Hello to the RBA family!

My name is Marne Smiley, and I’m the CEO of Bumper Lanes which is a full-service marketing agency. I first found out about RBA a few years ago via a long-time friend Ann Zeiler, who is the RBA Board Chair. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of becoming more and more connected with RBA and the more I learn, the more I love!

I know there are so many deserving nonprofits out there but when I decided to ride my bike solo this past summer from Chicago to and from Ann Arbor, I chose RBA to raise money and awareness for this great cause.  Why RBA?  My family was a foster family for over 20 foster children and I experienced first hand that sometimes kids are dealt a rough hand and need safety, support, and sympathetic adults to have their back. This is RBA’s specialty. They create a stable and safe environment where children, many of whom have faced numerous challenges and who haven’t always had access to the same resources and opportunities, can flourish.

I truly believe “Every child is one caring adult away from a success story”  and that applies not just to RBA’s staff, but I firmly believe that every donor who gives to RBA is making a tremendous impact on the lives on the resilient youth who attend Ryan Banks Academy.  RBA is at first look at school that helps kids from underprivileged neighborhoods in Chicago. But upon a deeper look, it is a community of people dedicated to helping young scholars be their best version of themselves with long-term goals of being a boarding school focusing on social-emotional learning and a strong lean on family involvement. During this tough 2020 year, your support will go far to providing the best opportunities for the amazing and resilient children who attend RBA.


Marne Smiley
CEO, Bumper Lanes