Maricar Ramos

Maricar Ramos

Chicagoland Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2019, Economic Opportunities Program

Senior Manager for Workforce and Partnership Development, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, Illinois

A longtime philanthropic, public sector, and nonprofit professional, Maricar Ramos is currently the Senior Manager for Workforce and Partnership Development at the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). At CPS, Maricar manages a team responsible for providing work-based learning opportunities for 17,000 Chicago public school students and summer internships for 1500 Chicago youth in conjunction with the City of Chicago’s One Summer Chicago summer youth employment program. She also serves as a workforce development liaison between CPS and external partners and previously led a citywide workforce development collaboration focused on increasing youth employment via targeted career pathways for Opportunity Youth. Previous to her time at CPS, she was with the Mayer & Morris Kaplan Family Foundation, where she led the strategic planning process and revision of grant making priorities, including a scan of the current educational funding landscape, formation of external partnerships, RFP and grantee report design, and grant cycle implementation. During her time there, she gained fluency in the foundation’s areas of interest of college access, college persistence and completion, non-college postsecondary opportunities, and social and emotional learning. Prior to her time at the Kaplan Family Foundation, Maricar managed the expansion of the Eleanor Network, an ongoing collaboration with direct service organizations and other partners throughout Chicago that are committed to helping working female heads-of-households to achieve sustained economic self-sufficiency.

As a grant maker, Maricar was also the Financial Development Grant Manager for YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the 2,600 YMCAs across the country. In this position for eight years, she administered $8 million in corporate and foundation grants annually, and developed strong relationships with corporate and foundation partners. Her grant making at Y-USA focused on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Maricar attended Loyola University of Chicago for graduate school, and holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Chicago. She is also proficient in Tagalog and Spanish.

Maricar currently co-chairs the Racial Justice and Social Equity for Chicago Women In Philanthropy (CWIP) and the most recent past Co-Chair for its Board of Directors. She also serves on the Race & Equity Steering Committee for CPS and is a mentor for CWIP’s Women’s Leadership & Mentoring Program. Maricar’s personal passions center on education; women’s and children’s issues; diversity and inclusion; as well as social equity and justice.

Maricar Ramos is a member of the Chicagoland Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2019, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at