Maureen Beal, CEO of National Van Lines, participated in the annual “Lend A Shoulder Day” for the Chicago Archdiocese Schools. Civic leaders from all over Chicago were invited by the Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal George, to make a personal commitment by spending time in an inner-city school. Maureen was delighted to tour the campus of St. Andrew School, have lunch with staff members, and grade papers. She was able to visit classrooms and read to younger students, as well as watch special student presentations. The day ended with a reception at the home of Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago.
“The schools in the Archdiocese, especially the Big Shoulder Schools, play a critical role in the life of the community. They do an excellent job of preparing young people in life, often against enormous odds, by educating and developing minds and spirits. One of our greatest sources of pride is our students. Their accomplishments result from their own hard work and perseverance, with love and guidance from our dedicated Catholic school teachers and principals. We serve the poor by giving them a voice in the education of their children.” Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Created in 1986 by the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, the Big Shoulders Fund seeks the assistance of corporate leadership in the Chicago area to sustain the financial viability of inner-city Catholic schools. In introducing Big Shoulders, Cardinal Bernardin said: “Our greatest opportunity for service to the city and its people is to strengthen our inner-city Catholic schools. They offer a first class education for both Catholics and non-Catholics and serve as anchors within their neighborhoods. We now seek support to help us do an even better job of preparing Chicago’s young men and women for a productive future.”
According to Maureen, “I was amazed at the accomplishments of these young people and their teachers. The Archdiocese of Chicago is the largest private school system in the world, and the eleventh largest of all school systems in the U.S. 114 of the Archdiocese schools are Big Shoulders schools, and 80% of the students are members of a minority – yet the drop out rate is less than one percent. The support that the Big Shoulders schools receive from the corporate community is a big factor in that success and National Van Lines was proud to participate.”
National Van Lines is in its third generation of hands-on family management, and has recently been recognized by Working Woman Magazine as the 284th largest woman-owned business in the United States.