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Inspire and motivate students to attend college

Star-studded cast of athletes, entertainers honor 3,000 Chicago high school students at inaugural get Schooled, Get Connected Celebration.

CHICAGO.--- Get Schooled, Internet Essentials by Comcast, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago City of Learning (CCOL) and countless community-based organizations (CBOs) joined actress and singer-songwriter Christina Milian, MTV’s Sway Calloway, Chicago hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper, Chicago White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams, Chicago Bears safety Ryan Mundy, Chicago Fire forward Harry Shipp, former Chicago Bulls forward Sidney Green and NBC5 morning anchor Zoraida Sambolin at Malcolm X College on Monday afternoon to honor 3,000 Chicago Public High School students for their success in the inaugural Get Schooled, Get Connected Challenge.

A first of its kind, this citywide challenge brought Get Schooled, a national non-profit organization launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Viacom, and Internet Essentials, which has connected more than 22,000 Chicago households and more than 1.4 million people in the U.S. to the Internet. Together, they and the CCOL delivered a platform of games, pop culture, localized information, recognition and rewards to motivate 13- to 19-year-old students to prepare for college during the semester-long challenge.

Hundreds of Chicago Public Schools teachers and CBOs played major roles assisting students throughout the challenge, helping them as they progressed during the three-month campaign.

Internet Essentials presented a $100,000 check, which will be split between six high schools and six CBOs who earned the most points. Recipient schools and CBOs will use the money to enhance computer labs, increase Internet and Wi-Fi access and support digital literacy training. Over the past year, Comcast and the Comcast Foundation have contributed more than $250,000 in Chicago to this ongoing initiative.

When the challenge launched on Oct. 11, students gained access to educational tools, resources and games – or “quests” – designed to maintain their interest. Quests covered content ranging from digital literacy to preparing for college-entrance exams, completing college applications and applying for financial aid. Students earned points for each quest they completed, which not only helped them win cool prizes along the way such as laptops, gaming systems and athletic wear, but those points also went toward their school or CBOs overall score. There were nearly 1,700 students with at least 1,500 points at the end of the challenge on Jan. 11, and that success earned them a ticket to Monday’s special VIP celebration. In less than 90 days, students completed more than 50,000 quests. (SOURCE: H+M Communications)

Photo:  H+M Communications

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