Named after the upcoming 30th birthday (11-10-02) of Greg Forbes Siegman and his belief young people can do anything, The 11-10-02 Foundation (ShakingUpChicago.com) has garnered critical acclaim for turning a lunchbag, a shoebox, some cereal boxes, a laptop computer, a Grandmother’s rocking chair and a couple milkshakes into an unwavering commitment to breaking down racial cultural and social stereotypes, assisting overlooked students with scholarships & empowering young people.
11-10-02’s overriding principle is that everything and everyone– whether it’s a scrap of aluminum, the stitches of a baseball, the splinters of a chair, a simple milkshake or a single child– can become something extraordinary if you are willing to believe in them strongly enough and invest in them deeply enough. Siegman, who was rejected from every Ivy League college he hoped to attend, said, “Everybody is good for something, and yet, people are all too often judged solely by what you can see– the shade of someone’s skin, the shape of their shadow or their score on a test. So 11-10-02 looks for students who have a desire to achieve something and refuse to give up until that thirst is satisfied. Students who are willing to do the best they can with what they have. Students whose worth cannot be measured by numbers. That is true value.”
11-10-02 fulfills its missions through its BrunchBunch.com & ShakingUpChicago.com Programs. Siegman created BrunchBunch.com after he took two of his African-American students for milkshakes & witnessed the woman sitting next to them give the boys a look of disdain & move her purse out of their reach. BrunchBunch.com brings adults & students together over brunch on a weekly basis. 10 to 20 people attend each brunch at restaurants like O’Briens and Maggiano’s & more than 700 people have attended in all. Many like Robert Jericho, Vincent Johnson & Dina Luke and students Corey, Colby, Jovan, Tiffany, Lee & Justin have come for years.
The foundation distributes a series of annual scholarships at its summertime ShakingUpChicago.com Gala. Each “type” of 11-10-02 Scholarship is named after a portion of its logo. Past recipients of 11-10-02 Grants and Scholarships now attend college all over the country including Duane Jackson (George Washington Univ), Ana Vargas & Sir Williams (Northeastern Illinois Univ), Erika King (Univ of Illinois) & Michael Johnson (Duke Univ).
The recipients for 11-10-02’s Scholarships are chosen by the foundation’s four scholarship boards, comprised of a literal Who’s Who in American Business. Samuel K. Skinner (President-Chairman-CEO of USFreightways Corporation and former Chief of Staff to President George Bush), Tonise Paul (President & CEO of BBDO Chicago), Scott Gordon (President & COO, Tokyo Mitsubishi Futures USA), Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (Director of Community & Education Relations, Boeing), Tao Huang (COO, Morningstar Inc), Pamela Forbes Lieberman (CEO, Tru Serv Corp), Dr. Surinder Kumar (CIO, William Wrigley Jr. Company) and Jacob Kiferbaum (President, Kiferbaum Construction Corp) are just a few of the Movers & Shakers who lend their name and time to 11-10-02.
The foundation funds the scholarships through its innovative “Milkshake” Campaign. For $8500, Siegman personally delivers a milkshake to its Buyer– complete with whipped cream and a straw. The Buyer’s used glass is turned into a trophy and given to the student who receives the scholarship named after the Buyer. The likes of Multiplex Clubs CEO Gale Landers, Strategos CEO Peter Skarzynski, NHL Star Chris Chelios, national television Style Correspondent Christy Ferer & LaSalle Bank Senior VP Michael W. Kiss have gulped down one of the civic shakes– a ‘sweet’ tribute to the three shakes that kicked off BrunchBunch.com years earlier. The foundation’s other supporters have included American Family Insurance, Crain’s Chicago Business, David Weinberg, Kinko’s, Brinker International, Kraft Foods, Schiff Hardin & Waite Foundation, Podolsky Northstar Realty Partners, Kane McKenna & Associates, Nordstrom, The Strategic Coach, Bruce Bachmann, Gordon & Karen Millner, AT&T Wireless Services & Peter & Elaine Gutheim.
The principle behind ’11-10-02′ that young people are as capable as anyone has been put into practice thanks to talented interns like Kate O’Donnell (Carmel HS), Matt Canfield (Latin School) and Kirin Swanson (Glenbrook South HS) as well as young adult volunteers like Michelle Meklir of Asperger Caraher LLC, Jonathan Dennis of Catellus Development & Claudia Delgado of Ultra Stores.
With ShakingUpChicago.com around the corner and the foundation’s namesake date (11-10-02) in the Fall, it appears the group is just scratching the surface of looking beyond the surface to find true value in others. For more about The 11-10-02 Foundation, go to www.ShakingUpChicago.com