Stand UP Chicago: Social Responsbility

As we wrapped up our time in Chicago, the teens have embarked on some pieces of finality in the program. Monday took our teens to the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) and to the Levine Hillel Center at UIC. Teens were again introduced to the concept of sustainability and food scarcity with a presentation by Linda Loving, the director of Outreach for a non-profit Top Box Foods, which provides once a month healthy food purchasing options to communities that are deprived of such options do to their location in what is commonly referred to as a “food desert.”


Teens were given the opportunity to problem solve how one would market such opportunities to a community. After a lunch a break and a trip to the UIC campus store, teens had the opportunity to meet Elly Rohrer of Human Connections, via Skype, who is a partner with our education lead, Allowance for Good. Elly talked about her opportunities in Latin America and their impact on creating sustainable communities for entrepreneurs.

The teens wrapped up their education with a presentation from Kendra Levin, who works for McDonalds as a Supply Chain Sustainability Manager. Levin discussed the golden arch’s corporate philanthropy model and how McDonalds aims to be sustainable in the food they provide. Teens began their final project, a case study for a partner organization Sydney’s Stuffing, that analyzed all facets of a marketing and development for a non-profit. Teens concluded Monday with a trip to one of Chicago’s famous Portillos restaurants for dinner before retiring to Evanston.

Wednesday took us into Chicago for the final time as we visited Groupon and met with Matt Kruse, the head of Social Responsibility, who discussed Groupon’s unique approach to corporate philanthropy by combating social justice issues through their sales, employee volunteering, micro grants and education programs. Teens headed to the impressive Microsoft office in Chicago and met with Mary Monroy-Spampinato and Kevin Wei who discussed how Microsoft is fully invested in the communities and non-profit world by providing free resources and support to social justice initiatives. Teens then headed to historic Michigan Ave and ventured to the top of the Hancock Building to peer out on to the Chicago skyline one last time before heading back to Evanston to continue to work on their final presentations.

Ben Rappaport (Saul Nahum AZA #1709) – “This has been such an impactful 11 days. I truly feel like I can take all of this back to my chapter and help change my region into one that is even more social conscious than it already is.”

Rebecca Massarik“I’m so sad to leave my friends so soon, but I know that I’ve made lasting friendships and am excited to tell my chapter everything that I’ve learned.”

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