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Fair Chance Honors Nonprofits and Community Members at Annual Celebration

Leaders of Fair Chance 2016 graduating nonprofits (left to right): Robert DeSimon; Ryan Pettengill; Rachel Callahan; Elijah Moses; Hawah Kasat; Amy Kurtz; Elizabeth Schurgin; and Dennis Chestnut.

Fair Chance Graduating Partners Honored

On Monday, April 11th, 200 nonprofit leaders, community members, funders and friends met at Studio Theatre to honor Fair Chance's 2016 graduating nonprofit partners and recognize important individuals and accomplishments of the past year. This year's class of nonprofits provide critical services such as teaching math skills, building awareness of sexual health and risky behaviors, and preventing violence through artistic expression and conflict resolution. These eight organizations were selected through a competitive selection process and collectively serve over 5000 children and youth across Washington, DC.

Each partner received over 350 hours of free capacity building, coaching, and technical assistance in competency areas such as financial management, fundraising, program evaluation, and board development. The leaders of these organizations now join a growing alumni network of over 90 nonprofit organizations that Fair Chance has partnered with since 2002.  During the program, each leader shared the impact their program has on the youth they serve and how partnering with Fair Chance helped them to achieve their organizational goals.  

Attendees were deeply inspired by the stories shared by our partners. Below is sample of what audience members posted on Twitter during the night:


Congratulations to Executive Directors Elizabeth Schurgin, DC Youth Orchestra Program; Brigitte Winter, Youth Playwrights’ Theater; Elijah Moses, Wise Young Builders; Rachael Callahan, Common Good City Farm; Ryan Pettengill, The Grassroot Project; Robert DeSimone, Youth Leadership Foundation; Dennis Chestnut, Groundwork Anacostia River DC; and Hawah Kasat, One Common Unity for successfully completing your Fair Chance partnership!

Click on each logo to learn more about our 2016 Graduates


Fair Chance Launches New Philanthropic Impact Fund


At Graduation, we also celebrated the launch of the Fair Chance Fund and recognized it's founding members: Mary Pat and Darren Alcus, Carrie and David Marriott, Jane and Esko Korhonen, and Amanda and Alex Marshall. This new philanthropic impact fund will provide additional support for Fair Chance to achieve targeted outcomes with its high-potential, youth-serving nonprofits working in DC's poorest neighborhoods. It will also allow Fair Chance to not only deepen our impact, but strategically expand our reach to nonprofits. Each founding member was presented with a piece of original art created by the young artists at alumni partner Life Pieces to Master Pieces. Fund members will also have opportunities to meet with nonprofit leaders and experts in the field, learn about the issues they face and receive progress reports on their investments.

To learn more about the Fund and it's personalized, active experience of philanthropy, please contact Benjamin Bradburn (202) 467-2428 or

2016 Fair Chance Community Champion Award

The Fair Chance Community Champion Award honors outstanding individuals or organizations that have advanced Fair Chance's mission in a significant way. This year, Fair Chance honored Valerie and Daniel Coleman for their generous and enthusiastic support of Fair Chance's work, and for inspiring their families and others to make a difference. Fair Chance has been the beneficiary of the Colemans' annual Dubliner Golf Classic Tournament, and in a few short years, they have raised over $150,000 to support our work. We are grateful to the Coleman family's partnership in our efforts to put more children and youth on a pathway out of poverty.  

It was an honor to recognize and thank Valerie and Daniel Coleman at this year’s Annual Graduation Celebration as our Community Champions.

2016 Graduates Take the Stage

Click on the photo below to see our Graduation photo album!

Photography by Les Talusan
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