For Women and Children, a Rising Star

Chicago entrepreneur receives award for excellence in helping children

By Christian Farr
|  Tuesday, Sep 21, 2010  |  Updated 6:05 PM CDT
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Burt is the owner and creator of an early childhood learning center in Chicago's South Loop.

Burt is the owner and creator of an early childhood learning center in Chicago's South Loop.

Kimberlee Burt is a big believer in the tried and true axiom that the children are our future.

“I believe children are blank slates," she says.  "And we have an opportunity to share so much with them.”

Burt is the owner and creator of A Child's Space, an early childhood learning center in the south loop that's been doing business for eight years.
 
“Our whole philosophy is that children learn through play,” she says.

But while Burt has a passion for helping children and an education background -- a master’s degree from Howard University’s School of Education, experience working at Scholastic -- she didn't necessarily have the skills and background to run a business.

Enter the Women's Business Development Center.
 
"I worked very closely with WBDC to help craft my business plan and secure the financing to do all those things that were not necessarily part of my background,” says Burt. 
 
In the eight years a child's space has been open, it has gone from caring for just four children to caring for 52. And because A Child's Space is such a success, WBDC is honoring Burt as its Rising Star.
 
“Kimberlee is the archetype of a rising star," says Hedy Ratner, co-president of WBDC.  "She has passion.  She has experience. She has education.  She has commitment.”

Burt appreciates WBDC's gifts more every day.
    
"Each day when I come to work I say wow, ‘I get paid to do what i love," says Burt. "It’s also nice to be rewarded for doing what you love.”
 
Burt will accept her Rising Star award at the WBDC's 24th annual luncheon at noon on Wednesday,  Sept. 22. The award ceremony will be held at Chicago's McCormick Place-West.  NBC 5 is one of the sponsors.

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