Ryan Banks Academy is an independent and coeducational college-preparatory, residential, tuition-free middle and high school that will prepare motivated students from Chicago neighborhoods to graduate from college, enter into meaningful careers, and be the catalyst to bring positive change into their communities.
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What's Michael Strahan got to do with it?

Wow - it’s been quite a month over here at Ryan Banks Academy!  We have at least one really big piece of news to share, but you’ll have to wait until next week to learn more about it.

In the meantime, we wanted to give you a quick update about some recent happenings behind the scenes.

  1. We recently added Mark Kramer to our Board of Directors!  Mark is currently a Managing Director and runs the Duff & Phelps Midwest Due Diligence practice in Chicago.  He has a great deal of nonprofit experience, serving on the board of the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative and the National Museum of Health and Science.  He was also a founding member of "Third Commitment", a group of professionals organized for nonprofit goals.  Mark's financial expertise and extensive experience as a nonprofit board member will be a great addition to the Ryan Banks Academy team.

  2. Last week was Chicago Ideas Week in Chicago, which is a full seven days dedicated to bringing incredible speakers from around the country to Chicago for “TED talk”-style talks and speaker panels.  One of the speakers at this year’s event was Michael Strahan and while I (Val) was able to briefly meet him at his book signing, I wasn’t able to get a photo with him but I did snag the image above.  It looks like Michael is a big supporter of RBA and it's good to know he stands behind our #TakeAStepForRyan campaign ;)

  3. Over the past year, myself and other RBA team members have met some incredible people doing great work both in Chicago and even those who work globally. Earlier today I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Shalini Patel, one of the brilliant co-founders of Inspire Girls Academy.  Inspire will be the first private all-girls school in Chicago and they will open their doors for the 2016 school year.  The vision for Inspire Girls Academy stemmed from Shalini's belief that girls need to be empowered with leadership skills and the confidence to express their own ideas and opinions, which is definitely something I can get behind.  It was a pleasure meeting with Shalini to learn more about her work building a school in Chicago, and we look forward to watching their journey going forward!

Stay tuned to learn more about that exciting new project I mentioned - we plan to release a blog post about it next week.  Talk to you soon!