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LABOR OF LOVE: Alumna Sarah (Martin) Lorenzi, Class of 1997, Is the Driving Force of CAAEL

February 14, 2019

For the Martin sisters, Sarah '97 and Katie '00, CAAEL and its kids-at-risk mission always have been a family affair.


Fenwick alumna Sarah (Martin) Lorenzi is President and CEO of the Chicago Area Alternative Education League.

Fenwick faculty member Dr. Jerry Lordan remembers how the Chicago Area Alternative Education League (CAAEL) began with John Martin, father of Sarah Lorenzi '97 and Katie Trendel '00:

"Sarah's dad lived in Forest Park and was a high school physical education teacher and coach [with the Stone Park Education Center]. From time to time he would have kids with disabilities transfer into and out from his classes. He could see their desire to participate in sports curtailed by their assignment to alternative-education schools without extracurricular activity programs. Rather than whine and moan, 'Somebody ought to do something!' he decided to be the change he wanted to see. John started the CAAEL. At first it was just sports like basketball and baseball, which are played indoors. Then they added baseball, softball and track. Then they added poetry slams, spelling bees, art shows, musical performances, dances, etc. 

"Dad retired and his daughters [Sarah and younger sister, Katie] quit their jobs to run the league. The Kiwanis Club of Forest Park is a financial sponsor to the CAAEL Coed Softball Tournament held in June in Forest Park."



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