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This Dynamic Duo Pays It Forward As A Team

We are so thrilled that this year’s PEAK-A-thon was such a great success - we raised more than $90,000 thanks to everyone’s dedicated efforts!

All of our scholars Rebounded Together after an incredibly tough 2021, and were excited to lead and embolden the entire PEAK community to Pay It Forward to help expand next year’s freshman class of PEAK scholars and give more Chicago youth a chance to build their futures.

Every year, there are mentors and scholars who work extraordinarily well together to fundraise during PEAK-a-thon. This is the result not of their focus on raising money (although we are very thankful for their efforts!), but of their own strong bonds and a dedication to helping others enjoy the gifts that their mentor-scholar relationship has given them.

One such mentor-scholar pair is Bradley and Lyle. They knew right away theirs would be “a lifelong friendship,” Bradley said. “All the adventures we’ve been on - movies, campus tours, attending Lyle’s flag football and track events - will always be special to me.”

Lyle agreed, noting that PEAK not only brought them together and helped them build their relationship but also helped him boost his academic performance and provided a structure he’ll rely on when he attends college next year to study computer science and programming. Bradley is also a programmer for McKinsey, and is pursuing his master's in business administration at University of Chicago.

“PEAK has given all of its scholars amazing mentors,” Lyle said. “My relationship with my mentor is great. We are both pretty chill and we both seem to have so many things in common so we connect well."

The pair make sure to touch base in a variety of ways, Bradley noted. “We text, call, video chat, and our favorite, spend time together in-person,” he said. “At every PEAK event, I get to the school early to catch up with Lyle and ride the bus to the event. We get the most out of the time we spend together.”

This year’s PEAK-a-thon theme, “Pay It Forward,” was especially meaningful to Bradley and Lyle. The two consider the phrase a guidepost both for their relationship, their approach to challenges and their dedication to completing any task.

“Paying it forward to me means to keep on going,” Lyle said. “It doesn't matter how slow you are moving.”

“I think that sums up our opinion quite well,” Bradley said. “We want to help keep PEAK going as best we can, and our connection to new incoming classes is a great way for us to do just that.”

While PEAK-a-thon is a critical way to help us keep growing, it’s also an opportunity for mentors and scholars to have fun together, making an adventure out of the effort. Both Bradley and Lyle like the personal challenge of successful fundraising for the program and use it as another way to connect and learn from each other while enjoying the process.

“I like PEAK-a-thon because it gives me a chance to give back to PEAK and we always receive a good reward,” Lyle said.

It’s also “a great opportunity for Lyle and I to give back to a program that has had such a great impact on both of our lives,” Bradley said. “As we get closer to Lyle's graduation and our active involvement ends, PEAK-athon gives us a way to stay connected and continue to build this great program.

“We also like to compete for the fundraising rewards,” he laughed.

Their fundraising strategies are deceptively simple and straightforward, but highly effective.

“The way that I go about reaching out to others is by sending information to my immediate family and then encouraging them to share and post it somewhere,” Lyle said, noting that he encourages them often. “From there, it keeps on going.”

It helps that both are kind gentlemen who have a warm approach in their outreach. “Lyle and I know there are hundreds of great causes to support, and for that reason we keep our fundraising direct and personal,” Bradley said. “We communicate directly with our friends, family and colleagues and give them a glimpse into our story and why we love PEAK.”

The outcome has been a clear success for each of the four years Bradely and Lyle have worked on behalf of PEAK-a-thon. We offer them our sincere thanks as fundraisers and can’t wait to see what other amazing things this pair accomplishes!


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