"I am inspired by the mission of Bottom Line because I know that the nurturing relationships and mentorship I received are what students in Bottom Line receive from the talented and dedicated staff every day. And they make a difference in helping students achieve their greatest potential."
Incoming Executive Director, Chicago
Message from Bottom Line:
We are delighted to announce that Will Hobart will join us as the new Executive Director in Bottom Line’s Chicago region, starting January 31st. Will has dedicated his entire career to making an impact on the public education and non-profit sector, and changing the narrative for students furthest from opportunity.
"Will is a proven leader with an impressive track record of mission-driven leadership over the last 15 years. Will shares Bottom Line’s core values and believes deeply that trusting and authentic relationships are critical to students accessing and completing college," said Bottom Line CEO Steve Colón.
Will started his career as a middle school special education teacher in West Philadelphia, where he saw deep educational inequities firsthand. Most recently, Will served as Chief Advancement Officer at One Million Degrees (OMD), where he worked with a committed network of champions to provide comprehensive supports to low-income, highly motivated community college students and improve their graduation rates. During his tenure at OMD, Will secured multi-year funding to launch and replicate the program in Colorado. In addition, he has also served as Chief Program Officer at Youth Guidance, where his leadership proved instrumental in scaling programs nationally and internationally as the organization navigated a period of transformation, as the operating budget grew from $15MM to $31MM. Finally, Will has a deep understanding of Chicago Public Schools, having led strategic work for Student Supports and College and Career Success across the district.
"I have been familiar with Bottom Line's work since early in the region's launch, and have been inspired by the commitment to excellence in serving Chicago's students," said Will, adding, "The data and stories speak for themselves - when you provide talented and motivated students with caring and knowledgeable relationships, great things happen!"
Will’s partner, Betsy, is a clinical psychologist, and the two spend many hours discussing the importance of mental health and wellbeing as a critical pillar in education reform. Will and Betsy have two sons, Nicholas and Evan. Will holds a Bachelor of Arts from Kalamazoo College, a Master of Education from Chestnut Hill College, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago.
Will succeeds Founding Executive Director, Chris Broughton. Since launching the Chicago region in 2014, Chris' dedication and commitment to the organization have been unparalleled. Over the last eight years, his steadfast leadership and strategic visioning helped launch and grow the Chicago region in service to more than 3,000 first-generation students and raise more than $16MM in growth funding.
"I look forward to watching Will continue to build on the momentum created by Chris as the Chicago Region’s first Executive Director. I am confident that Will’s experience and passion for education equity will help him lead Bottom Line to new heights in Chicago," shared Jon Van Gorp, Chicago's Regional Advisory Board Chair.
In preparing to pass the baton to Will, Chris reflected "I first met Will almost 7 years ago while he was working at CPS and instantly saw his incredible passion for this work. I have been a huge admirer of the impactful work he has done to increase educational and economic opportunities for students across the city ever since. His deep understanding of the local educational landscape, experience leading high-performing teams, and authentic relationships across the city will all be incredibly valuable as he leads Bottom Line’s next chapter of impact in Chicago.”
Will was selected through a rigorous selection process over the last few months. We are deeply grateful to the members of our staff, Senior Leadership Team, and Regional Advisory Board for all of the energy and effort they put into finding a fantastic new leader to join our team. Please join us in welcoming Will to Bottom Line and thanking Chris for his dedication and leadership. We thank you for your continued support during this exciting period of transition.
Steve Colón (CEO) and Jon Van Gorp (Chicago Regional Advisory Board Chair)