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Last updated: December 2021


This year's expansion of our work during a time of international crisis would not have been possible without the generous support of organizations and individuals — both in our neighborhood and across the country.

In February 2021, we were incredibly grateful to receive our first-ever grants, when the world-renowned Annenberg Foundation recognized the importance of what we do at FORA, and the leaders of two of its initiatives, the Metabolic Studio and GRoW at Annenberg, made the decision to generously support our organization. By funding our access to Zoom, the Annenberg Foundation powered FORA through months of fully virtual high dosage tutoring, providing the key connector and lifeline between our refugee students here in Chicago and their daily tutors who arrived each day virtually from all corners of the United States.

Later in February, we were further honored to receive a grant from the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation, enabling us to launch our Family/School Partnership Program this summer, which has so far been met with resounding and encouraging success. The Milsteins have, over and over again, supported organizations that stand against ethnic and religious hate and stand for generous inclusivity. Without this challenge grant, we would not have this program, which has transformed so much for the better how we view, approach and interact with the parents with whom we partner.

Also in February, FORA was awarded a grant from The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC). Through their Zakat Fund, which is made up of contributions from individuals in the Chicago community, the CIOGC empowers local organizations, and we were genuinely honored that our efforts were deemed worthy of the CIOGC’s support. In compliance with Zakat specifications, we put this funding toward our top notch educational software, classroom supplies, iPads, and many new library books that celebrate the cultures and traditions of our students.


Furthermore, over the summer, we were so grateful to receive funding from the Albert Pick Jr. Fund in Chicago and the Society for Science in Washington D.C. Both foundations fund grants for nonprofits that provide engaging STEM education to minority youth populations, and we were thrilled to use their support to launch our first ever robotics program (read more on page 15). Our robotics program is many of our students' greatest joy.


Finally, this year FORA received a grant from the ALDI grocery store corporation to supply the “brain food” that students receive when they arrive at FORA each day — apples, oranges, bananas, and granola bars, which make all the difference in ensuring that our students are focused and nourished during their two hours of daily tutoring.

And of course, Pentwater Capital and the Halbower family, our first and largest supporters, continue to give generously, year after year. FORA would not be FORA without you.

We are so grateful for the support of these organizations and individuals in ensuring that our empowerment center is a place where mere dreams are turned into realities. As we continue to expand in ways that would have seemed unimaginable three years ago, we look forward to furthering such connections in the new year!