Winnetka’s AMY O’DONNELL became Chair of the Board of Directors at Northwestern Settlement in Chicago during the height of the COVID and social justice crises. She is one of the few women to hold this position since Northwestern University Settlement House’s (NUSH) founding in 1891. During the shutdown, NUSH transitioned over 1,000 atrisk students at Rowe Elementary to e-learning, ramped up capacity to serve quadruple the number of families in their food pantry (more than 800 per week), and initiated telehealth for clients in their CARES mental health clinic. Pursuing the mission of disrupting youth poverty in Chicago, NUSH is now switching from response to recovery in all their programs, including the beloved House in the Wood outdoor STEM education program, which was closed due to the pandemic. Unable to hold their annual benefit gala in person, NUSH’s North Shore Auxiliary Board has launched an appeal for recovery support, Reach for the Stars (for more information or to participate, visit northshoreboard.org). Here is how O’Donnell, stays current in an ever-changing world.
ON HER NIGHTSTAND
“Becoming by Michelle Obama and Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates—both strong women coming into their own and effecting positive change in the world, one of them from Chicago.”
IN HER EARBUDS
“Over the summer, I was listening to relaxing, retro music like HAIM, CAAMP, Leon Bridges, and Nathaniel Rateliff. I have also been getting back to my favorite, Aretha Franklin, again in anticipation of her upcoming biopic with Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson.”
ON HER MOBILE
“On Being, Refinery29, DNA of a Maker, Stuff You Should Know, as well as a lot of pandemic response/recovery webinars for schools and nonprofits.”