Thomas A. Demetrio Award of Excellence for Mentoring Awarded to Partnership to Educate & Advance Kids for Second Consecutive Year

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The Chicago-based Partnership to Educate & Advance Kids, PEAK, was awarded the Thomas A. Demetrio Award of Excellence for Mentoring for an unprecedented second time.

Reception at Corboy & Demetrio for PEAK at the Thomas A. Demetrio Award of Excellence

Thomas A. Demetrio Mentoring Award of Excellence Presentation to PEAK

We continue to be inspired by Tom Demetrio’s dedication to supporting organizations such as PEAK, Craig Dean, PEAK's Board Chairman said.

The Partnership to Educate & Advance Kids (PEAK) has been honored with the Thomas A. Demetrio Award of Excellence, recognizing PEAK as the “Most Exemplary Established Mentoring Program in the Chicago Area” for a second consecutive year. The award is given through The Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program. The 2011 award marks the first time in Lend-A-Hand’s 17-year history that it has recognized the same organization more than once.

Thomas A. Demetrio, the award's founder, spoke at the 2011 Mentoring Award of Excellence Ceremony at the offices of Corboy & Demetrio spoke about the selection process for the award, stating, “We consider quite a number of programs for this award and usually, it’s a close vote. Last year, it wasn’t! This year, it wasn’t! We are always looking for that special group and PEAK blew us away!"

Lend-A-Hand Board President Dan Cotter echoed Demetrio’s comments adding, “What made PEAK so deserving of this award are their phenomenal success stories. PEAK has become the barometer for what a quality, excellent mentoring program looks like.”

PEAK was chosen from among more than 40 organizations. When Mr. Demetrio was asked what distinguishes PEAK as worthy to receive the award twice, he replied, “The dedication of the mentors over four years and more importantly the dedication of the students that make PEAK the success that it is. To dedicate time and talent to the academically average is a great deal and I am in awe of the people who dedicate their lives and time to helping children. PEAK is aptly named and personifies the best of the best of mentoring programs in Chicago.”    

PEAK’s Executive Director, Ms. Toinette Gunn, expressed enormous gratitude for this recognition and the $10,000 award, which she stated will go 100% towards continuing PEAK’s mission of combining a quality high school education with a solid mentoring experience. Craig Dean, PEAK’s Board Chairman, added, “We continue to be inspired by Tom Demetrio’s dedication to supporting organizations such as PEAK. We know that the presence of a consistent, positive mentor in an at-risk student’s life makes a dramatic difference—not just in achieving a high school degree, but also success in life after school.”

This annual award of $10,000 is funded by the law firm of Corboy & Demetrio, P.C. and awarded through the Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program.

About the Partnership to Educate & Advance Kids (PEAK)
The mission of PEAK is to provide opportunities for at-risk youth to achieve academic and personal success through a quality, values-based education and the guidance of caring adult mentors. Students in the program are at-risk for dropping out of high school, for repeating the cycle of poverty, and for getting involved in violent and/or drug activity. The overall goal is for each PEAK student to achieve a quality education, high school graduation and the skills needed to pursue a successful career and a promising future by going on to higher education, a skill trade, or gainful employment. To learn more about PEAK or to get information on becoming a mentor or sponsor, visit the PEAK website at or contact us by phone at (773) 235-8003. You can also join our group or LIKE US on Facebook.

About the Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program
The Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program was created by The Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Foundation in dedication to the lasting memory and generosity of Judge "Abe.” The organization’s mission is to promote one-on-one mentoring relationships that foster consistent, long-term bonds between the mentor and young person. In 1994, Thomas A. Demetrio created the Lend-A-Hand Award of Excellence, with a desire to impact the lives of Chicago’s underprivileged children by recognizing the efforts of exceptional tutor/mentor programs in the Chicago community. Since its founding, Lend-A-Hand has awarded nearly $1,000,000 in grants and positively affected the lives of tens of thousands of youth throughout the Chicagoland area.

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Helen Lucaitis
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