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CC Foundation

Choose Chicago Foundation

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Inspiring and serving the next generation of hospitality and tourism leaders locally and beyond.

The Choose Chicago Foundation strategically promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives that benefit youth, community, and workforce development. The Foundation will offer financial support and long-term training opportunities for ethnically and economically diverse communities for advancement within the hospitality and tourism industry.

The Foundation is the official non-profit affiliate of Choose Chicago, the destination marketing organization for the city of Chicago, responsible for marketing the greater Chicago area as a business, meetings/convention, and leisure visitor destination. Choose Chicago is a partner-based organization, with nearly 1,500 members within the local hospitality and tourism industry.

Choose Chicago Foundation scholarships

Future Leader Award scholarship opportunities for tourism and hospitality students
Future Leader Award scholarship opportunities for tourism and hospitality students

The Choose Chicago Future Leader Award is a merit-based opportunity that recognizes students who demonstrate their commitment and passion for the hospitality and tourism industries.

Learn more
W. Bill Williams Trailblazer Scholarships for high school students
W. Bill Williams Trailblazer Scholarships for high school students

Our newly developed W. Bill Williams Trailblazer Scholarships aim to expand the Choose Chicago Foundation’s current scholarship offerings by awarding funds specifically targeting talented high school students in the BIPOC community residing on the south and west sides of Chicago.

Each scholarship recipient will be awarded $5,000 annually, for up to four consecutive years upon completion of criteria for renewable scholarships. 

Apply nowContact us
Jim Reilly Reformer Scholarships for college students
Jim Reilly Reformer Scholarships for college students

The Jim Reilly Reformer Scholarship aims to expand the Choose Chicago Foundation’s current scholarship offerings by awarding funds specifically targeting talented college students in the BIPOC community residing on the south and west sides of Chicago and south suburbs.

Each scholarship recipient will be awarded $5,000 annually, for up to four consecutive years upon completion of criteria for renewable scholarships.

Apply nowContact us

Choose Chicago Student Tourism Day Program

Student Tourism Days
Student Tourism Days

Choose Chicago developed student tourism days after listening to education and community leaders share many students in underrepresented communities lack opportunities to venture outside their neighborhood. This could perpetuate a gap in understanding the many career pathways available in Tourism and Hospitality.

This program helps to bridge the gap by providing introductions on career pathways and hands on exploration for high school and college students to a variety of venues and hospitality partners in neighborhoods and downtown Chicago. Students are invited to interact with hospitality leaders including diverse representation, and they are provided breakfast and lunch for the day.

Student Tourism Day Sponsor: CIBC

Student Tourism Day Partners: Chicago Scholars, The Art Institute, Willis Tower Skydeck, Boka Restaurant Group, Kilwin’s, United Center, Show Strategy, Guaranteed Rate, House of Blues & Brent Rolland/Fig Media, LondonHouse Chicago, DuSable Museum, McCormick Place

View our news feature

Get involved & Donate

<h6 class="card-title text-left" id="donate">Donate to the Choose Chicago Foundation</h6>

The work of the Choose Chicago Foundation would not be possible without the generous support of the Board of Directors, local businesses, community leaders, educators, and Choose Chicago partners.

Each of these entities recognizes the significance of investing time, expertise, and resources to support the development of youth and young adults in our community.

Thank you for partnering with the Choose Chicago Foundation! Together, we make a difference.

Donate now
<h6 class="card-title text-left" id="getinvolved">Get involved and inspire the next generation</h6>
Get involved and inspire the next generation

Looking to get involved with the Choose Chicago Foundation?

  • Become a mentor and share your expertise. Choose Chicago Foundation W. Bill Williams and Jim Reilly scholarship awardees will be paired with a mentor.
  • Host an internship or fellowship for the W. Bill Williams and Jim Reilly scholarship awardees.
  • Become a partner with the Choose Chicago Foundation.

Contact usBecome a mentor

Choose Chicago Foundation Staff

Roz Stuttley
Director, Equity Diversity and Inclusion
Rich Gamble
Interim President and CEO
James Meyer
CFO

Board of Directors Officers

Juan Leyva, Board Chair
General Manager, LondonHouse & Senior Vice President of Operations, Oxford Hotels & Resorts
Hamed Hashmy, Vice Chair
Market Manager/Senior Vice President – Commercial Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Sandi Robinson, Secretary
Co-Founder Chi Gives Back & Director of Sales & Marketing, SOPHY – Hotel Hyde Park
Al Orendorff
Head of Communications, Zurich International
Dr. LaCael Palmer Pratt, Education Advisor
Managing Director of Partnerships and Civic Engagement – City Year Chicago

Choose Chicago Foundation Sponsors

Thank you to Supporters of the Choose Chicago Foundation!

 

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