One Hope United’s 5th Annual Gala, Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope

One Hope United’s 5th Annual Gala, Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope, Features The Glee Project Alum Mario Bonds, May 3, 2019 at Hilton Chicago.

Guests will hear inspiring stories of hope and courage while enjoying a night of entertainment, dining and giving back.

CHICAGO — One Hope United, one of the country’s leading human services nonprofits, presents its 5th Annual Hope In Action gala, Friday, May 3, 2019 at the Hilton Chicago, featuring Mario Bonds, a national entertainer whose life symbolizes the meaning of hope. The 6 p.m. Why I Have Hope gala (5:30 p.m. VIP reception) is in the Hilton’s Grand Ballroom, 720 S. Michigan Ave.,. Tickets available at http://www.onehopeunited.org/hopeinaction.

Blind by the age of 10 and a survivor of childhood trauma, Mario Bonds is a motivational speaker, published author, singer-songwriter, and breakout star of NBC Universal’s The Glee Project.  Bonds’ unforgettable and powerful performance in song is living proof of how anyone can rise to meet any challenge.

Born with a degenerative condition that destroyed his eyesight, Bonds faced abuse, homelessness, and abandonment, yet, he never suffered from hopelessness. In his memoir, Without Sight but Full of Vision, Bonds describes how through hard work, perseverance, and personal responsibility we can all become “master of our destinies.” Bonds, who was adopted at the age of 16, is a licensed foster care provider in the process of adopting two teenage boys.

Also during Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope, One Hope United will honor extraordinary individuals who support the organization’s mission to provide every family and every child a “life without limits.”

They include 96-year-old volunteer Nannie Crudup, honored with the fifth annual Ermit Finch Impact Award.  Crudup is one of One Hope United’s most committed volunteers, giving her time nearly every school day for the past 26 years, helping the staff and three- to five-year-old children at One Hope United’s Bridgeport Child Development Center.

Patrick Kingston, Customer Development Manager at Tyson Foods will be recognized with One Hope United’s Chairwoman’s Award for his commitment to community advancement, empowering nonprofits, and inspiring leadership. Veteran One Hope United executive Todd Schultz, President of Restoration Ministries, will be honored with The President’s Award for his commitment to nonprofit stability, transparency, and leadership.

Guests at Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope will enjoy cocktails, a seated dinner, and the chance to bid on a wide variety of auction items. VIP ticket holders can meet Mario Bonds at a private reception preceding the gala.

“One Hope United is thrilled to welcome Mario Bonds, who understands the challenges and traumas that many of our clients face, and whose resilience is an inspiration and a testament to the types of services we provide,” says new President and CEO Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer.

“We’re also excited to add a new twist this year by debuting Hope After Dark, immediately following our gala at Hilton Chicago,” Montorio-Archer adds. “The after-event experience is the perfect complement to Hope In Action for supporters who might not typically attend a gala but love dressing up for a great cause.”

Hope After Dark, from 10 p.m. to midnight, is presented by One Hope United’s Chicago Ambassador Board and features a selection of beers, wines and cocktails, as well as live house and dance music provided by DJ Lady D. Hope After Dark tickets ($100) can be purchased in advance at https://onehopeunited.org/hopeafterdark, or when guests arrive at the Hilton Chicago Grand Ballroom. All tickets for the Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope Gala ($300, $400 VIP) include admission to Hope After Dark.

“Many young professionals have told us they want to support our event, while at the same time living within their charitable giving budgets,” says Mike Carpenter, One Hope United’s Chicago Ambassador Board Chair. “The Hope After Dark party appeals to a new and broader audience of donors and we hope it will become one of the highlights of the Spring gala season.”

WCIU TV reporter and host Jon Hansen will serve as Hope In Action’s Master of Ceremonies. Hansen is an Emmy-nominated reporter and a talk show host for WGN 720 AM and can be seen on WCIU’s The Jam and Now.Chicago.

Tickets for Hope in Action: Why I Have Hope are available here.

Tickets for Hope After Dark are available here.

One Hope United would like to thank the following Why I Have Hope sponsors for their support:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel George Architects          Grant Staff, Inc.       Michelle Damico Communications           StrateBen         Ultimate Software

Continental Benefits.       Terra Properties               WT Group

 

About One Hope United
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs including early education, foster care, adoption, residential, and other support services. What began in 1895 as a children’s home in Chicago now serves 9,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida and employs nearly 800 passionate and talented professionals. For more information, please visit http://www.onehopeunited.org.

OHU Celebrates Women’s History Month

This month, One Hope United has been celebrating Women’s History Month. Throughout the month of Month, we have been sharing OHU staff’s amazing stories about their favorite women in history who have made an significant impact in their lives.

Today, we are showcasing Shirlene “Candy” Tomes and her appreciation for the women at One Hope United. Tomes is a Milieu Counselor in our Centralia Residential and Group Home Campus.
“My journey started in January, when I was 22 years old at One Hope United. I was a single mother to a 1-year old little boy, and I had no real clue what life was about. I came from a broken home and really did not have guidance. I was not quite sure what I would be exactly doing and what One Hope was about.
 
My first year was very challenging and intense; I never worked with youth and especially youth who have been impacted by trauma. I remember making late night phone calls to my leaders/supervisor in tears wanting to quit, after being spit in the face, hit, and bit. By the end of our phone calls I remembered gaining some peace and understanding to what the youth was feeling and needing. I quickly learned not to take things personally. I even quit for a brief period and came back, trying to search for something that I felt was missing. Then God led me back to One Hope United. I began to find myself as the years went on; I was becoming a strong woman myself.
 
The leadership of woman [at One Hope United] believed in my talents and strengths, even the ones I did not know I even had. They did not judge or criticize me, and they built me up and helped me improve myself.
 
I remember feeling so empowered at many points when working with very strong and fierce women. Even walking amongst these women to and from a serious crisis. The team work they displayed, the safety they provided, the love they shared; to some of the most ‘unlovable children’. Moments like these, I knew this is where I belonged. I can honestly say they were mother figures to me as well as my own mother.
 
My mother and I had quite the journey in growing up. When I began my journey at One Hope, my mother and I began to develop a truly healthy mother/daughter relationship. I became a better mother to my own child. As I watched many powerful women work with the toughest youth, I remember feeling ‘I want to impact young women one day, the way these women are impacting me.’ I never felt so safe, loved, respected, and so much more in my time throughout out One Hope United, this even impacted my personal life. Because of the empowering women that God placed in my life I am the woman I am today, because of them. I’m very thankful and humble to be raised by such strong women.
 
Young women (staff, youth, strangers, family, and friends) are able to come to me and thank me for empowering them, the way I thanked the women who have helped me. Impacting young women grow in their journies in life is an amazing feeling. I have my mother to thank; as well as [wonderful women at OHU] in my 10+ journey at OHU. Because of these women, I am the woman I am today and for that I thankful!
 
“I am a strong woman because strong WOMEN raised me.”
 

Read more #OHUDiversity stories on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Go Blue 4 OHU for Child Abuse Prevention Month!

One Hope United Kicks Off 4th Annual “Go Blue 4 OHU” Restaurant Collective, Dine Out and Do Good During National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Some of the hottest city and suburban restaurants are participating in One Hope United’s month-long event. Diners visiting Go Blue 4 OHU restaurants will have the opportunity to purchase a featured Go Blue food or beverage item with a percentage of sales being donated to One Hope United’s programs to prevent child abuse.

See participating restaurants BELOW or visit onehopeunited.org/goblue  for complete list!

“One Hope United is thrilled to welcome a growing number of restaurants that have joined Go Blue 4 OHU and will be encouraging guests to support the programs that help prevent child abuse in our communities,” says the organization’s new President and CEO, Charles Montorio-Archer.

“These restaurant owners are pillars in our communities, giving back in so many generous ways. They understand that everyone plays a role in providing families and children with a life without limits,” added Montorio-Archer.

Reflecting that giving spirit are owners such as Dino Perez, at Rio’s D’Sudamerica Peruvian restaurant in Bucktown. Perez was a supporter of One Hope United even before becoming one of the founding Go Blue partners five years ago. Perez has hosted a Career Day for OHU’s WINGS program for teen parents, where he helped young women explore career and entrepreneurship opportunities in hospitality.

Another generous restaurateur is the West Loop’s Cafe Ciao owner Julie Chung. Her restaurant may have a small footprint, but she has a giant heart. Cafe Ciao is the organization’s biggest Go Blue 4 OHU supporter for the last two years, donating 100% of proceeds from featured wine flights to One Hope United. Chung and has spent years developing a deep understanding of the organization’s early learning programs, information which she shares with her guests.

The Go Blue 4 OHU Restaurant Collective includes a fun element of competition for any Instagrammer who loves to post and share photos of menu items from their favorite bistros or bars.

You’ll have the chance to win fabulous prizes, including gift certificates from participating establishments by tagging #GoBlue4OHU in their posts. Follow One Hope United on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/onehopeunited/ and see details at https://onehopeunited.org/goblue.

Here is the full list of ways OHU will be recognizing the restaurants and diners who participate throughout the month of April:

  • Most money raised – Awarded to the Go Blue restaurant partner that provides the largest financial contribution to One Hope United
  • Most Go Blue items sold – Highest number of Go Blue items sold by a Go Blue restaurant partner
  • Friend of One Hope United – Restaurant who goes above and beyond to promote the Go Blue campaign to diners and spread the word about the cause
  • Instagram Contest Winner – Diner who visits the most restaurants and tags featured items on Instagram with #GoBlue4OHU (Instagram profile must be public to win) 

Restaurants participating in Go Blue 4 OHU 2019

Keep checking here for new restaurant’s joining One Hope United’s efforts to raise funds to prevent child abuse. All locations in Chicago unless otherwise noted.

  • Ambrosia Euro-American Patisserie (Barrington)
  • Arbella (River North)
  • Beatrix (River North, Streeterville, Fulton Market)
  • Bijan’s Bistro (River North)
  • Bombay Wraps (Lakeview)
  • The Brunch Café (St. Charles, Huntley, Niles, Roselle, Fox River Grove, McHenry)
  • Ciao! Café & Wine Lounge (West Loop)
  • Chez Moi (Lincoln Park)
  • Coco Pazzo Cafe (Streeterville)
  • Cupitol (Streeterville and Evanston)
  • Fabulous Freddie’s Italian Eatery (Bridgeport)
  • Farraguts on Clark (Andersonville)
  • Franco’s Ristorante (Bridgeport)
  • Elgin Public House (Elgin)
  • Gaslight Bar & Grille (Lincoln Park)
  • Gigi’s Kitchen (Bucktown)
  • Half Sour (South Loop)
  • Jellyfish (Gold Coast)
  • McNally’s Irish Pub (St. Charles)
  • MORA (Bolingbrook and Oak Park)
  • Portillo’s (location[s] TBA)
  • Rio’s d’Sudamerica (Bucktown)
  • The Royal Grocer & Co. (Bucktown)
  • Slurping Turtle (River North)
  • Tanta (River North)
  • TRIA (Bridgeport)
  • Victory Italian (River North)
  • Vintage 53 (St. Charles)

One Hope United is excited to welcome DiningOut Chicago, as our media sponsor – Chicago’s premier print and online source for the best reporting on the city’s culinary scene. DiningOut Chicago offers a unique brand of in-depth, thoughtful lifestyle stories combined with highlights of Chicago’s vibrant restaurant landscape. Throughout April, DiningOut will highlight the many tasty options guests can enjoy by participating in Go Blue 4 OHU while helping prevent child abuse.

About One Hope United
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs including early education, foster care, adoption, residential, and other support services. What began in 1895 as a children’s home in Chicago now serves 9,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida and employs nearly 800 passionate and talented professionals. For more information, please visit http://www.onehopeunited.org.

Leslie Johnson Named Executive Director for Early Childhood Programs

Leslie Johnson, a leader with over 20 years in early childhood, human service, and social service experience, joined One Hope United as Executive Director of Early Learning and Child Development on March 11, 2019.

In this executive leadership role, Johnson will oversee One Hope United’s 12 child care and early education centers, which provide high quality early care and education to over 2,200 children each year, as well as our home visiting programs, which help young and first-time parents navigate their new responsibilities and support their children’s development. All of these programs serve children and families living in northern Illinois and Chicago.

“Working with families and communities in the ELCD arena has always taught me more about myself and fostered my passion for serving others. I do believe that quality services in Early Learning and Child Development create a solid foundation for children and families to grow exponentially,” said Johnson.

Johnson’s experience includes work in Head Start, Early Head Start, and Healthy Families programming, directing regional management and support staff to work with families to achieve their goals.

Johnson worked as a Management Consultant to Head Start and Early Head Start programs in both Illinois and Indiana.  She also worked for the Indiana Institute of Disability and Community as a Research Associate and Child Care Health Consultant, where she was a member of the initial team that implemented the Quality Rating and Improvement System used for child care providers across Indiana.

As Johnson continued her career, she has been fortunate enough to lead regional programs such as Success by Six and has most recently led Statewide Supports for Child Care Resource and Referral programs in Indiana. She holds a BS in Public Affairs from Indiana University and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University, where she received Outstanding Professional Honors in her cohort.

Chicago Welcomes Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer

Over 125 Influencers Attend Reception for One Hope United President & CEO

Representatives from Chicago’s political, nonprofit, and social justice communities came out Friday, February 22nd, to welcome Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer as the President and CEO of One Hope United.

Over 125 people attended the reception in the Mid-America Club, hosted by One Hope United’s Board of Directors.

Director of Development at

See all the photos in our Facebook photo album.

The One Hope United family also came out in full force, with members of the Board of Directors, Ambassador and Auxiliary Boards, and staff as well as donors in attendance. Theresa Dear, Board Chair of One Hope United, introduced Montorio-Archer and officially welcomed him to the organization.

In his remarks, Montorio-Archer thanked the Board and his husband, Paolo Montorio-Archer, for supporting his decision to join One Hope United and relocate to Chicago from New York, where he was born and founded The THRIVE Network, a nonprofit that assisted people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live lives with dignity, respect and independence.

Throughout February, One Hope United has been celebrating Black History Month, featuring inspirational quotes by staff members and African American pioneers, and Dr. Montorio-Archer invoked one such figure from the podium: “Martin Luther King once said that we should never forget to ignite the hope within ourselves, and I hope that you do that all the time,” he said.

Montorio-Archer also invited attendees to take part in two upcoming events:

Throughout April, One Hope United will repeat its Go Blue 4 OHU campaign, in which Chicagoans can dine out at over 30 participating restaurants to raise awareness and funding for child abuse prevention programs.

On May 3rd, One Hope United’s fifth annual gala returns to the Hilton Chicago. Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope, will feature a keynote and performance by the Glee Project’s Mario Bonds as well as a cocktail hour, dinner, silent and live auctions, and other special performances.

About One Hope United
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs including early education, foster care, adoption, counseling, residential, and other support services. What began in 1895 as a children’s home in Chicago now serves 9,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida and employs nearly 800 passionate and talented professionals. For more information, please visit www.onehopeunited.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Michelle Damico
Michelle Damico Communications
michelle@michelledamico.com
312-423-6627

One Hope United Names
Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer
President and CEO

Entrepreneur, author and attorney co-founded, led and merged nonprofit The THRIVE Network in New York City

One Hope United’s board of directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer as the organization’s President and CEO. Dr. Montorio-Archer, a successful New York nonprofit entrepreneur, child and family advocate, attorney and author assumed the leadership position last month following a national search.

Founded in Chicago in 1895 and based there to this day, One Hope United is one of the oldest and most respected human service nonprofits in the country. Today, the organization provides education, foster care, adoption, counseling, residential and other support services to over 9,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida.

Dr. Montorio-Archer co-founded The THRIVE Network in 1996 and served as its CEO for another 11 years before successfully merging the organization with The New York Foundling. THRIVE, which continues to operate under its own name, is a $36 million nonprofit organization that assists individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout New York City.

“Charles is a transformational leader who has demonstrated a passion for empowering all people to live with dignity and respect,” says Theresa A. Dear, Board Chair of One Hope United. “With his proven leadership, and his commitment to helping others reach their full potential, he is the ideal person to lead One Hope United to our next level of greatness as we work to help every child and family live life without limits.”

“I am thrilled to become part of the One Hope United family and community,” says Dr. Montorio-Archer. “When I began as a direct support professional in this industry over 25 years ago, I quickly recognized that, while our life circumstances may vary, we all want and deserve the same access to opportunity. That starts with the supports and services that One Hope United is so committed to providing – education, family support, a place to live and thrive, and connection to loved ones, as well as being recognized within our society. These are the building blocks to a life without limits, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to help bring these to every child and family.”

Dr. Montorio-Archer has written three books, most recently Everybody Paddles: A Leader’s Blueprint for Creating A Unified Team, which provides a management model for reaching strategic alignment and accelerating organizational change through respect, collaboration and leadership. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Lincoln University, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from CUNY Baruch College, a JD from Brooklyn Law School and a PhD in public policy from Walden University. From 2001 to 2004, he served as Assistant District Attorney in Kings County, Brooklyn, NY. Then from 2004 to 2007, he served as the Associate Executive Director for the InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies, where he advocated at the city, state, and federal levels for program development, business sustainability, and policy and regulatory reform.

In addition, Dr. Montorio-Archer has served on numerous boards, presented two TEDx Talks (“The Friendship Clause” and “IDENTITYphobia”), contributes to Forbes and Huffington Post, and has been featured on television, radio, print, and other media outlets.

Dr. Montorio-Archer succeeds Todd Schultz, who has been acting CEO for the last year. Schultz will remain a part of the Executive Leadership Team as the Chief Transition Officer.

About One Hope United
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs including early education, foster care, adoption, counseling, residential, and other support services. What began in 1895 as a children’s home in Chicago now serves 9,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida and employs nearly 800 passionate and talented professionals. For more information, please visit www.onehopeunited.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Michelle Damico
Michelle Damico Communications
michelle@michelledamico.com
312-423-6627

Extreme Cold Leads to Closures in Northern IL on January 30

The weather conditions indicate that it will be unsafe to be outdoors for even brief periods in the Northern Illinois region beginning tonight and lasting until Thursday. As a result, One Hope United has determined the following for Wednesday, Jan. 30:
  • 24-Hour Residential Programs will operate as scheduled.
  • All Child Care & Early Education Centers will be CLOSED, following their local school districts.
  • All other OHU offices in Northern Illinois will be CLOSED.
The full list of closures is as follows:
  • Aurora Early Learning Center CLOSED
  • Bridgeport I Child Development Center – Chicago CLOSED
  • Bridgeport II Child Development Center – Chicago CLOSED
  • Busy Bee Children’s Center CLOSED
  • Therapeutic Day School – Lake Villa CLOSED
  • Des Plaines Child Development Center CLOSED
  • Edgewater Early Learning Center – Chicago CLOSED
  • Elgin Child & Family Resource Center CLOSED
  • Glenview School Age Program CLOSED
  • Greenbay Home Visiting Program CLOSED
  • Gurnee CLOSED
  • Joliet – Placement CLOSED
  • Joliet Early Learning Center CLOSED
  • Kenwood CLOSED
  • O’Hare Child Development Center CLOSED
  • Richardson House – Lake Villa CLOSED
  • St. Charles CLOSED
  • Sprouted – Wilmette CLOSED
  • Wabash – Chicago CLOSED
  • Waukegan Early Learning Center CLOSED
As of now, all programs and offices plan to resume normal operations on Thursday, Jan. 31.

Wishbook Giving Initiative Returns this Holiday Season

Unique fundraising effort provides children and families with services and tools that change lives.

(CHICAGO, IL November 13, 2018) One Hope United has unveiled its 2018 Wishbook in advance of Giving Tuesday, November 27, 2018. The unique fundraising initiative is a creative way individuals, employees and corporations can help children and families reach their full potential by supporting a wide range of One Hope United programs including early childhood education, family support and youth services, foster care, adoption and more.

Wishbook officially launches on GivingTuesday, however donors can jump start their holiday giving and begin shopping now by visiting wishbook.onehopeunited.wpengine.com to find a variety of ways to make holiday giving more meaningful.

Wishbook is set up like an online catalog, where donors can virtually “shop” by making monetary donations that offset the costs of services that One Hope United provides — as well as goods that directly enhance those services. These items provide more than a one-time toy or an afternoon of fun; donations to Wishbook are aimed at transforming people’s lives.

This is illustrated – quite literally – in the printed Wishbook, a children’s book that highlights the items available and how they impact a child and family. In this year’s story, “Sam and the Science Center,” Sam’s friends and teacher help him continue his education and develop his interest in science and discovery.

Wishbook has items for every budget, ranging from $30 to $250. Many donors choose to “buy the whole Wishbook” for $1,000, which covers every item listed. Highlights from this year’s Wishbook include:

  • Send a teen to OHU’s SPARCS youth anti-violence program ($250) – When teens have undergone significant stressors such as abuse or neglect, loss of a parent, or even community violence, they can be more likely to turn to violence to solve their issues. This gift helps One Hope United send one teen to participate in a 16-week program to learn effective ways to deal with difficult situations, which can help reduce violence in their community.
  • Preschool scholarships ($100) – In low-income communities, if parents lose their jobs, they also lose their government assistance to send their child to preschool. Scholarships enable their child to stay in school — and on track — while the parents look for new work.
  • Animal therapy for a child who has experienced trauma ($60) – Connecting through animal therapy can augment traditional therapies to help a child who has experienced trauma advance through the healing process.
  • Science center for a preschool classroom ($55) – Adding a science center to a preschool classroom can inspire future minds to enter STEM occupations.

“Wishbook enables everyone to make a gift that will have a big impact on the children and families we serve,” said Todd Schultz, CEO, One Hope United. “It’s a great way for our generous donors to give and know how their gift will be used. It’s also a way for local companies to engage their employees in holiday giving that directly benefits families in their communities,” said Schultz.

Many global corporations with Chicago offices have made Wishbook the centerpiece of their employee philanthropy programs. Mintel, LinkedIn and McKinsey & Company are just a few of the companies that have joined thousands of individual donors who enthusiastically support Wishbook.

“Wishbook is a wonderful way for us to engage our employees in giving back,” says Adiat Baker, Financial Specialist at Mintel and Chair of Mintel Gives. “Wishbook aligns with our employees’ collective philanthropic spirit. By partnering with One Hope United, Mintel is making a lasting impact in the lives of families in our communities,” Baker added.

Wishbook continues to be one of One Hope United’s most successful fundraising campaigns. In the 2017 giving year, the nonprofit raised more than $85,000 in donations and nearly tripled its contributions received during the previous year.

A printable pdf copy is on the Wishbook website and hard copies will be at all One Hope United locations, corporate partners and available to anyone who requests one.

To learn more about Wishbook, get copies, and make a donation visit wishbook.onehopeunited.wpengine.com.

About One Hope United
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of early childhood education, prevention, intervention and community-based programs. The non-profit began over 120 years ago with the same vision it holds today: for every child and family, life without limits. One Hope United’s team of nearly 800 talented professionals serves thousands of children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida. For more information, please visit www.onehopeunited.wpengine.com.

10 One Hope United Early Education Centers Now NAEYC Accredited

Rigorous quality assessment puts OHU early learning centers in nation’s top 10 percent.

One Hope United now has 10 early education centers that have received accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.

Waukegan Early Learning Center joins nine other One Hope United child care and early education centers that have already earned this prestigious mark of quality, including Aurora Early Learning Center, Elgin Child & Family Resource Center, and Sprouted Child Care & Early Education (Wilmette) . All of One Hope United’s eligible centers are now accredited or undergoing accreditation by NAEYC.

In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized and coveted sign of high-quality early childhood education. Less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards across four categories—children, teaching staff, partnerships with families and communities, and administration—to recognize and drive holistic quality in early learning programs.

With guidelines for everything from teacher preparation to safety standards, NAEYC Accreditation ensures that programs are safe, well prepared, and intentional about ensuring children’s success. As a reputable indicator of quality, NAEYC Accreditation correlates with children’s greater readiness and success in school and beyond, increased educational attainment rates, and overall healthier lifestyles.

Find a NAEYC Accredited One Hope United center in your area:

Western Suburbs

City of Chicago

Northern Suburbs

*Opened in July 2016, Joliet Early Learning Center is still in the accreditation process.

      One Hope United Honors Lake Villa Police Department with Galaxy Award

      From left: One Hope United CEO Todd Schultz, Lake Villa Mayor James McDonald and Chief of Police Craig Somerville, and One Hope United Assistant Director Corey Dickson and Board Chair Theresa Dear.

      On Friday, during a quarterly board meeting, One Hope United presented its Galaxy Award for outstanding teamwork to the Lake Villa (Illinois) Police Department. Mayor James McDonald and Chief of Police Craig Somerville accepted the award on the department’s behalf.

      This is the first time One Hope United has bestowed its Galaxy Award on an external team. When presenting the award, Corey Dickson, who oversees One Hope United’s Lake Villa residential program, explained that it was appropriate to recognize the police department with this award because he views them as an extension of the campus team. “For all that your guys and your ladies do for us – that your department does for us – we’re very appreciative,” Dickson said.

      One Hope United CEO Todd Schultz said that a sense of collaboration was present from his very first meeting with Chief Somerville. “We view this as a partnership, and we couldn’t be doing this without you,” he said.

      The residential program in Lake Villa serves young men ages 9 to 18 in care of the state whose past traumas make it harder for them to succeed in a home-like setting. Therapists on the Lake Villa campus provide supervision and individualized treatment to help the youth address their symptoms and build their capacity for growth and essential life skills.

      “They’re a part of this community, and that means we’re here to serve them, too,” Chief Somerville said about the campus youth. He also recognized the work of the One Hope United staff, who are the first line of care for the youth. “These are the people that are the heroes here,” he said. “It’s a tough job.”

      One Hope United Board Chair Theresa Dear closed the event by thanking the Mayor and Chief on behalf of the board and inviting them to join the board for lunch. As part of the award, One Hope United provided lunch to the entire Lake Villa Police Department the following week.