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Fun Christmas Break Activities

There is nothing like Christmas-time in Chicago! With a plethora of options to choose from, choosing a fun activity for you and your scholar to enjoy together can be quite a challenge. During the next three weeks, many of your scholars will be enjoying their time out of school. In a city like Chicago too much free time can sometimes lead to negative consequences. Whether it is an exciting afternoon of ice skating or sharing laughs over pizza, bonding time with your scholar is especially important over the holidays. Here’s a list of festive mentor-scholar activities to enjoy this Christmas season. 1. Ice Skating in Millennium Park - There’s no admission, and you can bring your own skates or r

Paying It Forward: Former PEAK Scholar Joins Governing Board

Congratulations to Jerry Silva, who became the first PEAK graduate to join PEAK's Governing Board this fall. Jerry became the face of PEAK last year thanks to a Sun Times article highlighting Jerry's transition from mentee to mentor. Jerry and his scholar, PEAK junior Rafael Garduno, share in common a love of baseball, a childhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side, and, like all PEAK scholars, struggles that held them back academically before entering high school at Holy Trinity. “PEAK gave me a lot of direction at an early point when I really needed it,” explained Jerry. Of joining the Board, Jerry said, "My PEAK mentor, John Malloy, is one of the most selfless people I have ever met, so the bigg

PEAK Mentor Continues Life-Changing Service After 20 Years

Changing lives is a marathon, not a sprint. This phrase captures the almost 20-year commitment of PEAK mentor and former Board member Loreen Strasser. Loreen has served as a mentor to three PEAK graduates. All three graduated high school and went to college. The first, Lorena Velasco (née Loza), studied Finance at DePaul University and now manages a staff of 40 at US Bank. The second PEAK graduate Loreen mentored, Sylvia Loza, received her bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University in Marketing. Sylvia works for Northern Trust Bank and is currently working toward her MBA. Loreen’s third PEAK scholar, Alyssa Alverio, is currently completing her undergraduate degree at St. Catherine U

Cocoa and Canvases: PEAK Pairs Spend Saturday Morning with Bottle and Bottega

A December Saturday morning filled the cafeteria of Holy Trinity High School with playful, creative energy as eighty PEAK mentors and scholars shared a one-of-a-kind artistic experience facilitated by local art instructors from Bottle and Bottega. For many of the teens and adults, this was the first time they had tried their hand at working with brushes and acrylics. Each pair worked together on a painting of a winter scene. As the pairs sipped their hot chocolate, the artistic collaborations (and, invariably, some of the unexpected results) triggered lots of laughs as well as proud smiles that will surely become the treasured memories and build trust and confidence. Mentor-scholar activitie

PEAK Alum Finds His Stride at St. Edward's

Every day as a sophomore at St. Edward's University in Austin, TX keeps me really busy. I go to two or three classes each day because I am taking 16 credits. One of my favorite classes this semester is Biopsychology because it ties into my professional interests. Every day after class, I make a quick stop at my room to check on my dog before heading to my job at the Office of Residence Life. If I don’t have a meeting of the Black Students Association, where I’m treasurer, or cheerleading practice, I might be tutoring Spanish, which I started studying at Holy Trinity High School. Every day, I make sure to get in at least four hours of studying, and to make time for the things that keep me on

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