The Clayco family is humbled to continue our support to The University of Chicago Obama Foundation Scholars program with $200,000 on behalf of The Clayco Foundation. Our donation began in 2021 and will benefit the amazing scholars participating in the program until 2024. The program brings together an interdisciplinary group of students and empowers them with the knowledge, skills, networks, and perspectives they need to tackle obstacles and challenges in their communities. 

Clayco always strives to provide equal opportunity to people from all walks of life. Our foundation is happy to assist this incredible joint initiative of the Obama Foundation and three schools at the University of Chicago – the Booth School of Business, the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, and the Harris School of Public Policy. The UChicago Obama Scholars will supplement their studies with innovative co-curricular programming, engaging with partners on Chicago’s South Side, and using their experiences to advance social change. 

The program runs for one year and participants are chosen through a competitive application process that assesses which candidates are at breakthrough points in their leadership journeys. The foundation then equips them with the tools they need to continue on their path of service. 

We at Clayco strongly support this program that fosters engagement with communities and helps these innovators work to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. Members of this year’s cohort are addressing global challenges from Chicago, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. These leaders have the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences that can be applied across fields, sectors, and industries to the benefit of our planet as a whole.

Each UChicago-Obama Scholar brings a unique strength to the program, from advocating for education and healthcare access for underserved communities to championing restorative or preventative policies for social issues to bridging the gap between individuals and essential resources – and so much more! 


Congratulations to the 18 scholars in the 2022-2023 class: Deqa Aden (Harris) of Somaliland, Chris Akel (Crown) of Chicago, Olamide Babatunde (Booth) of Chicago, Linda Flor Brito (Harris) of Chicago, Binh (Ben) Bui (Booth) of Vietnam, Christine Goggins (Crown) of Chicago, Noel Green (Crown) of Chicago, Ben Harris (Booth) of Denver, Amanda Lee (Booth) of Chicago, Orlando Mayorga (Crown) of Chicago, Heena Mohammed (Harris) of United Kingdom, Karem Muksed (Crown) of Chicago, Omotunde Odedeyi (Booth) of Nigeria, Rebecca Silverman (Crown) of Chicago, Nishit Shukla (Harris) of India, Lily Wang (Booth) of Canada, DeKevious Wilson (Harris) of Chicago, Umama Zillur (Harris) of Bangladesh. 

On behalf of The Clayco Foundation, I am honored to be a part of this next chapter of growth for the city of Chicago and beyond. The program starts this fall, and I look forward to seeing the extraordinary accomplishments of these emerging leaders!