2016 Honorees


Margaret Storey & Josie Heller

Margaret Storey is the mother of Josie Heller, a child who demonstrates exceptional bravery in living with complex medical conditions. Margaret’s experiences caring for Josie led her to become one of the state’s most effective advocates for parents of Illinois children. When the state was going to stop funding for home care Medicaid coverage for children who rely on ventilators, Storey and Heller led a grassroots effort to preserve this vital state benefit – a feat all the more impressive because Heller is not a Medicaid recipient. Margaret and Josie’s selfless and tireless advocacy on behalf of others has benefitted the lives of countless Illinois families.


Jacqueline Samuel

Jacqueline Samuel is the former Director of the New Communities Program and a leading voice for violence prevention in Chicago. Ms. Samuel has dedicated her career to building stronger and healthier communities by creating paths to quality housing, healthcare, and education. She founded the Emerge-N-Arts program and has worked closely with the Safe Passage Program and Hoops in the Hood. By creating safe, joyful spaces for children to play and explore, she is fostering a sense of hope where it is truly needed.



Attorney General Kwame Raoul

Former State Senator and current Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has displayed outstanding leadership on critical issues that impact the well-being of youth and families in Illinois communities. He has been a tireless champion for reforms that give juvenile offenders a second chance and avoid unnecessary incarceration. During his time in the state legislature, Raoul was a vital protector of the Medicaid program and a champion for domestic violence victims and health care providers who care for the vulnerable and uninsured. His work on behalf of children has reached beyond the state, including his participation in the campaign to rebuild Grace Children’s Hospital in Port au Prince after the devastating earthquake of 2010.