Harper College

Harper College Educational Foundation awards $50,000 to local nonprofits

Recipients of the Community Innovation Fund Grant gathered together

The Harper College Educational Foundation recently awarded $50,000 to six, local nonprofit organizations in the second year of its Community Innovation Fund Grant Program.

The program is providing grants to nonprofit organizations whose missions support the advancement of equity, diversity and economic mobility for underserved and marginalized communities in Harper’s district. The program’s goals align with Harper’s efforts to reduce the college’s equity gaps by 20% by 2024.

“Partnering with local organizations helps to expand our reach, positively impact more individuals and families, and strengthen our communities,” said Laura Brown, vice president and chief advancement officer.

Three of the organizations also were awarded grants when the program launched last year. The Community Innovation Fund Grant recipients include:

  • Barrington Area Council on Aging, Barrington – $5,000 grant for comprehensive care management for older and disabled adults. This program supports older and disabled adults who need in-depth care management to access fundamental human rights like housing, food, transportation and health care.
  • FamilyForward, Arlington Heights – $10,000 grant to support a Debt Reduction Matching Program. FamilyForward strengthens low-income working families in the northwest suburbs to achieve financial stability and independence through rental assistance, mentoring and other support services.
  • Fellowship Housing Corporation, Hoffman Estates – $10,000 in continued support of transitional housing and wrap around services for at-risk single mothers and children. FHC provides transitional housing, financial literacy training and one-on-one mentoring and support.
  • Partners for Our Communities, Palatine – $10,000 in continued support of the Skyward Bound program, which provides clinical therapy for students ages 18-22 at high risk for suicide and psychosocial education for parents.
  • Special Gifts Theatre, Northbrook – $5,000 grant to support musical theatre programs in the Palatine/Rolling Meadows area for youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • WINGS, Palatine – $10,000 in continued support of educational training and transportation assistance for WINGS suburban survivors. The mission of WINGS Program, Inc., is to provide housing, integrated services, education and advocacy to end domestic violence.

Courtney Burton, development director of Fellowship Housing Corporation said the Community Innovation Fund Grant Program will make an impact in people’s lives. “It's an honor to be selected as a recipient for the second year in a row and we can't wait to put these funds to use helping local single-mom-led families. When moms join Fellowship Housing they learn new skills, break cycles of poverty, and are empowered to move from crisis to long-term stability. It is through the generous support of local partners like Harper that we see incredible transformations occur with the moms we serve, resulting in a different future for them and their children.”

Harper and its foundation announced the grant program this spring and encouraged area organizations to apply while detailing how they would use the funding for projects, programs, activities and services that focus on uplifting activities with long-lasting impacts and outcomes. Each grant is for a one-year period (July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024) and recipients will be allowed to apply for a one-year renewal.

Part of the impetus for the Community Innovation Fund Grant Program was MacKenzie Scott’s $18 million transformational gift to Harper in 2021.

“Through these organizations, we are addressing the Community Innovation Grant Fund goals of economic mobility, equity and diversity in a variety of ways,” said Dr. Avis Proctor, president of Harper College. “The opportunities they are creating will continue to have a positive impact on members of our community for years to come.”

Last Updated: 2/13/24