Chicago — Students from low-income families often don't get the benefit of having the latest, greatest technology at home, but more than 100 high school students participating in the summer College Orientation Programs at the Metro Achievement Center for girls and the Midtown Center for boys are experiencing new found joy thanks to a generous donation from William Blair & Company.
Several new iMacs, MacBook Pros and IdeaPad laptops have been installed at the two centers, replacing outdated computers that should have been retired in an environmentally sound way years ago.
William Blair & Company CFO Jon Zindel and several employees participated in a dedication ceremony organized by the girls at the Metro Achievement Center in the West Loop today, thanking the firm for its support in enhancing their educational development.
"Having access to tools like these throughout the summer months and during the after-school program at Metro will surely improve our computer skills," said Presley Owousu Bonsu, an incoming junior at Fenwick High School in Oak Park. "Better yet, they'll make us better students. We're bound to produce more and better work in English, math, science and the visual arts than might otherwise be possible."
"William Blair is committed to giving back to the communities where we live and work and I'm honored to be part of the dedication of the new computer lab for Midtown," said Mr. Zindel. "Seeing the excitement as the students explore the capabilities of the new computers is very rewarding. Knowing that we're helping at-risk children get full value from the summertime and after-school educational programs at Metro and Midtown is one of the soundest investments we could make."
High school seniors in the class of 2014 at Metro and Midtown were the 15th consecutive group to graduate and enroll in college. Financial support from William Blair for the College Orientation Programs extends far beyond technology upgrades, since its two-year partnership also includes resources dedicated to college prep testing, curriculum enhancements, college visits, cultural tours and performances as well as employee volunteerism.
About Midtown Educational Foundation (MEF)
MEF, through its Metro Achievement Center for girls and Midtown Center for boys, has helped close the achievement gap for at-risk youth from low-income Chicago families since its founding in 1965. Its College Orientation Programs help high school students prepare for college entrance exams, explore college options, and experience career apprenticeships in business and engineering among other fields.
About William Blair & Company
William Blair & Company is a global investment banking and asset management firm based in Chicago, with office locations in 13 cities including London, New York, Shanghai, and Zurich. A core value is the firm's commitment to making a difference in the communities where its associates live and work. Philanthropy has always been an important part of its heritage.
Jody Madler, MEF, (312) 738-8302; Maria Gemskie, William Blair, (312) 364-5132