Horizons for Youth, an educational nonprofit organization founded by Benet Academy alumni to serve low-income youth, celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special announcement about a major endowment effort.
Horizons for Youth enables children from low-resource areas of Chicago to go to college and provides mentoring, tutoring and college-preparatory activities. Co-founded by Patrick Collins and Steve Derks, Horizons for Youth believes that quality education and a strong support system help youth succeed.
Benet Academy is known for athletic excellence. Benet's coaches also instill the value of service into their players; many end up helping other students years later.
"When we started Horizons, we had no idea that so many other Benet classmates would get involved and help grow the program," Collins said. "The long history and deep connection between Benet and Horizons are very gratifying and have been integral in the success of the organization."
Former Benet football star Anthony Melchiorre and basketball legend Dave Sobolewski of Chatham Asset Management are recent examples. Unbeknown to Collins and Derks, Melchiorre had been following the evolution of Horizons for Youth and called Collins to help support the work. Chatham has launched an endowment fund to support the student programs in perpetuity.
"All of us at Chatham feel a great sense of duty and obligation to give back to the community," Melchiorre said. "Benet instilled in us a commitment to service, and we are proud to support these hard-working students who wouldn't otherwise have access to the resources they need to succeed."