A proud native of the South Side of Chicago, Adrienne Irmer has been a passionate champion of social causes for more than 15 years. Her work in the nonprofit and public sectors includes program management, advocacy, marketing, development, government relations, and communications.
Adrienne started her career in service at the age of 15 as a volunteer with Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and continued through her rigorous undergraduate career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a program manager and mentor with Books of Hope in Somerville, MA.
Upon graduation, she worked in adult education for three years, becoming intimately aware of the gaping education inequalities throughout under-served and underrepresented communities. She served as the African-American Outreach Coordinator with the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, on the ground and in the communities most affected by both accidental home fires and death as a result of untimely emergency care and lack of basic CPR training. Thereafter, Adrienne served as the Market and Policy Research Analyst for the National Able Network, one of the nation’s leading workforce development nonprofit agencies, headquartered in Chicago and serving four other states. This led her to the district office of State Senator Kwame Raoul where she served as his Special Projects Manager until being invited to join the National Urban Fellows Class of 2014.
Although a biologist by degree, Adrienne has applied her scientific and research skills to the complex organisms that are communities via organizing, strategic planning, consulting, government administration, and outreach. She is committed to making her mark in efforts to mitigate violence and address other negative influences plaguing young students of color. Her knowledge of biology and research on health disparities across the nation also make her a strong voice in the fight for healthcare equality and adequate mental health funding.
Outside of her Illinois Senate staff work, Adrienne has consulted to numerous organizations around Chicago, including private venues, nonprofits, entertainers, athletes and political candidates. Currently, she sits on the Junior Executive Board of South Central Community Services, Inc. and the Host Committees for both the Piven Theatre Gala 2013 and the Unisono Festival in Pilsen, a largely Spanish-speaking neighborhood of Chicago. She also recently joined the Board of PURIfY Chicago, an educational nonprofit serving African American youth. As a National Urban Fellow, Adrienne welcomes the opportunity to advance her goals in public service and looks forward to changing the world with the rest of her cohort.