Chicago Public Schools officials today issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Student Mentorship and Advocacy Services. The RFP is a major step forward in CPS’ comprehensive anti-violence initiative and can be downloaded at the Procurement and Contracts website.
In response to violence that has impacted the safety and security, academic performance and behavior of CPS students, the District has undertaken an ambitious initiative with two ultimate goals: reduce the likelihood that at-risk CPS students will engage in, or become victims of, violence; and create a safe, secure and supportive environment for CPS students to improve attendance and excel academically.
This RFP builds on the first component of CPS’ violence initiative, engaging Youth Advocate Partners, Inc. (YAP) to provide services to improve student academic performance, student attendance, and to limit the factors that contribute to a student’s increased risk of becoming a victim or offender of violence.
The initial RFP will focus on mentorship for up to 3,000 students who are deemed to be at-risk.
Within the coming weeks, CPS will release two additional requests for competitive bids for Safe Passage and creating a Culture of Calm in our schools, the other key components of the District’s anti-violence plan.
Blue Ribbon Panel members, who are volunteering their time and expertise, will assist in reviewing RFP responses to ensure the most qualified organizations are selected to provide these services.
CPS officials are committed to ensuring that community input is part of the initiative and have invited leaders with civic, law enforcement, education, community and faith backgrounds to be part of the RFP process. “Civic and community involvement is key to the success of our larger initiative,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman. “A panel of local and civic leaders will provide expertise and knowledge and help guide this process fairly and with an open and objective goal in mind,” he added.
The Board has invited a number of local leaders to serve on the Blue Ribbon Panel. Panel members posses civic, law enforcement, education, community and faith backgrounds and will guide the process providing CPS with a wide range of expertise and knowledge, integral to assisting us in the evaluation process,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman. “More importantly, we will have valuable input from parents whose families have been victimized by violence and who know firsthand what resources are needed to help our students and families,” he said.
- Miguel Del Valle, Chicago City Clerk and the first Latino to serve as assistant majority leader in the Illinois Senate. Clerk Del Valle received a B.A. and M.A. in education and guidance from Northeastern Illinois University.
- Terry Hillard, former Chicago Police Superintendent.
- Rev. Ruben Cruz, pastor of the Spanish Christian Church. The Spanish Christian Church is the delegate agency to the Karen Cruz Children’s Center. The center offers after-school, and school vacation day care programs for children ages six through twelve. The primary goal of the program is to promote the full intellectual, social and emotional development of the children.
- Lula Ford, Commissioner for the Illinois Commerce Commission; a career educator who was formerly an assistant superintendent and chief instruction officer with Chicago Public Schools.
- Rita Fry, attorney and former chief of the Cook County Public Defender’s office.
- Annette Holt, Chicago firefighter and president of the African-American Firefighters Association. After losing her son to gun violence, Ms. Holt has been on the forefront of the campaign against violence as the President of the Purpose over Pain Organization and through her work with various other initiatives to combat youth violence.
- Felipa Mena, Wells High School Local School Council parent representative who lost her son to gun violence.
- Rev. John Buchanan, pastor of the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago. Fourth Presbyterian Church operates Chicago Lights, a nonprofit community outreach organization that fosters literacy and education, helps to alleviate hunger and homelessness, and advances health and wellness through various programs.
- Mike Ivers, president of GoodCity, which focuses on building skills and capacity of community leaders and organizations.
- Dr. Carl Bell, President and CEO of the Community Mental Health Council, psychiatrist and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at the University of Illinois School of Medicine. Dr. Bell is an expert/lecturer on violence prevention and traumatic stress caused by violence.
- James Montgomery, attorney, partner in the law firm of Cochran, Cherry Givens, Smith and Montgomery. He is a former City of Chicago Corporation Counsel (1983-1986).
- Pastor Darrell Griffin, pastor of Oakdale Covenant Church. The Oakdale Covenant Church established the Oakdale Community Development Corporation to impact the needs of the Brainerd/Washington Heights community
“Members of the blue-ribbon panel were selected based on their wide range of experience and knowledge and willingness to volunteer. They will play an important role in ensuring that we successfully match the expertise of those applying with the students most in need,” Huberman said. “This first step of engaging local leaders and stakeholders as part of this panel is critical to our long-term success, and we are grateful that they have agreed to join us in this mission.”
Chicago Public Schools serves 417,855 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.