Students from Epic Academy will have a better opportunity to secure summer internships after the school received a grant. Credit: Lee Edwards/ Block Club Chicago

SOUTH CHICAGO — The road toward securing a paid STEM-related summer internship just became easier for Epic Academy students.

Epic Academy, a charter high school at 8255 S. Houston Ave., is one of six grant recipients for the 2018 Invest For Kids Award, which will help 75 students get paid science, technology, engineering and math-related certification and internships over the life of the grant.

The grant will pay for students’ stipends during internships, certification exams, materials related to training and help strengthen the school’s existing internship program.

The final amount of Epic Academy’s grant has not been finalized,  according to Yani Mason, director of development and marketing at Epic Academy. Previous grant recipients received about $200,000 in grant funding, 

Invest For Kids is a local nonprofit that provides support for underserved children in Chicago. Each year, Invest For Kids hosts an annual conference fundraiser featuring presentations by investment managers. Invest For Kids has raised more than $11.5 million to benefit charitable organizations impacting 80,000 children since 2008.

This year’s Invest For Kids’ 10th annual conference, scheduled for 1-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct.24 at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St. Individual tickets cost $600-$1,200. Epic Academy along with the other grant recipients will be acknowledged at the conference.

Once finalized, the grant will give Epic students an opportunity to gain advantage over their peers whether they apply for college or enter the workforce, Mason said. 

“This has really been a huge game-changer for us,” said Mason, who applied for the grant on behalf of Epic Academy. 

Epic executive director Myetie Hamilton said the grant will provide students with equal access opportunities in corporate America.

Epic’s summer internship program began last summer with students interning at Arco Murray, a design-build contracting firm, and Claretian Associates, a South Chicago community-focused nonprofit organization. Interns working at Claretian Associates received stipends.

Epic also previously partnered with the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Genesys Works, which works to create avenues for success for underserved high school students, and CODE NOW, a nonprofit that teaches teens how to solve problems through coding, Mason said. 

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