In recognition of Black History Month, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will be sponsoring the 2011 Community Changers Award to recognize outstanding individuals who have contributed to a positive change in their community with a positive attitude and a willingness to help in whatever capacity necessary to accomplish a task or goal.

President Preckwinkle is seeking community input for the identification of nominees for this award. A selection committee of community leaders will be charged with selecting the awardees.

Click here to nominate a person you know to become a 2011 Community Changer

Nominees must be a resident of Cook County. They should be individuals who, either in a professional or volunteer capacity have made significant contributions to the well-being of their community for which they have not received widespread recognition. There will be six categories that individuals can be nominated for: Business/Entrepreneur; Community Service; Education; Outstanding Achievement Award; Rising Star; and Youth. Elected officials are not eligible for consideration.

All entries must be received / postmarked by Tuesday, February 22, 2011.

Award recipients will be recognized at the March 1st Board Meeting with a Proclamation honoring their contributions to their community.


Business/Entrepreneur. This award is intended to recognize a business and/or an entrepreneur who has contributed to the wellbeing of the community that they serve. Whether it is by funding a program or employees volunteering for a community project/charity, this award will recognize someone who has given back to their community and shared their success with others.

Community Service. This award recognizes the significant contribution of a citizen to the life and welfare of his/her community and its residents. The award recipient will exemplify characteristics of organizing and mobilizing people to benefit the greater community; dedication and perseverance in meeting community needs and fostering the virtues of civic engagement and social responsibility.

Education. This award will be presented to an individual who has made a change in their community in the field of education. It can be presented to a teacher who goes above and beyond for his/her students or someone who has helped promote the importance of education and helped students achieve educational goals

Outstanding Achievement Award. This award will recognize an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to their community in spite of challenges and obstacles. This contribution can be in a volunteering capacity, excelling in their professional capacity or administrating an outstanding project in the community.

Rising Star. This award will be presented to an individual who has shown exceptional promise of leadership and service in their community.

Youth. Any young person under the age of 25 can be nominated for this award. This recognition will be given to a young person who has made an noble contribution to the community with the inspiration of a better future for all.