March , 2019

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By Chinta Strausberg


If you are a high school a high school student who dream of becoming a teacher but don’t have the funds, your wish can come true thanks to a $23,000 grant that includes a total forgiveness of the loan if you satisfy the requirements,  Sister Raeleen Sweeney, Director of the Center for Ongoing Renewal and Enrichment for the Golden Apples Scholars of Illinois, said Sunday.

Located at 8 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago, CORE is a 27-years old program and the Golden Apples Scholars program will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year. Jim Sorenson is the director of the Golden Apple Scholars program.

“This is a teacher award winning program, and the Golden Apples Scholars program is a mentoring and teacher preparation where we give them ongoing support and mentoring to be outstanding teachers to teach in schools of need all over this state of Illinois,” Sister Sweeney said during an interview at Josephine’s Hardtime Restaurant, 436 E. 79th Street where she and other nuns were meeting.

When asked what are the criteria, she said a teacher or a counselor nominates applicants. They have to write an extensive application and undergo an interview and selection process. “If they make it through the application process because of their grades and their ACT, they are selected with 15 students. We have almost 1600 from all over the state of Illinois.”

Her organization is partnered with every four-year college and universities in Illinois, and they tap into that potential teacher pool for applicants.

Asked what are the qualifications, Sister Sweeney said they must want to be a teacher, must have a good G.P.A. (2.5) and have to be accepted to a university or college. They have to attend one of the 53 partner universities in Illinois. They must graduate, become certified and teach for five-years in a school of need either economic or academic need and they have eight-years to complete the five-year commitment. After their commitment of this program, the scholarship loan is forgiven.

“We want to give some students who have not had a chance during their life and give them a second chance in education. We have the highest retention rate of any teacher program in the nation,” she said.

For further information, click on the website: www.goldenapple.org and the contact number is: 312-407-0006. Nominations will open May 1st for the Class of 2013. This is for high school students who want to be teachers.

There is another program called Pathway where students can apply during their sophomore year in college. Pathway applicants can apply for this scholars program before November 1st; however, they must contact the office at 312-407-0006 to receive their application package.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

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