As part of the Every Child in School, Every Day school outreach project, Chase Bank volunteers partnered with our Law Project to host a holiday party for students from Chicago’s Prosser and Tilden high schools.
Eighteen students who work with homeless liaisons at Tilden and Prosser enjoyed Lou Malnati’s pizza on the 56th floor of Chase Tower, followed by an outing to see the Broadway in Chicago musical, Newsies.
Fifteen Chase employees and seven CCH staffers served and ate lunch with the students and teachers. Rich conversation and an impressive view of the city skyline made it a festive and enjoyable celebration for all those attending.
The party is among many events hosted throughout the year for the Law Project initiative, Every Child in School, Every Day. Supported by generous grants from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the outreach project encourages school enrollment for homeless and at-risk teenagers in Chicago. Half of the Law Project’s caseload is on behalf of homeless students seeking access to school and school services in metropolitan Chicago.
“Once again, we had an excellent holiday celebration! I’m sure it was a wonderful experience for the students and it was a wonderful experience for the Chase volunteers as well,” said Sharlita Davis. A CCH Board member, Ms. Davis chairs the school outreach project at Chase, where she is assistant vice president and contract officer for the IP & Technology Law Group.
“It was nice how many different groups came to do something as simple as spend time together,” said Nicholas Ravelingeen, a Chase volunteer who works in Commerce Solutions. “Hopefully this time can lead to developing lasting relationships.”
The students received $25 holiday gift cards in recognition of their academic and extracurricular efforts. Students from Prosser were selected by Patricia Scott, the registrar and homeless school liaison whose work is depicted in a new documentary, The Homestretch.
Tilden’s group was led by Michael Finney, director of after school programming. He also sponsors Tilden TV & Radio Club, which works with CCH organizers to advocate with public officials on behalf of homeless students.
“On behalf of the students, I want to thank Chase and CCH for inviting us,” Mr. Finney said. “The day has been great for the students. It is exciting to come downtown and get a taste of the business world.”
After lunch, students walked to the Oriental Theatre to see the Newsies matinee. On the way to the show, Tilden freshman Jezikiah Jackson said he was “very excited, because this is the first musical I have ever attended.”
Newsies portrays the newsboys who organized for fair wages in 1890s New York City. The hit musical is full of energy and themes still relevant today.
“It was really fun,” said Prosser sophomore Jonathan Ivy, “but also a story that I did not know much about, so I learned something too.”
Among those attending was the Chicago Public Schools’ Jennifer Fabbrini, who serves as resource and training coordinator for the Students in Temporary Living Situations program.
– Ali Heinen, Law Project Case Intake Coordinator
– Photos by Laura Watanabe of Bulb Photography