In its fourth year, CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) scholarship program, created by CTA and RPM contractor Walsh-Fluor, helps Chicago teens pursue degrees in construction and engineering-related fields
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced that applications are now being accepted for the “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund”, an innovative program that provides a path for economically disadvantaged youth to pursue education and careers in construction and engineering.
Created in partnership with the Walsh-Fluor Design-Build team — the contractor for CTA’s historic $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project — the scholarship program provides aid to students who plan to pursue four-year degrees in construction management, civil engineering, industrial engineering or systems engineering. Specifically, the scholarship program was created to help economically disadvantaged students to pursue an education in fields that historically create barriers for low-income students. The unique program provides $5,500 per year for four years, mentoring support and guidance in career development opportunities.
“It’s important as a city that we invest in our youth and prepare them to be leaders of tomorrow,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “This innovative scholarship program provides students from low-income backgrounds the opportunity to realize their potential to the fullest.”
“With every CTA project, we are committed to creating opportunity and promoting inclusion for Chicagoans across the city,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We are pleased to partner with Walsh-Fluor to offer these opportunities to students interested in careers in transportation, construction and engineering.”
“We are excited to offer this scholarship to our committed and talented class of 2023,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “Elevating Futures gives these students the opportunities they need to succeed and reflects a city-wide commitment to support our rising innovators and leaders.”
“These scholarship recipients are not only receiving financial and academic assistance, but they’re also getting work experience as interns in the construction and engineering fields,” Walsh-Fluor Project Executive David Shier said. “Our intent is for this program to provide everything these students need to launch successful careers.”
“The Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund has gone above and beyond to provide our financially under-resourced and first-generation Scholars with the financial supports, mentoring and internship opportunities they need for long-term success in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Jeffery Beckham, Jr., Chicago Scholars CEO. “Chicago Scholars is proud to partner with Walsh-Fluor and the CTA to deliver best-in-class opportunities for Chicago students.”
“The Elevating Futures scholarship has allowed me to bring my dream to a reality,” said Loyola University student Axel Hernandez, a past scholarship recipient. “I’ve always wanted to go to college and I want to be the first person in my family to graduate from college, and get a degree in Business Administration and create a construction business for me and my family.”
To date, eight students from across the city of Chicago, including the Back of the Yards, Bridgeport, Hegewisch, Humboldt Park, Portage Park, Rogers Park, and Austin neighborhoods, have received scholarships from the “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund,” which is administered by Chicago Scholars, a nonprofit dedicated to college access, and college-success leadership development for first-generation and low-income students in Chicago. Scholarships have been awarded to graduates of Lake View High School, Lane Tech College Prep, Gary Comer College Prep, EPIC Academy High School, William Jones College Prep, Sullivan High School, and Austin College and Career Academy.
The first-of-its-kind CTA initiative provides scholarships, mentoring support and career guidance for under-resourced college students. The scholarship program is administered by Chicago Scholars, a nonprofit dedicated to college access, college success and leadership development for first-generation and low-income students in Chicago.
This will be the fourth and final round of this scholarship. Donated by Walsh-Fluor to help offset tuition costs for CPS graduates, the $250,000 ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund’ will have provided 10 financial aid scholarships from 2020 through 2023. The students who are awarded scholarships are also eligible to apply for paid summer internships with Walsh-Fluor and the CTA.
Applications are due March 1, 2023. For more information about this program, visit CTA’s website or Chicago Scholars’ website.
La alcaldesa Lightfoot, CTA y CPS anuncian que la beca “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund”
En su cuarto año, el programa de becas universitarias del proyecto de Modernización de las Líneas Roja y Morada (RPM, por sus siglas en inglés), creado por CTA y la compañía constructora del proyecto, Walsh-Fluor, ayuda a los adolescentes de Chicago a obtener títulos en carreras relacionadas con la construcción y la ingeniería
La alcaldesa Lori E. Lightfoot, la Autoridad de Tránsito de Chicago (CTA, por sus siglas en inglés), y las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago (CPS, por sus siglas en inglés) anunciaron hoy que se están aceptando solicitudes para la beca “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund”, un programa innovador que abre paso a los jóvenes desfavorecidos económicamente para que tengan estudios y carreras en construcción e ingeniería.
Creado en colaboración con el equipo de Walsh-Fluor Design-Build, la compañía constructora a cargo del histórico Proyecto de Modernización de las Líneas Roja y Morada Fase Uno (RPM) de 2,100 millones de dólares, el programa de becas brinda ayuda a estudiantes que planean obtener títulos de cuatro años en administración de la construcción, ingeniería civil, ingeniería industrial o ingeniería en sistemas. Específicamente, el programa de becas fue creado para ayudar a los estudiantes desfavorecidos económicamente a emprender una educación en campos laborales que históricamente crean barreras para los estudiantes de bajos ingresos. Este programa único proporciona $5,500 cada año durante cuatro años, apoyo de tutoría y orientación en oportunidades de desarrollo profesional.
“Es importante que la ciudad invierta en nuestros jóvenes y los prepare para que sean los líderes del mañana”, dijo la alcaldesa Lightfoot. “Este innovador programa de becas brinda a los estudiantes de bajos ingresos la oportunidad de desarrollar su potencial al máximo”.
“En cada proyecto de CTA, estamos comprometidos a crear oportunidades y promover la inclusión para los habitantes de Chicago en toda la ciudad”, dijo Dorval R. Carter, Jr., presidente de CTA. “Nos complace asociarnos con Walsh-Fluor para ofrecer estas oportunidades a los estudiantes interesados en carreras de transporte, construcción e ingeniería”.
“Nos entusiasma ofrecer esta beca a nuestra clase dedicada y talentosa de 2023”, señaló Pedro Martínez, director general de CPS. “Elevating Futures les brinda a estos estudiantes las oportunidades que necesitan para tener éxito y refleja un compromiso por parte de toda la ciudad de apoyar a nuestros líderes e innovadores del futuro”.
“Estos becarios no solo reciben asistencia financiera y académica, sino que también obtienen experiencia laboral como pasantes en los campos de la construcción y la ingeniería”, dijo David Shier, ejecutivo del proyecto de Walsh-Fluor. “Nuestra intención es que este programa proporcione todo lo que estos estudiantes necesitan para emprender carreras exitosas”.
“La beca Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund ha trabajado de manera exhaustiva para proporcionar a nuestros becarios de primera generación y de bajos recursos, los apoyos financieros, la tutoría y las oportunidades de participar en prácticas profesionales que necesitan para el éxito a largo plazo en ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería y matemáticas”, dijo Jeffrey Beckham, Jr., director ejecutivo de Chicago Scholars. “Chicago Scholars se enorgullece de asociarse con Walsh-Fluor y CTA para ofrecer las mejores oportunidades a los estudiantes de Chicago”.
“La beca Elevating Futures me ha permitido hacer realidad mi sueño”, dijo el estudiante de la Universidad de Loyola Axel Hernández, beneficiario de una beca anterior. “Siempre he querido ir a la universidad y quiero ser la primera persona en mi familia en graduarse de la universidad, obtener un título en Administración de Empresas y crear un negocio en construcción para mí y mi familia”.
CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund es la primera iniciativa de CTA de su tipo y hasta la fecha ha proporcionado becas a ocho estudiantes a través de la ciudad de Chicago, incluyendo residentes de los vecindarios del Barrio de las Empacadoras, Bridgeport, Hegewisch, Humboldt Park, Portage Park, Rogers Park y Austin. El programa es administrado por Chicago Scholars, una organización sin fines de lucro dedicada al acceso a la universidad, el éxito universitario y el desarrollo de liderazgo para estudiantes de primera generación y de bajos ingresos en Chicago. Se han otorgado becas a graduados de Lake View High School, Lane Tech College Prep, Gary Comer College Prep, EPIC Academy, William Jones College Prep, Sullivan High School y Austin College and Career Academy.
Esta será la cuarta y última ronda de esta beca de $250,000, donada por Walsh-Fluor para ayudar a compensar los costos de las colegiaturas de los graduados de CPS. La beca CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund habrá proporcionado 10 becas de ayuda financiera desde 2020 hasta 2023. Los estudiantes que reciben becas también son elegibles para solicitar prácticas profesionales de verano pagadas, en Walsh-Fluor y CTA.
Las solicitudes serán aceptadas hasta el 1.o de marzo de 2023. Para obtener más información sobre este programa, visite el sitio web de CTA o el sitio web de Chicago Scholars.
While COVID has hit the pause button on so many opportunities for our high school students, CTA is helping provide a path for CPS high school students to pursue architecture-, construction- and engineering-related careers through CTA’s historic Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project.
On Wednesday, November 18, CTA, RPM contractor Walsh-Fluor and the ACE Mentor Program hosted ACE Trades Day with CPS, a virtual event that introduced students to the trades and future career opportunities. Over 30 students attended the event in which they got to see testimonials from tradespeople working on the RPM project on what it is like to work in construction and how they got their start in the industry, as well as ask questions in real time. From the beginning of the project, RPM has been about making a better future for all Chicagoans, including Chicago students, and this effort is another way CTA hopes to break down barriers for students to pursue their career dreams.
CTA, Walsh-Fluor and ACE plan to host another one of these virtual events later in the school year. For more information about ACE and the RPM Phase One Project, please see below.
Space remains for ninth, eleventh and twelfth grade high school students within the Chicago Public School district to claim an open seat at Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, one of the Noble Network of Charter Schools’ 17 campuses across Chicago. Noble schools are public schools, open to any student in Chicago, with no testing required for admission, and just like all CPS schools, they charge no tuition.
U.S. News & World Report recently recognized nine Noble high schools in the top 100 of Illinois, plus eight of the top 25 in all of CPS. Chicago Magazine named Noble schools as 13 of the top 40 high schools in the city and the Niche research group named all 17 Noble high schools to their list of the top 30 charter schools in Illinois.
This fall, all Noble students will have access to technology for their homes to be ready for remote learning. To help overcome the digital divide in so many Chicago households throughout CPS, all 12,000 Noble students will have received access to personal technology. All students will have a Chromebook to utilize as their own 1:1 device, and students that have expressed a need for home Wi-Fi will receive a hotspot for educational use.
“We reallocated a sizable portion of our operational budget toward technology purchases for our students to maximize their potential for successful remote learning,” said Mike Madden, Chief Operating Officer for Noble. “Our students’ health and safety comes first, but fostering an environment for academic excellence follows closely behind, so as our network’s theme states this fall, we believe we are indeed ready for remote learning.”
Hundreds of Noble’s parents, students, teachers, and staff shared their ideas and feedback for successful remote learning. A clear and succinct outline of Noble’s #ReadyForRemote plan is available at www.NobleSchools.org.
“This plan will allow us to prioritize a commitment to health and safety for our students, teachers, and staff, while continuing our focus on academic results and social-emotional support,” said Constance Jones, CEO of Noble. “There is no doubt this school year will be a historic one. We prepare for the launch of school while a pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives, while our city grapples with the legacy and reality of systemic racism and while we reaffirm, loudly, Black lives matter. Amidst all of this, I have never been more confident for our community to meet the moment.”
For interested students and their families, please visit www.NobleSchools.org and click on the Enroll tab.
New ‘test-blind’ policy is first of its kind for an Illinois institution
DeKalb, Ill. – Northern Illinois University today announced it will eliminate the use of standardized test scores for general admission and merit scholarship decisions. This new “test-blind” policy will begin for students applying to NIU for the fall of 2021.
Any high school graduate who applies to NIU with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above will be guaranteed admission. All freshman applicants will be automatically considered for NIU Merit Scholarships, based on their GPA. The sweeping change includes the University Honors Program, with students applying to that program for the fall of 2021 no longer required to submit standardized test scores.
National higher education studies and NIU’s own data show a student’s high school GPA is a better indicator of future academic success than performance on a standardized ACT or SAT test.
“This new policy comes from our deep commitment to making a college education both accessible and equitable for a broad and diverse student population,” NIU President Lisa Freeman said. “It reflects our efforts campus-wide to eliminate unnecessary and biased barriers throughout a student’s educational path.”
“Once we know a high school student’s GPA, one standardized test score is irrelevant,” said NIU Executive Vice President and Provost Beth Ingram, Ph.D. “The new policy will allow more students to take advantage of the life-changing educational opportunities we provide. We believe that this will encourage good students to focus on getting the most out of their high school classes.”
Student applicants with a GPA below 3.0 will be considered for admission to NIU based on a holistic review which will consider a broad spectrum of factors, such as academic preparation and performance, motivation, resilience and resourcefulness.
“This now allows us, much earlier in the process, to really get to know students on a more personal level,” said Sol Jensen, vice president for Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications. “We believe it also will help with retention efforts down the road as we’re able to individualize the resources and services our students need to succeed.”
The new practices aim to empower disadvantaged students without the means or resources to prepare for tests, and they reflect well-documented findings that standardized test scores often are more reflective of a student’s socioeconomic background than their academic abilities, Jensen said
Research shows that the costs and inaccessibility of test preparation resources and courses often inhibit minority and low-income students, as well as students with disabilities.
While a growing number of colleges have announced “test-optional” criteria, NIU is the first public institution in Illinois to adopt an entirely “test-blind” criteria for applicants.
“NIU faculty were instrumental in making this change and recognize that our students are more than a test score,” Provost Ingram said. The policy also has been guided and championed by shared governance including Faculty Senate, Baccalaureate Council and University Council.
Northern Illinois University is a student-centered, nationally recognized public research university, with expertise that benefits its region and spans the globe in a wide variety of fields, including the sciences, humanities, arts, business, engineering, education, health and law. Through its main campus in DeKalb, Illinois, and education centers for students and working professionals in Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Oregon and Rockford, NIU offers more than 100 areas of study while serving a diverse and international student body.
This past weekend ComEd hosted fifty Chicagoland freshman students at the Art Institute of Chicago to further develop their STEM skills and enhance their understanding of the fundamentals of energy, smart-city technologies and sustainability. This session is a part of the ComEd HFS Chicago Scholars STEM Program that launched in December, offered exclusively to students in the HFS Scholars program, which helps socioeconomically-disadvantaged, and flourishing students attend top Chicago private high schools.
The STEM program includes five immersive workshops per academic year for four years where students gain project-based experience with the mentoring of professional engineers. The working session held on Saturday, March 2nd, was the third of the five workshops with the creative backdrop of the Art Institute of Chicago. Impressively, the students continue to show a consistent commitment to STEM education as well as a high level of engagement. ComEd mentor and Engineer for ComEd, Oke Chika also added to the students’ enthusiasm by leading interactive discussions regarding their future career opportunities and STEM applications in the real world.