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The Team: Firdaus Boufath, Katie Cerda, Kelim Clark, Matt Cikowski, William Taylor

Our mission is to positively impact 8-11th grade students through inspirational and informational workshops and storytelling in order to help them consider pursuing a higher education.

When we started our project, we had so many ideas, but no clue how to implement them. As we continued to work on and develop our project we found that not all of our ideas were feasible and started to narrow them down to just three: workshops, videos, and curriculum changes. With the assistance of our mentors, Birju Shah, Tomi Sobayo, and GLP Program Coordinator Charlie Lindquist we were successfully able to hold a workshop and create a powerful video with the purpose of inspiring high school students to go to college. We interviewed our parents on their experiences and the challenges they faced in pursuing a higher education. Here is the video:

We hit the ground running with many great ideas about what our project would look like, the target audience we would focus on, and different media and presentation tools we could create. As the school year continued, a lot of planning took place, but the same passion and energy wasn’t as present. Part of the problem was conflicting schedules and the lack of action that took place outside of workshops. However, once we settled on the idea to create videos outlining the incredible stories of our parents, we were able to regain the same energy and pull off an incredible workshop at Illinois Tech’s parent University, where we spoke with 40 CPS high school students about higher education, played interactive games focused on financial aid, and showed our video. This experience was truly enlightening in that it showed us just how much planning goes into creating positive change in the community.

Community Innovation Profile: Ed-Assist on “Helping One Child at a Time”