College Prep Leaders Celebrate



Deborah Quazzo.





By Judy Carmack Bross


For 15 years, KIPP Chicago has transformed communities by providing free, college preparatory elementary education on Chicago’s south and west sides. Part of the national Knowledge Is Power Program, KIPP empowers students with character and academic skills to succeed in top-quality high schools and universities, to be happy in the competitive world, and to have a positive impact on their communities.

Expansion from a single classroom in 2003 to more than 2400 students across seven campuses—that’s something to celebrate which donors, friends, teachers and participants did with delight at the KIPP: Together 2018 gala at Revel Fulton Market.

The Lifetime Leadership Award was presented to Deborah Quazzo, a board member and key architect of KIPP talk events.

Phyllis Lockett of LEAP Innovations, received the Innovation awardf or expanding KIPP’s reach to multiple campuses and fostering individualized learning curriculum.  For their work in teaching students conflict resolution, Claire Levenberg and Arthur Muchin won the Voluntarism award.

Executive Director April Goble commented on the multiple reasons to celebrate:

Since our founding, KIPP Chicago has held collaboration and partnership as central values to realizing our commitment to the students and communities in which we operate. Our efforts to build a commitment of leadership across all stakeholder groups has resulted in ever improving academic performance of KIPP students while strengthening families and building community. It is nothing short of remarkable what a diverse group of people can accomplish together.  Parents and teachers, charter public schools and district-run schools, volunteers and donors have accomplished much more together than what is possible by any single group alone. We have harnessed the power of partnership in service of the individual student, affecting true change.

 Working together with students, families, high schools and colleges, our KIPP Through College team has increased college completion of our alumni to 4 times their peers in Chicago.  And this outstanding team is funded entirely by philanthropic support.

Over the next five years, KIPP goal is to educate 4000 students and support more than 2000 alumni annually.  Board members are Zaid Alsikafi, Ellen Sachs Alter, Bernetta Cannon, Suzanne Campion, Benjamin Chereskin, Craig Huffman, Don Weiss and April Goble