GiveForward CEO & Co-Founder, Desiree Vargas Wrigley, Selected To Speak With ThinkChicago Students





Chicago, IL (Press Release – October 4, 2011) – As part of a new initiative to encourage undergraduate students to jumpstart their careers in Chicago, the Mayor’s Office has launched a new program named ThinkChicago. ThinkChicago was designed to expose students with an interest in the business and technology sectors to panels, site visits and interactive lectures on entrepreneurship and business development.

Among the scheduled ThinkChicago programming for students, Mayor Emanuel will host a panel on October 13th at Google to give students a chance to hear from local successful business owners. Desiree Vargas Wrigley, CEO and co-founder of GiveForward, has been invited by the Chicago Mayor’s Office to speak on the Chicago Tomorrow Panel, addressing ThinkChicago students on her experience starting and running her own company. Described as a “prime example of socially conscious innovation,” Desiree’s work with GiveForward and experience moving to Chicago to start her own business will be highlighted and will help encourage students to pursue business ventures in Chicago upon graduation.

Inspired by her previous experience working for the Kauffman Foundation as a specialist on collegiate entrepreneurship, Desiree is excited to speak with ThinkChicago students and encourage them to pursue their own business ventures after graduation. GiveForward, co-founded in Chicago by Desiree and Ethan Austin, provides online fundraising pages that empower friends and family to support a loved one while they cope with unexpected medical costs.  Since its foundation in 2008, GiveForward has raised almost $7 million to help people cover the cost of medical treatment, out-of-pocket medical expenses or purchase medical equipment.

Who Is GiveForward?

GiveForward was co-founded by two young entrepreneurs, Desiree and Ethan, with the philosophy that too often, people are comfortable with giving gifts of money during times of celebration such as a graduation or wedding but during times of real need, like a critical illness, people are afraid to give financial help.  GiveForward’s focus is to turn this perceived negative situation into an opportunity for the community to come together in support of a loved one.  The simple fundraising page makes it easy for friends and family, no matter how far away, to contribute in a meaningful way by sending love and financial support.

But it is more than just a website, the GiveForward team provides support through every moment of the fundraising process with step-by-step guides, fundraising coaches, and details on how to use free fundraising tools like social media to make fundraisers successful.

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