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We believe that everyone deserves a shot at a better life.

Ladder Up provides hardworking people with free financial consulting resources to help our clients secure the opportunities they need to move up the economic ladder.

  • Tax Assistance
  • College Financial Aid
  • Financial Education
Founded In 1994

When 22-year-old Chicago business analyst and volunteer basketball coach Robert Burke saw how the hardworking families of his west side team were struggling to make ends meet, he took a shot at helping out. With the goal of securing unclaimed tax credits for the people of this underserved but deserving community, he recruited 90 colleagues to prepare tax returns at no cost. The efforts paid off, returning over $150,000 in tax refunds to 120 families.

$1.2 billion

Returned to Clients

750,000

Clients Served

Meet the Team

  • Kathleen Stark

    Executive Director
  • Karina Ruiz

    Office Administrator
  • Jeanne Marie Olivieri

    Director, Finance & Administration
  • Eric Sternberg

    Attorney/Director, Tax Clinic
  • Greg Williams

    Operations Manager, Tax Assistance Program Operations
  • Letty Train

    Operations Coordinator, Tax Assistance Program Operations
  • Becky Santiago

    Senior Manager, Tax Assistance Program
  • Evelyn Espinosa

    Engagement Manager, Tax Assistance Program
  • Korie Collins

    Volunteer Engagement Manager, Tax Assistance Program
  • Susana Ramirez

    Paralegal, Tax Clinic