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“CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund” Now Accepting Applications

“CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund” Now Accepting Applications

In partnership with Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) contractor Walsh-Fluor and non-profit Chicago Scholars, CTA opens college scholarship program for low-income Chicago youth in program’s second year

CHICAGO – Mayor Lightfoot, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) recently announced that new 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.

“It’s important that as a city we continue to invest in our youth and prepare them for the future,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The CTA’s innovative scholarship program provides opportunity to hard-working students from low-income backgrounds, helping them achieve their potential in an especially challenging world.”

“With every CTA project, we are committed to creating opportunity and inclusion for Chicagoans across the city,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “With potential future labor shortages in these industries, there is a growing opportunity for our youth to enter occupational fields in which they have been historically underrepresented.”

The “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund” was created by CTA in 2019 and is now in its second year. Walsh-Fluor is funding the program with $250,000 for 10 scholarships between 2020 and 2023. Students who are awarded scholarships are also eligible to apply for paid summer internships with Walsh-Fluor. The program is administered by Chicago Scholars, a mentoring and leadership development organization that helps first-generation college students and students from under-resourced communities navigate transitions into college, through college and on to careers.

“We have so many students who work hard and are committed to their education and need financial assistance to achieve their dreams,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “The ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund,’ lessens the barriers they face and gives them the opportunities they need to succeed, especially during such difficult times.”

“Chicago Scholars is proud to partner with the CTA and Walsh-Fluor and create important opportunities for CPS students through the ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund’,” said Jeffery Beckham Jr., Chicago Scholars Interim CEO. “This fund will elevate opportunities for our financially under-resourced and first-generation Scholars beyond college access as they continue on the path to becoming young professionals and leaders within Chicago’s STEM industry.”

Program details and timeline

  • The application period opened Dec. 10, 2020 and applications will be due March 1, 2021. To apply, click here.
  • Up to three scholarships will be awarded of $5,500 a year for four years per winner.
  • Scholarship winners will be announced on April 15, 2021.
  • Eligible students must be enrolled in a CPS or CPS-supported high school and currently part of the Chicago Scholars program. Chicago Scholars recruits from all 77 community areas of the city and has student representation from 75 CPS and CPS-supported high schools.
  • Eligible students must be enrolled in STEM coursework, have a grade point average of at least 3.0, and have a good attendance record.

In 2020, three CPS students were awarded scholarships. Learn more about them here and check out a video of them here.


La beca “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund” ya está aceptando solicitudes

En alianza con Walsh-Fluor, compañía constructora del Programa de Modernización de las Líneas Roja y Morada (RPM, por sus siglas in inglés)  y la organización sin fines de lucro Chicago Scholars, CTA abre el programa de becas universitarias para jóvenes de bajos ingresos de Chicago en el segundo año del programa

CHICAGO – La alcaldesa Lightfoot, la Autoridad de Tránsito de Chicago (CTA), y las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago (CPS) anunciaron el pasado 29 de diciembre que ya están aceptando nuevas solicitudes para la beca “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund”, un programa innovador que brinda una opción a los jóvenes desfavorecidos económicamente para que puedan emprender su educación y estudiar carreras de construcción e ingeniería.

Creada en conjunto con el equipo de Walsh-Fluor Design-Build, la compañía constructora a cargo del histórico proyecto de 2,100 millones de dólares de CTA, el Proyecto de Modernización de las Líneas Roja y Morada Fase Uno de CTA (RPM), el programa de becas proporciona ayuda financiera a estudiantes que planean estudiar carreras de cuatro años de administración de la construcción, ingeniería civil, ingeniería industrial o ingeniería en sistemas.

“Es importante que en nuestra ciudad sigamos invirtiendo en nuestros jóvenes y preparándolos para el futuro”, declaró la alcaldesa Lightfoot. “Este innovador programa de becas de CTA brinda oportunidades a estudiantes diligentes de bajos ingresos, ayudándoles a desarrollar su potencial en un mundo lleno de retos”.

“En cada proyecto de CTA, nos comprometemos a crear oportunidades y una mayor inclusión para los habitantes de Chicago por toda la ciudad”, señaló Dorval R. Carter Jr., Presidente de CTA. “Debido a la posible escasez de mano de obra en estas industrias en el futuro, existe una oportunidad cada vez más amplia para que nuestra juventud tenga acceso a  ocupaciones en las que no han tenido suficiente representación en el pasado”.

La beca “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund” fue creada por CTA en 2019 y este es su segundo año. Walsh-Fluor está financiando el programa con 250,000 dólares para 10 becas entre 2020 y 2023. Los estudiantes a los que les otorgan una beca también califican para solicitar prácticas profesionales de verano pagadas con Walsh-Fluor. El programa lo administra Chicago Scholars, una organización de desarrollo de mentores y líderes que ayuda a estudiantes universitarios de primera generación y a estudiantes de comunidades de bajos recursos con la transición a la universidad, los cambios durante la universidad y la transición a carreras profesionales.

“Tenemos muchos estudiantes muy dedicados y comprometidos con su educación que requieren ayuda financiera para cumplir sus sueños”, declaró la Dra. Janice K. Jackson, Directora General de CPS. La beca ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund’ atenúa los obstáculos a los que se enfrentan y les brinda las oportunidades que necesitan para alcanzar el éxito, especialmente durante tiempos tan difíciles como los actuales”.

“En Chicago Scholars estamos orgullosos de aliarnos con CTA y Walsh-Fluor para crear oportunidades importantes para los estudiantes de CPS a través la beca ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund’”, dijo Jeffery Beckham Jr., Director General Provisional de Chicago Scholars. “Esta beca ampliará las oportunidades para nuestros estudiantes de bajos recursos y de primera generación más allá del acceso a la universidad, conforme sigan su camino a convertirse en jóvenes profesionales y líderes en las industrias CTIM de Chicago”.

Detalles y cronología del programa

  • El período de solicitud comenzó el 10 de diciembre de 2020 y la fecha límite para las solicitudes es el 1.o de marzo de 2021. Para hacer una solicitud haga clic aquí.
  • Serán otorgadas hasta tres becas de 5,500 dólares al año durante cuatro años para cada ganador.
  • Se anunciarán los ganadores de las becas el 15 de abril de 2021.
  • Los estudiantes elegibles deben estar inscritos en una escuela preparatoria de CPS o respaldada por CPS y deben ser parte del programa Chicago Scholars actualmente. Chicago Scholars recluta estudiantes de las 77 áreas comunitarias de la ciudad y tiene una representación estudiantil de 75 escuelas preparatorias de CPS o respaldadas por CPS.
  • Los estudiantes elegibles deben estar inscritos en materias de CTIM, tener un promedio (GPA) de al menos 3.0 y tener un buen registro de asistencia.

En 2020, tres estudiantes de CPS recibieron becas; vea un video sobre ellos aquí.

CTA, RPM Contractor Walsh-Fluor and Chicago Scholars in 2020 Launched RPM Scholarship Program to Help Youth Pursue Education and Careers in Construction

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. and CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson announced today that three recent Chicago Public School graduates have been named recipients of the “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund”, the first students to be awarded these scholarships since the program was launched earlier this year [link to video].

The scholarship program provides $5,500 per year for four years to economically disadvantaged students who plan to pursue studies in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) for engineering and construction-related degrees.

“As Chicago faces multiple challenges, now more than ever we must continue to find ways to increase equitable access to opportunity for all of our youth,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Innovative programs like this scholarship program help give the financial and mentoring support these outstanding students need and prepare them to build careers and participate in our city’s economic vibrancy.”

“From the very start, the RPM project has been about making a better future for all Chicagoans: residents, riders, businesses and the workforce,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “This program moves us closer to that goal by offering these remarkable students with the opportunity to pursue education and build careers in the construction and engineering fields.”

“Every CPS graduate deserves to be able to follow their postsecondary dreams without facing an insurmountable financial barrier,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Through the ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund,’ the CTA and Walsh-Fluor are providing a helping hand to some of our city’s hardest-working young adults.”

“We are proud of these three students and the work they’ve accomplished,” said Dave Shier, Walsh-Fluor RPM Project Executive. “We hope this scholarship not only brightens their present, but enables them to lead tomorrow’s engineering fields and truly become the city of Chicago’s next generation of homegrown leaders.”

“The commitment provided to Chicago Scholars’ students through the ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund’ is a game changer. Not only does it provide important financial support, it is proof that Chicago’s leaders see these three students as the leaders of tomorrow,” said Dominique Jordan Turner, CEO of Chicago Scholars. “We are proud of these students, and all of our Scholars, who are continuing to commit to their futures and education in these uncertain times.”

The program was created as part of the CTA’s historic $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization Phase One (RPM) project. Project contractor Walsh-Fluor Design-Build team is sponsoring the scholarships and making paid internships on the RPM project available to scholarship recipients.

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.

Donated by Walsh-Fluor to help offset tuition costs for CPS graduates, the $250,000 ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund’ will provide 10 financial aid scholarships from 2020 through 2023 for students who plan on majoring in construction management, civil engineering, industrial or systems engineering. Students who are awarded scholarships will also be eligible to apply for paid summer internships with Walsh-Fluor and the CTA.

The 2020 CTA Elevating Futures Scholars, featured in a video here, are:

Jorge Vargas, 17, Humboldt Park

Jorge graduated near the top of his class at Lake View High School and will pursue a degree in civil engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is passionate about engineering and fell in love with trains as a young child, when he would travel back and forth between New York and Chicago on the Amtrak. He believes the innovative power that civil engineers have can be of immense benefit to society, and he hopes to use his engineering skills for positive social impact. In the future, he aspires to combine his interest in civil engineering with his entrepreneurial spirit by developing an international high-speed transit company that works to combat climate change. His goals also include providing more accessible and affordable transportation around the city in order to address needs in transportation deserts and promote economic development.

Other recipients:

Jasmine Jackson, 18, Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood

Jasmine ranked first in her class of nearly 200 students at Noble Street Charter – Gary Comer College Prep and will study engineering at Howard University. Her goal is to become a civil engineer because it will allow her to merge her two passions: math and art. She loves the challenge of solving a difficult math problem and the satisfaction of expressing her creativity through art. As a civil engineer, she will bring her creative side to her projects while ensuring everything is mathematically correct. Jasmine plans to use her profession to make the world a better place, for example, by starting a program that would build tiny homes for people who are experiencing homelessness.

George Vintila, 18, Portage Park

After excelling at Lane Tech College Prep in advanced courses such as AP Physics C Electricity and Mechanics, AP Calculus BC, and AP Computer Science, George will be studying computer engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology this fall. He believes that engineers hold the power to implement ideas to help ease economic inequality. He is excited about what he will learn through studying engineering in college and hopes that his efforts “will contribute to a cycle, where new students learn to engineer and apply their new-found proficiency to help others in need, who will then learn and do the same thing.” At school, George tutored other students through the Physics Club and focused on promoting renewable energies and recycling through the Environmental Club.

For more information about this program, visit ­CTA’s web site at transitchicago.com/rpm/workforce-opportunities or Chicago Scholars’ website at chicagoscholars.org/elevatingfutures.

For eligible freshmen, new aid program would help fully cover 2020-21 tuition, fees

Illinois high school students who graduate this coming spring with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or above might now be able to reap the benefits of a generous financial aid program at Northern Illinois University.

The new Huskie Pledge aims to make NIU more affordable for Illinois families with household incomes of $75,000 or less. For qualifying full-time students, the Huskie Pledge Program will provide a grant to help completely cover first-year tuition and general fees.

“Our Huskie Pledge is yet another step toward our goal of making a life-changing NIU education affordable and accessible to as many students as possible,” said NIU President Lisa Freeman, who announced the program during her Oct. 22 State of the University address. “If you’re a hard-working student, we want to help you succeed at NIU and beyond.”

Determined after factoring in a qualifying student’s initial institutional, federal and state aid (including Pell Grants and Monetary Award Program grants), a Huskie Pledge Grant will meet the amount of any remaining first-year expenses for tuition and general fees.

If income, enrollment and university GPA criteria continue to be met, the same Huskie Pledge Grant amount received during the initial year of NIU enrollment will be renewable for up to four additional years, regardless of increases or decreases in other aid during subsequent years.

The program is open to freshmen starting at NIU in the fall of 2020. Funding is limited, and students should apply for admission to NIU and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Illinois RISE Act application by the priority deadline of Feb. 1.

Key qualifying criteria for the award include the following:

  • Illinois residency.
  • A cumulative 3.0 grade point average at an Illinois high school.
  • Graduation from high school during the 2019-20 school year.
  • A family income of $75,000 or less.
  • Family assets of $75,000 or less (as defined by the FAFSA).
  • Fall 2020 enrollment at NIU as a full-time student.

Sol Jensen, vice president for the Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communication, said the Huskie Pledge is designed to support the university’s mission as an institution providing access to and serving talented incoming students who reflect Illinois’ broad socioeconomic diversity.

“We think this is one of the more generous financial aid programs in the state, one that makes our university even more accessible to students of all backgrounds,” Jensen said. “If you’re a high school student currently carrying close to a 3.0 GPA, you should be checking out NIU to see if you qualify. We’re eager to see you become a Huskie.”

The Huskie Pledge Program is supported by funding from the State of Illinois.

In addition to need-based financial aid, thousands of NIU students each year receive grants and earn merit scholarships that have no family-income requirements. When students apply for admission to NIU, they are automatically considered for the merit aid.

Learn more about the Huskie Pledge. For general information on financial aid and merit scholarships at NIU, visit the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office website.

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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.

The 2nd Annual St. Sylvester Fest is an annual festival held to gather everyone from the neighborhood/community for a day of fun, food and enjoyment for family and friends.

This year our festival will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. There will be a mass at 2:00 p.m.

The festival will have a DJ, live music, a beer garden and activities for children and their families.

The goal of this event is to raise much needed funds for the St. Sylvester Parish and School.

Tours of the school and church will be offered during the festival. There will also be a $1,000 scholarship raffle.

Win a $1,000 scholarship to St. Sylvester School!
Enter the raffle at St. Sylvester Fest on October 7, 2017. The Winner will be announced the following week and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. To enter you must attend St. Sylvester Fest and MUST BE A NEW FAMILY. Tours to the school will also be offered during the fest. Share our post/page with family and friends so they can #DiscoverTheDifference. Stop by or call St. Sylvester School to set up a tour and get all enrollment questions answered.