PODCAST: S5:EP13 – Alicia Gonzalez, Executive Director of Cubs Charities

Join us for S5:EP13 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as Alicia Gonzalez, Executive Director of Cubs Charities sits down with our host Roy Kessel to share how she provides programs through Chicago Cubs Charities to help build a more inclusive community and give opportunities to young baseball and softball athletes!

Alicia serves as the Executive Director of Cubs Charities. Growing up in a community where access to sports was very limited, Alicia developed a passion for providing young athletes the opportunity to have easier access to succeed through sports and grow as leaders. Her initial foundation with the Chicago Run Organization has allowed her to gain experience with implementing sports programs to benefit local youth communities, and receive sponsorships from companies such as Bank of America. With nearly 10 years experience running the organization, Alicia was able to reach out to 12+ schools to join the program and expand its opportunities to a wider audience.

While at Chicago Run, Alicia was able to build a connection and gain support from Cubs Charities. Her transition to Cubs Charities allowed her to further serve the Chicago sports communities and heavily concentrate on sport for youth development and education programs, safe places to play, and health and wellness.

Cubs Charities mobilizes the power of sport to champion youth, families and communities. They achieve this through sports-based youth development and academic programming, investments in safe places to play and strategic grant-making.

Their vision is to be recognized locally and globally for their collective work to encourage the love of sport and contribute to a more unified and thriving Chicago, where all youth, families and communities have an equal opportunity to achieve their highest potential both on and off the field.

Alicia Gonzalez joins our host Roy Kessel on S5:EP13 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:41 What got Alicia Interested in Sports/Sports Inequities Growing Up
  • 03:43 Sports Experiences Growing Up
  • 07:15 Mental Health Experiences
  • 11:32 Gaining the Courage to Reach Out for Help
  • 14:20 The Power of Sports to Build Community
  • 19:30 Chicago Run Organization
  • 22:57 What Drew Alicia to the Cubs, Transitioning to the Cubs
  • 25:02 Opportunities Available
  • 26:06 Projects Involved in to Help Community
  • 27:26 Who Can Get Grants?
  • 29:21 Types of Programs Provided
  • 33:16 Fun Element in Early Sports
  • 34:27 Holistic Element in Early Sports
  • 35:23 Seeing Growth through Program Alumni Returning
  • 37:27 What Alicia Sees Within the Next Few Years
  • 40:50 Ways to Support These Programs
  • 42:48 Thank You Message


Sharliz Reyes

Sharliz Reyes

Sports Philanthropy Network

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