The 2017 Celebration Award Nominees

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 10.30.50 PM

Celebration Graphic 630 Start time

Now is YOUR chance to vote! The 2017 Celebration Award Nominees have been selected. The winners will be announced at the YNPN Chicago Annual Celebration on May 18. Get your tickets to the event and help us celebrate the best in Chicago nonprofits for 2017.

Associate Board of the Year

  • Delta Emerging Leaders, Delta Institute
    “Through their annual BOOST (Building Opportunities for Original and Sustainable Thinking) pitch night, the Delta Emerging Leaders have tapped into Chicago’s entrepreneurial spirit and provided a unique platform to spur sustainability-related innovation in the city.” – Katie Musisi, Communications & Development Director
  • One Million Degrees Associate Board, One Million Degrees
    As ambassadors for One Million Degrees, and for low-income, first-generation college students, OMD’s AssociatesBoard is advocating for the importance of a community college degree, soft skills development, and forging path into the middle class.” – Michaela McGill, Senior Manager, Volunteer & Alumni Programs
  • Young Leadership Board, America Needs You – Illinois
    “The America Needs You (ANY) Illinois Young Leadership Board helped launch ANY in Illinois in 2015. This group of dedicated volunteers created an annual gala, which raised over $67K in 2017, runs Mentor Coach recruitment for our organization (a critical part of our volunteer-led career development and mentorship organization) and many also serve as Mentor Coaches to our first-generation college students.”  – Julie Hoffmann, Illinois Executive Director

Nonprofit of the Year

  • The Chicago High Schools for the Arts
    ChiArts aims to develop the next generation of diverse, artistically promising scholar-artists who lead fulfilled lives, obtain a level of success that is meaningful to them, and become the active and engaged citizens of tomorrow.” – Marlena Dzis, Development Associate
  • The People’s Music School
    We believe in the transformative power of music and making those benefits available to low-income families. Through intensive instruction and performance, our students grow musically, socially, emotionally and intellectually, laying the ground work for success in other areas of life.” – Melanie Gold, Development and Program Coordinator
  • Thresholds
    Thresholds provides healthcare, housing and hope to thousands of people with mental illness and substance use disorders throughout the Chicagoland area. Often our clinicians serve individuals that other organizations will not serve.” – Sarah Hertsted McCrary, Compensation and Benefits Analyst

Supervisor of the Year

  • Abby Farnham, Director of Development, Lincoln Park Community Shelter
    Abby has not only supported hundreds of individuals experiencing homelessness through her positions at LPCS andCity Lights, she has also supported numerous staff in their professional development. Without Abby’s hard work and dedication to surpassing our fundraising goals, we would not be able to serve nearly 400 people each year at LPCS andmove an average of 30 people into permanent housing annually.” – Jennifer Kouba, Volunteer & Community Relations Manager
  • Caleb Sturrup, Assistant Director, University of Chicago
    Working with Caleb, he sees things differently. He sees how they could be and how people can grow. Caleb not only looks at what needs to be done, but sees how it can be done better. Additionally, he creates a passion for working in the nonprofit sector to everyone that he comes in contact with. He makes coming to work enjoyable and I know that I can always count on him for guidance and advice when I am struggling.” – Amelia Garza, Assistant Director, Global Engagement
  • Choua Vue, Director of Policy and Community Engagement, Illinois Action for Children
    [Choua] is extremely smart, not afraid to challenge the powers that be, and most importantly committed to her values around equity and social justice. I have been in meetings where there are difficult conversations and Choua has never backed down, especially on issues around race and the agency’s commitment to equity. She truly wants to see her staff grow, and she challenges us to think outside the box, to imagine beyond, to be creative and to get it done.” – Luis Roman, Community Engagement Associate

Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year

  • LaJenné Alcantar, High School Succes Program Manager, LINK Unlimited Scholars
    [LaJenné] is steadfast in her belief that youth, given the opportunity and access, can do amazing things. LJ reminds us that as adults we do not always know what’s best and we must listen to the voice of the youth, which is often where the creative solutions come. LJ is a practitioner who gives her time, treasures and talent to Chicago. She often spends evenings and weekends lending a hand to our youth who are attending 30 different high schools.” – Alpachino Hogue, Director, Educational Programs
  • Timna Axel, Communications Associate, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
    Timna is a strong, caring, and genuine ally to a broad diversity of nonprofit peers and community members. At work and outside of work, she is always thinking of inventive ways to further social justice. In the aftermath of the 2016 election cycle, when she observed that a growing number of vulnerable communities were under attack, Timna started a group in her community to organize resistance actions, legal know-your-rights trainings, medical trainings for protestors, and weekly giving drives to nonprofits.” – Bonnie Allen, Executive Director
  • Esra Rahima, Director of Mentorship, Muslim Women’s Alliance
    Esra saw a need to provide young Muslim girls in high school with strong role models and connect them with mentors. She led a team of dedicated women to develop seminars/workshops for high school girls living in the south side ofChicago as well as a school-based program for a parochial all-girls Islamic school. These seminars include wellness workshops exploring healthy behaviors, social justice activism, creative art therapy, self-defense classes and community service projects as well.” – Khadija Husain, Communications Director
  • Steve Strang, Senior Consultant, Practice Director, Spectrum Nonprofit Services
    For the last 10 years, Steve has served in various roles in the nonprofit sector, including Instructor, Advisory Board Member for the Axelson Center and Allow Good, and Executive Co-Chair of YNPN. Professionally, as the Senior Consultant at Spectrum Nonprofit Services he provides consulting and training in sustainability strategies for community-based organizations. Additionally, Steve is the Managing Director of Project Pivot.” – Marty Daiga, Regional Grant Officer, The Rotary Foundation

click here to vote!