Robert J. Semrad Receives Award for Work with Project HOODBy: James Paisley | Posted On: December 15, 2016
On December 12, Robert Semrad was honored by Chicago’s Project HOOD, a local organization whose mission is to “empower people with the guidance and tools necessary to become peacemakers, problem solvers, leaders, and entrepreneurs in their communities,” according to its founder Pastor Corey Brooks. The awards luncheon honored those who have made a significant impact to Project HOOD this year.
Semrad’s work with low-income Chicagoans has inspired him to reach out to his community and offer assistance—financial and otherwise—to organizations that could have a direct impact on those with whom he works every day. Project HOOD is one such organization, aiming to end violence and build communities in neighborhoods across Chicago.
Two years ago, Semrad reached out to Pastor Brooks, inviting him to speak on the DebtStoppers radio show on a local Chicago station.
“Rob Semrad reached out and asked me if I’d like to be on the show every day for free. I thought there’d be strings attached, so I asked him what he wanted me to talk about on the air,” Brooks said at the awards luncheon. “He said “All I want you to talk about is Project HOOD and what you’re trying to do in the neighborhood.’ So for two years, this gentleman paid for that show to be on the air every single day on 1390 and we were able to get exposure we otherwise never would have gotten.”
Brooks then announced to the audience a pledge made by Semrad: For the next year, the Robert J. Semrad Foundation will match any monthly gift to Project HOOD, up to $5,000 per month.
“I wish everyone could see the work Corey Brooks does in our communities. People think they’re hopeless. They’re not. They’re filled with people who are hopeful. But they’re looking for the right leader, the right pioneer to come along,” Semrad said. “And Corey Brooks is that pioneer. Corey Brooks has the vision, the courage and the tenacity to see things through. He saw one of the most dangerous places in the United States as the right place to build his church—New Beginnings. What a perfect name. I love great causes, but I put my resources into causes that can succeed. Pastor Brooks is all about doing whatever it takes to be successful. And I have no doubt that Project HOOD will continue to work miracles in Chicago.”