We are thrilled to announce the finalists for A Better Chicago’s 2015 Venture Fund. Through this fund, A Better Chicago makes seed investments in promising, early stage nonprofits and in national organizations expanding to Chicago for the first time. We look for passionate, capable leaders and models that have the potential to dramatically improve student outcomes and achieve significant scale in Chicago.
We received 53 applications for the Venture Fund. A Better Chicago’s leadership council and staff conducted a careful review to assess each candidate's program model, leadership and scale potential. Six finalists were chosen to move forward to the next round of the selection process.
The finalists will submit business plans and pitch their programs to A Better Chicago’s staff and leadership council in October. Finalists are competing for spots in A Better Chicago's portfolio, where they will receive two years of unrestricted funding and customized management support.
The 2015 Venture Fund finalists are:
America Needs You
The mission of America Needs You is to improve economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students. Participants engage in the two year program during their sophomore and junior years of college. The program provides students with career development workshops, access to internships, professional development grants, and an individual mentor.
Website: America Needs You
College Possible’s mission is to make college admission and success possible for low-income students through coaching and support. Students enter the program in 11th grade and remain engaged throughout college. College Possible coaches provide students with academic support, college application assistance, financial aid consulting, college transition guidance, and support toward college degree completion.
Website: College Possible
Foundations College Prep
Foundations College Prep’s mission is to empower youth to thrive in college and life by giving them access to innovative educators who teach them to think critically, live with honor, and strive for a better self and world. Foundations College Prep is a public school serving grades 6-12 in Chicago’s Roseland community.
Website: Foundations College Prep
iMentor’s mission is to build meaningful mentor relationships that empower low-income students to graduate from high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions. iMentor pairs students with college-educated mentors who help them develop college aspirations, navigate the college application process, and build the skills necessary to succeed in college.
ReGeneration Schools’ mission is to prepare all students to enter and succeed in college through effort, achievement and the content of their character. ReGeneration Schools accomplishes this mission by turning around struggling charter schools. It provides the tools and support necessary for all students to excel in reading, writing, math, science and history while consistently exemplifying the virtues of respect, integrity, diligence, responsibility, compassion and perseverance.
Website: ReGeneration Schools
Strive for College
Strive for College’s mission is to remove barriers to college access by delivering free, one-on-one college guidance to qualified, low-income students. It provides this guidance through a virtual mentoring program, which offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers the entire college admissions and financial aid application process.
Website: Strive for College
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