UCAN Hosts 14th Annual Youth Leadership Awards Dinner to Recognize Outstanding Chicago Youth Achievements

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Event to Open with Special Performance by Brandon Mahone, Featured Vocalist from NBC’S “The Voice."

UCAN, an innovative social service agency that for 144 years has been a sanctuary for Chicago’s youth who have suffered trauma, will host its 14th annual Youth Leadership Awards Dinner at the United Club at Soldier Field on June 6th. The event recognizes the academic and personal achievements of five of UCAN’s outstanding youth, including the winner of the John E. Rooney Dynamic Scholar award. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is an invited guest, and this year’s event will kick off with a special performance by Brandon Mahone, featured vocalist from Season 3 of NBC’S “The Voice." Mahone, no stranger to Chicago’s violence, will share his inspirational story to encourage others to reach for their goals.

New this year is the introduction of the annual John D. Nichols Impact Award, which will recognize individuals for their impact upon children and communities. The inaugural award will go to John D. Nichols, Chicago businessman and civic leader, for his many contributions to Chicagoland, including his work in the North Lawndale community. This year’s dinner chairs include John A. Canning, Jr., Frank M. Clark, Ellen Costello, Lester Crown, Ronald J. Gidwitz and Penny Pritzker. Event sponsors include BMO Financial Group and The Pritzker Foundation.

The event will include a cocktail reception, Mahone’s performance, raffle, live auction, video presentation and dinner, followed by acceptance speeches by our award winners and John D. Nichols. Guests, including corporate and foundation partners, community leaders and legislators, donors and UCAN youth, have the chance to see our vision come to life: Youth who have suffered trauma can become our future leaders. The fundraising revenue goal this year is $700,000, all of which will be used to support UCAN's programs and services.

UCAN board member Frank Clark, retired chairman and chief executive officer of ComEd, will speak about CITY, the Chicagoland Institute for Transforming Youth. Endorsed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CITY is UCAN's bold solution to the violence plaguing Chicago's communities. CITY seeks to address this crisis through a unique approach which coordinates programs and services across providers, providing data integration and common evaluation methodology. Further, CITY includes a physical move for UCAN to a new campus on the West Side of Chicago, allowing UCAN to better provide youth with a safe place to mend, learn and grow.
“This year’s dinner is a chance for us to honor the at-risk youth of Chicago who have fought to realize their dreams and reach their full potential,” said Thomas C. Vanden Berk, chief executive officer of UCAN. “Through the ongoing support of this year’s dinner guests and all of our valued contributors, UCAN will be able to continue building strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education and empowerment. We welcome all of our guests to join us in improving the lives of our city’s children, in an uplifting evening of entertainment and inspiration.”

To reserve your tickets for the UCAN Youth Leadership Awards dinner, please visit the UCAN website at http://www.ucanchicago.org/yla2013 or contact Sabina Ahmed at Sabina.Ahmed@ucanchicago.org or 773-290-5072.

If you are member of the media and would like to schedule interviews, video or photo shoots, please contact Rebecca Faulk at Rebecca.Faulk(at)ucanchicago(dot)org or 773-290-5086.

Save the Date:
UCAN Youth Leadership Awards Dinner
United Club at Soldier Field
1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago
5:30 P.M. Reception | 6:30 P.M. Dinner | Business Attire

About UCAN
UCAN is an innovative social service agency that, for 144 years, has been a sanctuary for youth who have suffered trauma. Today, serving more than 13,500 clients and employing more than 500 dedicated employees, UCAN offers a full continuum of services to meet the critical needs of Chicagoland’s at-risk populations. Recognized as a leader in trauma-informed treatment, violence prevention, youth development and diversity and inclusion, UCAN’s clinical approach to healing is united, culturally relevant and consistent. We believe that everyone has a voice and the right to realize their full potential. For more information, please visit http://www.ucanchicago.org.

About the Youth Leadership Awards Dinner
The Youth Leadership Awards Dinner is UCAN's flagship fundraiser held annually in June. This important evening is dedicated to the academic and personal achievements of UCAN's outstanding youth. Each year, five exceptional young people are recognized for academic and personal achievement, and receive scholarships for higher education. A special award is presented to the John E. Rooney Dynamic Scholar of the Year, which is sponsored by the family of the late John E. Rooney, former CEO of U.S. Cellular. 2014’s event also includes the inaugural John D. Nichols Impact Award.

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Rebecca Faulk

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