About Us

We first launched in 2021 with the goal of elevating the voices of Chicago’s youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to help them see themselves as the incredibly special generation of kids that they are – kids who were able to meet the changes and challenges of the time and emerge stronger. 

In partnership with 40 organizations, including Chicago Public Library, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Lurie Center for Childhood Resilience, MyChi MyFuture, and Multiple, we helped kids from all corners of the city contribute their stories to a citywide time capsule.

We are now thrilled to be working with kids and leaders from across the country to grow Once Upon Our Time Capsule from a pandemic response project to an organization that provides a platform for kids to document, share, and amplify their stories. 

Our Team

*Asterisks denote Board of Directors
**Asterisks denote Advisory Members

Board member headshot
Steve Au**
Board member headshot
Daphne Birdsey**
Chief Advancement Officer
Clark Art Institute
Board member headshot
Aditi Chokshi*
Community Mental Health Practitioner
Board member headshot
Cecily McLeod Elgart**
Attorney and Historian
Georgia State University
Board member headshot
Laura Ensler**
Consultant in early childhood education
Board member headshot
Amy Gale*
Sr Program Officer, Education
Kauffman Foundation
Board member headshot
Gabriel Gillett**
Jenner and Block
Photograph of CoFounder Stacey Gillett
Stacey Gillett*
Board member headshot
Jennifer Hodges*
VP of Whole Child Fund and Community Impact
KIPP Chicago
Christina Hachikian**
Clinical Associate Professor
University of Chicago
Booth School of Business
Photograph of Co-Founder Stephanie Hodges
Stephanie Hodges*
Board member headshot
Carmen Holley, LCSW**
Mental Health consultant
Lurie Children's Hospital
Board member headshot
Anne Marie Hoxie, Ph.D.**
Head of Education Research
Teachers Pay Teachers
Team member headshot
Cayla Jones
Teaching Artist
Team member headshot
Sarah Kinn
Teaching Artist
Board member headshot
Sarah Miyazawa LaFleur*
Founder and CEO
Board member headshot
Robecta Ma**
Global Marketing Communications
Team member headshot
Lizzy May
Lead Curriculum Designer
Board member headshot
Rachael Mizuno*
Swanzuno Strategies
Michael A. Nutter**
Former Mayor of Philadelphia
Board member headshot
Michael Preston, Ph.D.**
Executive Director
Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop
Davina Pike Ogilvie**
Wovn Home
Board member headshot
Toni Sargeant**
Head of Product
Board member headshot
Rhonda Swails*
Financial Planning and Analysis Manager
Kauffmann Foundation
Board member portrait
Karen Walls**
Beethoven Elementary
Chicago Public Schools

Past and Current Institutional Support

Our Generous Supporters

We are grateful for the support of individual supporters including:

Aaron and Becca Gillett, Allison Lipsman, Amanda and Josh Fried, Amanda Weil Harrington, Amy and Derek Gale, Amy Dombro, Anne Butler, Anne-Marie Hoxie, Arthur and Eloise Hodges, Bar and Donna Kaelter, Beth Kasden, Bolick Family, Britt Gale, Bryan and Melanie Newell, Carolyn Cox and Sam Perkins, Cat Duncan, Cecily and Mark Elgart, Christina and Adam Hachikian, Claire Witko, Dana Suskind and John List, Daphne and Laurence Birdsey, David Tanury and Jason Krigel, Davina and Peter Ogilvie, Dina and Joey Carr, Dr. Bradley & Barbara Warady, Eliot Hodges and Christine Hsieh, Elizabeth Green and David Epstein, Emily and Joy Hurd, Emily Chin, Emily Mcclure, Ethan and Michaela Samson, Euler Bropleh and Ebba Gebisa, Evan Osnos and Sarabeth Berman, Frederick J.C. Butler and Marie Claude Butler, Halley French, Hari Mahadev and Mary Stevenson, Jesse Ilhardt, Joanna and Koushik Das, Joel and Heidi Kantor, John & Ingola Hodges, Jon Barrett, Jon Stevens, Kathleen and Neal Carlson, Kato Gupta, Kevin and Dr. Patricia Katz, Kirsten Shaw, Mike DeHart, Laura Ensler, Lauren Raiche, Leigh Kunkel, Lisa Vahey, Margot and Seth Kleinman., Martin Modahl & Lauren Conway Modahl, Melissa Tuckerman, Meryl Fogg, Michael Nutter, Michael Preston, Michele and Joel Shoolin, Michele Jolin, Mindy and Sheldon Brown, Molly Lack, Nick and Ariele Scodro, Nickolas Rodriguez, Orsella Reyes, Peter and Davina Ogilvie, Phyllis Stevens, Pooja Kondabolu, Rachael and Ryu Mizuno, Rebecca Richman, Rhonda Swails, Ryan Ford and Carla Vasillos, Samira Nazem and Dan Goff, Sarabeth Berman, Sarah Disney Haufe, Sarah LaFleur and Chris Schonberger, Sari Hirsch, Saskia Kunhardt, Scott and Susan Krigel, Scott Bachmann and Katy Phoun, Sophie Brickman and Dave Eisenberg, Stacey and Gabriel Gillett, Stacy Toporoff, Stephanie Hodges and Will Perkins, Talia Kaden, Ted Keim and Marielle Lifshitz, VIctoria Cerullo, Will Rasmussen,


Our partners at Green Vision Media lead our design and web development. Jenner and Block is providing us pro bono legal counsel. We are grateful to our partners at Scribble for printing books with kids’ time capsule submissions for our partner classrooms to enjoy. 

We are grateful to Chicago Children’s Theatre for all of their support incubating the organization in 2021 and to the creative agency Multiple for generously developing our brand.