Jun 05

Summer is here!

Our summer intern and more of our #100for100.

brigit

Brigit at a fútbol game during a trip to Portugual

We are excited to welcome Brigit as our new intern for the summer! Brigit is going into her junior year at Georgetown University, pursing a Bachelors in Science in the Foreign Service with a major in Culture and Politics and a certificate in International Development.

Brigit explained that the atmosphere of her fourth grade classroom inspired her continued love of learning. “In fourth grade,” she wrote, “I loved to learn. I still do, but then my love of learning was pure and untainted by the oppressive teachers I would later encounter. Instead, fourth grade was a time of genuine and excited exploration. I was so impassioned by learning, that I invented my own projects to do for class.”

“What is most striking,” Brigit continued, “is how my teachers never denied a project or scoffed at my overachiever-ness. Rather, they saved my books for years to display in their class. They allowed me to present my projects and involve the rest of my class in these made-up extra credit exercises. I loved to learn then, and it was the atmosphere created in that fourth grade classroom that allowed that love to flourish.”

Brigit explained how her time with the Model United Nations (MUN) team at her Chicago high school, Saint Ignatius College Prep, had the most influence on her current career path. “I had always enjoyed debate, social sciences, and other cultures, so this club seemed like a perfect amalgamation of them all. With the MUN team, I traveled all over the country and the world—debating hypothetical and actual global crises, generating innovative and collaborative solutions, and meeting my peers from all corners of the planet. It was in these intense weekend simulations that I realized my love of travel, people, culture, and compromise. MUN introduced me to Georgetown University and the field of political science. Most importantly, MUN instilled in me a desire to pursue social change as a career path.”

Connect with Brigit on LINKEDIN

 

Mark Biery

Mark Biery

We are happy to welcome Mark to the #100for100 advisory board. Mark is a Founder-Partner with LTS Chicago, a charity driven adult sport and social organization that provides philanthropic sports leagues, tournaments, and social events for young professionals in Chicago. When asked to describe a memorable moment in his education he talked about a fifth-grade speech contest where he won second place. This rewarding experience allowed him to see what he was capable of and is one of many influential memories that motivate him to serve on the board. In middle school he experienced another such influential moment during an English class. “Mrs. Tajima… shaped my life to love to learn and grow as a person,” he said. Mark graduated with his B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine. He then graduated from DePaul University with his M.S. in Public Service Management.

 

Melissa Grady

Melissa Grady

Stories can be powerful and for Melissa, a story she heard from her advertising teacher at DePaul still stands out in her mind and is one of the most memorable experiences in her education. “When my advertising teacher at DePaul taught us the difference between features and benefits – and what it really means to connect with people – she told us a story about chunky soup and the noise vacuum cleaners make,” she said. “I will never forget that story!” Experiences like this are one of many reasons we are excited to have Melissa on the #100for100 advisory board. Melissa is a private consultant, formerly the Global Director of CRM, Analytics, and E-commerce Marketing for Motorola. She received her B.S. in Commerce from DePaul University and her M.S. in Integrated Marketing from Northwestern University. It was at DePaul that her advertising teacher played an instrumental role in helping her get into graduate school. She said her teacher still inspires her today.

 

Aug 08

It’s Here, Youtopia.

Using new technology to track & reward volunteers and students.

We are very excited to announce a new partnership with a local tech start-up, Youtopia.com. This web and mobile application is where volunteers, students, and employees earn rewards for volunteering, academic achievements, and community service. APS will use the application to track and report service hours and donations, as well as the impact of each partner school’s activities. In addition, we will reward high-achievers with badges and other benefits for volunteering and attending events! As a launch partner, APS will be in an enviable position to provide feedback which will help to customize this platform specifically for our needs, and hopefully that will benefit other schools and non-profits around the world. It’s currently in BETA, so let us know if you’d like a preview, we can put a good word in for ya ;)

Check out Youtopia.com for more!

 

Jacqueline Edelberg

Jacqueline Edelberg

We are honored to welcome Jacqueline to the #100for100 advisory board. Jacqueline is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Youtopia.com, in addition to being a nationally recognized fine artist and author of the book “How to Walk to School”. The book serves as a blueprint for revitalizing YOUR neighborhood school by documenting the successes of Nettelhorst School in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. She co-wrote the book with Nettelhorst’s Principal at the time, Susan Kurland, the forward written by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and afterword by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Jacqueline said that her first grade teacher, Ms. Davis, inspired her. “She was the first teacher who taught me to believe in myself.” Then later in life a working experience influenced her toward the career she has today. “When I worked as a congressional page [it] changed my worldview forever,” she said. Jacqueline is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she received her B.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science. You may not guess it, but this doctor knows more than just political science, Jacqueline’s also a specialist in the kitchen. “I make killer crepes,” she says.

 

Jessica Dixon

Jessica Dixon

We are so happy to welcome another former Chicago Public School student to the #100for100 advisory board. Jessica is a sales consultant at Wirtz Beverage (and helped set up Friday’s happy hour, you rock!).

For Jessica, two middle school teachers acted as influencers who inspired her toward a successful career and helped her achieve her full potential. “My eighth-grade teacher encouraged me to apply to an advanced high school outside my neighborhood,” Jessica said. “Then, she took it one step further by tutoring me in her free time; all the while also coaching my cheerleading team and chaperoning all eighth-grade events.” Jessica said she also distinctly remembers how her seventh-grade, English teacher encouraged her to submit a short story to the local paper for publication.

When asked to describe something unique about herself, Jessica talked about a memorable trip to Australia. “I overcame my fear of heights by climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge… during a trip through People to People Student Ambassadors program,” she said.

 

Aug 03

The Alumni Challenge: benefiting APS!

A BIG crawl through River North.

Save the date, on August 25 River North overflows with school spirt as the ChicagoTEN hosts their annual “Alumni Challenge.” In its third year, the challenge was created as a way for fans and alumni of all the BigTen schools to come together to celebrate their rivalries and give back to the community.

For more info, click HERE.

Alumni Challenge

The ChicagoTEN Alumni Challenge is 8/25

 

Lora Knapp

Lora Knapp

Lora has a commitment to ensuring that all children receive an excellent education. Her decision to join the #100for100 advisory board is another way she has chosen to demonstrate this pledge. Lora very recently moved back to Houston, TX to get back into the classroom at YES Prep North Central. In charge of College Initiatives as a Sophomore Seminar Teacher, she previously was a recruiting manager at Teach For America. When asked to describe a memorable moment in her education, Lora talked about a high school AP History teacher who showed her the powerful connection between reading and taking action. “Mrs. Cline… brought the ancient world of Egypt to light and created and sparked an obsession for travelling so I could see, touch, and smell the places I read about in my text books.” Lora said that it was having a multitude of resources, great teachers, and opportunities to receive a higher education that influenced her decision to join a movement to end educational inequity in this country. “Today I advocate for children growing up in low income communities who do not receive the same great educational opportunities that I was afforded,” Lora said. “In our country, the zip code you live in dictates the quality of your education and therefore, your life opportunities.” Lora graduated from DePaul University with her Bachelors in Psychology. “I deeply believe that every child, no matter their family’s income level or the color of their skin, should have the same opportunities that I did,” she said.

 

Amanda Rivera

Amanda Rivera

One of the most memorable experiences in Amanda’s education occurred in the eighth grade as she opened her acceptance letter to Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, the #1 High school in Chicago at the time. Now this former CPS student is a graduate from Illinois State University, where she received her Bachelors of Applied Science in Mass Media-Radio Sequence. For Amanda, it was having a teacher wholeheartedly believe in her that had the most influence on her current career. “She told me that I would be successful no matter what, as long as I put as much effort into my career as I did in the classroom,” she said. We are excited to welcome Amanda and her unique experience in Chicago Public Schools to the #100for100. Amanda is currently a host/blogger for Billy Dec’s Blog, produced by Rockit Ranch Productions. Amanda also has her own blog. Check it out at http://achicagothing.com

 

 

 

Jul 11

Two schools. One future. MSU’s Chicago Spartans & Ravenswood Elementary form partnership

Two Schools, One Future.

The Michigan State Alumni Club of Metro Chicago, the Chicago Spartans, have ‘adopted’ Ravenswood Elementary as their APS partner school. President Vic Maurer, a member of the #100for100, shares some insight into the decision, “My own experience has shaped in me the belief that we are at our happiest when our curiosity is limited by nothing but our own imaginations. Kids are built to understand that, and it’s our job as mentors, teachers, parents and adults to make sure they don’t forget it until the day they are ready to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists and things that we can’t even yet imagine. There is a lot of bad news surrounding the state of education today, but we’d be foolish to lose sight of the fact that organizations like APS, led by men and women of vision and a thirst for a better tomorrow, can transform the lives of the students and communities we impact.”

Well said Vic, and congrats to all the MSU alumni in Chicago who will now be able to make a local impact. Which school or alumni club will be next?

kidsofravenswood

The kids of Ravenswood Elementary (photo: www.FriendsofRavenswood.com)

 

Vic Mauer

Vic Mauer

As President of Michigan State’s Alumni Club of Metro Chicago, Vic has taken the initiative in creating what we are sure will be a sucessful and sustainable partnership with Ravenswood Elementary School. His great understanding of the importance of APS and how a group of passionate alumni can truly create change education is just the beginning of why he will be a valuable asset to the advisory board. He attributes his drive for success to his junior year English teacher, Tim Akers, “Lick but once from the lollipop of mediocrity Mr. Maurer, and you will suck forever.”

Vic recalls, “It took me a minute, but I picked up what he was putting down and that was a game changer for me.” We cannot wait to see him bring these great life lessons to kids in MSU’s new partnership.

As the Diversity Consultant and Marketing Specialist for the Association of Legal Administrators, Vic has one of the most interesting business cards we have ever seen. We suggest you exchange cards, and see for yourself – it includes information in braille!

Want more? www.ChicagoSpartans.com

 

Raj Sai

Raj Sai

We are excited to welcome Raj, the Vice president for JP Morgan Chase, to the #100for100 advisory board. When asked to describe one of the most inspiring moments in his education, he pointed out a study-abroad trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland. It was “easily one of my favorite times in my life,” he said.

Raj is a Michigan State alumnus and it was there that four semesters of organic and inorganic chemistry altered the trajectory of his life and convinced him to switch from Pre-Med to Finance/Accounting. Now Raj is an accomplished financial services professional who has worked in numerous facets of the finance industry, from purchase accounting to business development. “My current position involves managing various projects including internal strategic legal entity mergers, portfolio migrations, and other internal projects.”

Simply by hearing Raj you might not guess that he is a musician. But if you’re out and about you might catch him in the act. “I play guitar, write songs and sing at bars in Chicago,” says Raj. “My speaking voice is considerably different than my singing voice.”

For more on Raj, check out: www.linkedin.com/in/rajsai01

 

Jun 26

Last Two Spots for the #100for100

We have built an amazing advisory board to relaunch Alumni for Public Schools (APS) and we have 2 spots on the board remaining! Join the team that will lead APS in doubling the number of school partnerships in 2013! Below, we are profiling another pair of our advisory board members. This virtual board provides strategic feedback and resources, connects APS with new partner schools and alumni clubs, and most importantly they serve as role models and mentors to make our programs truly have an impact. Join us?

June Happy Hour

The #100for100 at June’s Happy Hour. Photo credit: Francis Son

 

Denise Hibbard

Denise Hibbard

We are excited to have Denise, the Operations Manager for Solo Energy Solutions, join the #100for100 advisory board.

One of her most memorable moments from her education was her high school graduation. “ I decided one semester into my Junior year that I wanted to graduate as a Junior. The semester following that was one of the toughest between picking up outside classes and rushing to get in applications. Being able to complete that in time for graduation, one year earlier than my expected graduation year, was one of the most fulfilling and inspiring moments for me.”

Denise attributes her experience in higher education to her current career, “Having originally gone to the University of Illinois for Aviation, I never expected to find my passion in marketing and sales. It was my internship with Illini Media as the Brand Manager of Marketing, in charge of team of over 30 interns, that really solidified my career path.”

Denise is as determined as she is diverse in her interests, she has been flying airplanes since she was 13 and has attained both her pilot’s license and instrument rating.

Want more? www.DeniseHibbard.com

 

Fred Cadena

Fred Cadena

Fred comes to the APS advisory board as the current President of the Young Professionals of Chicago. Fred’s value in education has been represented by the strong partnership between YPC and APS.

Growing up in Texas, Fred found that the library was an invaluable resource for him, and helped him discover his lifelong interests. “I was in the 1st or 2nd grade and I had gotten a book out of the school library called ‘1,000+ Free Things for Kids’ and I found that if you send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Federal Reserve Bank they would send you comic books. I received two in the mail… one was on monetary policy and one was on the central banking system. It was AWESOME!”

This simple action peaked Fred’s interest in economics and banking and led him to his desired area of study at American University and his accomplished career as a Vice-President of OptionsXpress Inc by Charles Schwabb. In his free time he enjoys sword fighting and he is a swashbuckler on the weekends.

For more on Fred, check out: www.fredcadena.com

Jun 21

Introducing the #100for100…

We have built an amazing advisory board to relaunch Alumni for Public Schools (APS). Each week we will profile two of our 100 advisory board members. This virtual board provides strategic feedback and resources, connects APS with new partner schools and alumni clubs, and most importantly they serve as role models and mentors to make our programs truly have an impact. Together we will exceed our goal of doubling the number of schools we serve by Fall of 2013 (increasing our reach by 100%!).

 

Michael Segobiano

Michael Segobiano

Michael brings years of experience from high profile private and public service roles to the APS #100for100 advisory board that will help elevate the organization to new levels. Michael joined Deloitte in September of 2011 as a senior manager responsible for serving the firm’s most valued strategic clients.

Most recently, Michael was Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Marketing Officer for the City of Chicago in the Office of the Mayor.  He designed and led a global strategic marketing initiative that positioned Chicago as a top tier destination for trade, talent and tourism. In January 2006, Mayor Daley appointed Michael to be the City’s Chief Bid Liaison, with responsibilities for coordinating public and private sector collaboration to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago.

Michael previously served as Director of Marketing in the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and Cultural Affairs, where he helped develop, promote and implement numerous high-profile events.

Prior to joining the City of Chicago, Michael was an executive in the technology industry, managing sales and marketing organizations for such companies as Xerox, Group 1 Software and Productivity Point International. Michael is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

 

Phil Chang

Phil Chang

Phil’s firm Carbon is a ‘PR firm for Talent’ where he builds 1-on-1 partnerships with people he believes in. Phil credits his Indiana University education with forming his innovative approach to public relations. The most influential classes he took were Novels I and II. He found that some people believe culture is what people say, what they mean, and what they do. “Literature explores these gaps in a way that case studies and the Associated Press don’t. This is important in PR because, in my opinion, the best work has an element of cultural significance. Interpreting hidden meaning and communicating this to different audiences just seems to come more naturally to people who are already interested in how others do it.”

Phil accredits a memorable moment from high school for shaping his educational philosophy. “Choosing a college is difficult for many high school seniors, so when I was given the chance to go backstage with David Halberstam, a Pulitzer-Prize winner, I put it to him. He told me it didn’t matter too much. In college we learn only 10% of what we’ll figure out thru the course of our lives. So, the important thing is to never stop learning. Everyday, this becomes more and more true.” This is the insight, talent and passion for education that Phil brings to the board. If you would like to start a conversation with Phil at our next happy hour we suggest trying “你好?” He also used to teach fencing to kids. “From time to time, I have to wear an eye-patch. The two are unrelated…”

 

Jun 14

The Future of APS

We are excited to develop the future of Alumni for Public Schools (APS). To build off our past success, we have put together an outstanding summer team:

Christine Nicholson

Project Coordinator | Christine Nicholson

The current President of Student Alumni Ambassadors (SAA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Christine plans to leverage her experience working with this large student-run volunteer organization to lead several projects for APS over the summer.

Christine credits her excellent past experience in public schools with her continued success in higher education.

She is on a mission to help make every student love learning enough to pursue it to a higher degree, and hopefully recruit a few Illini along the way! She just finished her junior year at U of I, majors in Economics and English, and also has a minor in Leadership Studies.

After gradation next year, she plans on working in the business and nonprofit world before applying to law school. Christine is excited to get real-world non-profit management experience in a field she is passionate about, education!

 

Briana Byrd

Summer Intern | Briana Byrd

An elementary education and journalism major at the University of Iowa, Briana’s most recent experience includes working with Teach for America, and her in-classroom experience will be essential in guiding our first-time volunteers as well as building relationships with teachers.

Briana believes that all children deserve to have excellent educational experiences. Many children never see individuals with college degrees who look like them and she wants to be a role model to these students. Sharing her personal stories showing how important college was for her will motivate the students to attain the same level of success for themselves.

After completing her student teaching experience this fall at South Loop Elementary in the second grade, she will be graduating with both degrees in December. She wants to stay within CPS, helping to close the achievement gap and providing students with the best education possible.

 

Apr 18

Join Our Advisory Board

The new playground Boston College alumni helped build for Stewart Elementary

Education is getting lessons in education. Alumni for Public Schools (APS) is creating the #100for100, an advisory board of 100 successful young professionals in Chicago improving public schools. We’re inviting you to join.

The #100for100, will do something no one else has done for kids in Chicago public schools – give their education the benefit of our education by expanding the quality and reach of APS programs.

APS volunteers have been working directly with Chicago public schools to make vital improvements for 11 years. We pair individual schools with university alumni associations to create academic, mentoring and career programs. Schools like Stewart Elementary pictured above. Our alumni partners include Boston College, Harvard University, University of Illinois and MIT to name a few.

By joining the #100for100 advisory board with a $100 contribution, you will be part of a movement that will provide the funds to bring academic, mentoring and career programs into a dozen additional schools between now and next April. Also:

  • The #100for100 will have the choice and opportunity to read to kids on Fridays, help them with science fairs, be present for career days, explain what college was like, why they should be excited to go, and more.
  • Invitations to #100for100 monthly mixers. We’ll have private, sponsored events so the advisory board can network with one another, share ideas, and discuss the progress we’re making. We’ll also profile two board members every week on this blog so that we can learn more about one another.
  • We’ll turn ideas from possibilities to group projects. You can choose your level of involvement, and there are no traditional board meetings. We’ll use technology to manage projects, present ideas, get feedback from the #100for100, and solve problems. We’ll also discuss projects in-person, during mixers.

We can’t always give kids what they want. But when you become a member of the #100for100 with your $100 contribution, we will be able to give more students the education they need.

Have questions? Contact us at 100for100 @ APS-Chicago dot org

Connect with us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter#100for100

Share this on you facebook wall by “liking” us, and pass along to 1-2 friends that are passionate about education!

APS is also looking for a paid summer intern, the board’s first project : http://bit.ly/APSintern

What exactly are the time commitments for advisory board members?

  • How many meetings are there per month?
           There are zero ‘monthly’ meetings, just one optional happy hour a month where we will have informal discussions and maybe a guest speaker or two.  This board is designed to develop creative ideas and generate diverse feedback for the APS program, not to sit in unproductive meetings.
  • The board is only 100 people, so are just the first 100 chosen?
          Yes, we want people that can take action.  This board will be filled with busy and successful young professionals. The board will be respectful of each other’s time and input. We want people that will commit today to help make an impact.
  • How many events are we required to attend per month?
           This will depend on the partnership or school you choose to work with, or what committee you are on. Not everyone will choose to be hands-on in this way so the answer is really zero.  It is what you develop.  Most schools do about six events each school year, taking the summer and holiday months off. Most events are a couple of hours.
  • Are you sure there are no meetings?
           We’ll probably have an annual meeting once a school year where we can celebrate our achievements, this will be something fun and inspirational that you’ll want to attend.
  • This seems too easy, is there anything else?
           Yes, We will have optional committees that will be formed to work on things like branding, marketing, fundraising, technology and PR. You may choose to lead a team, or participate in a discussion. Our vision is to have these teams develop ideas in small groups and then their work presented for feedback.
  • So it seems like there is zero time commitment… but I can be as active as I’d like?

Exactly. We’ll keep you in the loop on everything we need feedback on, you choose how to participate.

Apr 17

What exactly are the time commitments for advisory board members?

FAQ

  • How many meetings are there per month?
There are zero ‘monthly’ meetings, just one optional happy hour a month where we will have informal discussions and maybe a guest speaker or two.  This board is designed to develop creative ideas and generate diverse feedback for the APS program.
  • The board is only 100 people, so are just the first 100 chosen?
Yes, we want people that can take action.  This board will be filled with busy and successful young professionals. The board will be respectful of each other’s time and input. We want people that will commit today to help make an impact.
  • How many events are we required to attend per month?
This will depend on the partnership or school you choose to work with, or what committee you are on. Not everyone will choose to be hands-on in this way so the answer is really zero.  It is what you develop.  Most schools do about six events each school year, taking the summer and holiday months off. Most events are a couple of hours.
  • Are you sure their are no meetings?
We’ll probably have an annual meeting once a school year where we can celebrate our achievments, but if we do go this route this will be something fun and inspirational that you’ll want to attend.
  • This seems too easy, is there anything else?
Yes, We will have optional committees that will be formed to work on things like branding, marketing, fundraising, technology and PR. You may choose to lead a team, or participate in a discussion. Our vision is to have these teams develop ideas in small groups and then their work presented for feedback.

 

Apr 11

The Project

Kids follow along during Reader's Friday

#100for100: Inspiring 100 young professionals to make a huge (100%) impact on Chicago’s public schools.

The hard part? Recruiting the board in10-days.

Launching yesterday on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, #100for100 is off to an amazing start. This blog specifically built for the project has been gaining traction, and those supporters that have already joined are very excited!

The advisory board will help APS grow and better serve our students. Join our board now: http://bit.ly/APSboard

Know a person passionate about education that would make the perfect intern? Share this: http://bit.ly/APSintern