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Cara Pays Tribute to The University of Chicago and UChicago Medicine

Cara honored several supporters and alumni of its organization at its annual Tribute to the Stars presented by Waterton – held at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel on Friday, November 16. The event, which is Cara’s oldest and most mission-centric, raised nearly $100k for its mission to alleviate poverty in Chicago.

The morning saw more than 300 partners and supporters of Cara convene for a breakfast reception followed by a special version of Cara’s signature morning Motivations ritual. The morning also saw recognition to the corporate and community partners who have been instrumental in their successes through the awarding of the Good Neighbor Award and the Thomas M. Owens Mission Award.

This year, the Good Neighbor Award was given jointly to The University of Chicago and UChicago Medicine. This award is traditionally given to an organization whose partnership with Cara has helped its mission expand its reach.

“[UChicago Medicine] takes very seriously its role in social responsibility,” said Bob Hanley, Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at UChicago Medicine in his acceptance of the Good Neighbor Award. “Work is fundamental to a person’s dignity and contributes to the growth and prosperity of our communities. We are extremely proud to be part of the Cara promise it makes to its participants that if you show up and work hard, you will get a job – and along with that, hope.”

The University of Chicago and UChicago Medicine have had a multi-dimensional partnership with Cara – supporting its social enterprise Cleanslate’s reach in the Midway and Hyde Park areas, engaging Cara’s leadership in its transformative Civic Leadership Academy, broadening the learning of Booth and Summer Business Scholar students through immersive social purpose experiences with Cara, deepening insights through a partnership with the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, partnering with Cara Connects at UChicago Medicine and hiring candidates on a contract and permanent basis for its recently opened South Side trauma center, and leveraging the School of Economics for a study on the role of socio-emotional learning in sustainable employment.

“As you can see, the investments the larger University of Chicago enterprise has made in Cara and Chicago as a whole are far and wide and they are the true embodiment of what we envisioned when we first developed this award,” said Maria Kim, President and CEO of Cara. “This is but one small gesture of appreciation for an incredible array of generous support.”

The Thomas M. Owens Mission Award was given to longtime Cara supporter Randy Roach. Named for Cara founder Tom Owens, this award recognizes an individual whose tenacity for and support of our mission embodies the spirit of its namesake. Randy has been a friend to Cara for more than a decade and her personal activation, tireless support, fierce ambassadorship, and engagement with Cara’s training department in developing and teaching curriculums helped to advance its mission and enable Cara to fully establish its place as a leader in workforce development.


Waterton was once again the presenting sponsor for 2018’s Tribute to the Stars. Founded in 1995, Waterton is a real estate investor and property management company with a focus on U.S. multifamily apartments and hospitality properties. The organization has been a long-dedicated employment partner and supporter of Cara and its social enterprise Cleanslate – including taking part in a three-year investment in its Ward by Ward initiative in Chicago’s 27th Ward.

Click here to view our full gallery from our 2018 Tribute to the Stars presented by Waterton.

Tribute to the Stars will be held once again in late fall 2019. Click here to learn more about Cara’s upcoming events.