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Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson at Gage Park High School Friday where AbbVie announced $55 million in donations to education-based nonprofits. | Provided by AbbVie

AbbVie donates $55 million for education-based nonprofits

SHARE AbbVie donates $55 million for education-based nonprofits
SHARE AbbVie donates $55 million for education-based nonprofits

Three education nonprofits received $55 million from the biopharmaceutical company AbbVie to bolster their work in underserved neighborhoods in Chicago and other cities across the country.

Officials from the North Chicago-based AbbVie announced the donations Friday morning at Gage Park High School on the Southwest Side.

AbbVie singled out organizations working to improve graduation rates, reduce dropout rates, and increase college and career readiness for students in high-poverty neighborhoods.

Of the $55 million, $30 million will go to Communities In Schools, $10 million to City Year and $15 million to University of Chicago Education Lab.

Communities In Schools and City Year both have offices in Chicago.

“We are stepping up for children in our backyard of Chicago and across the nation by elevating the missions of our three new partners who have all demonstrated that their programs make a deep impact for students,” said Laura Schumacher, AbbVie’s executive vice president of external affairs.

For Communities In Schools, the nation’s largest organization empowering at-risk youth, this marks the largest single donation from a corporation in the organization’s 40-year history.

Dale Erquiaga, president and CEO of Communities In Schools, said the investment will help the group serve even more students at 16 Chicago high schools.

AbbVie’s support for City Year, which recruits AmeriCorps members to be mentors and tutors in schools, will help serve more than 18,000 students in 36 schools in the city over the next five years.

U of C’s Education Lab will expand its partnership with Chicago Public Schools through the donation. The Education Lab works with other area organizations to identify, evaluate and learn how to scale programs and policies that improve education in distressed neighborhoods.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson said she was grateful and excited about the donations.

“We don’t have to worry in the next few years about sustainability,” she said. “The funding is there, so now the challenge is to really get the work done and change things for students.”

The $55 million in investments is part of a $350 million donated by the pharmaceutical giant to nonprofits this year, AbbVie officials said.

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