Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are launching “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund,” an innovative program that will provide a new path for economically disadvantaged youth who want to go to college and pursue construction and engineering-related careers.

The new scholarship program will provide $250,000 to aid CPS students who plan to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) four-year degrees at a university or college.

“This scholarship program will provide high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds with invaluable financial assistance and prepare them for 21st-century careers that will shape our city's future,” said Mayor Lightfoot.

The program will provide college scholarships and mentoring supports, along with access to career development opportunities, to guide students in launching careers in the construction and engineering industries. It will be 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 onto careers.

Donated by Walsh-Fluor — the contractor for CTA’s $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project — to help offset tuition costs for CPS graduates, the $250,000 as part of the CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund will provide 10 scholarships financial aid 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.

Eligible students must be enrolled in a CPS or CPS-supported high school and currently part of the Chicago Scholars program. Chicago Scholars is a college-access, success, and leadership and career development program that 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 GPA of at least 3.0, and a good attendance record.

Awardees will also have other career development opportunities with the CTA’s RPM project and Walsh-Fluor that will enhance their education and understanding of the transit construction industry, such as educational site visits. The “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund” goes beyond providing education financing and provides a strong level of support for student scholars, including check-ins and mentoring for students in high school and throughout college.

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