View this email in your browser
Greetings Friends –
As an adult, parent, and a person who works in education, I should probably say – “I am excited for the school year to begin!”  Indeed, I am for so many reasons.  However, I also have a feeling of sadness. Summer is such a wonderful time. I see our students able to enjoy months of freedom and so many summer enrichment programs we offer. I see our principals and teachers getting a much needed break with family and friends as well as a chance to participate in professional development programs our team offers. I also just really like summer!  But like the students, I like the idea of, as my mother used to say, “getting back on schedule.” It is healthy and important.

To help prepare students to take on the next chapter in their journey, our team got to work and provided an amplitude of summer programming. Through an opportunity from the Mazza Foundation High School Support Program, rising seventh graders took part in the Big Shoulders Fund Steps to Success Program and rising eighth graders participated in the Big Shoulders Fund High School Navigators Camp. Students developed new skills that will help them thrive as they make this critical transition in their academic journey and start planning for high school, college, and beyond. Click here to read more about these programs.

What started as a vision and dream of a camp for Big Shoulders Fund students in Wyoming, has become one of the most anticipated opportunities for our students. Staddle Camp at Brush Creek Ranch once again welcomed students this summer to explore STEM topics, leadership development, history of the westward movement, and the great outdoors! It is always great to see the smiles of participants as they take on this one-of-a-kind trip – for most, their first time taking a flight, on a ranch, and sleeping in a tent! The impact of this program, now in its eleventh year, is affirmed by the number of former participants who are now part of the camp staff and are helping to guide the next generation of leaders. Read more here.

Helping our students and families with back to school supplies is always critically important. This year, we got some extra help!  Our friends at the Chicago Bears and Bears Care, invited three Big Shoulders Fund schools, all located in the Little Village neighborhood, to attend their training camp for their 14th Annual Back to School Fair. Click here to read more.

I was privileged to be a part of two big celebrations last week. At Leo High School we celebrated the dedication of their renovated Alumni Field and at the Academy of St. Benedict the African we honored the first responders that help to keep the school community safe day in and day out. These were generous reminders of the beacons these institutions, and all of the schools we seek to serve, are in their communities.

I hope these updates are a helpful reminder of all the good that took place across our great city this summer, and that they get you excited to see all the more that we can accomplish together this school year.

My very best,

Josh Hale
President & CEO
High School & College Transition Programming
In partnership with the Mazza Family Foundation, students across Big Shoulders Fund schools had the opportunity to participate in high school and college transition programming this summer, led by Big Shoulders Fund staff. Check out some of the activities they took part in.
Big Shoulders Fund Steps to Success
33 students from 14 Big Shoulders Fund elementary schools participated in the day-long Steps to Success camp this summer. The camp helped rising seventh grade students reflect on their sixth grade year in order to make their upcoming year the best one yet. Students played games and engaged in activities around empathy and social awareness, self-advocacy, leadership, and goal setting. A big shout out to St. Philip Neri School and Maternity BVM School for hosting us!
Big Shoulders Fund High School Navigators Camp
Throughout four weeks this summer, 40 rising eighth grade students from 21 Big Shoulders Fund elementary schools gathered at four different Big Shoulders Fund High Schools across the City to learn more about their high school options, the application process, and the skills that will help them to be successful in eighth grade and beyond. Over the course of five days students prepared for the high school entrance exams, explored future career options, practiced and reflected on skills like time management and organization, and toured other high schools. Thank you to De La Salle Institute, Holy Trinity High School, Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart, and St. Rita of Cascia High School for allowing us to use their wonderful spaces to host camp!
Staddle Camp at Brush Creek Ranch
For eleven years, select middle schoolers from Big Shoulders Fund schools have experienced a unique set of science-focused academic sessions during the school year culminating in a six-day trip to Staddle Camp at Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming.
This year, 221 students from 36 Big Shoulders Fund schools took part in this one-of-a-kind trip that took place across 8 weeks! They were also joined by 20 junior counselors and five camp staffers, four of whom had previously attended the camp as middle school students and served as junior counselors before joining the staff at Brush Creek Ranch, including current camp director, Ben Ehigie! In addition to exploring the beautiful environment and meeting new friends, campers had a chance to engage in STEM lessons, climb the high ropes course, float down the North Platt River, learn about pioneering life at the Grand Encampment Museum, and more.
In Our Schools
Thank you to our friends at the Chicago Bears and Bears Care for inviting families from Epiphany Catholic School, Good Shepherd Catholic School, and St. Agnes of Bohemia School to their training camp for their 14th Annual Back to School Fair! Bears Care collaborated with long-time partners and the Little Village community to provide students with free dental care, books, backpacks with school supplies, food samples, and lunch bags, and haircuts. Click the link below to read about the full event on the Chicago Bears website.
Learn More
On Thursday, August 11, Leo High School celebrated the dedication of their renovated Alumni Field. This was made possible through support from the Chicago Bears, Bears Care, and the NFL Grassroots Field Grant Program in partnership with the LISC. Bears' Vice President Patrick McCaskey and Executive Director of Bears Care Foundation Marge Hamm were present along with Big Shoulders Fund President and CEO Josh Hale and Leo High School alumni. 
The Academy of St. Benedict the African (ASBA) held its annual barbeque celebrating Englewood's First Responders. Police officers from District 7, who help keep the school community safe, enjoyed a delicious meal provided by the school community as a thank you for all they do.

In attendance was Officer Cleary who has been a part of the school community for more than 15 years.
Watch ABC 7 Chicago
News Coverage
Register Today!
Volunteer Kick-Off 
A new school year is upon us which means new opportunities to make an even greater impact across our network of 72 schools. On Tuesday, September 27, join us at Tegus (200 N LaSalle St. Ste 1100) from 5 – 7 pm to learn about our fall volunteer programs as well as network with current mentors, Stock Market Program volunteer teachers, test prep tutors, and more. If you have questions, please email Kevin Pitts
Tickets are now on sale for the 16th Annual Big Shoulders Fund Ball, hosted by our Next Generation Boards. Join us on September 30 as we celebrate the beacons of hope that make up our network of schools! Proceeds from the event support scholarships that provide financial aid to some of the most deserving students across the Chicago region. 
Purchase Tickets
Copyright © 2022 Big Shoulders Fund, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list