Almost five years ago we hosted the first student lottery for Chicago Tech Academy in our conference rooms at TechNexus, with about 150 parents, grandparents and prospective students huddled into the room. It was such a remarkable experience for me. That night I saw first hand the unbridled enthusiasm, the hopes, dreams and high expectations for a bunch of kids that just needed a chance to break their way.
In a few months, we’ll celebrate as those first students walk across the graduation stage. Someday soon, I will have much more to write and share about these kids and their four year journey (each emerging as some of the most important “startups” that I have ever had the honor to serve).
But tonight, we host the fifth student lottery…. nearly 1,500 kids have applied for one of 150 positions in next year’s freshman class! It’s completely open enrollment, and luck of the draw. I’ve written before about how bitter sweet these student lotteries are… you see such excitement from kids and family members, and so many others just sitting, hoping to hear their name called. But after tonight, ChiTech will have its fifth freshman class, and another group of inner city kids will be on their way… with two hours a day, and four years worth of technology skills, matched up with mentors, and fostered to think like entrepreneurs.