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It was a pleasure to recently represent USI Insurance Services in partnership with the Illinois Network of Charter Schools at the 2018 INCS Conference. This was a special moment as I had the distinct privilege to award two 8th grade students and 4 seniors for their outstanding scholarship and strong leadership. There are approximately 63,950 students in charter schools in Illinois today. So, as you can imagine, this is a very competitive award, and INCS received more nominations than ever last year. The awardees needed to demonstrate more than academic achievement and leadership, they also needed to show:

• an embodiment of their school’s mission, and
• exceptional involvement in their school and community.

Congrats to Alain Locke Charter School, KIPP Chicago, Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park, Intrinsic Schools, Noble Network of Charter Schools and Southland College Preparatory!
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Exciting News… If it’s your mission to bring unmatched service and expertise to the development of Illinois charter schools we can help. #charterschools #educationreform

USI Insurance Services is proud to serve as the endorsed insurance brokerage and employee benefits consulting provider for the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS). Together, INCS and USI will partner to bring innovative risk management and human capital expertise to the more than 142 charter public schools across the state of Illinois. Read more: https://bit.ly/2Prxj1C
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It was a distinct honor and privilege to host a small group of exceptional young men from Urban Prep Academies at USI Insurance Services for their 12th annual Discovering Our City event.

#DiscoveringOurCity is Urban Prep’s annual all-school field trip that exposes high school students—many of whom have never been out of their south and west side neighborhoods—to the professional, civic, and cultural institutions that make Chicago great.

 

 Urban Prep Academies operates a network of charter public high schools for boys in high need Chicago communities. 100% of Urban Prep’s graduates—all African-American males, mostly from low-income families—have been admitted to college.

 

Most important message of the day – “Believe in yourself!”

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This week marked my 4th year working with Frank Edgeworth’s class as an EPIC Intensives Partner!

EPIC Academy College Prep, a CPS Level 1 public, enrollment charter high school, has served low-income African American and Latino students in the South Chicago community since 2009.

The South Chicago community, one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, has a 20% unemployment rate and a childhood poverty rate that is 86% higher than all other U.S. neighborhoods.

Every semester, EPIC Academy partners with corporations and professionals in Chicago to help students realize how hard work in the classroom translates into career success.

Through the EPIC Intensives program, students are introduced to careers they might not have considered, while being challenged to model the critical thinking, communication and professional skills that are vital to achievement in the workplace.

My favorite part of being an EPIC Intensives Partner is seeing students empowered when they discover that anything is possible with the right exposures, mindset and planning. Further, I believe every student, regardless of their zip code, deserves access to the skills and network necessary to help make their dreams come true.
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On August 26th 1998, North Lawndale College Prep opened its doors with the mission to get more students from low-income backgrounds to and through college… 20 years later and the school is still devoted to moving the needle. Great first board meeting of the 2018 academic year! While the job’s not done, we’re always looking for good people to help us in our work. If you’d like to get involved, or know somebody else who might, I’d be happy to introduce you to Suellen Wolk, NLCP’s Director of Development.
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Thank you to
Emily Hoselton and EyeMed Vision Care for allowing me to be a part of  OneSight‘s Regional Clinic in Chicago. OneSight has been committed to empowering sight in underserved communities worldwide since 1988. This week 1,200 CPS students without access to insurance received free eye exams and their very first pair of glasses. Sitting with kids individually, I had the opportunity to help them find frames that fit their style and personality while also selling them on why they’re great.   

My partner,
Gregg Mellinger, and I are working diligently to bring programs like this to the Charter School community. If you’re interested and want to help please don’t hesitate to reach out.  ICBC USI
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