MEF awarded grant from R.A.C.E. / Nascar

Pictured from left: Nicole Meagher, Director of Communications at the Chicagoland Speedway, Chelsea Davis and Bob Kornecki of Midtown Educational Foundation, and Scott Paddock, President, Chicagoland Speedway.

Pictured from left: Nicole Meagher, Director of Communications at the Chicagoland Speedway, Chelsea Davis and Bob Kornecki of Midtown Educational Foundation, and Scott Paddock, President, Chicagoland Speedway.

Joliet, IL -- Midtown Educational Foundation (MEF) was one of six nonprofit 
organizations receiving $5,000 grants from the R.A.C.E. Foundation on December 10 in support of its One-on-One tutoring program for 4th-6th grade students.

Scott Paddock, President of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, commented that R.A.C.E. envisioned making a difference throughout Chicago. "Through scholarships, donations to service groups, grants, volunteering, ticket donations and the execution of charitable events, we have been able to positively impact incredibly worthy organizations and the people they serve in the community we are a part of."

MEF's One-on-One program couples young professional volunteers with nearly 250 students throughout the school year. Weekly sessions encourage good attitudes toward learning, assist students with homework, present positive role models, and develop study habits associated with high achievers. Research shows that the earlier the investment in child education, the larger the payoff for the child's future. 

Thank you to the R.A.C.E. Foundation and Chicagoland Speedway for their support and generosity!

Shop for Good Dec 6-8 - 10% Benefits MEF Youth

What: Shop for Good 2013
Website: http://www.wickerparkbucktown.com/events-chamber/shop-for-good-2013
When: December 6-8th, 2013
Where: Wicker Park/Bucktown 
             (at participating Shop for Good businesses)
Who: Benefiting Midtown Educational Foundation (MEF)
Why: Generate donations for MEF while you shop for the holidays!

Buy your holiday gifts at participating Shop for Good businesses in Wicker Park & Bucktown and they will donate 10% of your purchases to the local school or non-profit of your choice. Your Gifts count twice with Shop For Good!

Shop for Good Step by Step:

Shop at participating Shop for Good businesses, find great gifts to purchase and generate donation to your favorite local school or non-profit.
Request a duplicate receipt and write MEF on it. It's very IMPORTANT to request that duplicate receipt so your dollars count and MEF gets the 10% donation.
Place the duplicate receipt in the Shop for Good receipt box next to the register.
All instructions are on the Shop for Good receipt box, so it's easy to SHOP FOR GOOD!  

Shop for Good runs from Friday December 6th through Sunday December 8th. Shop at participating business in Wicker Park Bucktown and generate donations for Midtown Educational Foundation! 

Be sure to tell your friends and other members too!  
Share Shop for Good on Facebook! 

Shop for Good 2013 Participants

Click this interactive map to see participating businesses in Wicker Park and Bucktown 

Cat & Mouse Game Store 
Radiance Fine Jewerly 
Red Balloon
Arts n Spirits
g boutique
Red Mango
University of Aesthetics
Transit Tees
Belly Dance Maternity
D/Vision Optical
Lubinski Furniture Sales
Dermatology & Aesthetics of Wicker Park
Jackson Junge Gallery
House of Two Urns
Le Thrift Consignment Boutique
Store B Vintage
Ready Coffee
Janik's Café
Reckless Records
Valentia Studio Boutique
Walgreens - 1601 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Walgreens - 1372 N. Milwaukee Ave
Spa Soak
One Hour Tees
Hi-Style Furniture
Moon Voyage
Chicago Truborn
Ruby Room
Cellar Door Salon

Dads Bond with Daughters to Reclaim the Value of Fatherhood

 [Akira and Quinn (girls), Quintin (father)]

 [Akira and Quinn (girls), Quintin (father)]

CHICAGO -- Early this November, 150 dads and father figures gathered with daughters enrolled at Metro Achievement Center, located in Greektown near West Loop for Father-Daughter Day. 

In a world where parents work very hard to support their families, we want to acknowledge their importance through the theme, "There is More to Fathers Than Meet the Eye - Reclaiming the Value of Fatherhood."

While a delicious, hot meal simmered alongside beautiful tables dressed with flowers, dads and daughters alike experienced an enriching afternoon of love and affirmation. Father of seven children, guest speaker Michael Gaggioli addressed the dads, that there is more to being a father than just the financial provider of the family. In the meantime, his own daughter Liz encouraged the girls to use The Five Love Languages to show their dads how to appreciate them. A panel of Metro alumnae shared the importance of forgiveness in the relationship with dads, and how like any other relationship, it takes work on both ends to succeed. The event culminated with a moving moment, where dads and daughters exchanged handwritten letters expressing what they admire most about one another.

[Rafael (father), Paloma (daughter)]

[Rafael (father), Paloma (daughter)]

"Thank you for letting me spend time with my daughter. My wife took over my job for the day so I can go to Father-Daughter Day at Metro," -Metro dad.

About Metro Achievement Center: Metro Achievement Center for girls and its brother site Midtown Center for boys are unique places for after-school and summertime enrichment. They help at-risk Chicago youth gain exposure to a world of opportunity beyond the classroom, from one-on-one academic tutoring and mentoring, to character development and college readiness. 


20 High Schools Gather at Metro for girls

Chicago - On Thursday October 10, 7th and 8th grade Metro students and parents had the opportunity to learn more about the rigorous high school application process.

First, Sue Heybach from Sacred Heart Schools gave a general talk on the process of applying to private, catholic and selective enrollment schools. She was able to share her experience of helping students get into high schools from her position as a middle school counselor and high school placement counselor. She also gave parents a sense of how they should be planning student's 7th and 8th grade year. 

Then, students and parents were able to speak with high school representatives about their specific situations and interests. Over 20 high school representatives were in attendance to meet with students. 

"Many students have a pre-defined idea of their options, so it is important to help them recognize they have additional choices outside of what they may be hearing at their schools or among their circle of friends, " said Tracy Schumitsch director of Metro's 7th and 8th grade program. She added that speaking with representatives helps parents and students learn about financial opportunities as well. Information on scholarships was also an important part of the evening including HFS Chicago Scholars, Link Unlimited, and Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund.

One student, Rebeca Estrada mentioned to her tutor that she wasn't attending the high school night at her school because Metro's High School night was more extensive and informative. 

High schools representatives that attended: Francis W Parker School, Resurrection College Prep High School, Our Lady of Tepeyac High School, Providence St. Mel, The Willows Academy, Seton Academy, Holy Trinity High School, Josephinum Academy, Christ the King, The Chicago High School for the Ars, Rauner College Prep, Rowe Clark Math and Science Academy, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, De La Salle Institute, Chicago Hope Academy, Christo Rey Jesuit High School, Gordon Tech HS, St Benedict High School, and Noble Network School Representatives

A New Plan of Chicago - Submission to Chicago Tribune

Chicago — In its Sunday editorial on October 6, 2013, the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune encouraged readers to help craft a new plan of Chicago by submitting proposals that addressed the city's many challenges holistically, not one by one. Midtown Educational Foundation responded with the following idea, signed by Executive Director Glenn Wilke. 


To: Tribune Editorial Board
       435 N. Michigan Ave.
       Chicago, IL 60611

Re: A New Plan of Chicago 

The iWILL Chicago Campaign:
Inspiring a Renewed Sense of Personal Responsibility
for the City of Chicago and Its People

Scan the pages of the Chicago Tribune online or in print every day of the week and you’re likely to find an endless array of finger-pointing on the topics that the Tribune’s Sunday editorial addressed. Conflict is the name of the game today, and it’s no different on the streets of Chicago than in the halls of Congress or the hallways of Springfield. It’s almost always “the other guy’s fault.” Conversations shut down, stalemates ensue, and thorny problems persist with few workable solutions in sight.   

Isn’t it about time that the prevailing negative attitudes and behaviors that people manifest toward one another change from “I won’t” to iWILL?  Isn’t it time to instill a renewed sense of personal responsibility among all the people who call Chicago home? 

iWILL is a mindset that many progressive, forward-looking, and action-oriented Chicagoans already possess. Chicago wouldn’t be the great American city that it’s become if it weren’t for the Burnhams, McCormicks and other leaders in the civic, business and philanthropic community who paved the way. There’s a strong foundation of good will and civic-mindedness to build on, even today. 

But there’s serious work to be done if the city and its people are to overcome present-day challenges. And it could start with a strong assist and support from the Chicago Tribune – at little to no expense – as an editorial and promotional platform with a clear call to action. 

Remember the long-running and highly successful I Love New York campaign? 

“iWILL” is Chicago’s answer, rooted in solid Midwestern values without the bravado. 

The “i” stands for every individual who calls Chicago home, as in “I’m a Chicagoan, and as a proud Chicagoan, I have a personal stake in the future of the city and a personal responsibility to my family, community and myself to make a difference.”  It’s a lower case “i” because in the true spirit of service, it’s not about aggrandizing oneself but in truly helping others. 

WILL represents intent – an action, a state of mind, a response that opens dialogue, fosters conversations, promotes the common good and leads to successful outcomes.  WILL can take as many forms as needed to address Chicago’s ills as well as its plentiful opportunities. “iWILL, for example, take personal responsibility for:  
♣    Tutoring a child.
♣    Schooling my children at home. 
♣    Helping others become better parents. 
♣    Continuing my education. 
♣    Persevering to find a new job. 
♣    Respecting the opinions of others.
♣    Reaching compromise.
♣    Volunteering my time to a worthy cause.  
♣    Becoming self-sufficient. 
♣    My actions.”

Success doesn’t have to be measured in gigantic gains, but in the many thousands of small acts of kindness and concern that Chicagoans everywhere can and should exhibit toward others in need every day. Perhaps the Chicago Tribune could drive this effort itself, getting the public and private sector to rally around it in meaningful ways. Together with community partners and corporate sponsors, for example, the Tribune could promote this call to action in a tangible way through an iWILL logo and branded products. Chicagoans could pledge to take one or several such actions, qualifying them to purchase and wear t-shirts, buttons, stickers, etc., benefiting organizations supported by Chicago Tribune Charities and the McCormick Foundation. The campaign would raise awareness of the message and encourage Chicagoans to WILL to make the city a better, brighter place. 
As Executive Director of the Midtown Educational Foundation (MEF) in Chicago, I’m proud of the WILL and personal responsibility that our staff, volunteers, instructors, advisers, and parenting coordinators have demonstrated in serving at-risk Chicago children and families since 1965. As a team of individual contributors, they help:

4th through 6th graders develop study habits associated with high achievers.
7th and 8th graders prepare to enter college prep high schools and ultimately college.
9th through 12th graders explore career options and prepare for college entrance exams.
Students at every level acquire the attitudes of successful people of good character. 
Parents deal with the complexities of raising their children in a tough environment.

Sunday’s editorial made points that resonated with me and underscored the value of MEF’s distinctive approach to youth development, which integrates academics with character, and individual attention with parental involvement. “Single parents don’t have the drive, the skills, the time, the money to give their children the uplift that every parent wants and every child needs.” Furthermore, “children are starved for authority figures and role models.” 

Since MEF programs deliver benefits on both counts, iWILL pledge the following as a sign of my own personal commitment to Chicago urban youth and parents: 

To share MEF’s business model and character-building program with every other youth development organization in the city and state, as a means for more effectively and collectively addressing the critical needs of urban youth and their parents. 




Glenn Wilke
Executive Director
Midtown Educational Foundation 

P.S. A copy of this proposal also has been e-mailed to PlanOfChicago@tribune.com

Blackhawks CEO McDonough Inspires MEF tutors & business community

Chicago — On Friday, September 20, nearly 100 Chicago professionals and community members gathered at Midtown Educational Foundation's Breakfast with Champions. The guests arrived early to welcome John F. McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks. He generously donated his time at the event benefiting Midtown Center for boys and Metro Achievement Center for girls -- academic and character enrichment centers for at-risk Chicago youth.

On behalf of the host firm, Skadden Arps, attorney Mike Scudder greeted the guests. "Thinking about Midtown [Educational Foundation] and the Blackhawks, it's quite an honor to talk about these two tremendous organizations. One of the things they have in common: tremendous success."


Sun-Times Norridge Harwood-Heights: Local Couple Facilitates Families of Character Program

Read the original article here.

CHICAGO - September 26, 2013 - Lupe and Aurelio Garcia are raising their family in Edison Park and they volunteer as facilitators of 'Families of Character' for parents at a Chicago enrichment center for girls. Lupe Garcia, former General Counsel for the Chicago Park District,  was so impacted by her experience in ‘Families of Character' for her family and is now facilitating a Families of Character program.

According to the Families of Character website: "Our collaborative and guided program creates a safe environment for parents to share and learn from each other, drawing from real-life situations and conflicts."

Lupe Garcia was already involved with Midtown Educational Foundation. These organizations Midtown Center for boys and Metro Achievement Center for girls provide academic and character enrichment for at-risk Chicago youth, with dedicated parent support and one-on-one mentoring.

These are Lupe Garcia's experiences bringing it to the Metro Achievement Center:

Q. How did you first get involved with Metro Achievement Center? How long have you been involved?

A. My involvement started with Midtown Educational Foundation/ Midtown Center for boys and Metro Achievement Center for girls back in 1994-95. At the time I was dating my husband and he was involved with Midtown for boys. I am currently still involved with both. I serve on the Executive Committee.

Q. How did you get involved in Families of Character?

A. I started this summer. We started in July. My children attend a grammar school. It's a private Catholic school, Embers Elementary, and the founder came to speak to the parents at the school.  He gave this fabulous talk and he encouraged families to join groups. My husband and I just found it so useful and just really taught us how to communicate with each other.

Q. Why did you bring the program to Midtown Educational Foundation?

A. The reason I brought it to Midtown was I was invited to speak to moms in the spring of last year. I think the topic was five secrets to helping your daughter find happiness.  I went to the Families of Character handbook to generate ideas. I used some of his material in the presentation and the moms that were there you could just tell the hunger that was there.  It was putting structure to what they do all day.  And it occurred to me why don't we just do this here. When you become a parent no one gives you a manual and we're all struggling with the same problems.  And the fact that we're all sharing and that no one is lecturing. I'm learning from them and they're learning from us

Q. How does Families of Character work?

A. The ideal setup is to have a group of about five couples. Anything more than that can be difficult. A lot of it is discussions with the couples and one of the couples offer to be the facilitators. There was so much interest that we initially had 50 couples show up.

Q. What made you want to become a facilitator?

A. I worked full time and I had a pretty stressful job and I worked from the time my first child was born.

I was so busy trying to work trying to serve my family as a mother and a wife and trying to do that crazy juggling and balance I wasn't realizing how much it was stressing me out.

When we [Lupe and Aurelio] really sat down and talked about it through this program we realized this was crazy. What are we doing?

I'm not working anymore. I went from practicing law for 22 years to being totally okay with not working. We had to seriously downsize.

I was afraid to have that conversation with my husband before that because I felt like I would be letting him down and letting my kids down.

I firmly believe that as the family goes, the society goes.

Most people don't understand that parents are primary educators of their children. They're watching everything we do. We are their models.

[The program] helps people to really look at their lives. How are we relating to one another? What habits do we have or don't have?

What we encourage the families to do is create a mission statement for your family.

Q. Who participates in the program?

A. Those who have young children or don't have children yet are probably prime.

In our group, we have couples with kids out of college  and then we have couples with really young kids or those who are enrolled at Metro Midtown. That's what makes it so dynamic.

Read article on: norridge.suntimes.com:http://norridge.suntimes.com/people/q_a_with_families_of_character_facilitator-NOH-09162013:article

Midtown Parenting Program Manager Named 2013 Hispanic Hero by Chicago Fire

On September 1st, our very own Arturo Baranda, the Parenting Program Manager for Midtown Center for boys, received the 2013 Hispanic Hero Award.

Arturo has dedicated his life to helping others, starting from the early age of 16 when he raised three younger siblings of his own. Over the last 14 years, he has served in his current role at Midtown Educational Foundation, inspiring hundreds of parents to be strong leaders for their family.

"The Chicago Fire Soccer Club recognizes and celebrates the pride and passion for the world's most popular sport. Soccer is embedded in much of Hispanic heritage and throughout the United States in the Hispanic communities.

The Chicago Fire is proud to present "Hispanic Heritage Day," whose respect and interest in our communities is demonstrated by supporting this special event. As a special part of this day, the Fire will be honoring distinguished members of the Hispanic community."

Business Entrepreneurship Apprenticeship Program Launches at Metro for girls

Business Apprenticeship Program sponsored by PwC
Teacher: Erin Kelly
Assistant Teacher: Monica McCormack

12 Students, 3 Business Teams

TEAM 1: "M.A.C. Snacks"
Sold healthy desserts to students after lunch. The product they chose after doing market research was a frozen fruit bar in various flavors.

TEAM 2: "Plumas"
Sold handmade hair bows, headbands, and feather extensions. 

TEAM 3: "Forever Metro"
Designed a new tee-shirt for metro, incorporating symbols of the original logo. The T-shirts read: Love Metro, with the symbols below. They were sold in three colors: Purple, Blue, & Black, with hot pink letters.

Forever Metro made the most profit, but all three companies were very close in numbers.

The girls attended the follow career exploration excursions:

  • GE Hispanic Forum
  • Sage Products
  • PepsiCo
  • PwC 
  • Vera Bradley Factory 
  • College visit to the University of Notre Dame

Model Behavior at Metro Achievement Center for girls

This summer our 9th and 10th graders received some tips and tricks from an international model who has runway shows of Chanel, Givenchy and Armani under her very stylish belt.

Bing began modeling locally at the age of 15 and by 19 she was modeling runway shows at Milan Fashion Week. She continued modeling for many years afterwards, which was rather unusual in an industry where the average runway model lasts four or five seasons. Specializing in runway modeling, Bing shared runways with Claudia Schiffer, Kate Moss and Tyra Banks. She demonstrated her “runway walk” (designed to draw attention to the garment) to the girls, and coached them in walking gracefully and with confidence.

Bing went back to school after retiring and now works in real estate and with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where the professionalism from the fashion industry has carried over. 

The girls were also exposed to the less glamorous aspects of modeling. Bing described the heartbreak of being rejected by clients and learning not to take it personally. Sometimes having to bring your own food to twelve-hours shoots and trying hard to enjoy a day at the beach while making sure there are no tan lines that could spoil an up-coming photo shoot.

 “Never sacrifice your values, and choose your friendships carefully,” Bing told the girls, warning them that what you do off the runway is just as important and clients take that into account as well. She also encouraged them not to be afraid of setting boundaries and standards. Often if she felt a garment was too revealing she would let her client know and they would respect to her requests.   

“I think the she kept her morals and values [was most captivating] because sometimes the media or the pressure can make you do things you don’t really believe in, but she had enough respect for herself to follow her values.”
— Astrid Perez
When asked if she made any new discoveries or reflections, Angelina Calderon replied: “To remember your values taught by your parents.”
“I thought that how respectful and elegant she was(,) was the most captivating. She also had boundaries for herself.”
— Kayla Thompson-Brim




Walgreens' Chief Diversity Officer Steve Pemberton Inspires Chicago boys

Steve Pemberton, author of A Chance in the World and Fortune's Top 20 Chief Diversity Officer (Walgreens), inspired Chicago boys at Midtown Center on Monday, July 8th, candidly sharing about his rough past and journey through life's obstacles. 

Christian Alferez, a student from Midtown's Summer Journalism Apprenticeship, also reflected on the engaging visit, through their newspaper and blog, The Midtown Voice.  

"None of us look like our story," opened Steve Pemberton, Divisional Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Walgreens, speaking to an auditorium filled with over 300 7th-12th Midtown boys from across Chicago. You cannot tell by virtue of his job, where he lives, or by everything he has accomplished, where he comes from--but his message to the boys at Midtown Center on Tuesday morning was, "Born into circumstances that I didn't create, it was my responsibility to overcome them."

Reading Saved Pemberton as a Child

Pemberton did not know his father, his mother, or even his own last name. He did not know where he came from, but growing up he knew one thing: he wanted to go to college. He overcame a traumatic and violent childhood in abusive foster homes to find success and liberation through a good education. He began by giving the boys of Midtown a piece of advice: read everyday. Steve listed Watership Down, Tolkien, and Moby Dick among his list of life changing books. He read so much as a child that when the time came to write his autobiography, A Chance in the World, the ability to write was naturally present. 

Overcoming Obstacles with Perseverance

He told the boys, "By being here, you've chosen to be something; to end a cycle of depression. The question is, will you?" Steve's message was fitting for Midtown in Chicago, as every day a team of a two dozen college advisors and sports coaches work with at-risk boys to help them overcome their own obstacles to achieve transformational success. 

Steve heroically lives out many of the virtues that the staff and volunteers at Midtown instill in the students at Midtown. He shared examples of his own perseverance in getting into college. He applied for every scholarship that he could find, only to face many rejections. He even applied for a Daughters of the American Revolution scholarship. When he was turned down because it is only for girls, his response was, "Are you sure??" Needless to say, his tireless efforts paid off, and he entered Boston College with a full scholarship. 

His Book is for the Midtown Boys in Chicago

Professionally accomplished with a family of his own and well on the path to healing, why did Steve Pemberton feel the need to write his book and relive the brokenness he experienced as a child? "Even though I just met you," he told the boys at Midtown, "I did it for you." 

He wants kids and people who are down, despairing, or doubting to realize they too have a chance in the world. "Don't make the mistake to think I have a talent or ability that you don't," he explained, "I see in you not what you can be, but what you already are."

He parted encouraging the boys to "take advantage of all the wonderful people at Midtown, and recognize that one day, they are going to ask you to be that for someone else." Hopefully all of the boys at the Midtown Center will be as courageous, hard working and giving with their time as Steve Pemberton. 

Steve lives with his wife, daughter, and two sons. His favorite role is being a father and husband, which "brings [him] peace." Thank you, Mr. Pemberton for your generous time at Midtown Center for boys. We are grateful to you and congrats on your hard work as a role model to us all! 

To explore the rest of the Midtown Voice newspaper and read Midtown's Journalism apprentice Christian Alferez' account on Pemberton's inspiring visit, click here.

ABC7 News Producer speaks to Chicago girls at Metro Achievement Center

"I didn't know someone had to organize behind the scenes?!" says Cari, a 10th grader from Metro Achievement Center for girls.

"I have a new respect for producers...really opened my eyes. I never paid attention to what [they] do so that I can enjoy what I watch on TV," echoes Guadalupe, also in 10th grade at Metro.
Astrid Greve, the Weekend AM News Producer for ABC7 Chicago, took generous time out of her busy schedule to deliver a career talk for young Chicago girls at Metro Achievement Center. Born and raised in Germany, Ms. Greve has quite an impressive educational background and professional media career, and she came to give the girls a sneek peek into the life of a television producer for the number one station in Chicago. 

A TV Producer: Captain of the Ship

"I'm captain of the ship. The first line of defense," says Astrid. She is responsible for the entire newscast, ensuring punctuality and accuracy. "You need to be detail-oriented, quick, and able to rearrange on the fly, with a plan B, C, and D."  In charge of overall production, Astrid plans weekend guest segments and writes for the local news, working two back-to-back overnight shifts. "I'm also the motivator...when things get side tracked or when equipment fails, I help keep things on time." 

Career Tips

Q: "How does one become a producer?"

A: "Start with internships. No matter your background, you don't need a particular degree. You can carve out a niche for yourself based on your interests." (For example, a degree in political science can help get you working on political stories, but even an interest in health can put you in nutrition and lifestyle section of the news.) "You can do whatever you want as long as you get the training and acquire the skills." 

Q: "How do you become good at writing?"

A: "Practice! There's no way around it. Everyone starts slow. Write faster and faster -- time yourself. Sometimes I only have a two-minute break to write a breaking news story. It just has to be the best it can be. Develop a formula (The 5 W's: Who, What, When, Where, Why). Build on experience: write fast, but make sure the facts are correct." 

Student insight: "As I approach the SAT/ACT timed written test, I will take [Astrid's] advice to practice writing quickly in timed sessions. If she can write with just two minutes available, I can do it in time too!" -Cari 

Achieving Work-Life Balance

Q: "How do you manage the stress?"

A: "I work out when I can, try my best to have a regular sleep schedule, focus on things outside of work, and talk with friends outside the business. We do our best to distance ourselves from crime and the more horrific news. We have to deal with these stories without letting it drag us down," says Ms. Greve.

Student insight: "She's so passionate, with the willpower to endure some stress so that the news gets out. At the same time, she encouraged us not to make work your whole life. You need a breather. It's important." -Guadalupe

TV News: How to get it, How to deliver it

Q: "Will TV news broadcast ever become obsolete?"

A:"That's a huge discussion in the biz. We adjust and shift focus. Because our culture demands instant access, the news works to reflect that in order to keep the viewer interested. So we make it fast-paced with animation and use social media for our breaking news." 

Q: "Where do the stories come from? How do you deal with media bias?"

A: "Reporters generate stories, and we get others from the assignment desk, scanners, news/magazines, wires, and alerts." Regarding bias, "We try our best to avoid it. You have to report on the story but not be a part of the story. Stick with the facts. Don't embellish. We are not commentators or analysts. We try to cover as many different points of view as possible, but there will always be someone who's not satisfied. I always ask myself, 'Am I telling the story correctly? Have I covered all my bases?' You want to give just enough so that the viewer can make his/her own judgment call." 

Despite the hard work, a fulfilling career 

Q: "If it's hard to take a vacation and the hours are long, why choose this career?" 

A: "I like to know before others and I like to know more than others. I enjoy being able to take complicated information and make it easy for others to understand. I want people to get to say, 'Hey, I saw that on Channel 7!" I love the fast-paced environment. In this work, you want to be interested in knowing what's going on in the world."

Student insight: "That's dedication. A lot of people don't have the same kind of dedication to do what they love. I'm so grateful for people like her.  If it weren't for news producers, [like Astrid], I wouldn't know what's going on in the world." -Guadalupe 

[Tessa McEwen, Director of Communications (left), Astrid Greve ABC7 Producer (middle), Christina Villa, Program Director at Metro (right)]
Astrid Greve holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism/Communications and a Masters in Magazine Design from the University of Missouri. Beyond working full-time, she is currently pursuing a dual degree in Management/Public Relations with an MBA from the University of Maryland-University College.  Thank you, Astrid, for your inspirational talk and generosity!

Boeing Chief Tech Officer Inspires Chicago girls About Engineering

"You don't have to be a genius in math to become an engineer." So said Dr. John Tracy, Chief Technology Officer of The Boeing Company, in an informal talk to 35 students at the Metro Achievement Center for girls. "You just have to want to make a difference in people's lives."

 "For example, I'm an aerospace engineer. People get along better when they meet face-to-face. The aircraft we build help bring them together."

Dr. Tracy surprised the girls by revealing that he'd gotten an F in his first algebra class. "But later I got A's. I'm not as smart as most of you in this room. Engineers are people just like you!"

He also pointed out the importance of good character when it comes to building airplanes. "Would you want someone to take a shortcut on a calculation when they're designing a plane that will carry your loved ones? Integrity is crucial in this business."

Next summer, Metro will launch an engineering apprenticeship for high school girls, with funding from Tellabs.

Dr. Tracy will be honored by MEF on October 21 at its 22nd Annual Reach for Excellence Awards Dinner (to learn more, visit www.pjhchicago.com/MEF).

Thank you, Dr. Tracy for spending your precious time with us and inspiring all about a potential future in engineering! Grateful for your visit, from the girls at Metro Achievement Center.

Bear Down! Chicago boys from Midtown Center visit Chicago Bears' training camp

Thirty seventh, eighth and ninth graders and four staff from the Midtown Center for boys attended the second day of the Chicago Bears' training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais on Saturday, July 27, thanks to Jeff Bennett, a local real estate executive.

Two of Bears' rookie linebackers - Jon Bostin from the University of Florida and Khaseem Greene from Rutgers University - signed autographs for the students after the two-and-one-half hour morning practice. Brian McCaskey, a member of the Bears' Board of Directors, also spoke to the boys and answered their questions afterwards. 

Mr. McCaskey, who co-chaired Midtown Educational Foundation's annual golf outing in June, stressed that the players work hard not only on the field but for many hours in the classroom both before and after practice. 

The boys who made the trip were selected from a much larger group of 400 students participating in the summer enrichment program at the Midtown Center for boys, as a reward for their consistently good behavior both in the classroom and on the playground during the seven-week camp.