March 21, 2011
A 20-year Chicago Public Schools employee was honored last week as an “Everyday Hero” by the Chicago Urban League and Verizon Wireless.
Khaldun Everage received his award at the culminating event of a Black History Month program that sought nominations for ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the community.
A total of 30 people were honored at the Everyday Heroes reception, including teachers, mentors, volunteers and clergy who gave of their time and resources in creative ways to affect change and touch the lives of thousands of individuals, schools and communities.
Everage, who works in the District’s Community and Family Engagement Unit, is a certified gang specialist who has trained and mentored thousands of young people to keep at-risk youth out of gangs. Everage received a Motorola Xoom tablet computer and $500 as an Everyday Hero.
“Khal exemplifies the type of person who can make a real difference in the lives of our children. He brings enormous passion and love for young people that gives them the courage to hope and try for a better tomorrow,” said Robert Runcie, Chief Officer-Area 17 schools and Family & Community Engagement.
Also receiving an Everyday Hero award was Joshua Mercer, a teacher at Miriam Canter Middle School in Kenwood.
Mercer is an accomplished educator, philanthropist and entrepreneur whose Swish Dreams Sports and Educational Foundation provides academic, social and physical enrichment to youth while integrating the disciplines of language arts and mathematics. Mercer received a Motorola Xoom tablet computer and $250.
“True progress requires that we each use our talents and gifts to lend a helping hand to assist others who may lack wisdom, experience or resources that we may be able to offer,” said Andrea L. Zopp, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “We salute our Everyday Heroes for their good works that have made such a powerful impression on the lives of many Chicagoans.”
“Everyday Heroes was a great opportunity to express our gratitude to the people who empower and inspire others through their community service,” said Alicia Hayes, Executive Director-Human Resources, Verizon Wireless. “Everyday Heroes is an extension of our commitment to Chicagoland communities, and we were proud to have partnered with the Chicago Urban League, an organization that is heroic in its own right, on such a worthy program.”
Chicago Public Schools serves 409,279 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.