STEM Highlight – Illinois Institute of Technology’s Global Leaders Program

May 1, 2017
Global Leaders Program Community Innovation Engagement

This past weekend, Illinois Institute of Technology held the annual Community Innovation Project (CI Project) presentations for their Global Leaders Program. IIT’s Global Leaders Program lends the institute’s considerable tech resources and renown to influence talented young Chicagoans to aspire towards a future made better through skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The CI Project comprises the first year of the Global Leaders Program. Selected High School Juniors research and devise an action plan for a problem they have identified to be of note to the public. The students work largely independently alongside a Project Mentor to address their chosen issue through asset-based community problem solving.

On Sunday, after months of research, strategizing and workshops, teams of young auspicious minds came together to present their CI projects in an event facilitated by Desmen Jetton, our ILCC VISTA at IIT. The initiatives varied greatly in focus, ranging from mental health education to environmental activism. But although the topics tended to vary, the proposed solutions were largely similar: awareness, inclusion and engagement.

Each team noted that many of the problems we face today could be easily addressed if the issues could be approached by all with a common

Global Leader Scholars present their Community Innovation Initiative at IIT

Grant Garrett-Grossman, a high-school junior affiliated with The United Innovators CI Project, said that the future is surely going to be challenging, and a basic understanding of STEM skills is critical to combat those challenges.

“It’s not about being a scientist or an expert,” Garrett-Grossman said. “Brainstorming requires a lot of perspectives, and that creative friction will make a more creative result.”

IIT’s Global Leaders Program and its CI Project is a forward-thinking civic-engagement initiative that prepares bright minds to approach problems in the world with a unique perspective and a practiced voice. By combining effective communication skills with a passion for STEM careers, IIT’s Global Leaders Program is shaping a new generation of civic leaders that can more closely integrate communities with the technological progress happening around them every day.

If you would like to learn more about the Global Leaders Program at Illinois Tech, click here.