Two years ago a small group of us decided to make a big difference for kids in Chicago public schools, to inject entrepreneurial spirit into the curriculum, and provide mentors and inspiration to students that sorely needed the attention.
Members of the ITA worked with several local supporters and groups to help launch the Chicago Technology Academy, a public high school open to all Chicago kids. On February 10th at 5:30pm at UIC Forum our next freshman class will be chosen by lottery from over 1,000 students that have applied. You’re invited to come to the lottery to meet some of our students, partners and teachers. Spend an hour with us, and decide how best you might get involved to help the continued startup of this school.
The success of this new school is so connected to the involvement of people like you and me, and dozens of Illinois Technology Association members who have donated their time, talents, money and mentorship. It’s already made a difference in the lives of hundreds of students, and we’re just getting started.
CompTIA has been a huge supporter, with more than $300k in direct contributions, and invaluable help with the curriculum and organization of the school. SAP, BigMachines, Fieldglass and dozens of other ITA members have also been generous. Last year Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, was one of the many people to spend time at the school talking to the kids about becoming entrepreneurs, and about careers in tech. Many of these kids are experiencing high expectations for the first time in their lives.
The students need mentors, speakers, internship opportunities and more support from Chicago’s tech community. The lessons we’re learning while building this new school can have broader reform impact, but we need all the help we can get.