The Final Week of the Summer Session

July 22, 2014 author: No comments

It is hard to believe that the 2014 summer session of the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy is already over! The Scholars have accomplished a lot these past four weeks and we are so proud of the growth we have seen in all of them.

IMG_0492The Scholars started off this week by taking a DiSC Personality Profile to help them communicate their working styles to others as well as to better understand themselves and how others may perceive them. We hope that by reflecting on their results and discussing them with their peers that they will have gained tools that will help them express themselves better in future interactions.

In the afternoon Juniors and Seniors split into separate sessions so that the Juniors Leadership Grant Project (LGP) groups could focus on refining their problem statements and creating their project pitch for their event in the evening. During this time the Seniors were able to attend a resume-writing workshop and spend time in a computer lab working on writing their resumes.

We had two special events Monday evening: Leadership Grant Project Mentor Match and 1:1 Essay Help, to which we welcomed 18 potential project mentors and assistant project mentors and 20 volunteer essay readers. If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering with us in the future, check out our Volunteer! page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for special announcements about upcoming opportunities!

LGP Mentor Match

LGP Mentor Match

1:1 Essay Help

1:1 Essay Help































Our Leadership Grant Project Mentor Match event introduced the Juniors’ LGP groups to potential mentors and assistant mentors whom they will be working with for the next 10 months. It also gave the Scholars an opportunity to practice their public speaking and communication skills outside of a classroom setting. In the next couple weeks LGP groups will be paired with their mentors and continue to develop their projects.

Volunteers were also on campus to help critique the Seniors’ college essays during the 1:1 Essay Help event. Our staff is always willing to help our Scholars write their essays, but it is also important that the Scholars receive feedback from another adult (who does not already know how fantastic they are!) to better simulate the impression their essay will be giving to college admissions counselors. We hope that this event provided the seniors with added insight and a better understanding of the overall effect that their essay will have on future readers.

IMG_0553For the past two weeks pairs of Seniors have also been working on presentations about a specific college. On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings our Seniors gave college research presentations to their peers and our program staff. These presentations were intended to both give our Seniors experience doing research and giving presentations as well as to introduce all of our Scholars to a variety of different colleges and universities.

Wednesday and Thursday afternoons the Scholars worked on their final deliverables and presentations for their StS partners/clients. Three of our StS project groups went to their sites Thursday afternoon: the Analyzing the Universe: Citizen Science group presented to their clients at Adler Planetarium, the Nature in the City: Brookfield Zoo group presented to their partners from the Chicago Zoological Society and the Forest Preserve, and the Designing a  Better World: Architecture for Humanity group presented their work to community members in Humboldt Park.

On Friday morning, our very last day with all of the Scholars on campus together for the summer session, Scholars participated in the “Most Clusterrific” competition. For the competition, each cluster of Scholars prepared a short performance that represents the spirit and personality of their cluster. These performances included skits, original songs, dance routines, tributes, and a whole lot of silly string!

In the afternoon, the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy invited all of our Scholars’ families and friends to campus for Visitor’s Day. All of our special guests, Scholars, and staff heard one last time about our summer theme: STEM Diplomacy from Dr. Stuart Patterson and Dr. Seebany Datta-Barua (our faculty mentors). They were also given an overview of all of the events and exciting field trips the Scholars participated in throughout the summer session by Program Director, Megan Mozina and received a sneak peek at the next steps for the upcoming months for both our Juniors participating in Leadership Grant Projects and our Seniors as they begin the college process and prepare for the Onsite Admissions Forum.

IMG_0545Each Serving through STEM project group was also given time to present the work they have completed over the past two weeks and share what they have learned with the visitors and their fellow Scholars. We were very inspired by all of the hard work they accomplished in such a short time.  We are excited to see the Juniors apply the skills they learned these past two weeks to their LGPs in the next ten months. We also hope that the Seniors will be able to use these experiences to not only enhance their college applications and interviews but also to help them wherever their futures may take them.

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Exploring the Possibilities – College, Serving through STEM, and Leadership Grant Projects

July 18, 2014 author: No comments
Scholars met with Admissions Representatives from 64 colleges and universities at the College Fair

Scholars met with Admissions Representatives at the College Fair

This week was a whirlwind of fun events at the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy. We had a college fair, field trips, the launch of Serving through STEM (StS) projects, college essay workshops, Leadership Grant Project (LGP) workshops, and then we capped it all off with college visits on Friday!

On Monday our Scholars were joined by the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars for a college fair on our campus – a list of the colleges who attended and took part in our college panel’s can be found in this post.

Our Scholars (along with some of their parents!) met with a variety of great college admissions representatives and were able to request more information from the colleges that they were most interested in. We encourage all of our Scholars to follow up with the admissions representatives they met at the fair – especially at the colleges they are considering applying to.

Overall, we thought it was a great event and we hope that it will propel our Scholars’ college search and application process!

On Tuesday Scholars were assigned to one of seven different Serving through STEM projects and were introduced to the project they would be working on for the majority of the next two weeks.

For each Serving through STEM project, the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy works with a local partner organization or client to design and carry out activities that require our Scholars to contribute to a project in the real world and to put together an assigned deliverable.

This summer’s projects include designing a public space, developing a tool to track visitor traffic and interest, planning and implementing an outdoor composting system, and developing mobile applications.

The UFarm StS Project explored the hoop house and helped to harvest produce

The UFarm StS Project explored the hoop house and helped to harvest produce

Scholars map out the plan for their StS project and work through it as a group.

Scholars mapped out the plan for their StS project and work through it as a group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each Serving through STEM group embarked on a field trip related to their project on Wednesday of this week:

  • Scholars who are working in the Applications: Developing for Social Good StS toured the Civic Lab – a creative co-workspace in the West Loop with the goal of creating and deploying tools that will advance civic literacy.
  • The Shedd Aquarium Teen Learning Lab hosted a field trip for the Analyzing the Universe: Citizen Science at Adler Planetarium StS project in order to help them with their overall goal of increasing teen involvement in Zooniverse Citizen Science projects.
  • The Designing a Better World: Architecture for Humanity StS project visited their project site and did some work in a local community garden in order to become familiar with the overall goal for the space they will design for the community of Humboldt Park.
  • Scholars who are working on the project for the Nature in the City: Brookfield Zoo StS took a field trip to the Brookfield Zoo and to the Little Red Schoolhouse to collect initial observations in order to inform their project to improve traffic flow and visitor participation.
  • Exploring the Impact of STEM Research: IIT Biomedical Engineering REU StS Project went on a field trip to the International Museum of Surgical Science and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and learned about the history of medical science and careers in the medical field.
  • Rebuilding Exchange – an organization and warehouse in Chicago with the goal of creating a market for reclaimed building materials and teaching people the necessary skills to deconstruct and reuse materials – hosted the Sustainability: Activism and Initiatives StS project group for a tour and explanation of their passion for recycling and reuse.
  • The Composting and Urban Agriculture: UFarm-IIT StS project spent their field trip day visiting three different community gardens! Their first stop was Iron Street Farm, followed by Roosevelt Square Farm, and Grant Park Garden. The Scholars focused on the use of compost at these three gardens since they will be developing a new composting system for the UFarm at IIT.

A huge thank you from the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy to all of the organizations who hosted our StS field trips!

Scholars visited Civic Lab on Wednesday for their StS Field Trip

Scholars visited Civic Lab on Wednesday for their StS Field Trip

Though StS Projects took up most of the Scholars’ afternoons they also took part in two other important activities: Leadership Grant Project (LGP) planning workshops for the Juniors and College Essay workshops for the Seniors. They will put their work to the test next week as the LGPs participate in a Mentor Match event and the Seniors bring their essays to a 1:1 Essay Help event.

We wrapped up the week with college visits to Purdue University or Knox College and Monmouth College! Scholars arrived early Friday morning at 6 am to board buses for the college visits. Despite the early wake up, Scholars were energized and excited to be visiting colleges and exploring the different options available to them in obtaining a higher education.

 

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Ethics, Issues, and Challenges

July 14, 2014 author: Comments off

This week our Scholars were immersed in discussions about ethics, violence, bullying, food safety, and environmental stewardship – many of these topics were chosen based on the inspiring essays that Scholars wrote for their program applications.

Teams confer to create their argument against opening a Finnish Charter School of Chicago

Teams confer to create their argument against opening a Finnish Charter School of Chicago

Scholars wrote out pros and cons in preparation for the Ethics Bowl competition.

Scholars wrote out pros and cons in preparation for the Ethics Bowl competition.

During our Ethics Bowl competition Scholars were broken up into teams of 8 to engage in ethical debates. Kelly Laas, a Librarian for the IIT Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, created two cases specifically for the IIT Boeing Scholars.

The first case focused on climate change refugees and asked Scholars to determine whether countries, especially those who contribute the most to pollution, should be required to take in environmental migrants from regions facing immediate threats to their livelihood due to rising sea levels or other effects of climate change.

The second focused on a local issue – the creation of charter schools in Chicago to achieve better educational outcomes in the areas of reading, mathematics, and science. Specifically, the Scholars were asked to envision themselves as members of the Chicago Board of Education and present compelling arguments for or against the creation of a new charter for a Finnish School of Chicago based on the Finnish education model which has demonstrated results of higher learning outcomes.

At the end of the day judges averaged their scores and gave awards to the teams who presented the most compelling ethical arguments during the Ethics Bowl.

Scholars analyzing City of Chicago crime data during a Project Challenge

Scholars analyzing City of Chicago crime data during a Project Challenge

Issues Forums served as introductions to each of the Project Challenges this week. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning professionals came to speak about Issues that they are passionate about.

On Tuesday Scholars heard a presentation from Luis Larco, an IIT Student who does research for the Chicago Police Department, developing new methods to predict crimes and analyze gang activities through social network analysis and machine learning. Scholars were then able to apply what they learned by making a hypothesis about a specific crime trend and analyzing data to determine whether their hypothesis was correct.

Students represent the policy interests of various international countries and organizations during the Mercury Game

Students represent the policy interests of various international countries and organizations during the Mercury Game

Wednesday morning the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy welcomed a special guest speaker from the State Department – Dr. Gautham Venogupalan a foreign affairs officer who works on science and technology policy issues for the United States government. Dr. Venogupalan spoke at our morning Issues Forum alongside IIT Professor of Environmental Engineering Dr. Paul Anderson. Both men did a fantastic job introducing the Scholars to the topics of scientific policy and environmental issues in preparation for their afternoon Project Challenge: The Mercury Game.

Our final day of Issues Forums/Project Challenges centered around the topic of food. In the morning Scholars heard from three different speakers: Wendy Irwin, CEO of The Yellow Tractor Project; Todd Diel, Project Coordinator of Education and Safety for the IIT Institute for Food Safety and Health; and Alexandra Curatolo, Owner of Belli’s Local Foods Market & Juice Bar.

They then were able to spend their afternoon mapping the pathway food travels and doing a food lab experiment!

Dr. Lydia Patton joined Scholars for lunch after her inspiring speech Friday morning

Dr. Lydia Patton joined Scholars for lunch after her inspiring speech Friday morning

Dr. Lydia Patton gave a thrilling speech to the Scholars Friday morning – encouraging all of them to realize their own potential and believe in themselves – something they would all be able to practice during Scholar Skill Share in the afternoon.

Scholar Skill Share is a favorite activity here at the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy. Not only is it a great way for Scholars to practice their leadership and presentation skills, but it is also really, really fun. This summer’s skill shares included guitar lessons, volleyball, origami, yoga, and more!

A huge shout out to all of the wonderful family members of our Scholars who came out despite the rain for Family Service Day! It was a pleasure meeting all of you and we sincerely hope you had a good time at your service site.

service day 2

service day

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College Fair on Monday, July 14, 2014!

July 6, 2014 author: No comments

Dear Scholars, Family, and Friends:

We hope you are looking forward to connecting with amazing colleges from around the country at our annual College Day event, to be held on Monday, July 14, 4:30-8:30pm, in IIT’s Hermann Hall (3241 S. Federal)! This event will include:

  • 4:30-5:30pm — Dinner for parents/guardians and for Scholars (separate locations)
  • 5:30-6:30pm — Q&A Panel Discussion with College Admissions Representatives
    Panel for Scholars in Hermann Hall Auditorium
    Panel for Parents in the Hermann Hall Alumni Lounge (space is limited; first-come, first-serve)
  • 6:30-8:30pm — College Fair featuring 60+ Institutions

For the third year, we are hosting our college panels and fair in collaboration with the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program, which also serves high-achieving Chicago high school students. We feel honored not only for the opportunity to collaborate with these valued partners but especially to do so in service of such inspiring students!

College Fair 2013

College Fair 2013

The following 64 institutions will be attending our college fair this year. Those appearing in bold are also serving on our Q&A Panel for Students about college admissions; and those appearing in italics are also serving on our Q&A Panel for Parents about college admissions. Both panels immediately precede the fair and occur simultaneously from 5:30-6:30pm.

  • Amherst College
  • Boston University
  • Bowdoin College
  • Bucknell University
  • Butler University
  • Carleton College
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Coe College
  • Colgate University
  • College Greenlight
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Davidson College
  • Dominican University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Eureka College
  • George Washington University
  • Grinnell College
  • Harvard College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Knox College
  • Lehigh University
  • Luther College
  • Marquette University
  • Miami University (Ohio)
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • National Louis University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northwestern University
  • Pitzer College
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
  • Rice University
  • Roosevelt University
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Seton Hall University
  • Shimer College
  • St. Olaf College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Evansville
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Illinois Springfield
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Valparaiso University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • VanderCook College of Music
  • Villanova University
  • Wake Forest University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Wellesley College
  • Wheaton College
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
  • Xavier University
  • Yale University

Additionally, through their participation in our program, seniors in the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy have the opportunity to participate in the Chicago Scholars Onsite Admissions Forum. The Onsite is a live college admissions event that is designed to ensure that students are matched with a set of “good-fit” college options as they jump-start the admissions process — putting Scholars ahead of traditional admission cycles, relieving anxiety (particularly for first-generation college students), and freeing them up to concentrate on academics during their senior year. By early September, participating students submit completed applications to five attending colleges, and colleges come to the Onsite event in late October prepared to meet with students to discuss their applications and often to admit them onsite. More than 500 students (including 22 IIT Boeing Scholars) interviewed for admission to more than 80 colleges as part of the 2013 Onsite ForumIn preparation for this year’s Onsite, seniors may wish to review this list of participating colleges, several of which will also be attending our fair on July 14.

Finally, some day in the not-too-distant-future you dear young Scholars will all grow up and move on to attend the college of your choice. We just hope that, when you do, you still come back for alumni events, like this bowling party we held just a few weeks ago!

2014 Senior Send-Off at Lucky Strike!

2014 Senior Send-Off at Lucky Strike!

 

We look forward to helping each of you through the college admissions process and to achieve admission to the college of your dreams!

 

Kathy Rhee_Bioweb

Katherine Rhee
Program Coordinator

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The Summer has begun!

July 3, 2014 author: No comments

On Monday we welcomed to the IIT campus our biggest group of Scholars ever! The first week of our Summer Session has flown by and we are excited to see what we all will learn and accomplish together in the next 3 weeks.

Scholars competing in Cluster Olympics

Scholars competing in Cluster Olympics

Monday morning Scholars were welcomed to the Summer Session by Program Director, Megan Mozina, and Program Coordinator, Kathy Rhee, before breaking off to meet their Program Instructor and the other members of their Cluster.

In the afternoon our returning Faculty Advisor, Dr. Stuart Patterson gave Scholars and Summer Staff an introduction to the 2014 theme: STEM Diplomacy.

After learning all about STEM Diplomacy, the Scholars came back together for a favorite event, Cluster Olympics, where they competed in various team challenges.

 
On Tuesday Scholars participated in a Design Thinking Workshop led by Dr. David Gatchell that taught them observation techniques which they then applied in various transportation hubs throughout the city of Chicago including Oglivie Transportation Center, the Clark/Lake CTA station, and the Divvy Bike station at Millennium Park. They presented their observations at the end of the day and proposed ways that the transportation hubs could be better designed.

IMG_0032

IMG_0002 (1)

 

Scholars were immersed in a day long introduction to college on Wednesday by attending presentations such as “Major? Minor? Graduate School?” with IIT Professor Carlo Segre, “College 101″ with College Advising Program Intern Anne Pugh, and a variety of “Explore Your Major” sessions hosted by IIT Professors and Graduate Students from a variety of different disciplines. IIT Boeing Scholar Alumni Cyrenthia Clark, Tyre Dukes, and Samantha Tobias also stopped by to share words of wisdom and advice for the new cohort of scholars.

Scholars get a quick introduction to Chemistry while conducting a laboratory experiment

Scholars get a quick introduction to Chemistry while conducting a laboratory experiment

On the last day of week 1, before we all went off to enjoy our long holiday weekends our Scholars and Summer Staff went off to Iron Oaks Environmental Learning Center for a day of adventure and team-building.

We have gotten off to a great start this week and we are all excited to experience the next 3 weeks of the 2014 Summer Session.

 

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

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Get Involved (Summer 2014)!

June 17, 2014 author: No comments

Calling all Chicagoland professionals! As we kick off the fourth year of the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy, we are also seeking enthusiastic volunteers from all different industries and fields in Chicago. Here are a few ways to make a difference in the lives of some very bright, high-achieving and diverse youth!

BECOME A PROJECT MENTOR!
As part of our program, teams of Scholars propose Leadership Grant Projects (LGPs) to promote positive change in their communities and awareness of STEM fields and issues. Last year, from water collection to healthy eating, and from bicycle safety to LGBTQ awareness, no issue was left unaddressed by the LGP teams who worked with seventeen project mentors and various IIT faculty.

Scholars brainstorming potential Leadership Grant Projects (LGPs).

Scholars brainstorming potential Leadership Grant Projects (LGPs).

What are Project Mentors? To support our Scholars in this work, we recruit a talented and dedicated cadre of Project Mentors—adult professionals who volunteer to help a group develop and implement their LGP over the course of 10 months (July 2014-April 2015). At minimum, Project Mentors should have a bachelor’s degree and two years of professional work experience, ideally including project management and public speaking. Experience in mentoring or otherwise supervising high school students is a plus.

What are roles and expectations for a Project Mentor? Each Project Mentor is expected to volunteer an average of 10 hours per month, typically meeting with their group in person once each month (at a program-sponsored workshop or independently at a library or café) and remaining an occasional resource between meetings (via email, phone, and/or social media). Project Mentors help their group identify objectives, create a budget and a project plan, mediate conflicts, and find outside resources. Throughout these interactions, Project Mentors draw upon their own experiences to play an invaluable part in fostering and inspiring Scholars’ continued intellectual, academic, and personal progress and growth.
**Prospective mentors are strongly encouraged to attend our Mentor Match event on Monday, July 21, from 5-7pm.**

How do I apply? For more information check out our Project Mentor page, and complete this application.

If you know someone who would be interested, please forward this on! We are looking to select Project Mentors by mid-July, and we’re counting on your help to do it.

 

 

Other Ways to Get Involved:

SUMMER FIELD TRIP VOLUNTEERS - (July 3 and/or July 16)
Eligibility: College students (18+) and older. We are looking for individuals who would like to chaperone our high school Scholars on half-day (4 hours) or day-long (8 hours) field trips to local companies, community-based organizations, incubators, universities, and more as they enrich their minds and educate themselves about possible careers, industries, and life paths. Chaperones will be responsible for aiding Program Instructors (summer program staff) or IIT staff in getting students to and around field trip locations in a timely manner. Lunch and transportation costs will be covered by the program.

 

CAREER EXPLORATION PANEL - (Monday, July 14, 3:30-5pm)
Eligibility: Adult professionals, faculty, or graduate students. We welcome Chicagoland professionals from diverse fields — from social work to computer science, education to marketing, engineering to law — to share their experiences with our students on our Career Exploration Panel discussion.

 

JULY COLLEGE ESSAY VOLUNTEERS (Monday, July 21, 5-7pm)
Eligibility: College students and older. We welcome volunteers who are comfortable reading and providing constructive criticism on short essays written by high school students who are preparing to apply to college. Volunteers will work one-on-one with a student for the duration of the session, reading drafts of college admissions essays and discussing them. A short training will be given to volunteers.

 

COLLEGE PREPARATION VOLUNTEERS (August-September)
Eligibility: College students and older. We welcome volunteers to help our rising seniors each prepare five college applications. Volunteers will read and help students revise college application essays, give feedback about their descriptions of extracurricular activities, help students research different schools, and give general college preparation advice. We will hold multiple 2-3 hour workshops, at times to be announced, throughout August and early September. A short training will be given to volunteers.

 

If you are interested in any of these summer volunteer opportunities, please complete our volunteer application form to express interest.

As always, if you have any questions, please get in touch! We are more than happy to hear about your ideas for involvement or to discuss how you can best help our program. I can be reached at krhee1@iit.edu or 312.567.3965.

Don’t forget to check our blog throughout the summer – we will have lots to share in the upcoming weeks!

Thank you for your help and collaboration in making this a wonderful year for all our Scholars!

 

Kathy Rhee_Bioweb

Katherine Rhee
Program Coordinator

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Congratulations to our Carnegie Council Essay Contest winner Amulya Kandikonda

June 16, 2014 author: No comments

This year one of our rising seniors, Amulya Kandikonda, was awarded 2nd place in the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 2013 International Essay Contest.

In addition to receiving an award of a $150 Amazon gift card, her essay, entitled “Moral Leaders: The Beacons of Hope” was also published on the Carnegie Council website - click here to read Amulya’s winning essay.

 

AmulyaKandikonda

Words from Amulya Kandikonda

As Boeing Scholars, we can all agree that the application of math and science should continue further than Chemistry or Calculus class. Of course, the skill of writing should also be pursued beyond the hand-cramping AP essays and seemingly endless research papers.

It’s hard to believe that an afternoon of casual browsing eventually led me to having my work published online by the Carnegie Council (and not to mention winning a $150 Amazon gift card). As high school students, we are often portrayed as tweeting, texting, and Netflix-watching machines who probably couldn’t answer an Algebra question, much less define “Moral Leadership.” Yet through such competitions, the Carnegie Council challenges this (mostly) false depiction by allowing young people to share their views on ethics, human rights, and a variety of international concerns.

For those who are avid writers like me, such contests provide a road to exposure, recognition, and simple enjoyment. Even for those who might crawl into fetal position at the sight of “write a 1,000 word essay”, these contests provide incentives to hone the craft. As the great Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

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College-Bound 2014!!

June 11, 2014 author: No comments

As we eagerly welcome our new students (rising juniors) and returning students (rising seniors) to the summer program in just a few weeks, we also want to take time to celebrate the accomplishments of those who came before. Not only have our graduating seniors helped shaped the program, they have also served as impressive role models and mentors for our younger Scholars.

Thus, it is with great pride and excitement that we announce that 100% of this year’s seniors will graduate from high school and pursue higher education! Of this year’s 28* graduating seniors, 93% will be attending a 4-year university and 7% will be attending a 2-year college with intention to transfer to a 4-year school.

Summer College Fair 2013

Summer College Fair 2013

Please join me in congratulating the graduating class of 2014, who will be enrolling at the following postsecondary institutions:

  • Boston College
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Cornell University
  • Grinnell College
  • Harvard University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Knox College
  • Lehigh University
  • Loyola University – Chicago
  • Macalester College
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northwestern University
  • Purdue University
  • Roosevelt University
  • Spelman College
  • St. Xavier University
  • Taylor University
  • Trinity Christian College
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois – Urbana (2)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (2)
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison (2)
  • Wilbur Wright College

*In addition to the 21 seniors who enrolled in the 2013 summer session, 7 seniors who had participated in the 2012 program also went through the 2013-14 college programming with us.

Congratulations to each and every one of you! The IIT Boeing Scholars staff and community are all very proud, but each Scholar should also be incredibly proud of his/herself!!! We hope you all stay in touch (with us and with each other) and that you still visit us (whether you’re staying in Chicago for school or when you’re home for breaks). We’re already looking forward to our annual alumni brunch event in December! We know that admission to college is no small feat — that it represents the culmination of years of hard work as well as support from countless family members, friends, and educators along the way — and we are grateful that we have had the opportunity to support you on this last leg of your journey to college.

We owe a BIG THANK YOU to Jerry Doyle, Megan Mozina, Ross Ludwig, Jose Gibaja, Marya Spont-Lemus, Connie Ma, and all of our amazing volunteers and guest speakers for all of their support! We also owe an enormous thank you to our partner organizations, Chicago Scholars and University of Chicago’s Collegiate Scholars Program and countless others, for their tireless support and eagerness to share best practices. We thank everyone who made this possible for their support Chicago youth!

To remember this part of your journey, here are some highlights from this year’s college programming:

Scholars go on a tour of UW Madison during the Summer 2013 program.

Scholars go on a tour of UW Madison during the Summer 2013 program.

College Fair 2013

College Fair 2013

Liberal Arts College Night

Liberal Arts College Night

Seniors complete 83 college applications before the first week of September!

Seniors complete 83 college applications with IIT Boeing Scholars Academy staff before the first week of September!

Professionals mock-interview Scholars to help them practice for...

Professionals mock-interview Scholars to help them practice for…

REAL college interviews at the Onsite Admission Forum.

REAL college interviews at the Onsite Admission Forum.

Scholar, Susan Liu, interviewing at the Onsite.

Scholar, Susan Liu, interviewing at the Onsite.

Scholars, Josh Woodard and Cyrenthia Clark, doing homework between interviews at the Onsite.

Scholars, Josh Woodard and Cyrenthia Clark, doing homework between interviews at the Onsite.

Group Hugs!

Group Hugs!

 

Seniors, we look forward to seeing you at the College Send-Off party (we’ll be sending out details soon!) and would also love to have you come back this summer to share your college admissions experiences with the next generation of Scholars. Juniors, we look forward to working with all of you during the coming months as you apply to college.

Congratulations again — to everyone — on another wonderful year, and we are truly thankful for every moment we have spent together! Regardless of where your paths may lead you, I hope you know how much each and every one of you means to us. We will miss you all dearly, but are incredibly excited for your bright futures!

Katherine Rhee - Program Coordinator

Katherine Rhee
Program Coordinator

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Congratulations to our TWO McKinsey Scholarship Recipients!

June 3, 2014 author: No comments

This year, two senior IIT Boeing Scholars, Joshua Woodard (Whitney Young Magnet) and Brian Zdeb (Northside College Prep) received incredible news that they have been awarded the prestigious McKinsey Diverse Young Leaders Scholarship!

In addition to a $1000 Scholarship, each Scholar is matched with a mentor from the McKinsey Chicago office AND offered a guaranteed interview for a McKinsey summer internship after sophomore or junior year of college, or a guaranteed interview for a full-time position after senior year. This scholarship program is an opportunity of a lifetime to connect with a powerhouse company.

McKinsey 2

Brian Zdeb (Northside College Prep) and Joshua Woodard (Whitney Young Magnet) — 2014 recipients of the McKinsey Diverse Young Leaders Scholarship

 

Words from Brian Zdeb:

I was first introduced to The McKinsey Scholarship through The Boeing Scholars leaders, specifically Ms. Katherine Rhee, who emailed me the opportunity and kept in contact with me through the entire process. A big thank you goes out to her! The scholarship is essentially a three step process: first an essay and recommendation is submitted, then some students from that group are chosen for first round interviews, then even fewer are chosen for second round interviews. The interviews last an hour long, and are split between two employees, 30 minutes with each. My contact with the McKinsey staff over the past few months has shown me they emphasize the importance of having leadership experience in one way or another over a student’s high school career. The essay asked to elaborate on one of those experiences, so naturally I wrote about my Boeing Scholars Leadership Grant Project, of which I had played a leadership role on my team along with a few other peers, one also being a McKinsey Scholarship recipient with me, Josh Woodard. All Scholars are lucky to have that opportunity, as it is always something to be proud of and something to talk about even if the project had numerous hiccups along the way as mine had.

After getting through the first step, I was asked to pick a date and time for an interview at The McKinsey Company downtown. I felt my first round interviews went very well, Ms. Heather Peters and Ms. Lisana O’Day were just awesome people in general, and it is always nice to see someone genuinely interested in what you have accomplished. During the interview, I went in depth about my leadership experiences in Boy Scouts, Robotics, The IIT Boeing Scholars, and everyday activities, as well as shared some of my aspirations and desires of the type of place I want to work. Coincidentally, McKinsey seems like one of those places. I learned a lot about the company through them, like how their staff is comprised of people from numerous different majors, how their teams essentially improve a client company’s processes to save them money, and how employees are always traveling to work on different client company projects.

The second round interviews were conducted in a similar fashion except with two new employees. I learned from them the fantastic morals McKinsey has when dealing with clients; they are not searching just for contracts for profit, but instead look for what would be the best choice for the client. They will even refrain from entering a contract if they think the final outcome not be beneficial to the client. Like I said before, they are all around great people. After about a week I received the phone call telling me I would be the recipient of a $1000 scholarship from McKinsey! I was ecstatic, but I was even more excited about even being associated with them. The brief pizza party/reception I attended showed me that I know have contacts within the company, which is fantastic if I want to try to apply for internships through college. McKinsey is a company where a graduate is lucky to even be offered an interview spot, and now this scholarship is essentially a foot in the door to McKinsey, and I would hope with a lot more effort on my part I could one day join the diverse teams that McKinsey has.

 

Words from Joshua Woodard:

I’m very thankful for being a recipient of the McKinsey Young Leaders Scholarship. It is it a step in the right direction as far as paying college tuition goes, but in addition, it presents me with the unique opportunity to come back for an internship interview. After receiving a little taste of the relaxed work environment, friendly rapport, and ambitious focus of the company, I very well may take a hiatus from my engineering track one summer and experience their world!

 

Brian Zdeb and Joshua Woodard will be enrolling at California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology respectively this fall.

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Where in the world is Connie Ma??

May 15, 2014 author: No comments

Former Program Coordinator, Connie Ma, shares her adventures in her travels around the world:

Dear IIT Boeing Family,

Greetings from the sunny city of Lyon, France! Congratulations to everyone on completing a wonderful program year, and I wish I could have been with you to celebrate all your accomplishments at the End of Year Banquet, but I immensely enjoyed watching the videos of your LGP presentations and seeing how you’ve grown. I am a long way from Chicago, but I think of you all often. This year has also been a time of change and transition for me, as my partner and I left Chicago and began a year of travel around the world. I’m writing to tell you a little about what we have been up to for the past seven months.

 

We pay a visit to a giant yellow rubber duck in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in October 2013.

We pay a visit to a giant yellow rubber duck in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in October 2013.

 

Why did we go abroad? For us, travel is one of the richest, most interesting experiences we can treat ourselves to. We wanted to learn different languages, tour famous sites around the world, see how people live in different countries, and of course, enjoy the cuisine, and we didn’t want to save all these experiences for when we retire! We were lucky to have savings, as well as families who were supportive and self-sufficient. So we researched and planned for a year before we packed up our lives in Chicago. In September, we left for Japan, our first country, and have since then been through more than 22 cities in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Croatia, and France. It has been a real roller coaster of a ride with a lot of ups and downs, but I am immensely grateful that we’ve been able to make this happen.

 

My partner Steve and I in Jiufen, Taiwan, in January 2014.

My partner Steve and I in Jiufen, Taiwan, in January 2014.

 

Even though it sounds like a lot, the more we have traveled, the more I feel like I’ve only seen a small slice of the human experience. Now I’m not saying I haven’t learned anything: I can tell you how to get train ticket reservations in India (which is really hard, guys), the best way to bargain with rickshaw drivers in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and where to get the cheapest sandwiches in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I have a billion stories to share: about how we met two monks from Thailand and Malaysia, that time I ended up in a Taiwanese hospital, when we napped in a manga café in Kyoto, listened to the dawn call to prayer in Bangkok, and watched the sunset over the water from a houseboat in India.  But the really humbling part is realizing that even in these wonderful experiences, I have only brushed the barest part of someone else’s existence and glimpsed entire populations in the world who are living their day-to-day lives in a different country, with different food, clothing, amusements, faiths, jobs, and societies that I know almost nothing about. And yet, we are still connected by our common courtesies and struggles. At the Golden Temple in Amritsar, I learned about the amazing inclusivity of the Sikhs, who run one of the largest soup kitchens in the world. On the flip side, I also found that young adults my age all around the world from Taiwan to Croatia are dealing with the crisis of unemployment at rates of up to 50%. All the things that make us different and yet similar impress and fascinate me, and keeps me eager to learn more.

 

We talk to monks about their lives at a monastery in Chiang Mai, Thailand in February 2014. The one we spoke to was actually a year younger than me and had a cellphone!

We talk to monks about their lives at a monastery in Chiang Mai, Thailand in February 2014. The one we spoke to was actually a year younger than me and had a cellphone!

 

At the same time that I have been trying to be a cultural sponge, I feel I have also learned a lot about myself. Travel can truly challenge you and push your boundaries. So far on this trip, I have learned how many times I could wear a shirt before I needed to wash it (approximately five). I learned how many stairs I could climb with a large 10 kilo backpack. I learned how to convert US currency to the Euro, Thai bahts, Japanese yen, Croatian kunas, Malaysian ringgits, Indian rupees, and more. I learned that I could patiently wait in a two-hour airport security line with one guard manning the gate at 5 am. I learned how to ask complete strangers for help in translating menus in Bangkok. I learned about how much I take for granted in my life. I also learned that travel is a full-time job. Unsurprisingly, it takes a great deal of time and research, budget management, and planning so you can properly enjoy and store away these memories.

 

We visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India in March 2014.

We visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India in March 2014.

 

One of the most important things was that I learned how not to fear failure. I was a high achiever in high school, like many of you, and proud of being good at things. I shied away from things like art and music and math, because I had learned I was bad at those things, and I didn’t like the taste of failure. I have carried that attitude with me for many years now, but the drawback has been that I have learned much less than I could have. On this trip, I’ve slowly started to shed this attitude, and really take to heart the fact that if you want to learn something, you have to give yourself a chance. I started by buying a guitar in Taiwan and learning a few chords. In India and Croatia, I began doing watercolors of the landscapes around me. At first, my attempts did look like a five year-old’s kindergarten masterpiece, but now, I can do halfway decent Roman ruins, and best of all, I am enjoying myself at something without being great at it.

 

We climbed the city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia, where Game of Thrones is filmed, in April 2014.

We climbed the city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia, where Game of Thrones is filmed, in April 2014.

 

As each of you moves onto senior year, college life, and possibly beyond Chicago, remember to challenge yourself in small ways and large. “The master has failed more times than the amateur has tried” is a saying that I remind myself of often, and living without fear of failure is starting to make a real difference my life. In three months, we will return to the US, and though we will have seen fewer countries and learned fewer languages than I wanted to, I am still happy and comfortable with the sum of my experiences, because I know now more than I did before. This fall, I am also heading back to school, this time for my Master’s degree in Public Policy at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. I thank each one of you and all my colleagues at IIT for having been a part of a wonderful two years in Chicago and for having taught me so much. I would love to stay in touch and welcome any of you in the South! If you are curious about our travels, you can follow our blog and sign up for a postcard at www.circumnavacation.com (get the pun?) and view pictures of our trip on Flickr.

 

Best wishes for the future,
Connie's Headshot - CopyConnie Ma
Former Program Coordinator

 

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