Founders Awardee Spotlight: Terri Lind

WITS is proud to honor 14 individuals who laid the foundation for creating the organization we are today.

Terri Lind, Joanne Alter, Marion Stone, and Lili Ann Zisook.
Terri Lind, Joanne Alter, Marion Stone, and Lili Ann Zisook at a WITS Gala.

Growing up in Chicago, Terri Lind has been a supporter of Chicago Public Schools for many years. While attending a WITS Luncheon, shortly after the organization’s founding, Terri was inspired to get involved with WITS, an organization that felt like a “natural fit.” Through her friendship with Joanne Alter and Marion Stone, Terri was able to become a mentor for students during the beginning years of the WITS program.

At first Terri, worried about whether or not she would connect with students, but found that through the magic of sharing stories that relationships easily formed and grew. Around the holidays, Terri remembers giving gifts to her class of students and that they surprised her with a gift in return. “They were like my kids. They became part of my family just as much as I became part of theirs.”

Terri remembers the first time the students really felt like hers was on a day when her partner teacher was absent. In this rare situation, that involved the students waiting in the cafeteria for their substitute, Terri was delighted to find the students willing to listen to her and she was able to preserve the learning environment in the teacher’s absence. Even in the times that challenge, Terri says, “you don’t want to miss one day of it. You don’t want to be sick, you don’t want to be out of town, because every time you go there you come home with more than you brought.”

When reflecting on WITS at 25, Terri remembers helping organize early fundraiser events, having fun with friends, and making a difference in the community. “I’m excited to celebrate this wonderful organization and to know that I have been a part of it, I’m just thrilled! WITS is bigger and better than ever, and it is really helping the students of Chicago.”