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Empowering Innovators assembles, organizes, and communicates significant results, stories and insights from the first 8 years of the Illinois Tech Global Leaders Program. Originally known as the “IIT Boeing Scholars Academy,” GLP possesses a unique perspective and approach to Leadership Development, College Access, and outreach benefiting students underrepresented in STEM fields. Practically speaking, this includes sharing stories of specific students (known as “Scholars”) and alumni of the program, compiling resources and curriculum, and detailing best practices. This project aims to preserve and freely share the program’s impact and collective knowledge, for the purpose of informing current and future efforts to benefit youth in the city of Chicago and beyond.

See a selection of excerpts from the finished product:

In developing Empowering Innovators, the following key questions were considered, and helped direct research, decisions about the project’s composition, and conversations with Scholars:

    • Do GLP students show impact and improved outcomes long-term? What sustains the impact?
    • What do Scholars remember about their time in the program? What did they learn that they use now?
    • Do Scholars stay connected to each other?
    • What were the most memorable and impactful parts of the Program, and what do Scholars do with their experience? Are they applying lessons learned?

The program in general – and this project specifically – demonstrate the value of intentionally creating diverse community and providing a balance of support and autonomy. Empowering Innovators highlights stories of identity development and personal empowerment catalyzing lasting impact, and the key elements that made these successes possible.

To succeed, this project intentionally features Scholars’ voices and draw insight from their perspectives. This befits the program’s empowerment-focused mission. Besides, the GLP  Scholars are brilliant in manifold ways, and have great wisdom to share.

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