Last night White Sox Manager Rick Renteria and his wife Ilene hosted an awards dinner at Guaranteed Rate Field to celebrate another group of young people completing our Choose to Change program. Twenty-five youth were recognized for their commitment to academics while participating in our six-month violence prevention program, which works with youth through mentoring, and group and individual therapy.

Rick and Ilene have gotten to know many of the youth over the past few months when they attended White Sox games with the support of Club 17. Named for his jersey number, Club 17 was inspired by Rick’s own childhood in Compton, California during a time when money was tight for his family and violence was a familiar sight. Over the summer, events like attending a White Sox game served as incentives for the youth as they completed steps of the program.

At the awards dinner, Rick not only offered words of encouragement to the youth, but a personal promise to do anything he can to help them succeed. We can’t thank the White Sox and the Renterias enough for their investment in the lives of the youth we serve. The White Sox games were a highlight for many of the youth and program staff over the past few months. We look forward to continuing to partner with the White Sox to ensure all youth are thriving.

The White Sox are part of the Chicago Sports Alliance and have partnered with Children’s Home & Aid for over a decade to support boys and girls in foster care.