A celebration of better lives and brighter futures for Chicago children and youth.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022
National Museum of Mexican Art


Bright Promises 2022 Awards

A celebration of the people and organizations who are creating better lives and brighter futures for Chicago children and youth.

About the Event - Bright Promises 2022 Awards
Tuesday, October 25, 6:00p-9:00p
National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Join us for an evening at the National Museum of Mexican Art celebrating the work of Bright Promises Foundation and our partners. The Bright Promises 2022 Awards feature a cocktail reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres, private gallery tours including the hugely popular Día de Muertos exhibition, opportunities to interact with local Chicago youth leaders, and a brief program where this year’s awardees are honored.

Download the 2021 Awards
Digital Program

Can't attend? Support at-risk Chicago children and youth with a gift.

Your gift is a crucial investment in the lives and futures of Chicago children and youth, ensuring that all young people, no matter their background, circumstance, or zip code, to have the opportunity to reach their full promise and potential. 

Your donation will help at-risk children and youth growing up in low-income households and communities impacted by poverty, gun violence, and systemic racism. These factors can have serious and long-lasting effects on children's physical and mental health, their ability to do well in school, and their future success as adults. These negative outcomes are not inevitable though; with your support, children can flourish and thrive.

100% of your donation will go to programs that support the social, emotional, and mental health of low-income and BIPOC children and youth.


Sumbit a Nomination

Submit a nomination for the 2022 Awards

2022 Awards Nomination Form

Bright Promises’ is seeking nominations for our 2022 Awards, which honor individuals who are dedicated to creating opportunities for every child in Metropolitan Chicago to flourish and thrive.

Eligible nominees are individuals committed to helping every young person in Greater Metropolitan Chicago to live a better life and have a brighter future. Honorees are exemplary leaders dedicated to serving children in either a professional or volunteer capacity, and have contributed to notable improvements in the lives of Chicago-area children and youth.

Nominees can be current or emerging leaders of any age and come from any field, including but not limited to  public or community service, education, community organizing, arts, business, DEI, faith-based work, journalism, law, medicine, and philanthropy.

We are accepting nominations of individuals who reflect the core values of Bright Promises Foundation: Significant positive impact on children and youth, innovation, sustainable change, scalable solutions, and expertise.

DEADLINE: Nominations must be submitted by 7:00pm on Friday, June 24.

Berto Aguayo

2021 Elevating Youth Voices Award

A lifelong Back of the Yards resident and a product of an immigrant family, Berto is a fierce voice against gun violence and a champion for immigrant rights. He’d always heard that to “make it” meant to “make it out of the hood.” To Berto, that didn’t sit right. He wanted to help bring his neighborhood the peace and resources its residents deserved. 

A former gang member, Berto Aguayo is now the co-founder and Executive Director of #IncreaseThePeace (#ITP), an organization that develops young leaders and promotes peace through community organizing and policy advocacy. Since its founding in 2016, #ITP reopened a community center, trained over 300 youth leaders in community organizing, organized dozens of actions to increase the peace, and has expanded its work to include violence prevention, youth development, food access, mutual aid, and multicultural unity.

The Elevating Youth Voices Awards is accompanied by a $5,000 honorarium to support Berto’s professional development.

Meade Palidofsky

2021 Bright Promises Foundation Visionary Award

Meade Palidofsky is an award-winning director, playwright, and lyricist who founded Storycatchers Theatre in 1984 and developed its trauma-informed creative youth development methodology. She created Storycatchers' signature program model for youth in the juvenile justice system, developing and implementing year-round residential and post-release programs that engage these marginalized young people through a trauma lens. Under her leadership, these programs empower justice-involved youth and prepare them to navigate court involvement and reentry successfully. 

For over 37 years, she has worked tirelessly to guide some of the most vulnerable young people in Illinois to realize their potential, and to envision and pursue productive futures. She has changed institutional cultures in secure facilities by engaging staff as stakeholders in the success of incarcerated teens. She has collaborated with aftercare to create a post-release employment model to help youth develop capacity for successful lives after prison. She has created critical partnerships within the justice system and throughout the community to establish a network of support. In May 2021, Palidofsky announced her plan to retire from Storycatchers.


Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Learn more about 2022 Sponsorship Opportunities

Host Committee

Interested in joining the 2022 Awards host committee? Contact Katherine Dreher Korey at katherine.dreher@brightpromises.org or call 312-550-2775.

Contact us

For more information, please contact Katherine Dreher Korey at katherine.dreher@brightpromises.org or 312-550-2775.