FundEd Chicago equalizes access to specialized learning supports for students in Chicago who are of limited economic means. We partner with the top specialists in Chicago to provide students the highly skilled support they need to succeed academically.
FundEd Chicago is leveling the playing field so all students can reach their full academic potential. Dr. Wacker and FundEd Chicago believe cost should never come between a student and their success.
Founder, Dr. Jessica Wacker, began developing the framework for FundEd Chicago as a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University. Her experience working as a speech-language pathologist and learning specialist in public and private schools gave her unique insight into the need for specialized support services and the benefits of early access to these supports.
Dr. Wacker created an organization that partnered highly qualified specialists with the students who need their support the most. FundEd Chicago incorporated and received its 501c3 status in 2018 and matched specialists with their first students during the 2019-2020 school year.
Dr. Jessica Wacker, SLP.D CCC-SLP
Dr. Jessica Wacker is a speech-language pathologist, learning specialist, founder, and CEO of The Loop Speech, Language, and Learning. The Loop SLL was created in 2013 to provide exceptional pediatric therapy and learning support to children in their school setting by partnering with independent schools in Chicago. Jessica holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors and both an M.A. and SLPD in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University. She also received her Learning Behavior Specialist I endorsement from the University of Illinois and her Certificate of Professional Achievement in Non-Profit Management from Kellogg’s Executive Education program.
Brian T. Whitlock, CPA, JD, LLM
Brian T. Whitlock is a retired Tax Partner with Midwest regional accounting firm. He has over 40 years of experience in counseling high net worth individuals, closely-held businesses and tax-exempt organizations. Brian currently practices law in Chicago.
Brian holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and both a J.D., with honors, and an L.L.M. in Taxation, with high honors, from the Illinois Institute of Technology/Chicago-Kent College of Law. He is a Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Illinois CPA Society, an active member of the AICPA Tax Division Estate and Gift Tax Technical Review Panel; and a member of the American Bar Association; the Illinois State Bar Association; and the Chicago Bar Association. He is a national speaker on tax related topics, and he writes a bi-monthly column under the by-line “Untaxingly yours” for Wolters Kluwer’s Taxes – The Tax Magazine.
Pam Katz, LCSW
Pam Katz is a practicing Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 20 years. During her tenure as a school social worker, Pam helped develop and adopt social emotional learning curriculum for students, and train school staff in the delivery of these programs. Pam transitioned to her private practice 8 years ago and specializes in working with individuals with anxiety, depression, ADHD, learning differences, and trichotillomania. Pam actively serves on an international and Chicago board in the larger Acceptance and Commitment Therapy community. She is also a trained educational advocate, having attended two summer institute programs as William and Mary Law School and earning a certificate in special education advocacy. Pam has lived in the Chicagoland area all of her life, and is the mother of three teenagers, including a child with an IEP and a twice exceptional child.
Scott Schweighauser is the founder of Borealis Strategic Capital Partners in Chicago. He has a BA from Williams College and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Scott is a longtime board member of NorthShore University Health System and also serves as a trustee of The Clark Art Institute. He and his wife, Liz Ellrodt, have two sons.
Liz Ellrodt has served as a trustee at Lake Forest Country Day School, Lake Forest Academy, the Wolcott School, and is currently a trustee at Roycemore School. She is a past trustee of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin, and is currently the Chair of the Visiting Committee of the Williams College Museum of Art. Liz has a BA from Williams College and had a long career in advertising at Leo Burnett before retiring to raise her two sons.