The Trusted Adviser
September 2013 | Volume 6 · Number 7


ATG Supports Urban Initiatives for Kids

ATG supports a number of causes and organizations through financial contributions and committee or board service. Many of the organizations we support are related to housing or legal services, but some are organizations whose missions are simply to help people and build better communities. One of those community-building organizations is Urban Initiatives.

Urban Initiatives is a nonprofit organization that runs health, education, and character development programming for kids in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). By actively engaging participants in extracurricular activities at a young age, Urban Initiatives empowers youth to live a healthy lifestyle, value education, and enhance their personal and social development. Urban Initiatives takes a collaborative, whole child approach to development in order to provide children with the opportunity to reach their full potential.

ATG, a long-time supporter of Urban Initiatives, recently had the opportunity to make a "clutch" donation. Read the Urban Initiatives blog, August 23, 2013:

ATG Comes through in the Clutch for Attucks

A big shout out to a local title insurance company, Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG), for giving the Attucks school a boost just in time for the fall Work to Play season. Attucks has been partnered with Urban Initiatives since 2006, but when budget shortages left the school's administrators wondering if they would be able to offer Work to Play this year, ATG stepped up and generously donated $4,500 to cover the remaining expenses.

"Urban Initiatives works with amazing kids, and we were more than happy to help the students at Attucks participate in Work to Play this year," said Peter Birnbaum, the President and CEO of ATG. ATG has been a fantastic and consistent supporter of Urban Initiatives' programming since way back in 2003. This is their largest one-time donation to date, and we couldn't be more thrilled with their support and their sense of timing!

Christian Nze, Head Coach at Attucks since 2006 and a former member of the Nigerian national soccer team, said, "It's great to see a longtime supporter showing love to a longtime partner." We couldn't agree more. Thanks to the whole ATG team, and let's make the next year at Attucks the best one yet.

Urban Initiatives History

Urban Initiatives was founded in 2003 by James Dower and Daniel Isherwood, who were just at the start of their careers as teachers for the CPS. While teaching at Byrd Academy in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood, they witnessed firsthand the hurdles that at-risk children must overcome to reach their full potential—specifically education underachievement and poor health conditions. As sports enthusiasts and professional soccer coaches, they recognized the power of sports programming to address youth issues. Thus, they organized a before and after school soccer program with donated equipment and nutritious snacks that they purchased out-of-pocket.

Students immediately embraced the opportunity to play in a safe and structured environment as well as to be a part of a team. They also worked hard in the classroom to meet their coaches' high academic expectations: Their participation on the soccer field was contingent on their classroom performance and behavior.

What started as an early morning soccer program at one school with twelve students has since become an organization that serves 11,500 students at 29 schools in 23 distinct Chicago communities. Urban Initiatives’ catalog of programs serves students in kindergarten through 8th grade and includes Work to Play, Take the Lead, and Play with Potential. ATG is a proud supporter. For more information, visit

Attucks soccer team
These students at Crispus Attucks Elementary School in Chicago participate in the Urban Initiatives "Work to Play" program. ATG is a proud supporter.

[Originally posted: 8-27-13; Last update: 9-5-13]

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