About – Maria Lefkow Sorensen
Maria Lefkow Sorensen is proud to serve as Chief Development Officer at the Noble Network of Charter Schools. In this role, Maria leads the fundraising efforts, which provide critical resources that further the Network’s mission of being a catalyst for educational equity for 12,500 students in Chicago.
Prior to joining Noble, Maria served as the Vice President of Development at Chicago Jesuit Academy (CJA), a lower and middle school for young men located in the Austin neighborhood on the city’s West Side. During her nine years at CJA, she built the school’s development infrastructure and systems, taking the department from a small start-up team of three to a high-performing team of 10, raising $11.7M in FY18-19.
A native Chicagoan, Maria was raised on the city’s North Side and was privileged to attend Hawthorne Scholastic Academy, St. Ignatius College Prep, and Tulane University. She recognizes that the access she had to exceptional schools was not shared by many of her peers, particularly those who resided on the South and West sides. Maria passionately believes that access to a high-quality education is a fundamental right and has spent much of her career working toward more just opportunities for young people of color and modest economic means. She and her husband are the proud parents of three young children whom they are raising on the city’s North Side.
Why do you work at Noble?
I believe in the power and promise of a quality education. I want to support students in Black and Brown communities who might not otherwise have access to the resources that we are able to help reallocate.
Who was your favorite teacher while growing up?
Richard Webster was the organist/choirmaster at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and led the Girls’ Choir, which I was a member of for five years. Mr. Webster encouraged all young people who were interested in singing to be a part of the choir, regardless of ability, as long as we committed to bringing our best selves to each rehearsal and service. Perhaps one of my first experiences with inclusion. 🙂
Favorite thing about Noble or favorite Noble moment?
The people, hands down.
What do you/your department do at Noble?
The Development Team is responsible for raising philanthropic dollars to supplement public funding, with the goal of providing our students and alumni with the resources they need to succeed in high school and beyond. The team I oversee consists of seven individuals who are focused on building and deepening authentic relationships with individuals, families, and professional foundations who support our work to be a catalyst for educational equity.
Start at Noble?
Chicago (born in Madrid, Spain)
Tulane University (B.A. in Sociology)
Engage on LinkedIn.