CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones has been named to the board of directors of Hope Chicago, a nonprofit organization seeking to reduce economic and social inequity by funding postsecondary scholarships and nontuition costs for Chicago Public Schools graduates and adult family members. Founded by businessman Ted Koenig and entrepreneur Pete Kadens, Hope Chicago has a goal of raising and investing at least $1 billion over the next decade to help tens of thousands of Chicago students and family members earn postsecondary credentials.
“Dr. Jones is a welcome addition to the team,” Hope Chicago CEO Janice K. Jackson said. “His dedication to youth and education, along with his higher education experience, will impact both Hope Chicago as an organization and the students and families we serve.”
Hope Chicago’s first high school cohort of scholars is comprised of Chicago Public Schools students from Benito Juárez Community Academy in Pilsen, Farragut Career Academy in Little Village, Noble-Johnson College Prep in Englewood, Al Raby School for Community and Environment in Garfield Park, and Morgan Park High School in Morgan Park. Participating students are eligible for a “gap-closing” scholarship to pay the cost of tuition, room and board, books and fees at any in-network higher education options, including the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Jones’ addition to the nonprofit’s board of directors comes after several years of increased engagement with Chicago leaders and university alumni. Jones has traveled to Chicago to meet with leaders in media, K-12 education, higher education, government, business and nonprofit organizations, and to host a number of events for students and alumni.
Jones also serves on the board of directors for the Association of American Universities, the Farm Foundation, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the National 4-H Council and the steering committee for the Bloomberg American Talent Initiative.