OMAROSA wins $40,000 for Chicago’s Own Sue Duncan Children’s Center

Funds Will Help Open Sites in Woodlawn and Englewood

Chicago, March 11, 2013 ... Reality TV star OMAROSA won $40,000 for the Sue Duncan Children’s Center during the second episode of “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC.  Funds raised by OMAROSA during the competition will go toward the Center’s goal of opening additional sites serving Chicago’s Woodlawn and Englewood neighborhoods, and will help provide additional technology resources for the kids at the original Oakland site. 

As in past seasons, celebrity contestants are being charged with critical fundraising tasks to benefit their charities of choice.  OMAROSA served as project manager and led her team to a victory on Sunday.  She is competing on behalf of the Sue Duncan Children’s Center during her return to the “The Apprentice” series to honor the path of her late fiancé, Michael Clarke Duncan. 

“We are extremely grateful to OMAROSA for thinking about the needs of our children despite having recently lost Michael.  He was a wonderful human being, an inspiring role model and above all a shining example of what children from impoverished areas are capable of achieving when given opportunity.  We commend OMAROSA for honoring his legacy by advocating on behalf of children facing similar circumstances,” said Owen Duncan, executive director.

A native of Chicago, Michael Clarke Duncan (no relation to Sue Duncan) credited the Center for putting him on the path to success during his childhood.  “I know what these kids can do when they have an opportunity.  I’ve seen what can happen,” Duncan told the Chicago Sun-Times in 2001.

The Sue Duncan Children’s Center was established in 1961 by the mother of former CEO of Chicago Public Schools and current United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who grew up in and was powerfully influenced by her work at the Center.  Located in the Oakland neighborhood on the Chicago’s south side, the Center has proven to be a highly effective model for youth development by combining moral support with academic, athletic and artistic resources.  100% of the children who attend the Center show remarkable progress with their grades, test scores, behavior, self-esteem, and planning for the future.  

Now run by Sue’s youngest son, Owen Duncan, the Center’s reputation for developing outstanding students has led to an increased demand for its services.  Attendance has doubled in the last five years and students, parents and educators from other communities show a strong interest in having access to its programming.  The Woodlawn and Englewood neighborhoods are the first targets for new sites because they are among the most impoverished neighborhoods in Chicago with demographics and challenges similar to the Center’s current constituent at its original Oakland location.

The Center has been an oasis for children on the city’s south side for over five decades and many successful alumni credit Sue Duncan for helping them transform their lives through her commitment to educating children from the inside out. 

In addition to Michael Clarke Duncan and Arne Duncan, Center alumni also include:  Chicago Bulls NBA player Nazr Mohammed; tween actor Dante Brown, starred opposite Oscar Nominee and Tony Winner Viola Davis in the 2012 released film, Won’t Back Down; IBM Fellow Kerrie Holley, only the second African-American among more than 330,000 employees to be awarded the corporation’s highest honor for technologists; Tyrone Smith, practicing U.S. government attorney in the state of Pennsylvania; Michelle Gordon, national and international award-winning American martial artist; and Ron Raglin, former Chicago Public Schools AVID District Director and current Elgin Public Schools Chief of Equity and Social Justice.

The Center’s Director of Development, Tina Battle, is a 21 year veteran of the nonprofit, philanthropic sector who became an award-winning poet and playwright prodigy following her participation in the Center.  “I can tell you first-hand that the Sue Duncan Children’s Center has been quietly transforming lives for decades with the only expectation of accolades being the success of its students.  This couldn’t have happened to a more worthy organization,” said Battle.

The check presentation will be shown during the next episode this coming Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 8 pm central on NBC.

For more information on the Sue Duncan Children’s Center, visit

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Tina Battle
Mobile: 312-671-6812
Office: 773-942-2277, ext. 102