Northern Trust Volunteers Invest Time and Energy at Erie House During United Way Event
August 23, 2016 | Chicago, IL
Northern Trust has a long history of supporting the work Erie House does around education and empowerment in the immigrant community. FILE PHOTO
Employees from Northern Trust visited Erie Neighborhood House last Friday to volunteer in child care classrooms as well as conduct a financial literacy workshop with high school youth. The volunteer event was facilitated by United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and labeled a Day of Caring. It also coincided with the bank’s 127th birthday.
Northern Trust CEO Rick Waddell volunteered alongside his colleagues, donning a United Way t-shirt as he read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar to a classroom full of preschool students. Waddell also addressed the group of high school youth participating in the financial literacy workshop.
Waddell’s participation in the Day of Caring event was consistent with his longstanding efforts to help shape Northern Trust’s commitment to giving back to the community, according to Erie House executive director Kirstin Chernawsky. “Northern Trust is one of our strongest partners,” explains Chernawsky, “and I don’t think that relationship is what it is today without Rick Waddell’s commitment to creating a culture that values service and supporting initiatives like education right here in Chicago.”
Northern Trust’s partnership with Erie House has encompassed many different aspects over the past four decades. The bank’s Charitable Trust provides financial support to Erie House on an annual basis, and Northern Trust employees have long exhibited a strong presence on the nonprofit organization’s board of directors and associate board for young professionals.
Currently board vice president John Van Pelt is a retired Northern Trust employee and associate board member Francisco Arana works there. In addition, senior director of operations Mike McGlinn joined the Erie House staff last year after a lengthy career at the bank.
Northern Trust CEO Rick Waddell talks with a child following storytime in the Erie House childcare program. FILE PHOTO
Perhaps more notably, Northern Trust helped establish the TEAM (Tutoring to Educate for Aims and Motivation) program at Erie House in 1984. Pairing students with business professionals in a mentoring relationship to provide academic support, the program has yielded outstanding results: Over the past 19 years, 100 percent of participating students have graduated from high school and 98 percent have proceeded to attend college. Today numerous TEAM mentors work for Northern Trust, and the bank continues to support the program financially through its Charitable Trust.
“We’re proud of the success our youth have achieved,” says Chernawsky. “The investment of both time and money Northern Trust has made in the TEAM program is paying off in many exciting ways.”
Chernawsky points out that these sorts of partnerships have been of utmost importance to the sustainability of her organization’s mission, particularly in the midst of the state budget impasse that endured the entirety of last fiscal year.
To that end, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago has proved vital in connecting organizations like Erie House with partners in the corporate world. This was actually the second Northern Trust volunteer event United Way facilitated at Erie House this summer, and a handful of other businesses have volunteered in varying capacities there in recent months.
“We have been fortunate to partner with United Way for many, many years,” says Chernawsky, who was quick to publicly acknowledge Jose Rico and Leah Ray during the event. Respectively the senior vice presidents of community investment and resource development at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, Rico and Ray were both instrumental in coordinating the volunteer event and were present day-of to lend their support. “Jose, Leah and their colleagues at United Way helped make this event happen, and we’re grateful for the level of support they have shown us,” she says.
“It really makes a difference when we are able to work together with a corporate partner like Northern Trust through our relationship with United Way. These sorts of partnerships are what strengthen individuals, families and entire communities.”