“I WAS ASKED RECENTLY WHAT IS THE GREATEST LESSON I GAINED FROM COMER AND IT IS SIMPLE: TO HAVE AUDACIOUS AMBITIONS FOR THE FUTURE.”—Topel A. Wright
Topel Wright was one of the first beneficiaries of Gary Comer’s efforts to help young people in Chicago’s Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. Wright met Comer in 2000 when she was in eighth grade at Comer's alma mater Paul Revere Elementary.
She was so inspired by his encouraging words that she was determined, not only to succeed in life, but to share her story with youth from the neighborhood where she grew up.
Since then, Topel has made it her mission to give back. When the youth center opened in 2006, she returned to her community to help support young people. At the youth center, she found a welcoming environment and a staff who enthusiastically embraced her interest in volunteering to mentor teens. When Topel graduated from college in 2009, she was overjoyed to have 40 GCYC members cheering her on as she received her diploma.
Now, almost ten years later, Topel still makes time to help youth advance their skills in technology and science, while balancing her rising career in banking.