Mission

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.

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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.

 

Our story

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. 

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Board

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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
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

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.

Dr. Treasyri Williams Wood

Dr. Treasyri (pronounced "treasure") Williams Wood, is a native of Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI with a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology and French and later earned a Master of Science degree in Communicative Sciences & Disorders from Hampton University in Hampton, VA. Treasyri then obtained a Clinical Doctorate in Speech Language Pathology (SLPD) from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

A lover of all things brain-related, Treasyri specializes in developing person-centered interventions for individuals with swallowing, cognitive and communicative deficits as a result of neurogenic dysfunction. She has been awarded a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Additionally, she has been certified by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners as well as the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists. Throughout her career she has worked in tandem with neurologists, laryngologists, neuropsychologists, social workers, rehabilitative specialists and caregivers to educate and deliver interdisciplinary services to adults. She holds a passion for increasing equity and access to allied health services for black and brown communities.  

As Clinic Director and Assistant Clinical Professor at DePaul University’s Speech Language Pathology Program, she established a Speech and Language Clinic in Chicago focused on increasing access to speech and language therapy that runs purely on a donation model (no cost to clients). She also teaches graduate coursework related to neurogenic disorders of communication and supervises graduate clinicians. In her spare time, Dr. Williams Wood enjoys traveling with her husband Joshua and attempting to tire out their two energetic Parson Russell Terriers.

 

Partners

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FOUNDING PARTNER

The LoopSLL

The Loop believes that parents and schools are an integral part of academic support. However, the traditional model of academic support takes place outside of school and lacks consistent communication between clinicians, parents, and teachers. This is where The Loop comes in.

The Loop partners exclusively with private schools in Chicago to provide highly customized, unmatched academic support for their students. Parents have the convenience of their child receiving top-tier support at their school, while school’s have the advantage of on-site specialists at no cost to them.

It’s a win-win-win. Parents have access to the best support for their children. Private schools have vetted on-site specialists that they can trust and collaborate with. Students get a one-of-a-kind treatment program with specialists, families, and schools working in unison to get the best possible results.

Neuropsychological Assessments

The Family Institute

Through research, education and clinical services, The Family Institute at Northwestern University is one of the nation's leading relationship-based behavioral health organizations committed to strengthening and healing children and adolescents, couples, families and individuals.

For those who cannot afford therapy, we offer high-quality counseling services to children, individuals, couples and families through our Bette D. Harris Family & Child Clinic, the Clinic is staffed by our outstanding graduate-level therapists-in-training, who are educated and supervised by our renowned therapists.

Psychologist

Chicago Psychotherapy, LLC

Chicago Psychotherapy, LLC is a private therapy practice located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Founded by Dr. Caroline Adelman in 2014, Chicago Psychotherapy serves clients of all ages, from all walks of life. At Chicago Psychotherapy, we believe in seeing clients for their strengths, understanding individuals in context, and working collaboratively with clients and their families in meeting treatment goals. We use gold-standard, evidence-based, and culturally responsive practices to support our clients, with an emphasis on individually tailored applications of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Family Systems Therapy (FST). We have expertise in the treatment of anxiety, OCD, mood disorders, tics and adjustment related concerns across the lifespan.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Pam Katz Counseling

My name is Pam Katz, and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I bring over 20 years experience helping people of all ages reduce their anxiety, cope with depression, and function in their daily routines. My clients describe me as caring, supportive, and nurturing. I specialize in Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Trichotillomania, School Refusal, ADHD, School Issues, Bullying Issues, and Social Skills. I also work with children with emotional and behavioral disorders, and collaborate with parents and schools to develop, implement, and maintain behavior plans. I provide parents with support and training to improve family life.

I use Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help people reduce their stress and anxiety by teaching them research proven strategies and coping skills. CBT helps people learn alternative ways of thinking about stressful events. ACT helps people to learn acceptance and mindfulness (present moment awareness) skills.

Speech and Language Clinic

DePaul University

The DePaul University Speech Language Pathology Program is one of the preeminent Speech Language Pathology Programs in the Country. Grounded in the Vincentian tradition and urban character of DePaul, the Master of Science degree in the Speech Language Pathology Program prepares speech language pathologists to meet the diverse and urgent needs of the Chicago community and beyond with a special concern for those who are most underserved and those who are most vulnerable. The program instills awareness of global health and education disparities, social justice, cultural fluency, equity, and ethical policies that impact the overall services of clients and communities.

The Program is uniquely designed to transform outstanding students into dedicated, highly trained speech language pathologists who will competently and compassionately meet the needs of individuals with communication and swallowing disorders. To further the program’s mission, the Bilingual English-Spanish Specialization Certificate attracts Spanish speakers to meet the needs of that underserved population in their native language thereby enhancing the ripple effect of the impact of the program throughout our Country.

Through its commitment to education, innovation, diversity, and equity, the DePaul University Speech and Language Clinic will provide exemplary evaluations and therapy services that are free to all clients, regardless of their ability to pay for services. The clinic accepts donations to supports the work of our clinic.

RefugeeOne

Every year, RefugeeOne welcomes hundreds of refugees through the U.S. State Departments Refugee Admissions Program. Having fled violence, persecution, and war, vulnerable refugees from around the world come to the U.S. to rebuild their lives. Resettlement is a long and often difficult process. With your support, RefugeeOne not only equips refugees with the skills needed to survive, but provides a full range of coordinated services that empower refugees to build the foundation for a flourishing life here in the United States.

Speech Language Pathologist

BMS Pediatric Therapy Group

BMS Pediatric Therapy Group provides high-quality speech therapy services to children ages 6 months to 18 years. Our goal is to improve each child’s communication skills within their normal routines and collaborate with families to help their child reach their highest potential. BMS conveniently provides in-home therapy services to families in the Chicagoland area and online teletherapy services to all residents of Illinois. Our services take place in the real world, help parents get involved, and remove the stress of having to commute to therapy!


Brittany Martin, MA,CCC-SLP/L, the owner and operator of BMS Pediatric Therapy Group, has over 13 years of experience assessing and treating speech, language, and cognitive-communication disorders in school and clinical settings. In addition, she has held special education leadership roles, worked on a collaborative diagnostic team, and instructed a college course on communication disorders as an adjunct professor.