We’re excited to announce the 2019 Chicago fellows for New Leaders Council includes Children’s Home & Aid Youth Policy Advocate John Gruber. The NLC is a national training organization for young progressive professionals.

John became interested in NLC because of their progressive values and their hands-on training.

“NLC will expose me to new perspectives, skills and people that will all help me grow as a person. I hope to emerge from the program a more well-rounded professional and meet other young professionals that are also committed to making social change.”, said John.

John believes his experience at the NLC will help him excel in his current role as an advocate for children, youth and families across Illinois.

“I think that my organizing background will help me make the most out of this experience because organizing means learning to incorporate new skills and perspectives into your own and become a more effective advocate.”

John has an impressive background in public service. Before working at Children’s Home & Aid, he worked for three years at the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a national gun violence prevention organization, as a Senior Organizing Manager. John also worked on Brady’s political arm leading Brady’s endorsement of candidates in 2016, including former Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. Additionally, he led the Brady Campaign’s rapid response following the mass shootings at Mother AME in Charleston, Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, as well as the organization’s response to Chicago’s gun violence crisis.

John says he’s always felt passionate about working to make a difference. He is currently the Associate Board Chair of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, an organization dedicated to reducing gun violence in Illinois. John also volunteers his time on political campaigns and with local nonprofits focused on violence prevention.

“I think that every person deserves the opportunity to live in a safe community without the fear of violence. Whether that is through reforming gun policy at the Brady Campaign or working to make sure youth have the resources they need to live their best lives as the Youth Policy Advocate at Children’s Home & Aid. I love knowing I can make youth and families safer.”, he said.

Congrats John!