About Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois

One of 16 affiliates across the United States and Latin America, Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois helps academically motivated high school students rise above disadvantaged backgrounds and become college-educated, career-ready, community-minded leaders.

Our goal is to graduate young people who are physically, emotionally and academically prepared for post-secondary education and a productive life, breaking the cycle of poverty. BHGH of Illinois utilizes the following elements to achieve our mission:

  • Academic excellence
  • Service and community engagement
  • Family-like settings to cultivate youth empowerment
  • Long-term and comprehensive programming
  • Faith-based values
  • Voluntary participant commitment

Boys Hope Girls Hope firmly believes that children have the power to overcome adversity, realize their potential, and help transform our world. Children create these successes when we remove obstacles, support and believe in them, and provide environments and opportunities that build on their strengths.

"We saw evidence of the powerful benefit of a safe environment and mentors who provide both structure and care. These young scholars are fortunate indeed to have the support of parents and the wise counsel of the program's advisors. Bravo, BHGH!"

Rebecca Sykes, President of The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, Dinner Guest

Our Mission

To nurture and guide motivated young people in need to become well-educated, career-ready men and women for others.

Our Vision

Our vision is that our scholars reach their full potential and become healthy, productive life-long learners who:
Adapt to an ever-changing world | Thrive in the face of obstacles | Generate a positive ripple effect in their families, work places, and communities

Our Local Impact

Since 1979, BHGH of Illinois has been helping scholars rise up from disadvantaged backgrounds and strive for more. BHGH of Illinois serves youth who want to go to college and create successful futures for themselves. Our scholars have joined our program to receive support on their journey to college and beyond. They seek the academic resources, extracurricular opportunities, and mentor relationships we provide.

BHGH of Illinois History

1979

1980

1981

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1984

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1989

1990

1991

1993

1994

1995

1996

1998

2004

2006

2007

2009

2012

1979

Volunteer board developed and Jesuit Program for Living and Learning Incorporated in Illinois.

1980

Home location identified, zoning approved by the City of Evanston, and home is purchased.

1981

First house-parents hired and scholars enter the program.

1982

Second home is purchased in Evanston.

1984

Boys Hope Women’s Board is founded.

1985

First scholars enter college.

1989

First alumnus becomes college graduate.

1990

From this year onward, all scholars who graduate from Boys Hope are accepted at 4-year colleges and universities.

1991

Boys Hope awarded first Northwestern University Evans Scholarship.

1993

Program mission altered to focus on leadership development model.

1994

Board commits to Girls Home in Chicago.

1995

Board authorizes name change and six months later first Girls Hope Scholars enter the program at a temporary facility.

1996

Girls Hope permanent home opens in Evanston.

1998

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Chicago Junior Board is founded

2004

 Women’s Board sets funding-raising record and the National office adopts a new mission and values statement.

2006

Began 2006-2007 school year with full houses and staff.

2007

BHGH of Illinois achieves the highest GPA of any affiliate in the country.

2009

First BHGH of Illinois Alumns joins the Junior Board.

2012

Women’s Board Dinner Dance sets funding-raising record.

Leadership

The Boys Hope Girls Hope of  Illinois Board of Directors and staff leadership collaborate to ensure mission fidelity, financial stewardship and transparency. This team of professionals is committed to continuous learning, effective programming and improvement through impact evaluation and innovation.

Karen Croteau

Executive Director

Amy Patterson

Program Director

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

EXECUTIVE BOARD
CHAIR

Christopher T. Tarzon
Savills Inc.

VICE CHAIR

Teresa Cotton Santos
Civic Leader

TREASURER

Michael Halkitis
RSM US LLP

SECRETARY

George Sullivan
Chapman and Cutler (retired)

David Gibson
Nominations Chair
Goldman Sachs & Co.

Jennifer O’Shaughnessy
More Hope Chair
Special Counsel, Spencer Fane LLP

Daniel J. Baker
At Large
KeyBank Real Estate Capital

Jeff Lundal
Development Co-Chair
Harland Clarke Corp

Jamie Baisley
At Large
Frontage Search Partners

Tracie Miller/Cathy Giella
Co-PresidentsWomen’s Board

Dave Bryla
Development Co-Chair
WasteZero

John Lafferty
At Large
Segall Bryant & Hamill

GOVERNING BOARD

Dan Baker
Key Bank

Lucien Carter
Sheffield Strategies

Al Cave

Brian Crabb
Golub Capital

Mickie Dillon
Zurich in North America

Grace Digan
Junior Board Co-Chair

Genevieve Atwood
Loyola Academy

Ryan E. Freel
Kaufman, Hall & Associates, LLC

Jennifer Gallagher
Artex Risk Solutions, Inc.

Jospeh Hartsig
Walgreen’s

Kerri Lin
KHL Consulting Services LLC

Kelly Lomas
Junior Board President

Tammy Lundal
Civic Leader

Peter Marino
MillerCoors

Michael McCarthy
Junior Board Treasurer

Mark E. McNabola
McNabola Law Group, P.C

Thomas Morehead
Crescendo Consulting, Inc.

Daniel J. O’Donovan
Metal Parts & Equipment Co.

Dianne O’Donovan
Civic Leader

Cyrus Oelerich
North Shore Country Day School

Kristin Ostby
President & CEO
Boys Hope Girls Hope

John Perkaus
Perkaus & Farley L.L.C.

Timothy Reynolds
Clover Lane Patrons

Garrett Ryan
Twin Brook Capital Partners

George E. Sargent
Sargent Family Foundation

Elizabeth Schuster
Regina Dominican High School

Andrew Shackelford
Ernst & Young

Rudolph Trebels
Wedgewood Investment Group, LLC

Jim Wilson
Windy City Representatives

ADVISORY BOARD

Colette Allen
Museum of Science and Industry

John W. Amberg
Evanston Educational Consultants

William L. Bax
Pricewaterhouse Coopers, L.L.P.

Daniel A. Byrne
Byrne, Byrne & Company

J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr.
Arthur J. Gallagher & Company

J. Jeffrey Geldermann
Civid Leader

Ralph Gilbert
Civic Leader

F. James Heider
Civic Leader

Scott K. Heitmann
Wintrust Financial Corporation

David W. Morrison
O’Mera, Ferguson, Whalen & Conway (Retired)

J. Hobie Murnane, Jr.
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

William T. O’Donnell, III
Civic Leader

Dawn Overend
Tawani Enterprises, Inc.

Thomas Pontarelli
CNA

Christopher Schuba
Tribune Publishing National Sales

Peter M. Spingola
Chapman & Spingola, LLP

Joseph E. Valenti, Jr. 
Valenti Builders, Inc.

WOMEN'S BOARD

Tracie M. Miller
Co-President

Catherine R. Giella
Co-President

Kathleen McCann
Gala Co-Chair

Elain Rucker
Gala Co-Chair

Donna M. Agnew
Kimberly A. Baker
Suzette Y. Bernstein
Jill Blabolil
Melissa T. Clary
Kandice Cole
Ana M. Couri
Erin Demakos
Kathleen Farrell
Joanne Fox
Marya Frankel
Leticia Guerra-Shinozaki
Helen Hallermann
Kathy I. Hartsig

Martha I. Idler
Mary Ellen Jobczynski
Nahraine Jonie Stone
Lindsey M. Kilsdonk
Carroll C. King
Jean Lin
Tammy Lundal
Rita M. Maltezos
Rachael L. Mann
Barbara Mawicke
Deb McMahon
Beth A. Miles
Marguerite T. O’Rourke
Jennifer Downs O’Shaughnessy

Marissa Perdkiri
Ann Ponzi
Lori Rago
Lisa M. Seymour
Holly A. Tamisiea
Carrie Tarzon
Amy Ward
Teresa Washington
Lisa Faremouth Weber
Sheila C. Weimer
Margaret Wohlfrom
Debbie Yapp
Maria E. Zacapa
Donna H. Zupancic

WOMEN'S BOARD SUSTAINING MEMBERS

Laura M. Ashley
Carol S. Bell
Susan K. Bordes
Iretta D. Brennan
Maureen K. Burke
Ellen G. Callahan
Trudy Cook

Barbara V. Davis
Susan J. Dunn
Kathleen T. Egan
Carol T. Fleming, O.P.
Judith M. Gurley
Vicki V. Hofstetter
Mimi Janian Lawless

Ellen Leydon
Ann Lynch
Mary L. O’Sullivan
Nancy L. Sullivan
Barbara F. Vender
Sheila N. Whalen

JUNIOR BOARD

Kelly Lomas
President

Michael McCarthy
Treasurer

Dylan Brennan
Kevin Ford
Emily Therese Geiger-Medina
Joe Jedlicka
Nichole Johnson

Brian Kucera
Brianna McNamee
Juanita Mendoza
Kelley Monzella
Larry Phillips, Jr.
Ryan Ring

Ryan Sexton
Andrew Seymour
Tom Truss
Jack T. Wambach
Erin Wehmer

The Need We Address

Prior to joining our program, our scholars’ circumstances include environmental barriers that make it difficult to concentrate on achieving their goals. The relationship between educational failure and poverty creates a vicious cycle that affects too many children in our communities and negatively impacts our entire society.

  • Twenty-one percent of children in the US live in poverty (Census Bureau, 2014)
  • Children born into poverty are six times more likely to drop out of school (Cities in Crisis, 2008).
  • The longer a child lives in poverty, the lower their overall level of academic achievement (Guo and Harris, 2000).
  • Children from families in the highest income quartile are 8 times as likely to earn a college degree that those from the lowest income quartile (Pell Institute and Penn Ahead, 2015).
  • In 1980, college graduates earned 29% more than those without. By 2007, that gap grew to 66% (Baum & Ma, 2007).
  • The costs to United States society are significant in terms of economic productivity, tax revenue, health care over-utilization, parental attention to children’s educational development, civic engagement, and volunteerism (Baum & Ma, 2007).
  • According to CEOs for Cities, every one percentage point increase in adult four-year college degree attainment adds an additional $763 to per capita income per year (One Student at a Time, 2013).
  • Cohen and Piquero (2009) monetized the cost to society over the course of a “negative outcome” child’s lifetime as follows: High School Dropout = $390,000 - $580,000, Plus Heavy Drug User = $846,000 – $1.1 Million, Plus Career Criminal = $3.2 - $5.8 Million.

Invest in the success of our scholars!