Simon Youth Foundation (SYF) announced that Lauren B. Rapp has been named Director of Communications. In her role, Rapp will lead strategic communications efforts to elevate the Foundation and its mission to provide educational opportunities and scholarships in communities that are home to Simon Properties and Simon Youth Academies.
“As a former teacher, Lauren understands the critical issues facing today’s students and teachers,” said President and CEO J. Michael Durnil. “We look forward to leveraging her deep experience in the classroom and in the education nonprofit sector to help the Foundation achieve its ambitious goals in the years ahead.”
A Chicagoland native, Rapp most recently served as Manager of Communications and Development for The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund), a nonprofit that has raised and invested more than $74 million to improve Chicago’s public schools. She joined The Fund as a Policy and Advocacy Fellow through Leadership for Educational Equity in 2013, with increasing roles and responsibilities over the last five years.
Among her accomplishments, Rapp conceptualized, designed and executed Chicago’s first-ever Principal Appreciation Campaign; built and strengthened The Fund’s digital, social and earned media presence; and helped raise $20 million by stewarding and cultivating investors from corporate, civic and philanthropic backgrounds.
Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Rapp was a classroom teacher in traditional, charter and private school settings for five years. She began her career as a Teach For America teacher on Chicago’s South Side, and then taught at The Oaks Academy, a private pre-K-8 school that serves children of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds through three campuses in Indianapolis.
Rapp received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Communications and Culture from Indiana University – Bloomington in 2008. She completed the Illinois Teaching Certification Program through her coursework at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Education in 2009. She is married to John T. Rapp, an Analyst for the Knall/Cohen/Pence Group of Stifel. They have one daughter, Elizabeth.