William Blair Partners with Chicago South Side Nonprofits to Serve Youth

Monday, March 26, 2018

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William Blair is kicking off its 2018-2019 Community Partners program this week with Chicago nonprofits MAPSCorps and MetroSquash to support youth development and community services in the city.

"MAPSCorps and MetroSquash were chosen from more than 40 Chicago area charities, nominated by William Blair employees, to create innovative partnerships and grow social programs that significantly improve local communities," said Laura Coy, director of community engagement for William Blair.

As part of its commitment to philanthropic programs, William Blair in 2011 established the Community Partners program to enhance its involvement with local nonprofits. Both MetroSquash and MAPSCorps were selected by William Blair to each receive $200,000 for use over two years to expand their programs. William Blair employees will also volunteer their time to support youth development and community engagement.

The Community Partners program – led and managed by its employees – was set up by William Blair's CEO John Ettelson to help grow and scale community programs that "really move the needle," Coy said.

Expanding youth development, community services
William Blair financial advisor Jackie Moss, a founding member of MetroSquash, nominated the group to the Community Partners program. She has witnessed first-hand how MetroSquash has improved the lives of Chicago youth and is particularly proud of its inaugural 5th grade class which graduated from college last year.

"These students are aspiring to more than what is in their community," Moss said. "William Blair can help them do that by mentoring and exposing them to new opportunities. It's also great for William Blair as the partnership opens our minds to new people, new situations."

MAPSCorps founder Dr. Stacy Lindau at the University of Chicago said: "Our engagement with the William Blair Community Partners program will expand the number of Chicago youth we can reach and will help us keep young, STEM-trained talent engaged and invested in the future of our city. This partnership is founded on a shared understanding that youth and local economies are critical assets for the long-term success our city."

Last year, more than 300 William Blair volunteers worked alongside the firm's 2016-2017 Community Partners. That effort helped Chicago's Bernie's Book Bank distribute nearly a half million books to 30,000 children last summer and Urban Initiatives expand its middle school leadership to 200 Chicago youth. William Blair also donated $2.5 million to support nearly 900 organizations globally including the Anne Frank Educational Center in Frankfurt and Hands On London, a charity that organizes community service volunteers.

In 2018, William Blair offices in Boston, New York and San Francisco will launch their own community partners programs.

"At the end of the day what we're really aiming to achieve is to inspire the next generation of philanthropists as well as to provide catalytic and innovative investments in our community so nonprofits and partners can scale and serve more people," Coy said.

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