”

When she graduates this fall, Gladys is looking to enter the field of software engineering. Better make room, Chicago- we can’t wait to see what Gladys does next.

After I graduate, I’m most excited about using my skills to make an impact on the world, no matter how small. I dream to help develop an application that can help people.

Gladys Toledo-Rodriguez
Senior Class, Illinois Institute of Technology


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