Kassie Davis welcomes Eva Giglio as CME Group Foundation Executive Director

As I enter my retirement, I am excited to welcome the new Executive Director of the CME Group Foundation, Eva Giglio, whose appointment we announced earlier this month.

Eva brings over a decade of experience working in education and enhancing the lives of Chicago’s youth, most recently serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), where she led the district’s strategic vision and improvement planning with a focus on creating more equitable outcomes for students.

Eva started her career as a middle and high school Spanish teacher at Kenwood Academy in Chicago. In addition to her passion for education, Eva is also a champion of equity in access to resources for families with children in Chicago – she serves as a Board Member for Share Our Spare, which helps provide diapers and essentials to families in need.

I’m thrilled for CME Group Foundation and for students and educators across Chicago and Illinois. Eva brings an incredible background to the Foundation and I am confident that she will continue to fulfill our mission by empowering future generations through education.

As I reflect on my time with the Foundation, I realize what a privilege it has been to have served in this role. I have learned something new every day from my grantee network and foundation colleagues. I appreciate all of your collaboration and friendship over the years and for making my time here so special.

Please join me in a warm welcome for Eva and thank you for your continued support.



New CME Group Foundation Scholars Day of Market Education

In 2019, the CME Group Foundation established a unique scholarship program to help ensure that Black and Latinx sophomores, juniors, and seniors studying finance- or technology-related majors were able to finish their four-year degrees. This year, 15 new students were awarded an annual scholarship of up to $20,000. As part of the program, these scholars can attend career panels, network with CME Group employees, and learn about internship opportunities that could help them in their career journeys.

The CME Group Foundation recently hosted a two-part virtual lunch and learn session for the new additions to the 2021 – 2022 CME Group Foundation Scholars program. During the program, students heard from CME Group employees and learned more about their personal career journeys, as well as the role CME Group plays in the global economy. Scholars also had the opportunity to learn best practices when applying for internships and entry-level jobs and even heard from one of CME Group’s current interns, who is also a CME Group Foundation Scholar, about the importance of networking.

Watch the introduction video to learn more about the 2021-2022 CME Group Foundation Scholars:



All-girls team wins back-to-school esport initiative funded by CME Group Foundation

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) recently launched a new and creative initiative to help engage high school students in STEM learning ahead of the new school year. Alexandra Orellana-Vlachakis, Executive Director of Early College and Career Education, teamed up with Jadine Chou, Chief of Safety and Security, to launch a Minecraft Challenge esports competition.

Esports helps students build the right skills for the future, encouraging collaboration inside and outside the school and providing opportunities for students to solve real-life problems and learn more about STEM in a fun and immersive environment.

Five area high schools including Englewood STEM, Chicago Vocational Career Academy (CVCA), Michele Clark, Marshall, and Julian participated in the competition. The winning team from each school went on to compete in an Urban Design Challenge where they were asked to redesign Navy Pier. The final score was based on land use, as well as environmental attention to air, water, and infrastructure. Teams were also asked to include family use areas plus commercial, community event, and retail spaces, all while considering rising lake levels and beach erosion. The winning team was a group of all-girl seniors from CVCA.

ECCE and the Computer Science team at CPS plan to offer more Minecraft Challenges and other esports activities across this school year.

See the social media post for more information about the competition here.



New computer science teacher endorsement program launches

CME Group Foundation has provided $125,000 towards a new seven-course program to certify grades 5-12 Illinois teachers to teach computer science. The program is offered through the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with collaboration from the university’s Computer Science Department. It is designed to equip Illinois teachers with the foundational knowledge to teach existing computer science courses, develop their own courses, and integrate new technologies into their teaching—all aimed at providing more equitable learning experiences in computer science.

Funding from CME Group Foundation will help support 15 teachers going through the program, covering 75 percent of the tuition cost for teacher students. According to School University Research Coordinator Raya Hegeman-Davis, the completely virtual program has attracted students from all around the state, including Chicagoland, the Peoria area, the Quad Cities, East St. Louis, and other surrounding communities in central Illinois.

Read more.



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New education report spotlights digital divide in computer science learning

The CME Group Foundation has awarded nearly $3 million in grants to further support kindergarten readiness and K-12 programming across Chicago and Illinois. These grants include $1,275,000 in support of kindergarten readiness programs, which will help to better equip children for later academic achievement, and $700,000 in grants to support K-12 programming with a strong focus on computer science, financial education, and personalized learning through technology.

A new report released by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and sponsored by the CME Group Foundation has brought attention to the disparities between urban and rural students in access to adequate computer science learning. Based on surveys of 463 educators in K-12 schools throughout the entire state of Illinois, the report found that many schools outside of Chicago were not offering computing courses or were only offering introductory or beginner level courses that wouldn’t help students develop advanced skills. The report also found that training opportunities were scarce for students in rural districts, either due to cost or lack of access, with most training being offered only in Chicago.

It is critical that current K-12 students have access to high-quality computer science courses throughout their educational careers to ensure that they are able to succeed and excel in our modern workforce. Access to computer science and computational thinking courses is not only a matter of workforce development, but also of equity. Early access to these courses significantly increases the likelihood that women and students of color will major in computer science in college, providing them with a pipeline to high-wage jobs.

Raya Hegeman-Davis

The report also called upon computer science education groups, postsecondary institutions, and the Illinois State Board of Education to advocate that K-12 schools require computer science courses rather than offer them as electives.

Read the report.


CME Group Foundation awards more than $650,000 in grants to further support education and community organizations in Chicago and Illinois

CME Group Foundation has awarded more than $650,000 in statewide grants that will ensure continued access to robust educational resources and that learning initiatives for students at every level remain impactful despite historic challenges and uncertainty.

For over a decade, the CME Group Foundation has served as an advocate for computer science and math education initiatives, funding transformative projects that develop students from cradle to career. As the pandemic continues to affect lives, it is critical that quality teaching and learning resources remain available to students – particularly those from the most vulnerable populations.

New 2021 CME Group Foundation grantees include:

College and Career Success – Student Services

  • Center for IT Acceleration
  • Intrinsic Schools
  • National Louis University

College and Career Success – Research and Policy

  • SIU Foundation, fiscal agent for Illinois Board of Higher Education

Early Childhood Education – Kindergarten Readiness

  • ReadyNation/Council for a Strong America
  • University of Illinois

Education K-12 – Computer Science

  • 100kin10
  • DePaul University
  • Teachers Supporting Teachers

More information about CME Group Foundation grants is available here.


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