The Susan M. Sanders, R.S.M. TLC

The Susan M. Sanders, R.S.M. Teaching and Learning Center

The initial teaching and learning center (TLC) of the Elijah Glenn Ward Family Foundation is named in honor of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and specifically, in honor of the life and work of Sister Susan M. Sanders. The heritage of the Sisters of Mercy and Sr. Sue has served as direct inspiration for the Ward Foundation commitment to delivering compassionate service to the most marginalized of our society, particularly men, women and children affected by poverty, incarceration and discrimination.

Located in the Lacuna Artist Lofts community of Pilsen at 2150 S. Canalport Avenue in Chicago, the Sanders Teaching and Learning Center is the home of the Chicago PRIDE Pilot Initiative and will soon house a variety of community programs, including Science Saturdays, a children’s reading program, summer youth jobs programs, a youth arts programs, My Brother’s Keeper, and My Sister’s Keeper.

The Chicago PRIDE Pilot Initiative

Chicago PRIDE provides people recently released from incarceration with pathways to a postsecondary education through intensive college readiness instruction, case management, mental health education and existing community services aligned directly with postsecondary academic instruction. The program offers an opportunity for 30 men and women between the ages of 18 and 32 to have access to twelve months of participation in a post-release, Restorative Justice and Re-Entry Program that includes the following courses:

• Introduction to Post-Corrections Legal Reality
• Introduction to Critical Skills for Life Change
• Independent Community Living and Life Planning
• Internship in Community Transitions and Workforce Development

In addition, participants have access to GED prep coursework and a suite of college-readiness courses.


Supported by a comprehensive range of social services integrated conveniently under one roof, Chicago PRIDE is built around seven data-driven outcomes that help participants utilize resources more effectively:

• Participant gains basic entry-level academic and career-skill pathway readiness to continue enrollment in a vocational certificate program at a local college, or else to continue academic instruction in either the upcoming Ward College AA degree program or else a similar program at a local college or university

• Participant is connected to and is receiving relevant assistance from existing city, county, state and NGO programs or support services

• Participant is connected to network of mentors, faith-based organizations and NGOs that offer a continuum of support

• Participant is employed in full-time, permanent employment

• Participant is residing in permanent housing

• Participant is reconnected with family and community

• Participant has not violated probation/parole or returned to jail/prison

Enrollment in Chicago PRIDE

Enrollment criteria include the following:
• Recently released from prison or jail
• Ages 18-32
• 9th-grade reading level or higher

Enrollment for Chicago PRIDE is now open and will continue until further notice. To learn more about PRIDE, please contact us at