Johnny Rivers Joins KAA's Board
Chicago-based Kids Above All today announced the latest addition to its Board of Trustees, Johnny Rivers. Rivers, a former Kids Above All program participant, joins the organization’s 35-member governing board, which oversees the agency’s administration, as well as champions the young people in their care.
Rivers first became involved with Kids Above All in 2016 as a client in Kids Above All’s Emerge Program, which provides stable housing, case management, and trauma-informed counseling to young adults, ages 18-24, experiencing homelessness in the city of Chicago and Lake County. Before entering Emerge, Rivers couch surfed for years after his mother’s passing. Once in the program, he moved into a safe, affordable apartment, received life skills training and was connected with a paid apprenticeship program with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Local 2 in Chicago.
Through his hard work and resilience, as well as the support of Kids Above All’s Emerge Program, Rivers is now a self-sufficient, independent adult with an apartment of his own, gainfully employed as an apprentice with the IATSE and able to provide for his family.
“Kids Above All means so much to me. They believed in me and helped me become the man I am today,” said Johnny Rivers. “I am very lucky to have this opportunity to share my story and use my life experience to impact other young people who need support, so that they can achieve their dreams.”
“Johnny is a strong, dynamic and resilient young man, and we are excited to welcome him to Kids Above All’s Board of Trustees,” said Dan Kotowski, President and CEO of Kids Above All. “His unique perspective as a program graduate will be invaluable for our Board, ensuring that we do everything possible to place the safety, well-being and education of children and families above everything else, so they can build better lives.”
Since graduating from the Emerge Program in 2019, Rivers remained involved with Kids Above All, serving as the emcee for the organization’s last three annual fundraisers. He has also taken on a mentorship role for the young adults in Emerge, sharing his story of challenge and success, encouraging them to realize their goals.
To learn more about Kids Above All’s Board of Trustees, click here.