Despite a rainy day, 22 JPMorgan Chase volunteers and CCH staff turned out for community outreach to needy students in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.
Our Chase-supported signature project, Every Child in School, Every Day, mobilizes volunteers and law students to distribute informational materials at the 27 schools based in the West Side Austin community. On May 31, volunteers distributed hundreds of pieces explaining educational rights of homeless children and school fee waivers at Ellington Elementary, 243 N. Parkside Ave., and the three schools housed at the Austin High School Multiplex Campus, 231 N. Pine Ave.
Three students encountered by the team were struggling to pay school fees and unaware of their options. Volunteers also met with the homeless liaisons working in the schools.
Tabatha Koylass, new director of the Students in Temporary Living Situations (“STLS”) program for the Chicago Public Schools, briefly addressed the group during its pre-outreach lunch. She voiced appreciation for the CCH Law Project and the work done by the Every Child in School initiative.
“I’m still feeling new at this job but learning so much from the CCH staff and very thankful for what you are all doing for the benefit of the children,” Ms. Koylass said.
“Often we feel helpless as individuals to address the painful problem of homelessness, but this project allows our employees…to make a real difference in the lives of homeless families,” said attorney Mary Ann O’Connor, chair of the Chase Pro Bono Committee. “With our outreach to homeless families, we can make sure they know the benefits available by law to them, and work with schools to obtain those benefits. It is a way we can contribute to our own community and to invest in the future of these children and youth.”
The initiative is chaired by CCH Board member Sharlita Davis, the assistant vice president and contract officer in the IP & Technology Law Group for Chase.
– Article by Chase intern Claire Lombardo, with photos by Shruti Sharma