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About the Foundation
The LaSalle Street Foundation, affiliated with the LaSalle Street Council, is a nonprofit, privately funded organization dedicated to enriching the education of Chicago's public school students with opportunities to experience the civic and corporate cultures at the businesses of the LaSalle Street District. Through its unique Scholar Program, the LaSalle Street Foundation has established a model of corporate-community partnerships that would work equally well for other organizations, neighborhoods and cities across the country.

The LaSalle Street Scholar Program
Launched in 1994, the Scholar Program began by offering 10 Chicago public high school students the opportunity to interact with top executives during an intensive two-week summer program. The program was designed to help promising students prepare for college and inspire them to think about their career path.

How the Scholar Program Works
Through this unique program, a select group of students receive two weeks of classroom and hands-on training at host businesses and government offices in the LaSalle Street area. Past hosts have ranged from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, to global insurance company Allianz AG, the U.S. Secret Service and the Mayor's Office. Some mentors have included NBC 5 newscaster Allison Rosati, actress Lucy Lawless and Mayor Daley. The students spend one day with top executives and leaders from each host company to learn critical lessons such as:
  • job interviewing tips
  • the etiquette of a corporate lunch
  • how the forces of supply and demand affect real estate
  • how city government works
When the students complete the program, they receive a salary/stipend for their time, free admission to a college exam preparation class and an invitation to the LaSalle Street Council's annual "Salute to Scholars" event, where they are recognized for their accomplishments.

What the Scholar Program Achieves
During the program, students have had the chance to attend special events where they have met leaders including former Vice President Al Gore, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and former Slovak Republic President Michal Kovak. Among these opportunities, the Scholar Program:
  • provides students with the encouragement and tools to help them succeed
  • introduces them to important business and civic leaders
  • builds self-esteem
  • gives companies a chance to introduce themselves as potential employers

Applying for the Scholar Program
LaSalle Street's Scholar Program is open to approximately 20 qualified public high school students who have completed the 10th grade. Applicants should show solid academic performance, strong self-motivation, commitment to community service and a desire to attend college, as well as cultural and ethnic diversity. Students are required to write a personal letter of application to the Foundation. For more information about the application process, please contact the LaSalle Street Foundation.
The Annual "Salute to the Scholars"
Each fall, the LaSalle Street Foundation wraps up its Scholar Program with its special "Salute to the Scholars" reception, attended by more than 400 prominent business and civic leaders. This event recognizes the students for completing the Scholar Program, as well as the host companies that are critical to the program's success.

How to Get Involved
With your contribution, we'll be able to expand the reach of this critical program. There are a number of ways you can get involved with the Scholar Program:

Help us identify potential scholars
Let us know if you're aware of a student at your school, community group or club who may be a good candidate for the Scholar Program.

Become a host company
Businesses support the Scholar Program because they understand that our future as a nation depends on a well educated workforce that can keep pace with the global economy. By hosting the LaSalle Street Scholars or providing financial assistance, companies give back to the community as they help develop our future.

Lend us your support
For just a $25 gift, you'll become a "Friend of the Scholars." Your tax-deductible donations, your help sponsoring an event or your offer of an in-kind donation make an immediate difference in how many students we can reach.

Contact the LaSalle Street Foundation for more information about how you can help make a difference in a young person's life.

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