Inspired by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, the Big Shoulders Fund was founded by a group of business and civic leaders in 1986 to provide support to Catholic schools in the neediest areas of inner-city Chicago.  For more than twenty-eight years, the Big Shoulders Fund has helped Chicago’s children in need achieve their dreams through access to a quality, values-based education. We accomplish this by investing more than $20 million annually inscholarship support and academic enrichment for students, operational improvements for schools, leadership development programs for the next generation of school leaders, and academic programs and professional development for teachers. Big Shoulders is unique in that administrative expenses are supported by an endowment and other income, which ensures 100 percent of funds currently raised go toward programs that benefit Big Shoulders Fund schools and the students they serve.

Burst Into Books is a leveled reading organization that is geared towards children from ages 6 months to 13 years old. Our mission is to help children develop a love for literature through reading circles, book clubs, writing workshops, online workshops, educational services and family centered events. Burst Into Books is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on helping the youth deepen their love of reading by integrating the arts, providing opportunities for them to engage with those connected to the literacy field, and providing a space for them to express themselves.

The Center for College Access and Success creates support systems for first-generation students to make their dream of a college education a reality. Our programs are collaborative partnerships that bring the school community together with universities, arts and cultural organizations, and businesses. Programs are enhanced through this interaction. As an academic educational center of Northeastern Illinois University, we are in a unique position to respond to the needs of the communities we serve.

Center for Companies That Care

Center for Companies That Care is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing the well-being of employees and communities by educating and inspiring employers to practice employer engagement and integrate the 10 Characteristics of a Socially Responsible Employer into their daily business practices.

Our Community of Caring is making a difference in communities and workplaces nationwide through community-building initiatives and education about how to be a company that cares.

The Center for the Collaborative Classroom is a nonprofit organization dedicated to students’ growth as critical thinkers who learn from, care for, and respect one another.