HFS Strives for Excellence
       
 
 If you plan on giving to HFS  this December, click below:
 
Let's Welcome the Class of 2018
 
Kennedy B.- Marion Catholic
Isabella C.-St. Ignatius
Joel C.- Notre Dame
Yasmeen C.- Gordon Tech
Amir C.- Trinity
Jeremy C.- Mt. Carmel
Nicholas C.- Francis W. Parker
Sarah D.- Walther Christian Academy
Rafael D.- Cristo Rey
Luis D.- Walther Christian Academy
Sierra F.-Skinner- Seton Academy
Anna G.- Gordon Tech
Jaczeny G.- Mother McAuley
Julian G.- St. Ignatius
Leslye G.- Queen of Peace
Adonis G.- St. Ignatius
Natalia H.- Francis W. Parker
MiCayla J.- DeLaSalle
Juliana J.- St. Ignatius
Silvia L.- Trinity
Faith M. - Mother McAuley
Andrea M.- Queen of Peace
Alexa M.- Trinity
ZyMari M.- Christ the King
Andrei N.- Fenwick
Vanessa N.- St. Ignatius
Nasir P.- Hales Franciscan
Shlexis P.- Regina Dominican
Steve R.- Gordon Tech
Jairo S.- Chicago Hope Academy
Gabia S.- Fenwick
Emilio S.- St. Ignatius
Jameel S.- De LaSalle
Cristian T.- Trinity
Yaneli U.- Regina Dominican
Kaelan W.- St. Ignatius
HFS Kick-Off Picnic
 
 
 
HFS Chicago Scholars, Mentors, and Academic Directors spent a day of fun getting reacquainted with each other to kick-off the new school year. Mentor Melissa Sereda and her team did a great job to organize this inspiring event.  The day was spent at the Windy City Fieldhouse in Chicago and the scholars and mentors participated in teambuilding exercises and fun recreation. Over 150 individuals attended, including HFS Founder Mike Kennelly and Executive Director Desireé Pepper-Venzant. HFS also welcomed two new Academic Directors to the staff. Jessica Gordon and Drew Weaver are both educators in the Chicagoland area. “HFS provides more than opportunities for students to be enriched academically, we provide an opportunity for them to be themselves”.
~ Desireé Pepper-Venzant
8th Annual HFS LEADERSHIP BREAKFAST 
 
 
Pictured from left to right: Jessica Bailey, HFS '15; Julie Howard, Navigant; Michael Kennelly, HFS Founder; Deborah DeHaas, Deloitte LLP; Illinois Surpreme Court Justice Anne Burke; Desireé Pepper-Venzant, HFS Executive Director; Carmen Ontiveros, HFS Alumna '98; Simran Ali, HFS '15; Melissa M. HFS '17
 
 
HFS Chicago Scholars 8th Annual Leadership Breakfast was held on September 19, 2014 at the Standard Club Chicago.
 
Honorable Anne Burke, Illinois Supreme Court Justice from the 1st District, served as our Keynote Speaker. HFS appreciates its wonderful Breakfast co-chairs: * Larry Barden, Sidley Austin LLP * Deborah DeHaas, Deloitte LLP * Julie Howard, Navigant, all of whom graciously gave their time and energy to support our mission. We had a record turnout for the Breakfast and raised over $375,000 for scholarships!
 
Dr. Pablo Quintana, MD (HFS '04) St. Joseph High School '04, University of Illinois Urbana '09, University Illinois at Chicago Medical School '14, Rush University Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency '14-'17 - Pablo spoke about all of the individuals that have inspired him in his life and the challenges that he had to overcome to become a doctor. He is thankful for his parents and the opportunities that were provided by HFS Chicago Scholars to his whole family (Pablo's brothers Martin and Daniel are also HFS alums).
 
Jessica Bailey (HFS '15) Providence St. Mel High School '15 carries a 4.29 GPA. She spoke about her aspirations to study theatre and her obsession with musicals. She said, "HFS has been phenomenal at college preparation. I remember learning about the importance of college financial aid and the FAFSA before I was even an upperclassman. The college visits are wonderful opportunities and I'm glad that all grades are invited to attend. As a freshman, you think that senior year is forever away, but it isn't. I am so grateful that HFS helped keep college on my brain because now that I'm a senior, I know my options, I'm confident that I know how to handle the process myself."
 
Simran Ali (HFS '15) DePaul College Prep, A Father Gordon Campus, '15. Simran spoke about her family's aspiration to achieve the American Dream and her father's determination to make education the first priority for his children. "HFS encouraged us all to broaden our experiences. I have become a leader in my school. I serve as a student ambassador, a vice-president for my class, a member of the young women leadership academy, and a co-founder and member of the speech/debate team. I also was privileged enough to receive a full scholarship last summer to travel for a leadership program in Seville, Spain. We participated in community service and lived with a host family to improve in Spanish. Without the opportunity HFS provided me, I would be in a completely different place. I would like to thank my father, Ms. Desireé, my mentor Anna, HFS, and all the donors who made this possible for me."
SAVE THE DATE for Rock-N-Bowl
 
Saturday, March 7 (8-11PM)
Diversey River Bowl
 
Shop on Amazon.com?  Designate HFS Chicago Scholars as your Charity using the Amazon Smile Program
 
Go to www.smile.amazon.com  then type "HFS Chicago Scholars."  Then .05% of your purchase will go to HFS!  Be sure to bookmark the Smile Amazon page so you go there first anytime you are shopping on Amazon.  HFS thanks you!
 
Board Member Spotlight: Jason Lovelace
 
 
We are blessed to have so many committed staff members, mentors, volunteers and board members who routinely lend their time and talents to us. We would like to recognize one such board member, CareerBuilder Healthcare President Jason Lovelace, who serves on the HFS Board of Directors.
 
Jason earned a B.S. from Elmhurst College and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He has over 20 years of professional work experience within the advertising and Internet industries, which includes working for companies such as Rada Advertising, Bowman, Barrett, and Associates, Inc., and presently CareerBuilder.
 
Lovelace wanted to provide support to an organization that realizes young people's potential. His strong belief in the "importance of ongoing education" compelled him to support the HFS mission.
 
"I wanted to lend a hand with an organization that recognizes and supports youth that exhibit high potential," he says. "These students need the attention, mentoring and guidance to help them achieve goals that may have been out of reach."
 
Board members like Lovelace are integral to guiding the HFS strategy and organizing and financing HFS fundraising events, like our annual Leadership Breakfast, and arranging scholar opportunities such as the Encompass golf outing. Lovelace credits these events with providing his most enduring HFS memories.
 
"I've loved connecting directly with the HFS scholars at these events," he says, "our scholars' stories are very moving and inspirational."
 
Outside of his professional life, Lovelace enjoys spending time with his four children. He is also a self-described hockey "fanatic" and an avid golfer. In the future, Lovelace looks forward to continuing to support HFS.
 
"I feel I've been blessed throughout my life," Lovelace says. "I'm extremely humbled to be a part of HFS where I have an opportunity to help inspire the lives of our youth."
7 Questions with YPB Member Laura Bonner
 
 
 
1) Education: Undergrad degree in Finance and Masters in Accountancy from Tulane University in New Orleans.
 
2) Fun Fact: My husband (another HFS Mentor / YPB member) and I have always wanted to adopt, so we started the process shortly after we were married last year and were just placed with our beautiful son, Andrew!
 
3) Work: I work at Huron Consulting Group, and I split my time between Human Resources and Higher Education Consulting. On the HR side, I manage our Diversity & Community Affairs group. On the consulting side, my expertise is assisting universities in enhancing their financial management and reporting from both a technical and strategic standpoint.
 
4.) Why you became involved with HFS: The initial reason I got involved in HFS was because the enthusiasm of the founder (Mike Kennelly) was contagious! Yet as I got to know HFS, I found that the one-on-one mentor and scholar partnership, which separates HFS from other similar organizations in Chicago, provided a unique opportunity to build a strong relationship with a student throughout her high school career. Also, the flexibility of the mentor and YPB roles makes it easy to be very involved with HFS even with a busy work and travel schedule.
 
5.) What has been your role with HFS? For the last four years, I was a mentor to a scholar who graduated in May. I have also been on the Young Professionals Board for almost four years. I spent my first few years managing mentor recruiting and retention and eventually overseeing program development. This year I am the co-president of the Young Presidents Board and am excited about being involved in both the business/fundraising side and continuing to work with Desireé and her team on developing the program.
 
6.) How has your experience with HFS impacted you? I have met so many wonderful people through HFS. Not only are our high school students some of the most talented and driven in the city, but so are the mentors, board members, and staff! The shared passion for the mission has created a family that I feel lucky to be a part of.
 
7.) A favorite HFS memory? My best memory was the day my scholar decided to accept her offer at University of Illinois! She was having a tough time deciding between schools late in the game (in April!), so we made trips to her top choices and she was quick to decide on U of I due to her experience on campus and her impressive scholarship and aid package. This is what HFS is all about – her excitement about her decision represents the culmination of all of her hard work in high school!
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