Beginning this academic year, Harris Public Policy is the new academic home of the UChicago Urban Labs, including the UChicago Education Lab.

CHICAGO, Ill., Nov. 16, 2018 – A transformative gift from AbbVie Pharmaceuticals announced today will expand the partnership between the University of Chicago Education Lab and Chicago Public Schools to better support Chicago’s most vulnerable youth. This $15 million gift will connect underserved students with promising programs, and will enable the Education Lab and Chicago Public Schools to co-produce evidence to guide policy and practice in Chicago and in cities across the country.

Roseanna Ander, Executive Director, UChicago Urban Labs

“We are proud to continue our work with Chicago Public Schools on innovative approaches to better serve Chicago’s students,” said Roseanna Ander, Executive Director, UChicago Education Lab. “AbbVie’s support will help generate evidence about the most effective ways to close the opportunity gap and ensure that all students have the support they need to achieve their potential.”

The investment builds on AbbVie’s longstanding commitment to underserved populations, on the extraordinary strides Chicago has made in tackling pressing education policy challenges, and on the Education Lab’s decade of partnership with Chicago Public Schools and local nonprofits in service of students.

The gift will further this work by expanding services and generating rigorous evidence about effective solutions, specifically targeting student populations at the most elevated risk of school dropout or violence victimization. With this support, the Education Lab will work with the District to design, implement, and test the most effective ways to narrow the opportunity gap and improve academic achievement through personalization, social-emotional supports, and ambitious efforts to re-engage struggling students.

The Education Lab is one of three nonprofits serving Chicago’s students to receive a donation from AbbVie. Communities in Schools, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to empowering at-risk students, and City Year, which recruits AmeriCorps members to serve full-time as tutors and mentors, also received donations from the company.

“A solid foundation in education can be life-changing for all children and allows them to gain the confidence and tools they need to recognize that their potential is limitless and their futures are bright, irrespective of where they grow up,” said Laura Schumacher, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, AbbVie. “We are stepping up for children in our backyard of Chicago and across the nation by elevating the missions of our three new partners, who have demonstrated how their programs make a deep impact for students.”

The Education Lab is directed by Jens Ludwig, McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago and Jonathan Guryan, Professor at Northwestern University, and is part of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. With this support, the Education Lab and Chicago Public Schools will work to leverage local innovation, data, and evidence to ensure that every student in Chicago has the support they need to succeed in school and achieve their potential.