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Chicago area natives to receive $300K from the Elevate Prize Foundation

By Evan F. Moore

Two Chicago area natives are among the 10 inaugural winners of an award that aims to further their work.

Winnetka native Chad Bernstein, who founded Guitar Over Guns, an organization that combines mentorship and guitar lessons, and 20-year-old Naperville native Trisha Prabhu, inventor of ReThink, an anti-cyberbullying app that has about 500,000 downloads to date and is utilized in 1,500 schools impacting 5 million students, are the local winners of the Elevate Prize, the Elevate Prize Foundation announced on Monday.

The Elevate Prize Foundation aims to “find extraordinary, purpose-driven leaders all around the world, and to provide them with resources and support to dramatically increase their impact,” according to a foundation statement.

Recipients of the award will receive a minimum of $300,000 in prize funding including two years of professional development services and access to a network of partners and executives who can assist them in advancing their work.

The Elevate Prize Foundation — created in 2019 by businessman and philanthropist Joseph Deitch — aims to “elevate humanity on a global scale by funding, guiding, and scaling the platforms of social entrepreneurs within the areas of healthcare, the environment, poverty, inequality, the arts, and more.”

Deitch said in a statement: “It’s been a challenging year for the whole world, but it’s also shone a light on those individuals and organizations who are using what’s happening around us as motivation to fight and solve for a better future. When I started this journey, I envisioned a type of philanthropy more suited to the resources we can deliver today — a more entrepreneurial approach that goes beyond just monetary resources, and provides comprehensive assistance to scale these worthy causes.”

Sweet Beginnings, LLC, a North Lawndale-based nonprofit which is a subsidiary of The North Lawndale Employment Network, made the Elevate Prize Foundation’s top 20 finalist list.

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