Over the past 20 years, City Year’s Ripples of Hope Dinner has become one of Chicago’s premier fundraising events. The event is grounded in Robert F. Kennedy's 1966 address to the University of Cape Town in South Africa, which illuminated the nature of social change. Kennedy proclaimed that the heroic acts of many individuals lead to collective impact that can "sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
At Ripples of Hope, City Year Chicago honors some of Chicago’s most distinguished leaders with the Ripples of Hope Award and their own signature City Year Red Jacket, for making a positive impact on our city’s students, schools and communities.
The program also highlights the success of City Year Chicago’s AmeriCorps members who serve in schools to keep students in school and on track to graduate. Guests hear first-hand accounts from both students and City Year members who serve full-time in 28 schools across Chicago, providing targeted interventions in attendance, behavior and course performance in math and English.
Past honorees include: Former Senator Barack Obama; Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Mayor Rahm Emanuel; First Lady of Chicago, Amy Rule; Michael J. Alter of Alter; Retired President and CEO of Harris Financial Corp., James R. Reynolds, Jr. of Loop Capital Markets LLC; Thomas S. Ricketts of the Chicago Cubs; Owner of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Andrew Hauptman of Andell Inc.; Ellen Costello; John W. Rogers, Jr. of Ariel Capital Management; Deborah DeHaas of Deloitte; Retired President and Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s, Don Thompson; and the Chicago White Sox.
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Usually I serve 9th graders. On the bus I served a 1st grader - she recognized the red jacket. We read Spongebob! #ripples #makebetterhappen