Pass With Flying Colors celebrates students at gala

  • PWFC founders Paula and Kenny Goldman at the College Dreams Gala in 2019

    PWFC founders Paula and Kenny Goldman at the College Dreams Gala in 2019 Courtesy of Pass With Flying Colors

Submitted by Emily Stearney
Updated 2/24/2020 1:35 PM

On Feb. 29, Pass With Flying Colors will host its ninth annual College Dreams Gala at the Hilton Orrington hotel in Evanston.

Founded in 2010 by Deerfield residents Kenny and Paula Goldman, PWFC is a nonprofit that prepares Chicago's underserved, first-generation students for college and career success.


"Pass With Flying Colors is one of Chicago's only 8-year college access and persistence programs," said Jessica Paulsen, executive director of PWFC.

"Since 2010, we've provided college and career guidance to over 150 first-generation students who go on to receive college scholarship offers, pursue meaningful career paths and stand out as leaders in their communities."

From ninth grade through college graduation, Pass With Flying Colors provides students with high-touch support, experiential learning opportunities and crucial one-on-one guidance on college applications, financial aid and career development.

These programs, many of which are funded in part by the College Dreams Gala, improve graduation rates and academic success among these students, whose access to academic tools and resources would otherwise be limited.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

In addition to raising funds, this year's College Dreams Gala will celebrate the impending high school graduation of its fifth cohort of students. Beginning with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m., approximately 150 attendees will enjoy a night of celebration and fundraising that will include a silent auction, a paddle raise, entertainment by Final Say and a speech from PWFC scholar and CICS Northtown Academy senior Travon Toussaint.

"PWFC is very lucky to have such a dedicated community of students, parents, donors, mentors and volunteers who are all invested in student success," Paulsen said.

"Aside from being a fundraiser, the College Dreams Gala is truly a celebration of that community, our graduating students, and our accomplishments."

This year's gala was made possible by sponsors, including the First Bank of Chicago, Ventas, Inc., First American Bank, GCG Financial, Patzik, Frank & Samotny, HLM Capital Management Group, RSM, Cross Country Mortgage, Factor Law and Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurants.

• To submit Your news, go to

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.