Another Successful Scholar Workshop.

On July 19, we welcomed our incoming freshmen to HEAR’s annual College 101 workshop and summer social, where we share our tips, resources, and best practices. An invaluable part of this are our current and graduated scholars, who join the summer workshop for a Q&A that’s everyone’s favorite part of the event. Their insights range from the practical – always bring a power strip to your dorm room! – to information about free campus resources and groups that help freshmen orient themselves and find their niche. This year, HEAR Directors Rula Marziani and Rana Strellis joined the event and shared our most important message: HEAR is always in your corner.


HEAR’s 3rd Annual Golf Fundraiser

September 9th, 2024 at Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest, IL.

More information will be posted nearer the event date. Please check back. You can also follow us on social media or sign up to receive our newsletters.


2023 Annual Awards Ceremony & A Milestone Celebration!

In May, HEAR enjoyed another in person celebration. One of the highlights of the year, the Annual Awards Ceremony is always a happy affair. This year was a significant one, as HEAR awarded its 200th scholarship and surpassed $4,000,000 in committed funding. We were delighted to welcome 25 new scholars into the HEAR Family, continuing the upward trend in award numbers after a difficult two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Ignatius College Prep, one of HEAR’s long-time school partners, were kind enough to let us host the event at their beautiful school. We welcomed Board Directors, supporters, mentors, and new family members. We were also delighted to see a number of our existing scholars, and a handful of our new Class of 2023 graduates and their families.

HEAR Board President, Joe Lamberti, welcomed guests and thanked our supporters for their unwavering belief in HEAR’s mission of making higher education accessible to all. Executive Director, Vera Pollina, introduced the students in our newest class of scholars, all of whom were met with rounds of applause and cheering. Aatika S., one of the HEAR 2023 Graduates, gave a heartfelt welcome to the new class and shared some important advice on how to be successful in college.

Students in our College Success Program continue to amaze us with the resilience, determination and commitment to complete their educational journey. and we look forward to keeping you updated of their progress, both at college and beyond.


Celebrating In Person Again At The HEAR 2022 Fall Fundraiser!

We were absolutely delighted to be able to celebrate the achievements of the HEAR Family of Scholars in person after a two-year hiatus. HEAR Staff and Board Directors welcomed almost 200 guests to Double Clutch Brewing in Evanston. The more casual format was popular with guests who had a wonderful evening connecting with each other, renewing friendships, meeting HEAR Scholars and dancing the night away. It was also a pleasure to welcome a number of HEAR Graduates who helped with the smooth running of the event and who chatted with supporters throughout the evening.

The event was a great success, and all funds raised will be directed to HEAR’s College Success Program and support the future HEAR Class of 2027 who will being their college journey this fall.

A big shout out to Cass Winery who provided an on-site wine tasting during the evening, and to Knightsbridge Wines and The Bottle Shop, Wilmette who supplied wine for our ever-popular wine pull.

Thank you to those who were able to join us for the evening, and for those who supported the Foundation from afar. We hope to see you again in 2023!

More photographs from the evening, are available by clicking on the link below.


Inaugural HEAR Golf Outing Was A Great Success!

In August 2022, HEAR hosted its first annual golf outing. The day was spear-headed by Board President, Joe Lamberti, and held at the beautiful Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, IL. The day was glorious, the sun shone and laughter could be heard throughout the course! The competition among foursomes and for the Beat the Pro competition was fierce but friendly. The day culminated with cocktails, an awards presentation and dinner on the patio.

We were delighted to welcome a number of HEAR Scholars at the event. They spent time helping at check-in, overseeing the Beat the Pro competition, and interacting with golfers, explaining to them what it meant to them to be a part of HEAR’s College Success Program.

A big thank you to all the organizations who sponsored the event, including: Evergreen Bank (Beverage Sponsor), Olson Rug & Flooring, Lapham-Hickey Steel, Classic Dealer Group Waukegan, CPS Recruiting, McNaughton Brothers Construction, Merrill Lynch, Lake Forest Bank & Trust, Connie Browne – Coldwell Banker Realty, and Gallagher.

An anonymous donor at the event drove donations higher and the day exceeded our fundraising expectations. Thank you to everyone who made the event such a success. 100% of all proceeds will be used to directly support the incoming HEAR Class of 2027 as part of HEAR’s College Success Program. We look forward to another successful event in 2023.

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