Nearly 200 philanthropic, civic, and youth advocate leaders celebrated Peer Health Exchange Chicago’s first annual benefit Spring into Action for Health Wednesday, April 18, in support of our work to advance health equity and improve health outcomes for Chicago’s young people.
“While racial and economic disparities in Chicago and in Illinois are nothing new, the gap in the most basic of human needs—to be healthy—should still be stunning and unacceptable to all of us,” said Shari Runner, President, and CEO of the Chicago Urban League in her keynote remarks.
The event held at Carnivale Chicago, also marked Peer Health Exchange’s 11th year providing health education to ninth grade students at Chicago Public Schools. This is done through an innovative near-peer model that trains 300 college volunteers from the University of Illinois at Chicago; the University of Chicago; and Northwestern University to deliver skills-based health workshops to youth across the city.
“We believe that Chicago’s young people need and deserve equal opportunities to healthy,” said Peer Health Exchange Chicago Executive Director Danya Rosen. “Young people who make informed decisions are more likely to stay and excel in school, and lead healthier, happier lives.”
Over the last decade, Peer Health Exchange has grown to provide their trauma-informed, skills-based health curriculum to over 30,000 young people across the city while building a culture of preventative health and wellness. This year it has reached 3,500 ninth graders in 24 high schools across Chicago.
As Peer Health Exchange student alum Symphany Jackson shared, “PHE helped me find [my voice] by showing me that is was okay to feel differently from other people. The reason I believe that PHE is so important… is because not only does it give information about mental and physical health, but it also encourages you to not only help yourself but to help others.”
This is why Peer Health Exchange exists—because Chicago’s youth need and deserve better. Thank you for attending Peer Health Exchange Chicago’s Spring Into Action for Health!
Thanks to your generosity, we raised enough to expand Peer Health Exchange’s programming to two new classrooms, empowering 60 students with the knowledge, skills, and access to resources to make healthy decisions.
Want to get involved? Support and learn more about Peer Health Exchange by:
- Joining us on a workshop visit to see the impact of our program first-hand
- Connecting with PHE staff or volunteers to learn more
- Donating to support our work
Peer Health Exchange is grateful for funding support from Volunteer Sponsors: Amy and Andy Bluhm; The Bluhm Family Foundation; Kirkland & Ellis; and CIBC. Classroom Sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois; Northern Trust; Rush University Medical Center; and Rivers Casino. Honor Roll Sponsors: Fifth Third Bank; Mercy Hospital & Medical Center; Ashley Capital; Advocate Children’s Hospital; Beth Kohl; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; Walgreens; Dentons; and Breeze Art Creatives.
It also extends a special thank you to its host committee: Amy Bluhm, Octavio Casas, Caitlin Cody, Bridget Flint, Jill Fraggos, Marcelino Garcia, Denise and Matt Gibson, Chris Goldrick, Chelsea Greenbaum, Julie Hoffman, Daniel Hosler, Hannah Law, James Parker, Jameika Sampson, Robbin Shoewe and Carol Zatorski.