Building Stable Learning Environments for At-Risk Children, By Perry Mandera

Believing that every child merits a productive and meaningful life in a safe environment, professionals have developed residential education programs to provide high-quality academics for at-risk children. Residential education in community settings provides one solution for at-risk children, who have faced abuse, neglect, homelessness, and other family challenges.

The benefits of residential education are many. Stable learning experiences with caring teachers and staff have resulted in 80 percent of participating students going on to attend college. In addition to academic skill building, enrichment activities in these family-like settings help teach values and social skills, and they create connections and a sense of belonging. Importantly, these programs place a high priority on family preservation, with continuous efforts to keep students in frequent contact with their families.

In my home state of Illinois, I proudly contribute to the Glenwood School for Boys and Girls, which serves 300 children from the Chicago metropolitan area in grades 2 through 12. Up to 75 percent of entering students require academic support to reach performance levels commensurate with their age and grade levels. At Glenwood, houseparents oversee the social skills training program, while the Resource Program delivers the academic programs. Once resident students reach high school age, they attend either a private prep school or a public school. For more information about Glenwood, and for giving opportunities, visit

About the Author:

As a philanthropist, Perry Mandera has concentrated his charitable giving in the areas of children’s services and cancer prevention. Mr. Mandera serves as the President of Custom Companies, and he played a major role in creating the company’s foundation, the Custom Cares Charities.


Perry Mandera: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

Chicago native Perry Mandera is the owner of The Custom Companies Inc., a full-service transportation business. As a successful entrepreneur, Perry Mandera believes in the importance of sharing his success with others via philanthropy. He supports many organizations through his company’s philanthropic arm, Custom Cares. One of the groups Mr. Mandera supports is Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD).

Candace Lightner founded MADD in 1980 after a drunk driver killed her 13-year-old-daughter, Cari. Originally started as a grass roots organization to aid victims of crimes perpetrated by people driving under the influence, today’s MADD follows a greatly expanded mission to prevent underage drinking, support families victimized by drunk driving, and stop people from driving under the influence.

To that end, MADD has embarked on the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which supports tougher DUI and public health laws and regulations. Likewise, the non-profit organization provides educational information for youth and their parents about underage drinking.

A Brief Biography of “Irish” Andy Lee, by Perry Mandera

A middleweight boxer, “Irish” Andy Lee was born in Bow, London, England, in 1984. At the age of 14, he moved to his parents’ home country of Ireland, where he became part of St. Francis Amateur Boxing Club in Limerick City. After winning numerous amateur competitions, Lee received significant attention by earning a silver medal at the 2002 World Junior Championship. Subsequently, he garnered a bronze medal at the European Senior Championship and represented Ireland during the 2004 Olympic Games.

In 2006, “Irish” Andy Lee entered professional boxing and won his first match against Anthony Cannon at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Standing at 6’2”, Lee boasts a record of 28-2-0. On June 16, 2012, he competed for the World Boxing Council middleweight title.

About the Author:

A philanthropist who contributes to the Walter & Connie Payton Foundation, the Jesse White Tumbling Team, and other charities, Perry Mandera serves as the founder of the shipping firm The Custom Companies, Inc. Additionally, Mandera enjoys boxing, and he assists in managing “Irish” Andy Lee.

Perry Mandera Discusses The Custom Companies, Inc.

With terminals in Los Angeles and Chicago and distribution centers throughout the country, The Custom Companies, Inc., provides clients with high-quality transportation of goods. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008-certified, The Custom Companies dedicates itself to customer satisfaction. Clients can receive real-time information from its service centers regarding delivery, scheduling, and tracking.

Featuring domestic and international options, this firm offers a myriad of services. Its less-than-truckload division handles thousands of shipments every day, and The Custom Companies coordinates traveling so that the items are handled as little as possible. More extensive moving jobs require full truckload services, and the firm works with more than 1,000 truckload partners to ship its clients’ packages. This company also provides local cartage, dedicated contract cartage, and warehouse facilities.

About the Author:

The founder of The Custom Companies, Perry Mandera has led the firm since its inception in 1986. In recognition of his achievements, he was named Executive of the Year by the Italian American Executives of Transportation, was elected to the Illinois Transportation Association’s Board of Directors and included on its list of Top 100 American Transportation Executives of the Millennium, and earned the Leonard Schaller Businessman of the Year Award.