From High School to Beyond: Genesys Works Chicago Inducts New Alumni Class

CHICAGO – June 8, 2017

On June 8, 120 Chicago students from the Class of 2017 celebrated the completion of their Genesys Works year-long internships with an energetic Alumni Induction ceremony at Kasbeer Hall at Chicago’s Water Tower Campus. As one chapter ends for these young professionals, another begins as they join 386 current alumni already participating in the GW alumni program.

The Genesys Works core program begins the summer before a student’s senior year of high school and encompasses skills training, a year-long paid internship and college-prep support. GW participants receive ongoing guidance and support with college and career success for six years following high school graduation. This includes college coaching, personal and professional development, and career & job placement assistance. Genesys Works currently has two full-time staff members dedicated to supporting Genesys Works Chicago alumni, who also help alumni find full-time, part-time and summer employment opportunities.

“Our Alumni Induction celebrates a pivotal moment in our students’ lives,” said Melinda McIntire, Director of Alumni Services, describing the transition out of high school. “I want our young professionals to know that they’re beginning this new chapter with the full support of the Genesys Works team.”

The event also honors community champions who play a vital role in the success of GW alumni. All Chicago, a community nonprofit that administers the Student Emergency Fund, was recognized as the “2017 Partner Program of the Year.” Dave Thomas, Vice President of Community Partnerships was present to accept the award on behalf of the organization. All Chicago has a huge impact on student success. Since 2015, they have granted over $20,000 in emergency funds to Genesys Works college students, who often use the fund to cover unexpected costs like textbooks and housing.

The “2017 Champion of the Year” award was presented to Ellen Goldberg, Director of the Transfer Center at Harold Washington CollegeGoldberg has helped GW alumni navigate the transfer process and apply for scholarships. She has also provided training to Genesys Works staff from the Houston, Twin Cities and Bay Area sites on the transfer process.

Several students were also recognized at the Alumni Induction. Antuan Lewis received the “Work Horse Award” for working the most hours. Majedi Judeh received the “Reliability Award” for always being on time and never missing a day of the program. The “Money Tree Award” went to Lauryn Freeman for receiving the most scholarship dollars from a single post-secondary institution. Emmanual Williamson received the “Scholar Award” for applying to the most scholarships. Selia Martell was awarded the “Breakthrough Award” for overcoming all obstacles to complete the GW program. The “Final ACHIEVER Award,” went to Lupe Lowres for best exemplifying the traits that make a great young professional including attitude, honesty and initiative.

“All of our students have demonstrated hard work, motivation and perseverance while still in high school,” said Liz Rafferty, Executive Director of Genesys Works Chicago. “I couldn’t be more excited to see what our young professionals will accomplish in the future!”

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About Genesys Works

Genesys Works is a nonprofit social enterprise changing the trajectory of life for disadvantaged high school students through meaningful work experiences. Its program consists of eight weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college. Its goal is to move more students out of poverty and into professional careers, creating a more productive and diverse workforce in the process. Since its founding in 2002, Genesys Works has grown to serve nearly 3,000 students annually in Houston,Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington’s National Capital Region. To learn more,visit genesysworks.org.

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