Redefining Possible on Chicago's South Side
Nearly 600 guests attended the luncheon to invest in a truly local mission at a time when our city’s young people need critical interventions. Watch our video and see event photos below.
Our speakers and special guests
Juan Salgado, Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago, has focused his 20-year career on improving education and economic opportunities for residents in low-income communities. In his current role, he oversees City Colleges of Chicago, where more than 90,000 students are enrolled across seven colleges. His background includes serving as CEO of Instituto del Progreso Latino from 2001 to 2017, opening Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy charter school, and serving as Program Director for The Resurrection Project. In 2015, Juan was nationally recognized as a recipient of the prestigious “MacArthur Genius” award. Juan is a community college graduate himself, receiving an AA (1989) from Moraine Valley Community College, a BA (1991) from Illinois Wesleyan University, and a MUP (1993) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Topel A. Wright
Topel met the late Gary Comer in 2000 when she graduated from his alma mater Paul Revere Elementary. After graduating from Kenwood Academy, Topel earned her BA (2009) from Loyola University Chicago on a special scholarship from the Comer Foundation. Topel worked as a tutor at GCYC throughout college and continues to mentor GCYC students and give back to the community. Comer invited and supported her application for a professional internship, where, Topel landed her first employment opportunity in banking. Topel is now an Officer at CIBC Bank USA working in the risk/data analytics group.
Musa was a member of GCYC throughout high school, attending programs in video and film editing, journalism, urban agriculture and technology. He graduated from Walter Payton College Prep in 2014 and entered college to study technology and network security. Musa became a Year Up Graduate in 2016 and was hired by ZS Associates as an IT Operations Assistant. Musa continues to work in this role full time and pursue his degree in Computer Engineering at University of Illinois at Chicago.
Breana graduated from Gary Comer College Prep in the inaugural class of 2012. She went on to become the first in her family to graduate from college, earning her bachelor’s degree in English Studies from Illinois State University (2017). The leadership skills she developed at GCYC and as an UtmostU Peer Alumni Coordinator for ISU Freshmen have positioned her for a fulfilling career. She is currently a Student Experience Coordinator at National Louis University.
Thank you to our sponsors
SUMMA CUM LAUDE
Berbee Walsh Foundation
Comer Family Foundation
Walter & Karla Goldschmidt Foundation
Patrick G. & Shirley W. Ryan Foundation
Silvio B. Troianello & The Koropp Family
MAGNA CUM LAUDE
Urban Partnership Bank
BMO Harris Bank
Kay & Fred Krehbiel
Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation
Bernstein Private Wealth Management
CIBC Bank USA
Guy & Courtney Comer
Stephanie Comer & Rob Craigie
Craig J. Duchossois
Diverse Facility Solutions
Dixon Midland Company
Harris Family Foundation
Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel & John H. Krehbiel, Jr.
Loeb & Loeb LLP
McClain & Canoy
William E. Wolf & Meredith Bluhm-Wolf
Erin McDonald Design