Honoring individuals who make a difference in the lives of children.

About Bright Promises' Awards

Each year, Bright Promises Foundation presents awards to individuals in our communities who deeply embody our mission to create opportunities for every child to thrive.

These awards are presented each year during a community celebration hosted by the Bright Promises Foundation Board of Directors. This is a fun and casual event, celebrating a distinguished individuals and organizations who deserve special recognition for their dedication to the children of Chicago. 

More than just a great party with great people, the proceeds from our annual Awards celebration provides critically important funds to support groundbreaking programs that serve the most economically disadvantaged children in Chicago. 

Awards Descriptions

The Champion for Children Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of a civic or community leader who demonstrates exceptional dedication to helping at-risk children and youth in Metropolitan Chicago in a volunteer  capacity, especially by supporting innovative programs and practices that are ahead of the curve, and whose commitment and belief in building a better future for Chicago kids is exemplary.

Past honorees include Andrea Palmer (2022), Xavier McElrath-Bey (2021), Debbie Frisch (2020), Judith Block (2019), Doug Mabie (2018), Thomas Hale (2017) and Gigi Pritzker (2016).

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a professional in children's services who has made 15+ years of outstanding contributions to the welfare of low-income and at-risk children in Metropolitan Chicago and to advancing forward-thinking and innovative programs benefiting disadvantaged children and families.

Past honorees include Cathy Krieger (2022), Brenda Myers-Powell (2021), Nancy Aardema (2020), Dr. Dorene Wiese (2019), Nancy Ronquillo (2018), Dr. Linda Gilkerson (2017), Ron Manderschied (2016), Alex Kotlowitz (2015), Bryan Samuels (2014), Marjorie Craig Benton (2013), Prudence Beidler (2012), Dr. Katherine Kaufer Christoffel (2011), Dr. Barbara Bowman (2010), Bernice Weissbourd (2009), Jerome Stermer (2008), Dr. Joseph DiCara (2007), Mark Duhon (2006), John Horan (2005)

The Elevating Youth Voices Award is given to an early or mid-career professional in children's services with less than 10 years of experience who is dedicated to empowering children and youth and amplifying youth voices in Metropolitan Chicago. This award is accompanied by an honorarium of $5,000 to be used to further the recipient’s knowledge about and work on behalf of vulnerable children.

Past honorees include Devon VanHouten-Maldonado (2022), Berto Aguayo (2021), Jahmal Cole (2020), Marco Dodd (2018), Anthony Vincent Clark (2017), Maria Munoz (2016), Dominica McBride (2015), Scheherazade Tillet (2014), Eduardo Bocanegra (2013), Mariame Kaba (2013), Sarah Elizabeth Ippel (2012), Casey Holtschneider (2011), Angela Devore (2009), and Khalila Worley (2009).

Submit a Nomination

Do you know someone worthy of recognition for their work on behalf of children and youth?
Submit a nomination via the online form below.
Online Nomination Form: