Promoting pathways to opportunity
Chicago Connected works to provide access to the internet to those most in need and has become a model for similar initiatives across the country.

The ability to fulfill your potential should depend on your commitment, not your circumstances. We identify on-ramps to opportunity—and break down barriers to achievement.

Our Impact Stories

Closing the Digital Divide

The internet is a gateway to opportunity. In-home connectivity enables people to further their education, pursue jobs, and access healthcare. But all that remains out of reach for the 18 million American households that can’t afford to get online.

Griffin Catalyst continues to be at the forefront of efforts to close the digital divide. In partnership with local nonprofits, the City of Chicago, and Chicago Public Schools, we helped create the Chicago Connected initiative to provide fast, free internet to over 100,000 students across the city. Based on its success, we convened and funded a similar effort in Miami and supported EducationSuperHighway’s national campaign to ensure that no home is left offline.

Creating Safe Environments for People to Pursue their Dreams

People thrive when their communities are safe. That’s one of the reasons reducing crime is a critical priority and why we’ve partnered with community-based organizations and researchers, including the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

We are bringing better training, technology, and data into policing to help deploy officers more effectively and helping to launch the Community Safety Leadership Academies to train rising police and community leaders from across the nation. Our goal: reduce violence while improving relations between the police and the communities they serve.

400K+

People connected to free internet at home through Chicago Connected and Miami Connected

32%

Reduction in shootings one month after the first Strategic Decision Support Center was established in Chicago’s neighborhoods with the highest rates of violent crime

48%

Decrease in violent-crime arrests among youth in Choose to Change’s intensive, trauma-informed programming in Chicago

Claiborne Wade, a member of Kids First Chicago's Parent Advisory Board and a longtime parent leader with the group, with his wife Philloniece, Howard and their four children: Chloe, Connor, Serenity, and Stacey.
Photo Credit: Kids First Chicago
When everyone's voice is at the table, it will take us further than we've ever been before.
CLAIBORNE WADE
Kids First Chicago, Parent Advisory Board Member, Chicago
Claiborne Wade, a member of Kids First Chicago's Parent Advisory Board and a longtime parent leader with the group, with his wife Philloniece, Howard and their four children: Chloe, Connor, Serenity, and Stacey.
Photo Credit: Kids First Chicago

In Brief

April 22, 2023
A $20 million gift from Griffin Catalyst to Miami Dade College — which serves over 100,000 students — will establish the Griffin Scholarship Fund. This support, which represents the largest single gift in the history of Miami Dade College, will provide scholarships for more than 8,000 low-income students, most of them first-generation college-goers.
June 30, 2020
Griffin Catalyst has made the largest gift in the history of the Navy SEAL Foundation, to provide critical education, health care, and financial support to members of one of the U.S. military’s most elite special operations forces and their families.
September 8, 2023
In 2022, Griffin Catalyst joined with partners to support the Organs Initiative, a coalition leveraging data to drive change with broad bipartisan support. The challenge: To fix a broken, inefficient organ donation system that leads to tens of thousands of healthy organs going unrecovered each year and contributes to 30 Americans dying every day for lack of an available organ. In August 2022, the group achieved the first major overhaul of the organ donation system in 40 years, projected to save over 7,000 lives annually. Almost a year later, in July 2023, Congress unanimously passed legislation to break up