For the first time in three years, the 22nd annual DuPage Gala will be back in person! Much collaboration and planning went into making the event possible, including Metropolitan Family Services DuPage Board Members, staff, volunteers and our Host Committee Co-Chairs, Dan McGowan and Emily Shupe. We had the opportunity to sit down with Dan to learn more about his involvement with Metropolitan DuPage and what to anticipate at this year’s event.
Dan comes from a family of service. His brother, David, who recently retired, was the head of the DuPage Foundation, while his father, Donald, has always been great at volunteering in the community. Dan’s wife Ellen has also been active in community activities, including through her current role as a Board Member at AAUW Glen Ellyn. This type of influence encouraged Dan to provide valuable leadership locally, including through his role as a Board Member of Metropolitan DuPage.
“Metropolitan is a wonderful organization that positively impacts the community,” Dan says. The biggest impetus to Dan’s involvement with Metropolitan DuPage is its “broad range of integrated, wrap-around services, [which are] extremely critical in a community.” He adds, “I’ve seen so many stories and positive outcomes. Metropolitan DuPage does really good work.”
Dan explains, “Consider the breadth of services we have, the way we integrate them, the way we look holistically at a situation. It’s important to know the breadth of what Metropolitan DuPage does within the community, that the services are here, and we’re here to help.”
Metropolitan DuPage fills critical service gaps through its four “E’s” of Education, Emotional Wellness, Economic Stability, and Empowerment. In addition, “One of the things that differentiates us from many of the other wonderful organizations in DuPage County and the Chicagoland area is our wrap-around services,” Dan says. “We find through our staff that individuals seeking services often need more than one area of support.”
Many of DuPage’s philanthropic leaders gather annually at the DuPage Gala, which highlights Metropolitan DuPage’s work to “Mpower” DuPage County families and individuals. Dan acknowledges being able to hold the Gala in-person for the first time in three years adds even more excitement to 2023.
“The events we’ve had the past three years have been fantastic, and we’ve been able to raise significant support and financial resources as a result. Yet, there’s something special about being in person, and about the ‘sidebar stories’ that take place onsite involving individuals who may not spend time reading all of our social media posts or who may not be as inclined to participate in a Zoom kind of event. The ability to be back in-person and to feel the excitement in the room, to meet individuals who are interested in making a difference in the community, well, it’s tough to put a full value on that!”
The 22nd annual DuPage Gala will take place on May 5, 2023 at Bobak’s Signature Events in Woodridge, Ill., from 5:30 -10:30 p.m., emceed by ABC 7 Weekend Sports Anchor and Reporter Dionne Miller. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available on the event page. We look forward to seeing you there!
In honor of Women’s History Month, Metropolitan Family’s COO, Theresa Nihil, sat down with law firm Chapman and Cutler, LLP to discuss her tenure with MFS as well as what and who has inspired her impressive career. Theresa started with MFS in 1986 with the hopes of being a social worker and has been in her current role as COO since 2006. She’s been a champion for families and individuals throughout her career, with a strong emphasis on improving their access to behavioral health services, and also importantly improving the quality of those services. Teresa is also a wonderful parent and tremendous leader within the community, serving on a variety of boards and agencies throughout Illinois.
Kudos to LAS Senior Attorney Emma Garl Smith for being featured in the National Elder Abuse MDT Training and Technical Assistance Center’s January newsletter!
When our youth shared their reflections from the program, we felt inspired by the authentic youth voice and the powerful effect of this program in the lives of youth on the Far South Side in just six short weeks over the summer.
Our annual Purple Hat Brunch is one important tradition contributing to our culture of support of survivors, and after two years of virtual events we were excited to come back together in person!
Bridge to Construction offers pre-apprenticeship training for individuals interested in starting a career in the construction trades.
Our Calumet Center, called the “Miracle on 103rd Street,” recently held its annual meeting to celebrate the miraculous people and partners who empower children and families on the Far South Side.
Our North Center celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a week-long celebration!
Our Calumet Center’s Community Schools program celebrated Hispanic Heritage month with more than 300 students, family members, and staff!
At Family Shelter Service of Metropolitan Family Services DuPage, we continue to provide wraparound services to survivors of domestic violence in DuPage County.
Throughout Workforce Development Month, Metropolitan celebrated employer partners who empower our programs to support job seekers and their families!
Our Calumet Center’s Community Schools program is pleased to partner with Metcalfe Academy and SGA Youth & Family Services; recently, this developing relationship led to employment for four parents with the City of Chicago’s Safe Passage initiative.
This program offers employment opportunities with Metropolitan community partners, including hands-on experience, on-the-job training, and mentorship.
As we remodel our Midway Center and build out our Jones Center, we’re pleased to offer participants in our Illinois Youth Investment Program (IYIP) the opportunity to get involved in the construction!
We’re excited to be able to offer a Drone Certification for youth in our Calumet Center’s YouthBuild program!
Thank you to the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley for your partnership! Their support dates back to 2005, and through the years has empowered thousands of families to learn, earn, heal, and thrive.
Thank you to our friends at Mesirow for creating a unique and powerful opportunity for youth in our Calumet Center’s Summer Youth Employment Program!
The Parent Child Educators and Family Support Workers of our DuPage Center’s Home-Based Early Learning programs recently wrapped up the 2021-2022 school year, with many of their children aging out of the 0-3 Home Based programs and transitioning into a 3-5 Center-Based program.
Congratulations and thank you to Maureen “Reenie” Meyer, with gratitude for her service as Manager of Resale Operations. We wish her the best in retirement!
Our Southeast Chicago Center’s Behavioral Health program recently hosted a Family Funday for our children, adolescents, adults and their families!
Craig Darragh started working for Metropolitan Family Services in December 2021. He provides individual and family therapy to children and families at our North Center.
Transitioning from school to summer has its challenges. Here’s how to shift gears as summer approaches.
Metropolitan Family Services takes the time to honor and recognize the longest-celebrated African American holiday, Juneteenth.
Our DuPage Center’s Alumni Board Committee is back! The Committee officially met in person recently at their Annual Breakfast, where Executive Director Nikki Cameron shared agency news and updates.
We’re grateful to author Solonge Robinson for visiting our Calumet Center, sharing her time and her books for a story time!
At the close of the spring legislative session, Metropolitan Family Services’ Advocacy Task Force is celebrating the passage of several of its legislative priorities that will expand access to behavioral health, substance use and domestic violence services as well as strengthen the human services workforce.
Our Midway Center community came together to empower survivors of domestic violence for a special Mother’s Day!
Our Calumet Center recently hosted a special group of supporters in our Metropolitan family: our Board of Directors!
During this month, we recognize the tremendous diversity of AAPI communities, comprised of roughly 50 ethnic groups, speaking upwards of 100 languages, and hailing from at least 40 different countries.
Our Midway Center Community Board’s Love Purse drive for survivors of domestic violence recently got a helping hand from a few special supporters: Board Member Griselda Piedra’s kids and their friends!
At our first-ever Legislative Roundtable, we were pleased to offer an opportunity for our frontline behavioral health and domestic violence staff and program participants to meet with their elected officials, and advocate for specific policy goals in our agency’s legislative agenda.
Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P) and Metropolitan Family Services were pleased to host a dynamic conversation on violence prevention with a group of Marshall Memorial Fellows, as part of the German Marshall Fund’s leadership development initiative for prominent young leaders from across Europe.
We are pleased to highlight Max Leichtman of ComEd, a member of our DuPage Community Board since 2020!
Metropolitan Calumet’s Social Workers come together to celebrate in recognition of Social Work Month
Our Calumet Center’s Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Justice committee was excited to host an open house!
Theresa Nihill, Metropolitan’s Chief Operating Officer, joined Mayor Lori Lightfoot and several city leaders and community advocates to shine a light on the importance of holistic support for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence.
We’re pleased to share a look into our new Headquarters space at 101 N. Wacker Drive!
Thank you for taking the time this month to honor and celebrate the stories of African Americans.
We’re proud of our Early Learning staff and families for showing true resilience over the past few weeks!
Metropolitan Family Services joins the nation in celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Altgeld Teen Leaders of our Calumet Center hosted their first youth-led food pantry in almost two years due to the pandemic!
For Human Trafficking Awareness Month, our LAS staff shares resources to understand trafficking, how to recognize the signs, and how to help victims of exploitation.
After 28 years of dedicated, exceptional service and leadership to our Calumet Center, Audrena Spence is moving on from her position as Executive Director. Please join us in thanking Audrena, and appreciating her invaluable contributions to Metropolitan Family Services!
Our Southwest Center, the Blue Island Robbins Neighborhood Network, and other community partners in the southwest suburbs are “United for the Holidays!”
Julia will oversee all of Metropolitan Family Services’ volunteer events, including corporate volunteerism, reoccurring, and one-time events.
In honor of National Adoption Month this November, our DuPage Community Board is pleased to highlight DuPage Board Member Gina Sharp!
Read tips from our Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation staff on practicing gratitude as a family, and learn about a few famous adoptees
Meet Lizbeth Delgado, LCSW, a therapist in our North Center’s Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (ASAP) Program
Our new home at 101 North Wacker Drive, 17th Floor, features more than 27,000 square feet of wide and attractive space in the heart of downtown.
Thanks to an outpouring of support from Mesirow employees during a two-week school supply drive, the company – which matched employees’ contributions – recently donated nearly $12,000 worth of items for children in our programs.