At the founding of Gads Hill Social Settlement in 1898, Chicago was a city in flux. Immigrants from Europe were coming to our country in unprecedented numbers. Forged in the cultural traditions of the countries left behind, these resolute people came upon this city with a strong social compass. The poet Carl Sandburg called Chicago, at the time, "a city with lifted heads singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong."
In search of jobs to support families left behind, these new immigrants with "lifted heads" arrived with few material possessions to their names. What they did carry with them was a strong value for engagement in community life. Their unique resiliencies held a high regard for the qualities of trust, solidarity, equality and integrity. As shared experiences tied these families inextricably to the American Dream, our national ethos grew to encompass a diversity of voices.
Amidst the constant demographic shifts of our communities and immigration from Latin America, Gads Hill Center continues to hear those voices. We remain a refuge of hope and guidance for low-income families in Chicago. For more than a century, they have come to us looking to realize an inner vision of who they aspire to be in America, in our community. Today, we continue to keep their dreams alive and strong by recognizing the value of diversity and the perseverance of every individual we meet.
Promoting opportunities to help every child achieve his or her full potential continues to be the focus of the work we do. The value we have for the transformational power of education guides our high-quality, accredited early childhood and youth programs that provide the building blocks all children need to succeed in school and life.
As the young people we serve grow to become successful adults, we are humbled by the many who have chosen to return to Gads Hill Center and give of themselves to provide opportunities for a new generation in need. It is their compassion that reminds us of another fundamental American value – the spirit of responding to the kindness we receive by giving to someone else.
Gads Hill Center is grateful for the generous alumni who are the tutors, mentors, staff and board members of today. We thank our entire community of supporters who contribute to every family's ability to achieve their dreams, every day.
Chief Executive Officer
2016 Annual Report
2015 Annual Report