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PEAK Celebrates $1M Donation

The Partnership to Educate and Advance Kids (PEAK) is pleased to announce a $1 million donation to help expand the reach of its mission to connect deserving Chicago youth with the tools for success. The gift was made by John Raitt in loving memory of his wife, Mary Mahler Raitt, who passed away in December of 2015.

“There’s no greater investment than in a child’s future,” said John Raitt. “I’ve seen the difference PEAK makes in each student’s life, and know it’s a cause worth supporting. PEAK’s plans for strategic growth will ensure that every current and future PEAK Scholar will receive an exemplary education, enriching and individualized mentorship, and the opportunity to dream big.”

PEAK has consistently focused on the otherwise overlooked student – those who enter high school with average academic credentials, but show a true desire to succeed. PEAK’s support for each Scholar includes a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to its educational partner, Holy Trinity High School, as well as a match with an adult mentor, who works with the student throughout their high school career. Since 1997, PEAK has supported more than 250 students, with 35 students currently in the program.

“What a tremendous opportunity for PEAK. We will now reach more students and families than ever before,” said PEAK’s Governing Board Chair Craig Dean, Managing Principal of AEG Partners. “The generosity of the Raitt family will help us break the cycle of poverty by getting more young people to high school graduation day.”

The Raitt family embodies PEAK’s mission of service and care for others. With this donation and the continued support of PEAK sponsors, the legacy of Mary Raitt continues in the students whose lives will be forever changed by the PEAK program.

“This opportunity provides an incredible avenue to honor Mary Raitt's dedication to the students of Holy Trinity,” said Holy Trinity president Tim Bopp. “Her belief in supporting students in the form of a PEAK scholarship will allow us to serve many deserving students and strengthen our partnership with a wonderful organization.”

Please contact PEAK’s Program Director Suzie Vyletel at with any questions or visit for more information.

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