Grant for Internships, Certifications Will Create Diverse Pipeline for Tech Industry

Epic Academy will receive a grant from Invest for Kids to expand its internship program to create a diverse pipeline for underrepresented minority youth in STEM careers. Through this initiative, more than 75 African-American and Latinx high school students will receive STEM-related certifications and be placed in paid internships in corporations throughout the city.

Executive Director Myetie Hamilton underscored the importance of the award, noting, “this transformative gift will provide our students with equal access to opportunities in corporate America that will offer them a competitive advantage as they pursue careers in STEM fields.”

The South Chicago community where Epic is located has one of the highest childhood poverty rates in the United States and is ranked 16th among Chicago’s 77 communities for violence and crimes. Hamilton anticipates the program will positively impact students' lives and contribute to the disruption of intergenerational poverty that plagues our youth and their families. Heller (2014) found that a summer jobs program for Chicago youth decreased violence among participants by 43%.

Invest For Kids was co-founded by investment experts Ron Levin and Ben Kovler in 2009 to “provide support for underprivileged children in Chicago.” Epic will partner with corporate and nonprofit organizations to implement this program.

Epic will be acknowledged for this award on October 24, 2018 during the Invest For Kids' 10th annual conference, along with 5 other 2018 beneficiaries.

About Epic Academy College Prep High School: Founded in 2009, Epic Academy College Prep High School is a Level 1 public, open-enrollment charter school located in South Chicago. Epic Academy is ranked 15th among 130 public high schools in Chicago.