Like them, he's doing great things for Evanston youth.
"When Nikko Ross arrived at Ignite, a Young Leaders United fundraiser benefiting United Way’s AmeriCorps volunteers, he anticipated a casual night of fun and celebration. Little did he know, a chat with a special guest would spark a rewarding friendship that will extend far beyond the party.
During the night’s celebrations, the 22-year-old Evanston native struck up a conversation with Israel Idonije, a former Chicago Bears player and a speaker at the annual event for young professionals. In a short time, their encounter evolved into a mentor-mentee dynamic — one that would open doors for Nikko and the kids he advises.
'The first time we met, we talked about a partnership and the energy we could get back to the kids and community,' said Nikko, a first-term AmeriCorps volunteer, serving in United Way’s Evanston Neighborhood Network.
After learning more about Nikko’s work, Israel extended an invitation for Nikko and 26 kids from Family Focus Evanston Group, a United Way-funded partner, to participate in his all-star football and cheerleading camp.
'Anytime you’re fortunate to find someone who is coming from the same heart, the same vision and there’s an opportunity to build and support and work together, that’s the dream. I’m thankful to have great people on board and great partnerships like that,” said Israel of the connection that brought Nikko and the kids to the camp.'
Read more about Nikko, Israel, and their partnership: