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Greetings Big Shoulders Fund Supporters,

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by the British Consulate General and the Field Museum with a group of students from Leo High School and St. Francis de Sales High School. It was an incredible morning engaging with scholars and seeing how these enrichment opportunities are broadening their horizons and helping them to grow. A Chicago Sun-Times article about this visit is linked below.

Also in this update, you'll read about another great partnership that helps meet the needs of our students and how once again, our great friend Carol Lavin Bernick and her two charitable organizations – Enchanted Backpack and CC's Wish List –  answered the call for help when two of our school families lost their home, belongings, and pets in a tragic fire last month.

And, as the week came to an end, we learned about the attacks overseas. I am devastated for the people of the Ukraine, including the many families at one of our schools, St. Nicholas the Ukrainian Cathedral School which largely serves recent immigrants from Ukraine. For them, this is much more personal as they worry about family and friends living in a now war-torn country. Although not enough, we offer our thoughts and prayers to the Ukrainian people and all the service women and men fighting for democracy and freedom. We pray for peace.

My sincere gratitude to all of you who continue to fight for justice, peace, and harmony in a world facing far too much division.  As always, this mission and how we all work together in partnership is a bright star that only seems to shine stronger and brighter.  

All my very best,

Josh Hale
President & CEO
In the News

Exclusive Access to Field Museum Exhibition

This week, students from two Big Shoulders Fund schools, St. Francis de Sales and Leo High School, received an exclusive sneak peek of the Field Museum’s newest exhibit called “Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep." Students got to learn about the Jurassic seas and the water animals that were in the oceans at the same time dinosaurs were on land. 

A big thank you to the British Consulate General and the Field Museum for thinking of our students and inviting them to take part in this one-of-a-kind experience. Read more about what our students learned in the linked Chicago Sun-Times article below. 
Read More
Crain's Chicago Business
Big Shoulders Fund President and CEO Joshua Hale joined Crain's Chicago Business reporter A.D. Quig on the A.D. Q&A podcast last week, to talk about incredible growth seen across our network of schools. This includes an eight percent enrollment growth across Big Shoulders Fund Plus schools. (Portion of the interview with Josh Hale begins at the 30:00 minute mark in the podcast).

Click here to Listen!
Making A Difference
Last month, two families from Big Shoulders Fund School St. Bartholomew lost their homes to a fire. Their fellow Catholic school communities quickly came together to provide the families with much needed emotional and financial support, hosting fundraisers and community events to help the families. 

Thanks to the generosity of Big Shoulders Fund supporter Carol Lavin Bernick,  the Lavin Family Foundation, Enchanted Backpack, and CC's Wish List, we were able to provide the families with additional funds to help them get settled in a new home and provided them with clothes and other necessities. Big Shoulders Fund's Social Emotional Learning and Wellness Leader Kirk Ziemke also provided social emotional supports to the students.
Congratulations to Big Shoulders Fund Senior Director of Philanthropy, Partnerships, and Engagement Amy Drozda and to co-awardee Leo High School Principal Shaka Rawls on receiving the Illinois Principals Association West Cook Region’s Reaching out and Building Bridges Award. The award recognizes partnerships that are helping to make a difference and strengthen communities.
We are excited to share that Big Shoulders Fund, through the leadership of Big Shoulders Fund's Learning Innovation Specialist Kristin Ziemke, will be hosting a Virtual Innovation Conference this Spring!

This six-week conference is open to ALL educators and will offer a series of professional learning opportunities that are inspiring and joyful. Attendees can join for a one-hour session, a multi-day workshop or a combination of both! Teachers will receive a stipend and CPDUs for attending. We currently have over 150 participants registered and are welcoming more!
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We were thrilled to welcome members from Coeur Mining, including President, CEO, and Director and Big Shoulders Fund Board of Director Mitch Krebs at Augustus Tolton Catholic Academy earlier this month.

They were able to witness our mission in action and all of the great STEM initiatives taking place at our schools. We look forward to welcoming them again and to future partnerships. 
Upcoming Events
This March Madness, join us on the court at the first-ever Big Shoulders Fund 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, hosted by the Teen Board.

Join us to raise funds for the Auxiliary Board Scholarship, which supports nearly 100 students at 7 schools. Whether you register as a team or come as a spectator, it is sure to be a good time!
Save the Date for the 22nd Annual Big Shoulders Fund Golf Classic at Olympia Fields on Monday, August 1, 2022. Always memorable and packed with fun, the Golf Classic raises funds for the Friends of Big Shoulders Scholarship Fund. Foresomes will go on sale this spring.

Click here for more information or contact Amy Drozda.
Register Today!
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