Fred O’Connor, pictured far right, with Have Dreams participants at the Walgreens training facility in Evanston.Submitted photo

Have Dreams, a local nonprofit that serves children, teens and young adults with autism, will honor Evanston resident and Kellogg School of Management alum Fred O’Connor at the seventh annual Night of Dreams Gala on May 9, at the Four Seasons in Chicago. Mr. O’Connor, a financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual, will be named the inaugural Ambassador Fellow for promoting Have Dreams’ mission throughout Chicago’s corporate, civic and philanthropic sectors.

Mr, O’Connor will be honored for assisting Have Dreams in implementing Project SEARCH Collaborates for Autism at Northwestern University, the first Midwest site of a transition-to-employment program for young adults on the spectrum, developed by New York Collaborates for Autism.

Mr. O’Connor, who first volunteered with Have Dreams at the request of a parent of a Have Dreams participant, said, “It is a great honor to be of service to the children, families and staff of Have Dreams. I have been inspired by the powerful stories and by the dedicated staff who care so deeply for the young people they serve. I hope others will be inspired to give their time and talents to better understand and assist the work done on behalf of families impacted by autism.”

Mr. O’Connor volunteers his time with several other charitable organizations said Steve Gustafson, president of Have Dreams’ board of directors.

“Fred is a model for all of us in the volunteer community his energy and time devoted to charitable causes in general and Have Dreams in particular are enormous.”

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