Janice Jackson Named CEO of HOPE Chicago, Nonprofit Seeking To Provide $1B in Scholarships

Video:  The former head of Chicago Public Schools is raising millions for local students. (Produced by Evan Garcia)

Janice Jackson, who earlier this year left her role atop Chicago Public Schools, will be staying involved in local education, as she’s now taking over a scholarship organization that’s promising to “redefine the education landscape” in Chicago.

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After more than three years as CPS CEO, Jackson has been appointed to serve as CEO of HOPE Chicago, a new nonprofit that has pledged to “raise, invest and deploy” $1 billion in scholarships and aid for local students and their families over the next decade.

“HOPE Chicago has a bold vision and an ambitious goal,” Jackson said in a statement. “However, through a generous initial investment, our operating and administrative costs are covered for the next three years meaning we can ensure every penny raised will go directly towards educating underserved Chicago families. With the help of the community, civic and business leaders, we have the opportunity to redefine the education landscape in our city.”

Those funds will go toward providing scholarships for approximately 24,000 first-year college students over the next decade, as well as giving aid to 6,000 parents or guardians who are also seeking to continue their education.

HOPE Chicago scholarships will cover the full cost of attendance at participating two-and four-year nonprofit higher education institutions. The first cohort of “HOPE Chicago Scholars” will be chosen sometime next spring, before beginning their post-secondary education in the fall of 2022.

Beyond scholarships, HOPE Chicago also believes it can reach an additional 71,000 high school grads through counseling, mentoring and career guidance by partnering with local community and outreach programs.

“HOPE Chicago’s visionary mission sets our students and their families up for success,” new CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said in a statement. “Like many of our students, education was my way out of poverty. As I embark on my work with CPS, programs like HOPE Chicago motivates us to help students complete their education and ultimately get on the pathway for economic success.”

In a statement, HOPE Chicago said it will focus on bringing in the civic community to help invest in Chicago’s students and drive multigenerational change.

The organization has already raised more than $20 million through investments from its co-founders, Ted Koenig and Peter Kadens, and has set a goal of raising $100 million by the end of the current school year.

“I know this first-hand the impact of HOPE Chicago will change this city for the better, especially for Black and brown families who are often left behind by the education system,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “By investing in Chicago students, parents and their futures, HOPE Chicago is also investing in the future of our city’s social and economic outcomes — one with a qualified, skilled and educated workforce. And with Dr. Janice Jackson at the helm, the sky’s the limit for this important new venture.”

Jackson will join “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday to discuss HOPE Chicago and her new role.

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson | [email protected] | (773) 509-5431

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