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Scheketa Hart-Burns Memorial Foundation

Established 2023

ALDERWOMAN SCHEKETA HART-BURNS WARD 7

This fund was created by the loving family of Alderwoman Scheketa Hart-Burns to honor her legacy and carry out her unwavering passion for the Aurora community.

Donations to this fund will support charitable giving to nonprofit organizations in the Aurora area and beyond in an effort to continue to fulfill her mission to serve all people and inspire others, especially young people. The family also plans to develop a scholarship fund that will support young people in furthering their education, an area that Alderwoman Hart Burns cared about deeply.  Through this fund, Alderwoman Hart Burns will continue to inspire others and serve this community for many years to come.

For over three decades, Alderwoman Scheketa Hart-Burns blazed an impactful, unforgettable, and undeniable trail of excellence in service and advocacy. She was more than an elected official. Scheketa passed away on June 19, 2023, at the age of 68.

Alderwoman Hart-Burns was a history-making, award-winning elected official and community leader. She was the first African American elected to Aurora City Council in 1991 and appointed the first-ever African American Mayor Pro Tem from 2016-2017.

Alderwoman Hart-Burns was the chairperson of the Public Health, Safety, and Transportation (PHST) Committee, a member of the Finance Committee, and an alternate for the Buildings, Grounds & Infrastructure (BGI) Committee.

A stalwart figure in the community, Alderwoman Hart-Burns spearheaded and/or served as a member and advisor to dozens of organizations and initiatives for Ward 7 residents and the City of Aurora as a whole:

WARD & NEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVES

  • Established the 7th Ward Committee and the following resident councils and organizations:
    • Eastwood Tenant Council
    • Forest Ridge Tenant Council
    • Inner Circle Neighbor Group
    • Maple Terrace Tenant Council
    • Taking Back Our Community
  • Member of the Nature’s Edge HOA
  • Member of the Oakhurst HOA
  • Established community gardens for both Forest Ridge and Eastwood communities
  • Hosts annual holiday programs for Forest Ridge and Eastwood communities

CITYWIDE INITIATIVES

  • Established the annual citywide Black History Program
  • Established the annual Dr. Martin Luther King luncheon celebration
  • Established commemorative street signs for prominent African American residents
  • Hosted annual holiday musicals for the Interfaith Food Pantry and Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry
  • Hosted holiday dinners for senior citizens and disabled persons
  • Annual Black and Latino American History programs at Metea High School and Cowherd Middle School

YOUTH INITIATIVES

  • Founded the Back to School Bash at Martin Luther King Park, which brings together more than 5,000 youth and families to start the new school year
  • Founded the Project Unity Back to School Fair to provide back-to-school supplies, offer free services, and provide information to thousands of families. I
  • Co-Founded the annual Coats-for-Kids Drive that provides winter coats, hats, and gloves for thousands of students in need.
  • Founding Advisor & Mother Emeritus of Boys II Men, Inc. – where the Scheketa Hart-Burns Phenomenal Woman Award is presented annually to more than 100 young women in Aurora.
  • Mentor to Aurora University students seeking advanced degrees in the social work program
  • Co-Founded the City’s STEAM Academy, which provides enrichment activities to more than 700 Aurora youth in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

ORGANIZATIONS

  • Chairperson of the Circle of Wise Women for the Kane County Health Department
  • Chairperson of Weed and Seed with the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Board Member and Advisory of the Quad County Urban League for 33 years
  • Founding Advisor for the City’s African American Heritage Advisory Board
  • Member, League of United Latin American Citizens
  • Board Member of the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry and Childcare Center at the personal request of Ms. Wilkinson

Alderwoman Hart-Burns was a graduate of Edison College. Alderwoman Hart-Burns was an Evangelist Missionary at Greater Mount Olive COGIC.

She was happily married to William F. Burns and the loving mother to Malik (deceased), Kehinde, Hakim, Amina, and Ahmad Hart (deceased); and Michael, Vernon, and Arvin Burns.

 

 

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

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