Jael’s Story

As we close out 2019, I could share about what we accomplished this year and about the awesome growth we’ve seen within our students, but what really matters is hearing from our parents themselves. Please take a moment to read this open letter from Jael Parker,...

You’re Helping Us Change History

Thanks to dozens of our wonderful supporters, we are now only $40,000 away from receiving a $150,000 match gift!!! We know there are thousands of deserving nonprofits out there, but, we are biased 🙂 – and we happen to think that we are doing something pretty...

The Best Video We’ve Seen All Year

I wanted to thank you all for everything you have helped us to accomplish over this past year.  I encourage you to take a moment to watch this short but powerful 2 minute video we recently made that shows why this work is so important.  I will admit that I get choked...

Why We Do This: Audrey’s Story

I always imagined myself working in urban education with students who shared a similar upbringing as myself. I received my master’s and specialist degree in order to pursue becoming a School Psychologist in the public-school sector, motivated to help reduce ethnic...

Meet Charlene!

Meet Charlene! Now in 8th grade at Ryan Banks Academy, Charlene joined us last year in 7th grade as one of our founding students.  When she grows up, she wants to be a lawyer or start her own clothing line company.  The best advice that she has been given is to follow...

RBA On ABC, First Day Of School Photos, And More

Though we can’t believe it’s already three weeks into the new school year, we just received some incredible photos from the first day of school that we couldn’t wait to share with you! The amazing photographer Hillary Johnson joined us on the first...

Summer Reflections

I recently spent a week on a small island in Mexico that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting every summer over the past 6 years. After that many years, it now feels like a part of who I am, and it feels like home. Not far from my hotel is a pathway that winds...

From a Sox Game to Fox Fame

Now that our first year of school officially wrapped up, we wanted to give you a glimpse into some of the exciting things that took place over here at Ryan Banks Academy over the last couple of months. June 3rd would have been Ryan Banks’ 19th birthday, so we...

Why We Do This

One of my most vivid memories from working in Chicago Public Schools actually occurred long after the school day had ended.  A “typical” day should have included spending my time providing 1:1 and small group therapy sessions with students, but in reality...

Celebrities & Camping

April was an exciting month for us here at Ryan Banks Academy! First, we were honored when actor and comedian – and longtime RBA supporter – Jeff Garlin stopped by for a visit.  You may know Jeff from his roles on TV shows like “Curb Your...