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Hecky Powell and The Forrest E. Powell Foundation have announced the launch of a new non-profit organization, the Evanston WE (Work Ethic) Program, specifically designed to help career and technically-minded Evanston Township High School students with professional prep, certification, and career placement. The Evanston WE Program will provide one-to-one mentoring, career-readiness workshops, and financial aid access.

Mr. Powell said, “For years, The Forrest E. Powell Foundation has honored Evanstonians with The Work Ethic Award and provided scholarships to students pursuing training for the career and technical fields.  This program takes our mission even further with a step-by-step workshops, mentorship, and work experiences that really give students the support they deserve from high school to training to career placement.   Engage. Educate. Employ.  That’s what The Evanston WE Program is all about.”

Evanston WE Program will collaborate with strong community partners including ETHS, Oakton Community College, Y.O.U. and the Youth Job Center, to identify students and deliver programs.  Students are inducted during their junior year of high school and matched with a career related mentor.  They will participate in a supportive and sequential curriculum of career readiness seminars and apprenticeships.  Candidates may attend community college, vocational school, trade school, apprenticeship or short-term training programs such as automotive technology, cosmetology, culinary, healthcare or manufacturing.

“Several programs exist to help college-bound students, and we think that’s really great,” says Nancy Baker, Executive Director of the Evanston WE Program. “But what happens to the significant percentage of ambitious students who pursue careers that don’t require a 4-year degree? We believe that all ETHS students with goals deserve support and mentoring to reach their full potential. And if we can keep their talent right here in Evanston, that’s even better news for everyone.”