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IL Treasurer’s Office Provides Greater Access to Higher Ed

IL Treasurer’s Office Provides Greater Access to Higher Ed

Treasurer Frerichs Expands Access to Higher Education

Treasurer’s Office Celebrates ‘529 Day’ to Increase Awareness of 529 College Savings Plans Among All Illinois Families

On May 29, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs’ office will celebrate ‘529 Day’ to increase awareness of the state’s highly-rated 529 College Savings plans – Bright Start and Bright Directions – in an effort to provide all Illinois families with greater access to higher education.

“We want to enable families to save for their children’s higher education and be comfortable investing their hard-earned dollars in a college savings plan,” said Michael Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer. “We understand the desire parents have to save for their children’s future, as well as the potential apprehension to invest in college savings plans; therefore, my office has enhanced our 529 plans that offer a variety of investment options and flexibility for families.”

Treasurer Frerichs aims for all families to save for their children’s future. In Illinois, families with children are increasingly diverse. Today, hundreds of thousands of African American, Hispanic, and Asian children are enrolled in Illinois public universities and community colleges. In the future, the percentage of Illinois university and community college students from diverse backgrounds is only expected to rise. As such, the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office aims to help all families – from a wide variety of backgrounds – save for college.

Since first being elected in 2014, Treasurer Frerichs has worked to establish Bright Start and Bright Directions as two of the most accessible and affordable 529 plans in the country by cutting costs and eliminating annual account fees, minimum contributions and minimum balances.

These efforts have helped more and more Illinois families – from a range of incomes, ethnicities and races – to start saving for college. From 2015-2021, the growth rate of new IL 529 College Savings accounts opened by families making less than $30,000 annually increased by 81% and new accounts from families making $30,000-$49,000 increased by 76%. Over that same period, new accounts opened by Hispanic families increased 68% while African American new accounts increased by 51%.

To open an account, all you need is to be at least 18 years old, a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and a valid U.S. mailing address. Anyone can contribute to an account, and there are no enrollment fees, minimum contribution or minimum balance requirements to open or maintain an account. Furthermore, earnings are free from federal and state taxes if used for qualified education expenses, and up to $10,000 in contributions ($20,000 for married couples filing jointly) to an account are eligible for an Illinois income tax deduction. With Bright Start, you don’t even need a financial advisor, and it takes just approximately 10 minutes to open an account online.

To learn more about how to save for your child’s higher education through Illinois’ 29 College Savings plans, visit www.illinoistreasurer.gov. For more information about Bright Start, visit www.BrightStart.com, and for more information about Bright Directions, visit www.BrightDirections.com.

Many underprivileged kids haven’t ventured outside their neighborhoods. Friends First wants to change that! Our mentor outings range in visits to art museums and strolls on college campuses to simply playing Frisbee in a park.

By connecting with a trusted adult on meaningful, fun-filled outings, a child can develop a better vision for his or her future beyond the limited horizons that hold back far too many children.

Interested parties, please contact Tilisha Harrison, Friends First Director, at tilhar@mercyhome.org  or visit our website.

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls has been helping children in need since 1887.  We provide the young people in our full-time care the tools they need to overcome early trauma and become successful, contributing members of society.
Mercy Home is committed to raising the public’s awareness about children in need, and our Friends First Mentoring Program is leading the way. Mentors not only enrich lives, they help young people make better choices that promote self-development and opportunity.
Again, if you know a child who could use a mentor, please contact Tilisha Harrison, Friends First Director, at tilhar@mercyhome.org or call 312-738-7560.

Bikes, Beers, and Bands are Back in Humboldt Park!

We’re celebrating 15 years serving Chicago youth and 10 years creating local jobs. That deserves the greatest homegrown party on earth! The Chicago Bike Revolution will be a breathtaking bonanza of bikes, beers and philanthropic fun. This year combines many favorite ensemble acts plus new and emerging musical talent from around Chicago. It’s a festival of great beer, good people, and humankind’s most wonderful invention – the bicycle!
Tickets are $10 each in advance and $15 at the gate.
VIP tickets are $100.

Located just east of the Boathouse, the Chicago Bike Revolution will be the greatest homegrown show on earth. It’s a celebration of great beer, good people, and humankind’s most wonderful invention – the bicycle!

So bring your bike and join the opening parade to celebrate self-propelled, two-wheel travel. Dress up as your alter ego while raising money for the youth and young people of West Town Bikes.

Download flyer here.

El Rescate is excited to announce its partnership with TRANS Chicago in providing a safe space for youth ages 12 to 24.

If you are couch surfing, have run away, have no where to sleep at night, or have been locked out of your home come check out the Drop-In for services or just to hang out and get to know the staff. We meet every Saturday from 12pm to 4pm at 2753 W. Division St.

We hope to see you there!

El Rescate

Download flyer here.