CHICAGO IL – Society’s reliance on technology has been consistently growing and consequently, there is a growing need for students to pursue higher education. careers which can challenge the status quo and contribute to a world built on technology are needed. However, a lack of diversity plagues tech-centered companies and whole industries.
Novus is focused on encouraging students, of all backgrounds, to identify problems and pursue solutions, through tech-entrepreneurship. Students coming from underprivileged communities are commonly blocked from pursuing after school initiatives due to their low-income status; whether it be because of the high costs of membership to a particular program or after school employment commitments. In an effort to attack this issue head on, Novus identified a number of target high schools in the Chicagoland area based on the demographics of their student population – this led to the development of a conversation between the administration at Chicago Tech Academy and Novus’ directors.
Following conversations about the needs of students at ChiTech, Novus Inc. developed a proposal that is aimed at providing students at ChiTech with the opportunity to pursue tech-entrepreneurship, within their own city, through an adapted form of Novus’ operational model.
The Novus program at ChiTech will be an in-classroom program led by students hailing from Chicago-local universities and will be structured around the Lean Startup curriculum developed by the Career and Technical Education department at Maine Township District 207.
“The Novus program at Chicago Tech Academy will enable us to better serve underprivileged students and will push us closer to our goal of contributing to the close of the income, diversity, and digital skills gap present within modern society,” said one Novus director in a statement to its Advisory Board.
93.6% of the student population at Chicago Tech Academy is low-income and 96.1% of its students come from minority groups that are historically disadvantaged. The program is estimated to serve 18-25 students at Chicago Tech Academy.