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Disrupting Generational


Since 1891.


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Our Mission

We disrupt generational poverty by supporting, preparing, and empowering young people at distinct stages of life to break down barriers on their path to success in adulthood.

Here is what

we do.

Northwestern Settlement Remembers John Rowe


John Rowe, longtime Northwestern Settlement supporter, friend, and namesake of Rowe Elementary, passed away on Saturday, September 24, 2022, at the age of 77.


John, along with his wife Jeanne, was a lifelong champion for education. He grew up on a farm in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, the son of high school graduates. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, earning undergraduate and law degrees. John enjoyed a long and successful career, eventually leading him to Exelon, where he served as Chairman and CEO until his retirement in 2012. John understood the value of education and its ability to change the course of someone’s life, just as it did his. 


When Northwestern Settlement decided to move forward with its plans to create a charter elementary school, the Rowes agreed to make a naming gift and become partners in its development and operations. And so became Rowe Elementary Charter School, a program of Northwestern University Settlement House. They eventually made an additional gift which allowed Rowe to expand to the 6th through 8th-grade building on Augusta Boulevard. John was not only a visionary leader and philanthropist, but he was also deeply committed to the young people we served. Both John and Jeanne volunteered their time in the school for many years and remained involved and invested in our scholars. John was known for the warmth and inspiration he shared with those around him.


John had a profound impact on the lives of countless young people, and we are honored to be a part of his incredible legacy. We send our sincerest condolences to Jeanne and their son, William.

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John W. Rowe

May 18, 1945 - September 24, 2022

John Rowe


To disrupt generational poverty, we must first ensure that we are doing our part to help meet the basic needs of those who access our services. By helping to provide everyday necessities, we are removing one of the many barriers faced by those we serve.


Providing access to high-quality education and youth development is one of the most important ways we fight to end the cycle of poverty. Our school and youth development programs provide rigorous academic instruction and co-curricular activities while complementing the student experience with everything Settlement programs have to offer. 


We find inspiration in all of our programs and hope that our programs inspire those we have the privilege of serving. Our programs and services help young people imagine a world beyond their own by introducing them to new and exciting experiences and learning opportunities. 


Our Work in Action

Our programs have been changing lives for more than 130 years. Click below to learn more about the ways in which we are living out our mission through the services that matter most to our families.



Number of children enrolled in our Early Childhood Education program which provides childcare, education, and meals for working families.

Image by Joel Muniz


Number of meals served to neighbors in need in 2021.


Hours of service we provided to those in need through our different programs.

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Number of shows and events we have hosted for children and organizations since 2018.



Percentage of our scholars who matriculate to high school.

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Average number of activities we have for schools in the Illinois and Wisconsin area.  These activities benefit thousands of children in need.

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Number of children currently enrolled in our After School program.

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Number of patients we treat per year through our low cost mental health services.

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Number of children we have helped in the last year deal with family substance abuse and loss of a loved one.

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