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Bright Promises Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit supporting initiatives that are results-driven, sustainable, and demonstrably improve the lives of children. We work with individuals, foundations, agencies, community leaders, parents, caregivers, and experts to develop and deliver programs strategically designed to provide disadvantaged children with the foundation for a brighter future.

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Healing, Leading, Changing
EQUIP
Special Initiatives
Promoting Resiliency
SEL@Home
Focused Funding

Past Stories

Bright Promises Welcomes New Members to the Board of Directors

Bright Promises welcomes new members of the Board of Directors Dean Benson, Ryan A. Biller, Christine Calderon, and Aimee Hilado, Ph.D., LCSW

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A Day to Recognize the Impact of Trauma and Importance of Prevention

Trauma Informed Awareness Day is an annual, state-wide day celebrating triumph over adversity, community resilience, and trauma-informed care for Chicagoland children and youth.

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Now Hiring: Development Coordinator

Join our team!

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Now Accepting Letters of Intent for the Healing, Leading, Changing Initiative

Deadline to apply is February 23, 2024

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Attitude of Gratitude - Improving Early Childhood Care and Education for Low-Income Families

Discover how our EQUIP community partners are helping Chicagoland children ages 0-5 have the best possible start in life.

EQUIP
Attitude of Gratitude - Spotlight on Community Partners Addressing Racial Trauma

Discover how our Healing, Leading, Changing community partners are helping Chicagoland youth of color heal, be resilient, and thrive.

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Thank you for supporting Bright Promises 2023 Awards

2023 Awards were a record-breaking success, raising essential funds to support Bright Promises' child-serving initiatives.

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Bright Promises Announces 2023 Awards to Transformational Leaders Empowering Children and Youth  

Save the date for the Bright Promises 2023 Awards on Thursday, November 2 from 6-9p at Lacuna Lofts

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Inaugural F.A.I.R. Fund Grants Awarded in Honor of Iris Krieg

Congratulations to Theater Y and Firebird Community Arts

Special Initiatives
Bright Promises Announces Launch of "Bright Communities" SEL Resource Website

"Bright Communities" website connects Parents, Educators, and Service Providers to free, high-quality SEL resources

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Bright Promises Announces Grants to 13 Organizations Addressing Youth Racial Trauma

Nearly a half-million dollars in long-term support committed to local Chicagoland organizations

Healing, Leading, Changing
Trauma Informed Awareness Day 2023 - Youth Takeover Recap

A recap of the original content created by local youth leaders for Trauma Informed Awareness Day 2023

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Now Accepting 2023 Awards Nominations

Do you know a leader who is dedicated to creating opportunities for every child in Metropolitan Chicago to flourish and thrive?

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Trauma Informed Awareness Day Youth Takeover: Two key ingredients in my recipe for trauma-informed care

A reflection by JJ, Bright Promises Youth Council Guide

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Trauma Informed Awareness Day Youth Takeover: Flashbacks

A poem and reflection by Nelly representing Palenque LSNA

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Trauma Informed Awareness Day Youth Takeover: Dear Black Girl

A poem and reflection by Michaela representing grantee partner LUV Institute

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Introducing Lifetime Directors

Welcome to our inaugural Lifetime Directors - Paul Bodine, Shari Runner, and Jon N. Will.

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Bright Promises Welcomes New Board Members

We are growing! Welcome Neelamjit Kaur Dhaliwal, Randall Hardy, Jason Nierman, and Nick Bruce.

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Bright Promises Receives $1 Million Gift from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Game-changing investment will support programs addressing underrecognized needs of Chicagoland children and youth

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Bright Promises is Moving!

Visit us at our new office at Impact House

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Thank you for Elevating Youth Voices at the Bright Promises 2022 Awards!

On Oct. 25, supporters of Bright Promises came together to raise a record-breaking amount to support innovative programs serving Chicagoland children and youth.

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Join Our Team - New Program Officer Position

Join Bright Promises growing team!

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Register for Bright Promises 2022 Awards

Register now for Bright Promises 2022 Awards in-person and virtual event on Tuesday, 10/25 from 6-9pm

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Announcing the 2022 Awards Honorees

Join us to celebrate the 2022 honorees at Bright Promises 2022 Awards on Tuesday, 10/25 at the National Museum of Mexican Art

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Social Emotional Learning and the Safety of Children

Executive Director Jim Hirsch responds to the recent backlash against social emotional learning (SEL)

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Bright Promises 2021 Impact Report

See how your support helped to make a difference in the lives of thousands of Chicago children and youth in 2021.

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Confronting Racism: What Youth Have to Say About Racial Trauma

Watch the recording of the virtual event hosted in honor of Trauma Informed Awareness Day

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Bright Promises Foundation announces Jim Hirsch as new Executive Director

New Leadership for the Next Chapter

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Confronting Racism: Helping Youth Heal from Racism-Based Trauma through Empowerment and Activism

Join Bright Promises for a free virtual event on 12/7 @ 11:00a and learn how empowering youth and supporting youth-led activism can help BIPOC children and youth heal from the trauma caused by racism

Focused Funding
Bright Promises 2021 Awards Honors Chicago Changemakers

Hundreds of friends, partners, and supporters gather in-person and virtually for the celebration of Bright Promises 2021 Awards

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A New Chapter in Bright Promises 152-Year History

A special announcement from Bright Promises Foundation

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West Monroe Partners with Bright Promises to #GiveKidsaChance

West Monroe employees helped create opportunities for Chicagoland children and youth at the 11th Annual Charity Golf Outing

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Back to School: SEL, Learning Loss, and Youth Mental Health

Learn how social emotional learning can help youth thrive during the return to in-person instruction.

Focused Funding
Come Work With Us

Bright Promises is seeking an Executive Director who can help bring the organization to the next level

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Announcing the 2021 Awards Recipients

Save the date for the 2021 Awards celebration on Tuesday, October 19

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EQUIP Evaluation Confirms Importance of Investing in Quality Early Childhood Education

EQUIP remains a strong, effective, and needed source of support and is unique in its focus on quality improvements at early childhood education centers serving low-income children between the ages of birth to five.

EQUIP
How Bright Promises is Supporting Children's Recovery from COVID-19

Bright Promises is expanding our current programs and launching a new program to support children's recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Nominations Open for 2021 Awards

Submit a nomination by Friday, June 4

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Confronting Racism: Causes and Strategies for Addressing Race Based Trauma in Children

On Thursday, May 6 Bright Promises presented a virtual conversation with the experts about youth trauma caused by racism

Focused Funding
Bright Promises Announces New Initiative to Address Youth Trauma Caused by Racism

The Healing, Leading, Changing initiative addresses the impact of race based stress and trauma on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) children and youth

Focused Funding
Bright Promises Expands SEL@Home Initiative through Collaborative Action Project

Through a new collaborative project, Bright Promises is expanding the SEL@Home: Social Emotional Learning initiative to reach more communities and families.

Focused Funding
2020 Impact Report

Learn how your support helped Chicago children and families in 2020

Focused Funding
EQUIP
Special Initiatives
Focus Panel Process Determines Latest Focused Funding Initiative

As part of our innovative approach to identifying under-recognized issues and funding cutting-edge approaches, experts convened in 2020 to select Bright Promises' next Focused Funding issue.

Focused Funding
Bright Promises In The News: SEL@Home Helping Families Create a Positive Environment for Home Learning

Bright Promises' Katherine Korey explains the program to help children thrive as part of the Fox News "America Together" series.

Focused Funding
Meet Our Partners - Bright Promises COVID-19 Emergency Grant Recipients

Learn about the recipients of Bright Promises COVID-19 Response Fund emergency grants who are serving children and families most impacted by COVID-19

Special Initiatives
Need and Demand for SEL@Home: Social Emotional Learning at Home Program Greater Than Ever Before

SEL@Home programs are more essential than ever this year, and more children and families in need are being served despite challenges created by COVID-19.

Focused Funding
Resource Guide - How to Support Children's Mental Health during COVID-19

Learn from the experts what steps you can take to support the mental health of children and youth.

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Announcing the 2020 Awards Honorees

Congratulations to the 2020 Awards Honorees: Debbie Frisch, Nancy Aardema, and Jahmal Cole

Special Initiatives
Our Commitment to Anti-Racism and Social Justice

This is a pivotal moment. Bright Promises Foundation stands with those who are continuing to fight racism and seek social justice. We can create the real and lasting change that our children deserve. #blacklivesmatter

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Announcing Launch of Bright Promises COVID-19 Response Fund

Please consider a donation to ensure low-income children and their families receive the help they need during these uncertain and complex times.

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
Bright Promises COVID-19 Coordinated Response Efforts

Learn how Bright Promises is taking multiple, coordinated approaches to helping children, youth and their families with critical needs during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Coping with the COVID-19 Crisis: How Social Emotional Learning Helps in Times of Stress

Tips for taking care of yourself and your family during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Letter from the Executive Director: Responding to COVID-19

A letter from Executive Director, Iris Krieg, about Bright Promises Foundation's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Shaping the Future - Help Make Sure Kids Count in the 2020 Census

Census counting officially begins on April 1! Chicago children and youth are counting on you to ensure that #kidscount in the 2020 Census.

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Leveling Up: SEL@Home Expands with New Opportunities for Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

In 2020, Bright Promises Foundation is expanding the SEL@Home initiative to reach even more children and families through the new Collaborative Action Grant program.

Focused Funding
Humane Advocacy: 150 Years

"Therein lies our brightest promise: that I care, you are not alone and we transcend together."

Special Initiatives
Bright Promises Continues to Invest in Quality Education for Chicago's Early Learners

Bright Promises continues to make substantial investements in improving early childhood education in Chicago for low-income children with 2019-2020 EQUIP grants

EQUIP
Chicago Youth Inspire at Bright Promises Foundation’s 150th Anniversary Awards

Chicago’s first agency for the protection of vulnerable children celebrates 150th year of service by giving over the stage to the kids.

Special Initiatives
EQUIP
Focused Funding
Humane Advocacy: 150 Years

The latest in a special blog series created in partnership with the Nourishment Project to celebrate 150 years of helping children reach their full promise and potential.

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Double Your Donation - Help Local Youth Leaders Make Chicago Communities Safer and Stronger

Partner with Bright Promises Foundation and Better to double your impact. Your gift is matched, donate now!

Special Initiatives
Two Weeks Left to Donate to Bright Promises' First Ever Crowdfunding Campaign

Donate before Sept.29 to help us reach our goal!

Special Initiatives
Get Your Tickets for the 150th Anniversary Awards

You're invited to the 150th Anniversary Awards on Tuesday, October 15, honoring Judith S. Block, Dr. Dorene Wiese, and Peggy and Paul Bodine. Reserve your tickets today!

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Congratulations to the Elevating Youth Voices $10,000 Grant Recipients

Join us at the 150th Anniversary Awards on Tuesday, October 15 for the presentation of the Elevating Youth Voices grants, plus performances by Chicago youth leaders!

Special Initiatives
Announcing the 150th Anniversary Awards Honorees

Join us we honor Judith S. Block, Chicago philanthropic icon and lifelong advocate for children, American Indian leader Dr. Dorene Wiese, and outstanding volunteers Peggy and Paul Bodine.

Special Initiatives
SEL@Home Welcomes Fourth and Largest Cohort of Program Partners

Bright Promises is proud to announce new and renewed multi-year partnerships with 14 organizations through the SEL@Home initiative.

Focused Funding
Humane Advocacy: 150 Years

Transcendental - Rising to the bright promise of untapped potential.

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Elevating Youth Voices: How Would You Use $10,000 to Help Your Community?

Edition 5 of 5: In the final edition of the Elevating Youth Voices Video Series, Chicago's youth leaders share how they would use $10,000 to address a problem in their community. Part of the Elevating Youth Voices 150th anniversary special initiative.

Special Initiatives
Elevating Youth Voices: How Would You Use $10,000 to Help Your Community

Edition 4 of 5: In the Elevating Youth Voices Video Series, Chicago's youth leaders share how they would use $10,000 to address a problem in their community. Part of the Elevating Youth Voices 150th anniversary special initiative.

Special Initiatives
Elevating Youth Voices: How Would You Use $10,000 to Help Your Community?

Edition 3 of 5: Made by youth, featuring youth. Hear directly from Chicago's youth leaders about how they would use $10,000 to address a problem in their community. Part of the Elevating Youth Voices 150th anniversary special initiative.

Special Initiatives
Elevating Youth Voices: How Would You Use $10,000 to Help Your Community?

Edition 2 of 5: In self-produced videos, youth leaders from across Chicagoland share how they would use $10,000 to address a problem in their community. Part of the Elevating Youth Voices 150th anniversary special initiative.

Special Initiatives
Elevating Youth Voices: How Would You Use $10,000 to Help Your Community?

Edition 1 of 5: Chicagoland youth leaders share how they would use $10,000 to address a problem in their community. Part of the Elevating Youth Voices 150th anniversary special initiative.

Special Initiatives
Chicago Youth Leaders Come Together for Elevating Youth Voices Fair

On Saturday, June 1 over 100 youth leaders from across Chicagoland came together for a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of the next generation of leaders of our city and our world.

Special Initiatives
Empowering youth voices begins with one gift, yours.

Donate $5, $10, or $20 to our first ever crowdfunding campaign in celebration of our 150th anniversary!

Special Initiatives
Focused Funding
EQUIP
Bright Promises Foundation in the News

Have you spotted Bright Promises' in the news recently? Watch and listen to stories about our 150th anniversary on NBC5, ABC7,Conversations with a Citizen Podcast, and more!

Special Initiatives
Partner Spotlight: Illinois Action for Children

What does it mean to elevate the voices of our youngest leaders?

Focused Funding
Humane Advocacy: 150 Years

From India, now to Iran

Special Initiatives
Introducing the Founding Members of the Legacy Council

And congratulations to Retiring Board Members Rodger Owen and Robert Finley

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Save the Date: Elevating Youth Voices Fair

Join us on Saturday, June 1 from 12p-3p for the Elevating Youth Voices Fair

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
Nominations Open for 150th Anniversary Awards

Deadline Extended: Nominate by Thursday, May 9 at 5:00p

Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
EQUIP: Investing in a Bright Future for All Early Learners

Program Update: EQUIP Provides Investment in Bright Future for Low-Income Children Ages 0-5

EQUIP
Humane Advocacy: 150 Years

avatār : an embodiment of an abstract idea

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Guidelines Available for 2019 SEL@Home Initiative

Letter of Intent forms due by Friday, February 8 at 5pm.

Focused Funding
Humane Advocacy: 150 Years

Benediction

Special Initiatives
Guidelines Now Available for Elevating Youth Voices Special Grant Initiative

Deadline to submit an email letter of interest is January 15, 2019

Special Initiatives
Measuring Impact: Why (and How) We Evaluate

Through careful, ongoing evaluation, Bright Promises Foundation ensures that the change that results from our investment is sustained.

Focused Funding
New Funding Opportunity: $50,0000 to Elevate Youth Voices and Create Positive Community Change

Announcing a special funding opportunity as a part of Bright Promises Foundation's 150th Anniversary

Special Initiatives
Humane Advocacy: 150 Years

What does one give when abundance is dwindling? Isn't that when the true essence of giving commences - the Giving of Self?

Special Initiatives
Partner Spotlight: RefugeeOne

Bright Promises Foundation is partnering with RefugeeOne to ensure refugee children have the skills and support they need to thrive in the U.S.

Focused Funding
EQUIP
2018 Awards Marks 149th Year of Accelerating Innovation in Chicago's Child-Serving Community

Nearly 300 people gathered to celebrate and support programs that address the urgent, unmet needs of low-income children and families in new and meaningful ways.

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
Bright Promises Announces 2018-2019 Grantees

Bright Promises is partnering with 16 leading organizations across Chicagoland, supporting them to improve their programs and services, increasing both the reach and quality of their work.

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Announcing the 2018 Awards Honorees

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 Awards: Doug Mabie, Nancy Ronquillo, Marco Dodd, and Maria Degillo

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
Bright Star Award Recipients Shining Bright

Bright Promises caught up with past recipients of the Ed Marciniak Bright Star Award to learn about how they are continuing to create opportunities for Chicago children to thrive.

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
Results of Childhood Trauma Initiative Show Significant Increase in Trauma-Informed Care

The recent evaluation of Bright Promises Childhood Trauma initiative shows significant expansion and improvement of much-needed trauma-informed care for children and families in Illinois.

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
2018 Awards Nominees Helping to #GiveKidsaChance

2018 Awards Nominees represent incredible work bring done across Chicago to help children succeed.

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
Impact Update: Engaging Children's First & Most Important Teachers

The SEL@Home initiative successfully builds strong partnerships among organizations to provide Social Emotional Learning opportunities in low-income communities.

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
Tickets On Sale for '18-'19 Theater Benefits

Reserve your tickets for Heartbreak Hotel on 8/25/18 and Dear Evan Hansen on 3/7/19. A portion of every ticket helps low-income children and families in Chicago.

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
Nominations Open for 2018 Awards

Submit nominations online by April 27, 2018 for awards honoring local children’s advocates.

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives
Oprah Brings Conversation About Adverse Childhood Experiences to National Stage with 60 Minutes Interview

Oprah becomes "champion of champions" helping to increase awareness about how each of us can help children who are experiencing trauma.

EQUIP
Focused Funding
Special Initiatives