About Urban School Foundation

Our Story

Our story begins at a family-owned company called CDI Corp.  Located in Chicago’s northwest industrial corridor, CDI Corp has become the largest licensed collegiate gift manufacture in the country.  Its founders have always understood the role businesses play in facilitating community development and have modeled their corporate goals and conduct around involvement with local neighborhoods.

Over the past ten years CDI has worked hard to create change by providing opportunities for quality education and accessibility to athletics within surrounding communities.

In 2010, CDI Corp wanted to make their contributions official and founded the Urban School Foundation. Learn about our programs here.

The Urban School Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.


The Urban School Foundation feels that education is the issue that affects the health, wealth and future prosperity of the country. This is why we are devoted to providing homeless and low-income students in the Chicagoland area an equal opportunity to a quality education and a brighter future.

With this mission it is our intention to establish viable programs that:

  • Prepare students now by providing adequate school supplies and resources that allow students the freedom to become active participants in their education.
  • Prepare students for the future by providing low-income students with the confidence, education and practical tools that will inspire the next generation of innovative, resourceful and socially conscious entrepreneurs and collaborative leaders.


We envision a future in which all students are provided a safe, quality, public education.


Contribution. We believe that to be a devoted citizen and a responsible, respectable, successful company or organization, you must share in the responsibility of serving your community.

“The Power of We.” Participating in collaborative discussion, working together with partners and finding shared goals makes change not just possible but inevitable.

Equal Opportunity in Education. We believe education is the principle means of providing the opportunities needed to succeed as an informed, productive and compassionate participant in society.

Fostering Creativity and Entrepreneurial Spirit at a Young Age. Entrepreneurs are visionaries that imagine and drive the future. They’re passionate, resourceful, creative thinkers that push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Guiding Principles

  • We demand the utmost ethical behavior and integrity of ourselves.
  • Our business is conducted with an understanding and respect for the wide variety of social, economic and political differences.
  • Philanthropy is important but plays a limited role. Innovative and creative solutions are imperative for building the self-sustaining programs of the future.
  • Self-sustainable programs should not build permanent charitable capital, but instead operate within the parameters of the capital they, themselves, generate.
  • Every program must have a significant and long lasting social impact.
  • Sustainable, quality programs precipitate from strong, refined processes. They are consequences of the process first and an objective second, the objective being the process, itself.
  • We must be humble and mindful in our actions and words, and we must seek and heed the counsel of outside voices.
  • It is essential to leave room for growth and change.

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