Berkowitz Student Committee Awards Grant to Gabriel’s Light

The Berkowitz Student Committee held their annual Morning Ex to announce the selection of Gabriel’s Light to receive a grant for their work preventing youth suicide through education, cyber safety and kindness campaigns.

The Susan F. Berkowitz Award for Outstanding Service to Children recognizes individuals whose work builds hope and optimism in children, strengthening the bonds between family, school and community. Such work demonstrates the commitment and imagination necessary to ensure conditions that support the positive growth, development and education of children. Each year, the Berkowitz Award process provides hands-on experience with philanthropy as students use Parker’s resources to help those in need, providing a $10,000 grant to a Chicago organization that builds hope and optimism in children.

Berkowitz Committee Heads Julia Peet, Cate O'Connor and Saroya Ornelas Pagnucci opened the Morning Ex before inviting other committee members to the stage to describe the committee’s year-long process before selecting a winner, beginning with brainstorming to identify a particular theme for that year that directly affects Chicago’s youth. They then researched organizations that fit the theme and contacted them, encouraging them to apply for the award. The committee reviewed all the applications, comparing their goals, sizes, funds they receive and locations to narrow down the list to three or four finalists. After interviewing the finalists, the committee had the difficult task of choosing a winner.

At the Morning Ex, Gabriel’s Light team members Kate Bridgeman and Itamar Steiner were on hand to receive the award and thank the committee for all their hard work. They shared the story of Gabriel’s Lights and said, “We forward our mission to prevent youth suicide through outreach, programs and funding related to each of our three pillars: Education, Cyber Safety and Kindness Campaigns. In addition, we maximize our efforts by partnering with a select few like-minded organizations and by providing resources to parents, educators and kids to inspire life-saving action.” They explained that the funding from this award will help bolster these three pillars and allow them to continue offering their services 100% free of charge, including their new “ASK and ACT” program!

Join Parker in congratulating Gabriel’s Light and the students who worked so tirelessly this year to find such a capable, deserving organization!

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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.