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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: August 2016

Chatterjee Appointed to Lead UN in Kenya

Press Release – Nairobi, Kenya 26 August 2016 – Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee has been appointed United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya where he will lead and coordinate 25 UN agencies in the country. He will also serve as the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Prior to this appointment, Chatterjee, an Indian national, was the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative in Kenya.

In 1997 he joined the UN in Bosnia and over the next two decades served in Iraq, South Sudan, Indonesia, Sudan (Darfur), Somalia, Denmark, and Kenya. He has worked in UN Peace Keeping, UNICEF, UNOPS, the Red Cross and UNFPA.

Welcoming the appointment, Ms Ruth Kagia, Senior Advisor, International Relations and Social Sectors in the Office of the President of Kenya said, “Sid’s insightful understanding of clients’ needs as the UNFPA Representative in Kenya has translated into tangible gains in maternal, child and adolescent health. His relentless energy and focus on results has helped build relationships and networks of trust and confidence with the highest levels of Government, civil society, the private sector and development partners. ”

Chatterjee is expected to continue his advocacy for women’s empowerment in Kenya where he has led notable initiatives to advance reproductive, maternal, neo-natal, child and adolescent health.

Dr Julitta Onabanjo, UNFPA’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa said, “Sid resolutely pushed UNFPA’s mandate in the hardest to reach counties and service of the most vulnerable. He mobilized resources and partners in the private sector to join this drive to leapfrog maternal and new-born health. This bold initiative was highlighted by the World Economic Forum in Davos and Kigali”.

Among Chatterjee’s other career achievements include mobilizing the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement to join the eradication of polio initiative; negotiated access with rebel groups to undertake a successful polio immunization campaign in the rebel controlled areas of Darfur; led UNICEF’s emergency response when conflict broke out in Indonesia’s Aceh and the Malukus provinces; and oversaw UNICEF’s largest demobilization of child soldiers in South Sudan in 2001.

A prolific writer, Chatterjee’s articles have featured on CNN, Al Jazeera, Forbes, Huffington Post, Reuters, the Guardian, Inter Press Service, as well as the major Kenyan newspapers. He was recently profiled by Forbes magazine in an article titled, “Passionate Leader of UNFPA Kenya Battles Violence against Women, FGM and Child Marriage”

His early career was in a Special Forces unit of the Indian Army, where he was decorated in 1995 for bravery by the President of India.

Chatterjee holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Princeton University, USA and a Bachelor’s degree from the National Defence Academy in India.

What’s New at SDSU

San Diego State University welcomes nearly 11,000 new students to a campus in the midst of change.

Press Release – SAN DIEGO (August 25, 2016)— On Monday, Aug. 29, San Diego State University kicks off the 2016-17 academic year, welcoming nearly 11,000 new students to campus.

New and returning students will step foot onto a transforming Montezuma Mesa, distinguished by remarkable peers, exceptional and dedicated faculty and staff and innovative programs.

“As we enter the fifth year of our strategic plan, ‘Building on Excellence,’ this is a time of unprecedented opportunity for San Diego State,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.“Through our collaborative campus efforts, we have made extraordinary progress in our core areas of Student Success, Research and Creative Endeavors, and Community and Communication. I am excited about the initiatives we will pursue in the coming year and our prospects for achieving even greater excellence and distinction.”

Guided by the strategic plan, the university is moving forward with campus construction, the addition of new faculty members, the introduction of 23 new courses and several other initiatives designed to enhance the Aztec Experience for SDSU students. New students

More than 83,000 freshmen and undergraduate transfer students applied for fall 2016 admission to SDSU ― an all-time high for the university. Approximately 8,500 new undergraduates and 2,200 new graduate students are joining the Aztec family.

Though final data won’t be available until the university’s annual census in September, the freshman class is shaping up to be one of the most academically impressive ever with an average GPA of 3.68. Twenty incoming freshmen have two-part SAT scores over 1500, and more than 800 have scores over 1300.

The incoming class is also one of the most internationally diverse cohorts, with 315 new exchange students and 825 new degree and certificate seeking international students representing 80 countries.

New faculty

This semester, SDSU welcomes 51 new tenured and tenure-track faculty members, surpassing the halfway mark of an ambitious five-year goal to add 300 new faculty members by (YEAR). Since 2014, more than 155 faculty members have been hired – thanks in part to funding by the campus Student Success Fee – boosting the university’s research and creative endeavors and supporting student success.

New faculty members this year come to SDSU from Harvard, Columbia, Cambridge, Emory, the University of California, Berkeley, and other world-class research universities. They are experts in a variety of fields including aerospace and biomedical engineering, neuroscience, computational archeology, furniture design, music theory, astronomy, geology, art history and social psychology.

New classes

SDSU has added 23 new classes from departments all over campus to its fall 2016 schedule. They include Sound Design for Film; Philosophy, Racism and Justice; Advanced Watershed Analysis; and Media Technology and Society.

American Sign Language (ASL) classes have also been reintroduced as part of the College of Education’s curriculum.,

The changing face of campus

Students, faculty and staff returning to the Mesa may be surprised by the progress that has been made on construction projects across campus, including the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex and South Campus Plaza, both of which are dramatically changing the campus skyline.

Other ongoing construction projects include new monuments at the main campus gateway at Campanile Drive and Montezuma Road; a new recreation field located on the north side of Parking Structure 12; and the addition of new restrooms and concession stands at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre.

Campus parking lots and parking structures have been renamed. Name changes are reflected on signs installed in each parking area. They list both the old and new names. A map with the updated names of all parking lots and structures can be found here.

A new student lounge has also been added to the southwest corner of The Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. The 1,600-square-foot lounge, operated by Associated Students, will be a hub for students to relax, socialize, study and collaborate. It will be open daily and features breakout work spaces, writeable surfaces, comfortable seating and five televisions.

New Dining Options

The former dining room at Cuicacalli Suites, renamed The Garden, is SDSU’s only all-you-care-to-eat facility, The Garden features a fresh salad bar as the main attraction, complemented by proteins and soups. Pasta and flatbread stations round out the menu, which is overseen by SDSU Dining Executive Sous Chef, Justin Mead. The Garden will be open to faculty, staff, and students from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch on the weekends during the fall semester.

SDSU Dining is also adding Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in East Commons during the fall semester. Dickey’s, which is famous for authentic, slow-smoked Texas BBQ, will open in the location that was previously home to Daphne’s Greek Cafe.

Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival Gives Back To Local Community with Hands on Ideas and the Lighting Hope Project Initiatives

Life is Beautiful community program benefits Clark High School and Las Vegas homeless population

Press Release – Las Vegas­ – Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival’s passion and commitment to Las Vegas extends beyond the three-day festival weekend with the return of two local outreach programs, Hands on Ideas, to make our schools beautiful and the Lighting Hope Project, reaching out to offer a beautiful day for the Las Vegas homeless community and to share the message to donate and help responsibly.

“It is important to give back to the community that has embraced us and accepted our festival with open arms since its inception,” said Justin Weniger, CEO of Life is Beautiful. “Each of these programs will create a better future for Las Vegas residents through empowering seminars, art projects, employment and resource opportunities and more.”

Hands on Ideas

In partnership with Project 150, Life is Beautiful will host Hands on Ideas to create a day where Clark High School is beautiful for more than 3,000 students on Friday, Sept. 9. The day’s activities will feature guest speakers, chef demonstrations by Panacea, plays by the Nevada Shakespeare Institute, yoga sessions, a drum circle presented by Community Productions, live performances and more. Motivational speakers, including Dray Gardner, COO of Making a Difference Enterprises, and John McNichol with Regular Hero, will each give students an inside look into what it takes to succeed and how to empower themselves. In addition, the students will help create inspirational murals on the school walls with Chase Carter with Right at Home; Gabe Gault with MM Productions; Las Vegas artist, The Stencil Artista; and Southern California artists John McNichol and Phenomenal Mark, in an effort to instill the message that each and every student has the power to succeed. Each student will also participate in a contest to create a mural of what they think is beautiful, which will be judged by the attending artists. The winning entry will be created by the artists and put on display.

A variety of prominent businesses and members of the community will also join Hands on Ideas including, singer-songwriter Megan Barker; Youth Outdoor Unity; Wee Souls Wellness for Children; and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Notable attendees will include Judith Pinkerton, music therapist with Music 4 Life; Sheryl Green, founder of Paw It Forward Las Vegas and director of communications for Hearts Alive Village; and Lieutenant Sasha Larkin with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Lighting Hope Project

As the festival moves into Downtown Las Vegas and closes off the streets, Life is Beautiful and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will join forces on Tuesday, Sept. 20 to relocate the homeless population from the festival grid to the Corridor of Hope. Located at 200 Foremaster Lane, the Lighting Hope Project will offer a beautiful morning for Las Vegas’ homeless population, giving each person the tools they need to get back on their feet.

In the days leading up to the festival, the local homeless community will work to clean up the streets in exchange for a “Golden Ticket,” which will provide them with a variety of amenities and services provided by HELP of Southern Nevada, St. Joseph Catholic Church, CARE, Right at Home, Youth Outdoor Unity, Panacea, Wee Souls Wellness for Children, Deblanc Music and Regular Hero.

Programs that morning will include breakfast; motivational speakers; a job fair; on-site resources to help those in need to get their ID and needed documents; free haircuts; mobile showers; a detox bed; chef demonstrations by Panacea; a performance by Las Vegas Academy students and more. Organizations from across the city, including CARE located on Foremaster Lane where the murals will be painted, will have available job information. Last year, Little Caesars had success in hiring those willing and able to work in the homeless community, and will once again be providing homeless individuals the opportunity to find a job and begin earning an income.

Beginning the weekend prior to the event, Chase Carter, The Stencil Artista, Gabe Gault, John McNichol and Phenominal Mark will design and create an inspirational mural within the Corridor of Hope to remind everyone who looks at it to not give up hope and to keep striving for a better life.

Life is Beautiful brings Downtown Las Vegas to life for a three-night all-encompassing music, art, culinary and learning experience Sept. 23-25. Three-day and single-day tickets are still available for Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival here. For highlights from last year’s festival, check out the Life is Beautiful 2015 Recap video. For more information on Life is Beautiful Music & Arts Festival, please visit

Philadelphia Eagles Announce Community Partners for 2016 Season

The core areas of focus will center on strategic development, healthcare, food stability, music education and youth empowerment

The Philadelphia Eagles are teaming up with five new Eagles Care partners this year as part of the team’s ongoing commitment to supporting local non-profits and helping to deepen their overall impact on the Greater Philadelphia Region.

The five partners that the Eagles will be collaborating with in 2016 include: After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP), Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA), Rock to the Future (RTTF) and Summer Search Philadelphia.

“As a committed member of the Philadelphia community, we are so excited by the support that the Philadelphia Eagles provide through their Eagles Care program,” said Amanda Jefferson, Executive Director of Summer Search Philadelphia. “Support from community leaders like the Eagles can transform programs like ours, allowing us to reach more students and bring college access to low-income Philadelphia students. The Eagles have gone above and beyond by providing funding, offering volunteer opportunities and thinking creatively about additional ways they can support our program. We feel like a member of the team already.”

The Eagles Care initiative, built off of the belief that strong non-profits build strong communities, connects the team with five local charitable organizations and works to jointly increase their positive impact on the community. Through these season-long strategic partnerships, the Eagles will devote their attention, support and resources to each non-profit to ensure that their impact on the community can be further enhanced and strengthened.

Heading into its fourth year, the Eagles Care network has seen exponential growth thanks in large part to the positive results it has had on the region. At the end of the season, each non-profit partner becomes an extension of the Eagles Care family where they continue to work closely with the Eagles on community outreach events, while utilizing their newfound strengths to assist future Eagles Care partners.

“The Eagles Care program has had an immeasurable impact on Little Smiles Philadelphia Chapter over the last year,” said Stephanie Tomko, Executive Director of Marketing & Fundraising, Little Smiles. “Because of this incredible partnership, our social media presence has grown, we are launching a new website this month and our partner and sponsor relationships are growing exponentially. The resources and ongoing support from the Eagles are a testament to their true commitment to the Philadelphia community and we are so grateful.”

2016 Eagles Care Partners

  • The mission of After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP) is to develop high-quality after school activities and resources to empower youth and strengthen communities in Philadelphia. Each year, ASAP serves approximately 5,000 youth (K-12) by coordinating more than 350 after school clubs in schools, libraries, community and recreation centers throughout Philadelphia. Through activities such as chess, debate, Scrabble and drama, ASAP empowers the youth to achieve academic and post-secondary success. ASAP also maintains a directory that features thousands of after school activities in more than 1,000 sites across the city. For more information, please visit
  • Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) connects people with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support through local and national programming. LBBC hosts an extensive library of Guides to Understanding, which provides medical information, tips from others affected by breast cancer and suggestions on where to find resources that consider a person’s overall well-being. This is in concert with their robust website and their Breast Cancer Helpline where trained volunteers are available by phone or online to listen to patients’ concerns, provide tips based on their own experiences with breast cancer and connect callers to helpful resources.
  • Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA) prepares and delivers delicious nourishing meals and counsel, empowering individuals – especially for people at acute nutritional risk due to life-threatening illness – to battle illness and improve their quality of life. MANNA’s mission centers on the evidence-based practice of food as medicine, providing a bundled service of medically appropriate meals with personalized nutrition counseling eliminating the difficulty of accessing nutritious foods that align with dietary limitations. For more information, please visit
  • Rock to the Future (RTTF) provides music education for Philadelphia’s underserved youth at no cost to them or their families. Using music, RTTF’s programs ignite passion and creativity, support academic achievement and improve self-esteem to empower individuals and strengthen communities. For more information, please visit
  • The mission of Summer Search Philadelphia is to help low-income teenagers transform what they believe is possible for themselves and develop the skills they need to become college educated leaders who give back to their families and communities. For more information, please visit

Previous Eagles Care partners include: Family Lives On (2015-16), Greener Partners (2015-16), Little Smiles (2015-16), Northern Children’s Services (2015-16), Steppingstone Scholars (2015-16), Center for Grieving Children (2014-15), Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia (2014-15), PA Horticultural Society (2014-15), Ronald McDonald House Philadelphia (2014-15), Simon’s Fund (2014-15), Bringing Hope Home (2013-14), Clearview Youth Football (2013-14), Cradles to Crayons (2013-14), Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger (2013-14) and Riverbend Environmental Center (2013-14).

For more information on the Eagles Care program, please visit

Best Day Foundation Honored As 2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Press Release – SANTA CRUZ, CA – August 2016 – Best Day Foundation announced today that it has been honored with a prestigious 2016 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

“We are excited to be named a Top-Rated 2016 Nonprofit,” says Brooks Lambert, founder of the Best Day Foundation. We are proud of our accomplishments this year, including the additions of Florida and San Diego chapters, as well as may successful events throughout our 7 chapters. The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that Best Day Foundation received – reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients. People posted their personal experience with the nonprofit.”

For example, one person wrote, “Seeing the genuine smile on my son’s face! I was prepared for his anxieties to get the best of him, and for him to be scared and overwhelmed, but all of the staff and volunteers were fantastic at being encouraging, making our son feel comfortable, and SAFE. I was so impressed with how comfortable I felt with him being in the ocean with strangers. I appreciated the security measures taken, with having multiple people to one participant while in the water. Our son felt so genuinely happy and confident that day. In general, he’s a very pensive, and serious kind of fella, so to see him radiating so much pure joy, and excitement made us happy to tears for him! Thank you for such a wonderful day!”

While the Top-Rated Awards run through the end of October, Best Day Foundation was part of the inaugural group to qualify for the year. In addition, we’ll been added to GreatNonprofits #GivingTuesday Guide—an interactive guide to top nonprofits throughout the years. Look for this near the holidays.

“Savvy donors want to see the impact of their donations more than ever,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “People with direct experience with Best Day Foundation have voted that the organization is making a real difference.”

Being on the Top-Rated list gives donors and volunteers more confidence that this is a credible organization. The reviews by volunteers, clients and other donors show the on-the-ground results of this nonprofit. This award is a form of recognition by the community.

About Best Day Foundation:

Best Day Foundation, founded in 2008, is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit (Tax-ID: 26-2223078) enabling children with all types of special needs to build confidence and self-esteem through safe, fun, adventure activities like surfing and snow sports. Best Day is a volunteer based organization that provides communities with the training, resources and back-end services needed to provide safe, life-changing experiences for children we serve and the volunteers that make it all possible. Visit to learn more.

About GreatNonprofits:

GreatNonprofits is the leading site for donors and volunteers to find reviews and ratings of nonprofits. Reviews on the site influence 30 million donation decisions a year. Visit for more information.

Roadie Provides Free Shipping on Items to and from Baton Rouge to Aid Flood Victims

Press Release – ATLANTA, GA — Aug. 24, 2016Roadie Inc., the on-the-way delivery network, today announced that it will provide free pickup and delivery for Roadie gigs traveling to and from Baton Rouge — allowing people to send much-needed clothing, supplies and other non-perishable goods to friends and family affected by the devastating floods in the region. Users simply post items they want to send, and Roadie will cover the cost of delivery through its on-the-way community of drivers.

Many of the items needed in the wake of the flood — like mattresses, furniture, appliances and other household supplies — can be difficult or cost-prohibitive to ship. At the same time, thousands of vehicles are already driving along I-10, I-12, and other major corridors around Baton Rouge on any given day. Roadie is an app-based community that puts unused capacity in passenger vehicles to work by connecting people with stuff to send with drivers already heading in the right direction.

“Tens of thousands of homes have been lost or damaged in Baton Rouge, and now that the flood waters are receding, people are coming together to rebuild,” said Marc Gorlin, founder and CEO of Roadie. “Roadie was built around the concept of neighbors helping neighbors. If you have an extra couch or mattress in your basement in Houston, and your sister really needs it in Baton Rouge, then shipping hurdles shouldn’t get in the way. Roadie can connect communities of people who want to give with communities of drivers who want to help. In my mind, there’s no greater use of the community we’ve built here.”

Roadie is available for download in the App Store, Google Play store, or at Users simply set up a gig, select a driver and get their items on the road. Shipments can be tracked in real time on any device.

Volunteers, students, church groups, business travelers or other road warriors heading to Baton Rouge can earn extra cash for trips they’re already taking, while at the same time helping those in need. Drivers can download the app and bid on gigs that make sense for their schedules and the direction they are already going. All miles driven for Roadie gigs qualify for a tax write-off, and drivers enjoy benefits such as free roadside assistance, free food and drinks at Waffle House, and savings from other Roadie partners.

For more information about how to help residents of Baton Rouge, visit the Roadie blog.

Roadie is revolutionizing the way consumers and businesses send oversized, heavy or awkwardly shaped items, saving time and money over traditional carriers. Since launching in January 2015, the Roadie app has been downloaded by more than 250,000 people nationwide.

About Roadie

Headquartered in Atlanta, Roadie is an app-based community that puts unused capacity in passenger vehicles to work by connecting people with stuff to send with drivers heading in the right direction. Roadie’s model enables efficient, low cost delivery for senders and rewards drivers for trips they were already taking. Roadie is backed by Warren Stephens of Stephens Inc.; the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund; Eric Schmidt’s TomorrowVentures; David Bonderman, founder of TPG Capital; Guggenheim Partners’ Executive Chairman Alan Schwartz; Square Co founder Jim McKelvey; the Mellon Group; former CEO of ISS Tom Noonan, and H. Barton Asset Management, among others. To learn more about the world’s first on-the-way delivery network, visit

The Gift That Keeps Giving

The spirit of giving is in the air! Have your dollar make a difference at beyondBeanie. It’s the perfect one stop place to pick up awesome gifts for anyone on your holiday list. Ethically manufactured and socially conscious, beyondBeanie offers trendy beanies and accessories made with 100% Bolivian love.

Every time you make a purchase, you are supporting the work of a talented artisan in Bolivia who proudly hand-signs her work. Purchases also help to provide meals, school supplies, school uniforms and dental care to children in need.


Look stylish while keeping your head warm this holiday with beyondBeanie’s top sellers:

  • Rainbow collection –Colorful and trendy, these beanies are great for outdoor wear such as hiking, snowboarding, and camping.
  • The Surfer collection – Versatile and stylish, snowboarders and surfers will love this comfy, ethnic patterned beanie.
  • The Kota collection – Available in neutral colors, the Kota beanie offers the perfect combination of city-style and class.

Each and every product carries the signature of the artisan who created it. You can even set up a meet and greet or send your artisan a “thank you” note through beyondBeanie’s site.

All wool is sourced locally in Bolivia and helps boost the local alpaca and wool economy of La Paz, Bolivia. beyondBeanie can be purchased online at and select stores in Switzerland and the UK.

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About beyondBeanie

Creator Swiss-Chilean, Tito Hector Alvarez, came up with the idea of beyondBeanie during his pack-backing trip from Switzerland to Bolivia. He noticed the presence of lady-knitters and street children selling candy and loose cigarettes at busy intersections in La Paz, Bolivia. One of his friends, Paty Lucero, explained that although Bolivia is a beautiful country, it still remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America. To combat the level of gender inequality and orphan children, Alvarez and Lucero teamed up to start a small fashion project, which turned into a socially conscious company named beyondBeanie. Today their goal is to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations by providing one of a kind, handmade pieces that are stylish and help women and children receive essentials such as dental care, school supplies, and food.

Chicago Beyond Awards First-Ever Innovation Challenge Investments

Three Nonprofit Organizations to Receive Investments Totaling Nearly $3 Million

Press Release – CHICAGO – Chicago Beyond today announced the winners of its first-ever innovation challenge and will present three nonprofits with investments that total nearly $3 million overall. Launched by Chicago Beyond in April, the GO Innovate challenge sought early-stage ideas that offer innovative programming in two areas: Supporting College Matriculation and Graduation; and Reengaging Youth in Work and School.

For each winning organization, Chicago Beyond is also funding a research partnership with the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs to evaluate the impact of each investment. Every investment recipient has worked with Chicago Beyond and Urban Labs to develop a unique research question that will allow detailed study of the program and better understanding of what works, in order to positively impact a greater number of young Chicagoans and increase the field of knowledge in these topic areas.

More than 200 organizations applied for the first innovation challenge. Applications were reviewed by the Chicago Beyond team and finalists were selected by two independent selection committees which were formed for each topic area.

“Our first innovation challenge brought out some of the best and most innovative ideas in programming to help our city’s youth succeed in school and in life,” Chicago Beyond Managing Director, Liz Dozier, said. “There is no shortage of passion for and commitment to the young people of Chicago. We are grateful for the opportunity to present these three organizations with investments to not only reach more young Chicagoans immediately, but to learn from and share our research outcomes in order to have a greater impact on the future of our youth nationwide.”

Given the enormous social and economic costs of crime, the financial gains associated with a college degree, and the positive impact on both individuals and their children that comes with stable employment, these programs, if successful, have extremely high potential to be cost-effective on society.

Reengaging Youth in Work and School

In Chicago alone, more than 45,000 youth age 16 to 24 are out of work and out of school – a number four percentage points higher than the national estimate – and a majority of these young people live in Chicago’s neighborhoods that also are home to high rates of poverty and crime. Chicago Beyond’s Reengaging Youth in Work and School challenge sought early-stage ideas designed to prevent disconnected youth’s involvement in violence by providing paid employment, workforce skill development, and/or educational reengagement.

The two investment recipients for program ideas in Reengaging Youth in Work and School include:

  • The Dovetail Project, $990,000: Through a 12-week curriculum and year-long case management support, the Dovetail Project focuses on reengaging young fathers in the lives of their children and setting them on a path to success through education in parenting, life and job skills. The investment from Chicago Beyond will help study the effect of participation in Dovetail on the labor market outcomes, including long-term employment, wages and, when appropriate, GED completion for 220 participants over a two-year period.
  • Storycatchers Theatre, $900,000: Storycatchers’ Changing Voices program takes a trauma-informed approach by providing small groups of young people who have been recently released from juvenile and criminal justice facilities with year-long, paid employment focused on playwriting, production training and performance. Participants write, choreograph, score and ultimately perform real-life stories of struggle and trauma for youth audiences around Chicago, helping participants overcome their own struggles and learn the soft skills necessary to obtain and hold a long-term job. Chicago Beyond’s investment will serve 90-100 students over a two-year period with a research design to test if the program increases long-term employment and reduces recidivism.

Supporting College Matriculation and Graduation

One of the strongest predictive factors against crime involvement is a high school diploma and further post-secondary educational success is one of the most powerful predictors of earnings, voting, giving back to one’s community, staying healthy and safe, and having children who succeed in school. Yet in Chicago, only 18 percent of incoming public school ninth graders will earn a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college by their mid-20s1.

Chicago Beyond’s College Matriculation and Graduation challenge sought programs that could dramatically increase that pipeline of Chicago high school students on a path to completing two and four-year college degrees. The investment recipient for the Supporting College Matriculation and Graduation challenge topic is Genesys Works Chicago:

  • Genesys Works Chicago, $790,000: Genesys Works empowers students to build a better future by exposing them to real-life experiences in the professional world; the program provides at-risk high school seniors with workforce training, a year-long paid internship, college-prep and ongoing support through college, empowering students to ultimately pursue a professional career. The investment from Chicago Beyond will test the effectiveness of the program on college matriculation, graduation rates, and future workforce participation. To test these research questions, Genesys Works will serve one cohort of students with approximately 205 students receiving the program.

The commonality between each of the investments from Chicago Beyond is a learning component. A partnership with Urban Labs allows Chicago Beyond to assess the impact of every program through rigorous scientific evaluation methods and expert analysis. Studying and measuring each investment is essential not only to see what works, but it also serves as a vehicle for sharing findings with other nonprofit organizations so they can learn from the investment of Chicago Beyond to ultimately impact more youth.

Launched in April 2016, Chicago Beyond is a privately held organization that seeks to create opportunity and access that the young people of Chicago deserve in school, career and life. Chicago Beyond invests in innovative ideas and scalable programs to amplify impact in two areas that are flip sides of the same coin – youth safety and educational attainment. Over time, Chicago Beyond aims to leverage its findings to spark further public and philanthropic investments in work that does the most good per dollar to improve the lives of Chicago’s young people.

Chicago Beyond’s next investment cycle will be announced in 2017. For more information about investment opportunities and the programs Chicago Beyond is supporting, please visit

Keel Point Recognized in Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Companies

Keel Point Recognized in Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Companies 

Press Release – HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Aug. 22, 2016 – Keel Point, LLC, a boutique registered investment advisory firm with approximately $1.45 billion under management, was named to the 2016 Inc. 5000 list, which recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in America. With 122 percent growth over three years, Keel Point ranked at 2,847 on the list and is the 34th fastest-growing company in its home state of Alabama.

“Making the Inc. 5000 list is a huge honor,” said Michael Perry, president of Keel Point. “Growth is an important indicator of the health of a company, and we’re happy to see that Keel Point is one of the most vibrant financial services institutions in the country. With 18 years of experience, we’re increasing and innovating to better serve our clients.”

Keel Point’s explosive growth comes as a result of a strategic effort to expand the company’s regional offices through mergers and acquisitions. Through these partnerships, Keel Point has been able to bring their unique investment philosophy to families in Huntsville, Alabama; Kansas City, Missouri; Vienna, Virginia; and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Keel Point believes in aiding its clients to “invest in their purpose” and has a mission to help clients of ample means achieve meaningful ends by maximizing the possibilities and responsibilities of their wealth. Believing the advisor-client relationship should be personal, Keel Point focuses on the total financial health of its clients by striving to help their clients meet their financial goals, as well as give back through charitable contributions.

“Serving our clients is an honor and passion for us at Keel Point,” said Robert Mayes, CEO of Keel Point. “We understand that our client’s financial goals are more than just increasing their wealth, and we strive to support them in their endeavor to make an impact on the world and leave a lasting legacy for their families.”

In addition to the Inc. 5000 list, Keel Point was named to Financial Advisor’s 50 Fastest-Growing Financial Firms, and its investment strategy team have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes.

For more information on Keel Point, please visit

About Keel Point, LLC

Founded in 1998, Keel Point is a nationally recognized, independent investment advisory firm with over $1.45 billion under management. Keel Point believes in aiding its clients to “invest in their purpose” and has a mission to help clients of ample means achieve meaningful ends by maximizing the possibilities and responsibilities of their wealth. In addition to its primary focus of serving affluent and mass affluent clients, Keel Point is also able to work with ultra-high net worth families through its multi-family office division, Keel Point Horizon. For additional information about Keel Point, LLC, please visit

Riding For Warriors 2nd Annual Motorcycle Ride Raises More Than Thirty Thousand Dollars

Air Force veteran raises money to grant A Warrior’s Wish for four wounded service members

(Left to right, Hope For The Warriors Operations Director, Ed Raimo, Riding For Warriors sponsor, Michael Nehlsen and A Warriors Wish recipient, Marine GySgt Brien Kirkpatrick.)

(Left to right, Hope For The Warriors Operations Director, Ed Raimo, Riding For Warriors sponsor, Michael Nehlsen and A Warriors Wish recipient, Marine GySgt Brien Kirkpatrick.)

Press Release – UNION, N.J. (August 24, 2016) – The Second Annual Riding For Warriors recently wrapped its cross-country motorcycle journey raising more than $30,000 for Hope For The Warriors and its A Warrior’s Wish program and granting four wishes for deserving service members.

Celebrating 10 years of service, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family, and hope for veterans, service members and military families.

Through its first established program, A Warrior’s Wish, Hope For The Warriors fulfills a desire for a better quality of life or supports a quest for gratifying endeavors for those who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.

For the second year, the ride was led by Air Force veteran Michael Nehlsen and sponsored by Union, New Jersey-based Hillmann Consulting. Starting in Bellevue, Washington and ending in Cape May, New Jersey, Nehlsen and his daughter, Rebecca, traveled more than 4,956 miles, through 16 states, in just 15 days.

Nehlsen made a special stop in Stella, North Carolina, to meet A Warrior’s Wish recipient, Marine GySgt Brien Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick’s 2015 wish of specialized woodworking tools to expand his woodworking business was sponsored by Nehlsen and Hillmann Consulting, through Riding For Warriors.

“It was a great honor and privilege to have the opportunity to meet Brien and see the incredible work being done in his woodworking shop, said Michael Nehlsen.“ He showed me how the new tools are helping him work more efficiently and expand his business. Seeing the joy in his eyes made every mile of this trip worth it.”

In two years, the proceeds from Nehlsen’s annual ride have sponsored nine wishes through A Warrior’s Wish totaling more than $75,000. In addition to Kirkpatrick’s wish, Riding For Warriors has sponsored a storage shed, a family trip to Walt Disney World, a saw mill and tractor, a donation towards a horse trailer, a bass boat, two road bicycles, and more.

“Nothing excites us more than to see veterans helping veterans,” said Robin Kelleher, co-founder and president of Hope For The Warriors. “As we celebrate our 10th year of service, Hope For The Warriors is extremely appreciative of Michael Nehlsen’s incredible and continued support and service to his fellow military members.”

For more information on Hope For The Warriors or its A Warriors Wish program, visit, Facebook or Twitter.

About Hope For The Warriors:

Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post 9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served approximately 10,000 through a variety of support programs focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement and connections to community resources. The nonprofit’s first program, A Warrior’s Wish, has granted 157 wishes to fulfill a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of more than 22,000 since 2010. For more information, visit, Facebook or Twitter.

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