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Power Hope Award Winners 2023

Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois Secretary of State

Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois Secretary of State

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias was sworn into office as Illinois’ 38th Secretary of State on January 9, 2023.  He is committed to transforming operations through modernization efforts, which improve customer service, expand online services and reduce wait times.
Kristen​'s contributions to the Chicago community are robust and widespread. She is currently the Executive Director of Friends of Prentice Women’s Hospital, committed to superior healthcare spanning the full spectrum of a woman’s life. She also provides community engagement and public service consulting services to clients including the New Coast Foundation, Lincoln Park Community Services, Lawndale Christian Legal Center, and The Women's Justice Institute.
Reginald Hicks is a consultant whose focus is to bring attention to the importance of male involvement within the lives of children, families and communities, while enhancing the parenting skills that fathers possess. In his professional career Reggie has worked as a system navigator for fatherhood programs, as a school based mentor, an afterschool site director, a workforce development trainer and mentor, a male involvement consultant, community based mentor, and as a re-entry project manager.
The cofounder of Derkin and Kula, Colleen is a licensed Clinical Therapist helping patients find skills and tools to find peace and healing. She previously served as the CEO of one of the largest national behavioral healthcare treatment facilities - providing high quality treatment and specialized care to women and girls in a 42-acre holistitc setting.
Scott has been happily involved with Care for Friends for more than ten years. He and his wife Kate volunteered initially with their daughter and her middle school Sunday school class. This grew into the family being regular participants and, soon after, he took on the co-leader role with Steve Clifford. In summer of 2021, Scott moved into the role of sole Team Lead C. In his professional career, Scott is the Vice President of Information Technology Services at Smithbucklin, an association management company based in Chicago.
Chicago local Violeta Podrumedic grew up in a restaurant family where she learned hard work, grit, and gained a passion for serving others. She began her radio career at WGN Radio where she worked as an associate producer in the Newsroom, a street reporter, and then on air personality/Traffic Reporter. Today you can catch the first generation Serbian on The Mix Morning Show on 101.9 The Mix from 5:30am - 10am. Her passion for volunteerism started at a young age and continues today through her “Volunteer with Violeta” events that help highlight various organizations and show people how easy and rewarding it is to get involved.
Robbie has been volunteering with the U.S. Citizenship Program of School District 214 as a “mock interviewer” and tutor for immigrants hoping to become citizens, for almost three years. In the 2022-23 academic year, the District offered nine citizenship classes, which were taught in English, Spanish, Polish and Russian. Over 400 hopeful adult immigrants participated this year. Robbie conducts practice interviews for five of these classes, helping prepare students for their formal interviews at the USCIS offices in downtown Chicago.
Chris is the founder of the South Side-based foundation the L.Y.D. Foundation. One of his favorite places is the Monument to the Great Migration in Bronzeville, a space that brings him inspiration because it inspires so much HOPE, something he believes is the most important thing we can hold on to. Among many other campaigns and initiatives, he is currently planning to do a campaign called Ten in Ten in which he runs 10 Marathons in 10 months to raise awareness and funds for his youth mentoring, financial literacy, and food insecurity initiatives he does throughout the South Side