The women of the Winnetka Board believe with knowledge, opportunities and support we can disupt generational poverty.
"Working with the incredibly talented, smart and creative members of the Winnetka Board and the Northwestern Settlement is the most fulfilling work I have ever done. Our board is united together in our mission to end the cycle of poverty in Chicago and make lives better for our neighbors. As a working board, we are always striving to create awareness and fundraising for the important programs the Settlement offers."
-- Diane Welnhofer, Winnetka Board President
“I like volunteering at the Settlement in the food pantry and at Head Start because I like getting to know the neighbors and it makes me feel good.”
-- Boden, age 13
Northwestern Settlement was founded in 1891 by leaders of Northwestern University as a separate and financially-independent institution. At that time, the West Town community was primarily the home of disenfranchised German, Polish, Irish, and Scandinavian immigrants, and the neighborhood failed to register in Chicago’s collective conscience.
Inspired by the Settlement Movement, and led by Northwestern University President Henry Wade Rogers and his wife Emma, Northwestern University Settlement Association was founded. The original Settlement Movement model involved settling in a needy community and recruiting university faculty, staff, graduates, and volunteers to live and work at the house, gathering resources to empower community residents to change their own lives.
Today, although the methods of service have changed, Northwestern Settlement continues to provide transformational opportunities. Focusing on changing lives through education, social services, and the arts, Northwestern Settlement’s programs are fully integrated to meet the complex needs of its neighbors.
Who We Support
For more than 125 years, Northwestern Settlement has nurtured, educated, and inspired children and families in need in Chicago. Focusing on changing lives through education, social services, and the arts, Northwestern Settlement’s programs are fully integrated to meet the complex needs of its neighbors.
Rowe Elementary School, operated by Northwestern Settlement, prepares students to succeed in and graduate from college by cultivating the desire and expectation to go to college and delivering an academically rigorous curriculum infused with unique social and emotional programming.
They best serve their students and families by instilling in them the college mindset — holistically preparing them to successfully navigate the road to college graduation. "We believe that our community is full of brilliant young people who, when provided an excellent education, are able to compete at colleges across the country."
Adventure Stage Chicago, the participatory arts program of Northwestern Settlement, creates and tells heroic stories about and for young people to engage the community and inspire everyone to be heroes in their own lives.
This past season ASC embarked on a three-year plan that asks the question: "How can the arts contribute to the disruption of generational poverty?" This question guided the programming choices during the 2017-2018 season dedicated to literacy. The 2018-2019 season is dedicated to hunger.