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Chicago Fire FC VP of Community Relations Jessica Yavitz to Receive Bright Promises Foundation's "Champions for Children Award”

November 2, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Chicago Fire FC News Release


CHICAGO - Chicago Fire FC Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of the Chicago Fire Foundation, Jessica Yavitz, to be honored with the Bright Promises Foundation's "Champion for Children Award" tonight, Thursday, November 2, 2023 in recognition of the outstanding contributions of a civic, corporate, philanthropic, or community leader who demonstrates exceptional dedication to helping at-risk children and youth in Metropolitan Chicago.

Bright Promises Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 that creates opportunities for Illinois children to reach their full promise and potential. With the help of leading experts, we work with organizations to develop and deliver programs that provide the basis for positive lives and brighter futures. Each year, Bright Promises Foundation recognizes and celebrates individuals and organizations whose commitment to Chicagoland children and youth is a model and inspiration for others. Honorees are exemplary leaders in service to children in either a professional or volunteer capacity who have contributed to notable improvements in the lives of Chicago-area children and youth. Past award recipients include philanthropist Gigi Pritzker, Founder and CEO of My Block, My Hood, My City Jahmal Cole, and Founder of the Erikson Institute, Dr. Barbara Bowman.

With more than 20 years of experience in professional sports and non-profit industry, Yavitz has evolved the Foundation into one of the most successful organizations in both Major League Soccer (MLS) and professional sports, recognized as a finalist for the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation-Best Commitment to Education Award in both 2021 and 2020, winning the 2019 ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award and in 2018 was a finalist for the ESPN Sports Award as well the winner of the Leaders in Sport Community Award presented by Facebook. In addition, the club was recognized as the 2016 Beyond Sport Team of the Year among finalists Arsenal, FC Barcelona, the Detroit Pistons, and the San Francisco Giants and as well as the 2015 Robert Wood Johnson Sport Team of the Year. Most recently, she was named 2022 WISE Chicago Woman of Inspiration, the 2007 MLS Community Relations Executive of the Year and guided the club to the league leading six-time winner of the Community Relations Department of the Year including most recently in 2018.

In addition to her day-to-day managerial roles for the Club, Yavitz is instrumental in spearheading the organization's shift from grant giving to programmatic focus. In 2013 she assisted in the creation of the Foundation's internationally recognized proprietary P.L.A.Y.S. (Participate, Learn, Achieve, Youth, Soccer) Program, tying soccer and social and emotional learning to help improve academics. Since its inception, the program has grown 400% serving 1000 third through fifth grade Chicago Public School inner-city students.

The 2023 Bright Promises Foundation Awards recipients were selected through a competitive public nomination process and chosen to receive this distinction by the 2023 Awards Selection Committee.


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