Illinois Tech Receives $20,000 Monsanto Grant for Teen STEM Program

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Chicago, IL — July 7, 2016 —

Monsanto Fund, the charitable arm of the agricultural technology company Monsanto, recently awarded $20,000 to Illinois Institute of Technology’s Global Leaders Program. The grant will be used to fund basic operations of the Global Leaders Program, which seeks to inspire Chicago-area high school students to lead and serve through the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The program also works to support students on their path to higher education, with a particular focus on helping groups underrepresented in STEM.

“The Illinois Tech Global Leaders Program ensures that Chicago develops talent that exists across a wide diversity of youth in the metro area. A gift from the Monsanto Fund allows us to provide opportunities to the most deserving young scholars in the city, creating innovative leadership in STEM and social change,” said Program Director Annie Senior. “Scholars leave this program prepared to succeed in higher education and to tackle the world's most pressing issues. Our sincerest gratitude and appreciation goes out to the Monsanto Fund for supporting our vision.”

Students in the Global Leaders program, which is free and lasts two years, complete mentored projects that use the STEM disciplines to address community issues in Chicago. This year, students created an online guide for dealing with police encounters, an activity checklist to get teens into energy conservation habits, and a web site on the college application process, among other projects.

In addition to real-world problem solving, students benefit from four weeks of intensive STEM programming each summer, as well as workshops, field trips, and career exploration opportunities during the school year. Illinois Tech faculty and staff also counsel students through the college application and financial aid process. In the six years since the program started, 100 percent of participants have gone on to college.

Corbett Kull, senior director at the Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto, presented the $20,000 check in a public ceremony on the Illinois Tech campus. "Climate Corporation and the Monsanto Fund are excited to be able to support the Global Leaders Program at Illinois Institute of Technology. We are striving to get more Chicago high schoolers interested in STEM education,” said Kull. “The Global Leaders Program is important because it is also supporting kids who might not otherwise be exposed to science and technology careers.”

Over the past five years, the Monsanto Fund has awarded more than $7.5 million to nonprofit organizations across the U.S.

About Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused, research university, located in Chicago, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. One of 21 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities (AITU), Illinois Tech offers exceptional preparation for professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

About Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.