About Us

641 youth ages 21 years and under have been killed in Chicago in the last 5 years. People who have experienced trauma are 15 times more likely to attempt suicide.

EYE board members are united by one sentiment -- that we are tired of seeing our beloved city bleed. Chicago's primary problem is economic. The income inequality in Chicago is rampant. Would there be as many deaths in Chicago if those doing the shooting had a good chance at an internship that paid well?


Board Members


Wyatt Baker (Co-founder)

Chas Bellock

Michael Broccolino

Richard Doermer

Kevin Drewyer

Kathy Hagstrom

Jay Leonard

Bart Marchant

Donna More

Tina Muzikowski

Charles Myart

Abe Thompson

John Vaile (Co-Founder)

Nelson Wood


Young Executive Board Members


Mike Cimmerusti (Startup)

Christian Ebersol (Insurance)

Nolan Hart (Finance - Wealth Mgt)

Jeremy Lee (Finance - Investing)

Mélyse Mpiranya (Law)

Charlie Palmer (Finance - Real Estate)

Jake Rodrigues (Finance - Wealth Mgt)

Ram Sivalingam (Finance - Investing)




First Semester 

  • StrengthsFinders assessment and assignments

  • Entrepreneurship building blocks: Marketing, Finance, Risk, Fundraising, Idea Generation, Brick and Mortar v Online, Overcoming Objections, Story Telling

  • Service Project with the Chicago Hope Cafe

  • Each team generates a viable business idea by the end of the first semester 

Second Semester

  • The Bigs curriculum

  • Trade Show & Shark Tank presentations

  • Each team executes on their business for the duration of the semester to recoup the program loan

At EYE we combine best practices from academia and business to train the CEO's of tomorrow. Our program affords each entrepreneur the opportunity to critically engage with experts and executives from Chicago's business and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Speakers are slotted into our course to emphasize one of the skills listed in each of the thematic blocks.  If the class isn't hosting a speaker or shadowing at a local business; they are expected to work with EYE's program facilitator to set their own individual daily agenda regarding what they Hope to accomplish that day. Students journal throughout the process and write a weekly analysis of how their week went, including a reflection about time management, lessons learned, and areas that need to be improved for the next week. 

The first semester is used to develop student's soft skills and business acumen. During that time, they will host a fundraiser in which all revenue will be used as seed money to offset startup costs during the second semester.  Each student team launches a federally recognized business upon returning from winter break. After students create businesses they are paired with a mentor for the duration of the program that has relevant experience in whichever field the student chooses to pursue. The class culminates with a trade show and shark tank with students showing off their hard work. The setting provides the perfect venue for like-minded leaders and business to mix and mingle and expand their professional network.



Young Executive Board Highlight


Jeremy Lee

"In the US, the net worth of a typical white family is nearly ten times that of a typical Black family. Whether it's African-Americans or other communities of color, the stark economic gaps that have defined our society truly reveal the effects of both racial inequality and inequity. Our brothers and sisters need access to the same opportunities, networks, and experiences that their white counterparts enjoy. I have always believed that opportunity favors the prepared mind and through EYE's focus on training, development, and harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of its participants, they will be ready to compete and lead in a changing world where disruption surrounds us."

"My business partner Jay Leonard (Board Member) and I work with entrepreneurs.  I am thankful he introduced me to John Vaile, Chair of EYE, with whom I really clicked with. My first EYE event was a Spikeball Tournament at the Chicago Hope Academy. From the moment I walked in I knew it to be a special place. I was moved by the spirit and energy of the students and the fun. I also loved the scripture on the walls. So it wasn’t the 3rd place finish in the Spikeball Tournament that had me wanting to come back for more. After the tournament, I read Safe at Home by Bob Muzikowski and it confirmed everything that I felt that day – and inspired  me to get more involved. Since, I have been a guest speaker in the classroom and was invited (on Zoom) to watch the 2020 EYE class graduate. Growing up, I had both parents and mentors in the community. I know how important it is to have every day role models. That’s why I support EYE, to serve kids and their families and show them that anything is possible through the grace of God."

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Nolan Hart