Brighton Park Bold goal

Increase the graduation rate at Kelly High School to 90 percent.

Where we’ve been

After adopting a charter and creating an infrastructure, the Brighton Park Neighborhood Network has seen an increase in parent and resident engagement. Together, they’ve made great strides in addressing neighborhood issues in the areas of health, education and safety.

Select “next” to read more about our progress.

Improving health

  • More than 200 parents at five schools have engaged in nutrition workshops, cooking demos, grocery tours and exercise classes.
  • Five full-time counselors were placed in six Brighton Park schools, and additional mental health services for uninsured adults have opened in the community.
  • 289 locals were newly enrolled in health insurance.


  • 50 parent mentors were trained and placed in 56 classrooms that serve 1,400 students.
  • The rate of freshmen on track to graduate has increased to 76.4 percent—up from 73.2 percent in 2015.
  • The graduation rate has increased from 67.9 percent in 2013 to 79.2 percent in 2017.
  • 50 teachers, principals and community mental health counselors from eight schools were trained on trauma resiliency. Each school developed an action plan to identify one or two challenges they would like to address this year to continue developing a positive school culture.

Safe communities

  • The Leaders of Tomorrow violence prevention program provided case management to 93 students ages 13 to 19. This yielded a 69 percent decrease in school disciplinary incidents, better interactions with police, and participation in summer employment and education opportunities.

Where we’re going

The Brighton Park Neighborhood Network is developing ongoing support and programs for 1st through 12th grade students that will positively change their trajectory to include post-secondary goals.

Select “next” to read more about where we’re going.


  • 567 individual students are currently engaged in support programs.
  • A reported 86 percent of parents and guardians are actively engaged in their child’s learning.

Hear from your neighbors and supporters

Richard Morris

Burroughs Elementary School Principal

“There are a lot of variables that contribute to student success—or lack of, in some cases—but having parents and teachers in there is huge. Parents are lesson-planning with teachers, working with small groups of kids, [and] working directly for the academic success of the kids in the classroom.”

Ellie Forman

Vice President, Corporate Community Relations

“Mesirow’s deep-rooted commitment to the Brighton Park Neighborhood leverages United Way’s approach to increasing high school graduation rates through holistic support for the whole family. By virtue of our partnership with United Way, our activities – volunteerism, mentorship, donations, collection drives and more – can be amplified to make an even greater difference.”

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