What Is CRI?

Common Roots Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists deserving high school graduates in pursuit of higher-education degrees through providing scholarships and acknowledges hard-working teachers through classroom funding. In 2010, CRI was formed by a group of high-school friends who wanted to make a positive contribution to west suburban Chicago communities that continue to struggle academically & financially. In late 2015, CRI began to re-design its operations and mission. The charity aimed to make a deeper impact by providing opportunities for experiential and innovative learning. For 2019 and onward, CRI will provide more financial assistance to PEHS educators and students.

What Makes CRI Different?

The ideal candidates for our scholarships exhibit talent, excellence, and need. Most scholarships are designed for academics talents alone. We want to give an opportunity to students who excel beyond academics like in the areas of community outreach, extracurricular activities and other intangibles. Student candidates include those going to a four-year universities, as well as vocational schools. Also, we provide scholarships to support educators with innovative ideas designed to enhance their classroom.

What Are Your Short-Term Goals?
CRI aims to raise at least $2000 in donations annually, recruit new volunteers and develop new, engaging programs for under-resourced students & teachers.
How Can I Help?
  • You could make a monetary donation to CRI. All donations made to CRI are tax deductible! You also may want to see if your employer provides matching donations to 501(c)(3) organizations.
  • You could provide an in-kind donation to CRI. We plan to hold a silent auction and/or raffles in the future. Donations for new items or services would be a tremendous help.
  • You could volunteer with CRI, as ...
    ~ a CRI Friend to answer our periodic call for donations, people power or promotional help
    ~ a CRI Partner Candidate (via referral) to contribute more of your time & skills for our cause
  • You could help promote our cause. “Like” us on Facebook. “Tweet” about us on Twitter. Tell your friends, family, neighbors, and community that CRI is working on behalf of local youth and teachers.
What Is The Difference Between A CRI Director/Officer, General Member And Partner? What Specific Volunteer Positions Are Available?

The Board of Directors create the rules; the officers carry out the rules. Only the Board of Directors have voting rights related to organizational rules. An officer has a very specific set of responsibilities beyond those of a director. In our case, most CRI directors are officers as well (i.e. president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer). General members are integral to achieving CRI’s mission, but shoulder less responsibility. Partners include advisors, silent/large donors and specialized contributors.

Currently, we are seeking CRI Partner Candidates, who may be considered for our membership roles (i.e. director/officer or general member). If you are not interested in becoming a member, then you are welcome to be our CRI Friend to periodically donate & volunteer your time.

Who Is Eligible To Serve?

~ Anyone willing to dedicate their time and effort to CRI’s mission.
~ Qualifications include someone who is:

  1. Inspired to give back
  2. Embraces diversity
  3. Committed exhibiting flexibility and teamwork
  4. Exudes CRI values of collaboration, positivity and being thoughtfully independent

~ For membership, a referral from a CRI board member or partner is required.

Are Members Expected To Contribute Money?

Directors and officers are expected to contribute a minimum of $50 in annual membership dues. General members are expected to pay a minimum of $20 in annual membership dues.

What Is The Membership Evaluation Procedure?

Members are considered via board members/partners referrals. If you want to start changing the world as a CRI member, it's necessary to become duly acquainted. If referred, CRI will request a resume and cover letter. After meeting the team, completing a background check & volunteering as CRI Partner Candidate during a 6-month trial, the Executive Board will vote on the appropriate volunteer position. Find out all the details of this process via our F.A.Q. for Prospective Volunteers.

We are a fun, dedicated and supportive group of innovators. We aim to stay that way. If you are ready to take on the responsibility of membership, then please don't hesitate to contact us.

How Can I Contact You?

Phone: (678) TALK-CRI  (825-5274)
E-mail:  info@common-roots.org 
Website:  http://common-roots.org/contact-us 
Social Media: Facebook &