2020 Essay Winners


Kindergarten – Emily L, Columbia Explorers

2nd Grade – Emilia D, Arbury Hills School

3rd Grade – Lanie M, St. Mary’s Pontiac

4th Grade – Dominic V, Bridgeport Catholic Academy

6th Grade – Rogelio R, Columbia Explorers

7th Grade – Maria G, Rachel Carson

7th Grade – Taiwo S, Colin Powell Middle School

8th Grade – Herlinda D, Columbia Explorers 

9th Grade – Jack T, De La Salle

10th Grade – Dempsey Y, Mundelein HS

10th Grade – Talia B, De La Salle

11th Grade – Ahriel P, De La Salle

2020 Father Honorees

Maurice Baker, Father of the Year

Luis Daza, Father Figure of the Year

Craig Dedic, Father of the Year

Jorge Cruz, Father Figure of the Year

Carlos Horta, Grandfather of the Year

Ryan McGuckin, Father of the Year

Ronald Pringle, Father of the Year

Rogelio Rivera, Sr., Father of the Year

Sotayo Sowemimo, Father of the Year

Dan Tepper, Father of the Year

James Vittori, Father of the Year

Chuck Cranford, Father Figure of the Year

The Essay Contest

In 23 years, our flagship program has collected nearly
half-a-million essays from Illinois schoolkids!

Reader's Workshop

Congratulations to all 2700 Essayists!!!
Our 300+ Volunteers read every single essay at least twice and have made selections.

Your Dad's Story!

130 Semi-finalists plus their Dads will be treated to a Chicago Fire Football Club Clinic… fingers crossed!

12 Finalists will attend our Annual Fatherhood Dinner Celebration!

Calling All School-Aged Illinoisans!

To participate, IL school kids write on the topic
‘What My Father Means to Me’ to honor the special men in their lives.

Submit an Essay!

The next contest starts in January 2021.

Hear Emily Speak!

by IFI Interviews! | Emily's Kindergarten Essay

Get to Know Illinois Fatherhood Initiative!

Hear Interviews from Essay Winners…

IL Fatherhood Initiative

"Engaging Fathers in the Lives of Their Children"
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