ML - Michigan Avenue

2015 - Issue 2 - Late Spring

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 69 of 139

photography by Jon recana continued on page 70 Fifteen years ago, 23 businesswomen, civic leaders, and philanthropists with a vision joined forces to create the Young Women's Leadership Charter School of Chicago (YWLCS). As the only all-girls public college preparatory school in the city, YWLCS has been molding the minds of young women in grades 8–12 with a curriculum that emphasizes math, science, and technology. A supporter of the school since its conception, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt became more involved during her role as vice president of global corporate citizenship for The Boeing Company, where she focused on system-wide innovation and reform. "Young Women's Leadership Charter School was the only charter school that stepped up to say, 'We want to share the knowledge we're gaining with the system and make every school a quality education for every child in Chicago,'" says the former Chicagoan, who since 2011 has been serving Maine, New Hampshire, and northern Vermont as CEO of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England. "It's that kind of commu- nity focus and intention that has made me a big admirer ever since." As Roosevelt returns to Chicago as the keynote speaker of YWLCS's Girl Power Luncheon, she shares her excitement for the next generation of female leaders. What does the Young Women's Leadership Charter School mean to you? It means success story after success story; it means people coming together to raise expectations for our youth—to say, "You can make of your life something meaning- ful through education, so you can make the right decisions." It's that investment in the development of a youth's personality and confidence—and giving them the tools to make good decisions in life—that distinguishes the school to me. That focus is on raising young women into people who are going to not only be instrumental in our future generations, but in shaping the communities that they end up living in. How have you seen the school evolve in the last 15 years? These young women have been going off to college, and they've been graduat- ing, and now they're launched into careers. That evolution—making your own history—is extremely important. I've also seen an evolution in the administra- tion: When you start something that's innovative and new, it's often hard to move beyond that first team that makes it work. I've watched the women who are engaged with the school stick together with great loyalty and determination to make sure the leadership of the school is able to evolve, because that's what will ensure its stability going forward. What have you learned from Young Women's Leadership Charter School? If you really believe change is possible and that every person's life can be useful, worthwhile, and wonderful, you can make that happen. I'm so proud of [Young Investing in the Future As the Young Women's LeAdership ChArter sChooL of ChiCAgo CeLebrAtes its 15th AnniversArY With the AnnuAL girL poWer LunCheon, keYnote speAker AnnA ElEAnor roosEvElt Continues to enCourAge Young Women bLAzing the trAiL. by meg mathis clockwise from left: Anna Roosevelt (left) stands with 12th-grade YWLCS student Kaylynn Cusic, who will introduce Roosevelt at the 2015 Girl Power Luncheon on April 29 at the Hilton Chicago; Patricia Filomeno helps her 10th-grade chemistry students with a hands-on lab project; Linda Johnson Rice (right), who delivered the keynote address at last year's luncheon, with YWLCS class of 2014 graduate Charnae Caldwell. 68 PEOPLE Spirit of Generosity

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