Two Chicago organizations that help young people prepare for and attain meaningful careers will receive the 2023 MacArthur Annual Staff Award. A cross-Foundation committee selected AeroStar Avion Institute and The Alliance 98 to each receive the award of $50,000 of general operating support.


A group of youth standing in front of a prop plane at AeroStar Avion Institute, youth apprentices

Chicago high school students take introductory airplane rides at Gary International Airport with the Chicago “DODO” chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. as part of the AeroStar Avion Institute’s Aviation Exploration apprenticeship program in partnership with After School Matters.


The AeroStar Avion Institute enhances, promotes, and supports the academic awareness of and access to aviation and aerospace career opportunities for underrepresented students. Since 2008, it has worked with 16,000 students through mentorship, training, apprenticeships, and licenses to help prepare children and young adults with technical and scientific skills for their future careers.


A man helping a young man tie his neck tie

A participant of The Alliance 98’s Suited for a Cause program receives assistance from his mentor. Suited for a Cause equips young adults by providing career readiness, mentorship, employer access, and additional supporting resources.


The Alliance 98 serves young adults on Chicago’s South and West Sides with career readiness programs—mentorship, employment opportunities, access to training, and support for starting business endeavors. The Alliance 98 empowers young adults with skills, confidence, experience, and networks to sustain a meaningful career.

Annually since 1989, a committee of Staff volunteers from across the Foundation nominate Chicago-based nonprofits and award this end-of-year grant. The one-time award recognizes charitable organizations that may fall outside of our grantmaking guidelines.