AUSL’s 48 Hours of Giving Campaign Funds Community Resource to Support Residents

Fast facts

Publish date: June 26, 2024
Categories: News from the Network
Post author: Sal Navarro

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AUSL’s 48 Hours of Giving Campaign directly benefits the Chicago Teacher Residency (CTR) Need-Based Fund. This CTR community resource helps Residents address unexpected challenges that have created hardship to successfully navigate and complete their residency by awarding financial assistance on a case-by-case basis. Life happens unexpectedly and barriers Residents experience include requiring assistance with extra learning support, transportation, housing and essential bills and classroom preparedness. This campaign helps expand AUSL’s ability to help Residents cross the finish line, becoming the educators our students need.

Supporters of the campaign will help Residents overcome challenges and ensure AUSL successfully brings high-quality educators to the students and communities who need them the most. Residents like Angela, Mike, Sandra and Steve shared their stories of facing unique challenges during their residency and how the CTR Need-Based Fund helped them overcome financial obstacles to complete the program and secure their roles as CPS educators.

Angela, a Chicago native, was proud to join the Residency program and train to serve her hometown as an incoming full-time educator. Because she did not own a car, Angela relied heavily on public transportation to get to her school site and classes at DePaul University’s College of Education in Lincoln Park. Living in Gage Park on the city’s southwest side, her commute was over an hour each way, but she was prepared for the commute with the CTA U-Pass provided to DePaul University students. As the Residency program continued, Angela and other Residents using public transportation faced some challenges with their class schedule and CTA U-Pass. During DePaul’s breaks in-between terms, the CTA U-Pass is not accessible for Residents to use, but they continue to serve their students at their training site. This led Angela to spend more money on transportation out of her tight budget. Despite the obstacles, Angela made it to her training site while DePaul University was on break to be present and engaged with her students. The CTR Need-Based Fund provided Angela with a one-time stipend to cover the cost of traveling to and from her training site during DePaul’s break. Angela successfully completed the Residency program with excellent attendance as she did not allow distance to become a barrier to her experience.

Before joining the CTR, Mike was working at a department store for several years. He decided to make the career switch to education because he wanted to work with children and, despite not yet finding an accessible and realistic training opportunity, knew teaching was his calling at an early age. The CTR was the first training opportunity Mike discovered that would provide a stipend, ample scholarship awards and healthcare so he could make pursuing this dream a realistic option. When he began training in the classroom, Mike felt discouraged and a little self-conscious of his professional classroom attire. Mike’s previous employer provided a uniform and his current wardrobe had limited options that followed the dress code at his teaching site. This made Mike feel less confident and out of place in the classroom, but because of the financial limitations he experienced during his training year, he was not able to purchase professional attire for the classroom. Mike did not want his classroom attire to affect his performance in the classroom so he confided in his CTR Associate Director. They introduced Mike to The CTR Need-Based Fund and encouraged him to apply. The CTR Need-Based Fund gifted Mike a stipend to purchase new professional classroom attire that he can keep after the Residency program to support his first years as an educator. While Mike was becoming an effective educator regardless of his clothing, he gained a stronger sense of identity and confidence leading his classroom. Mike went on to graduate from the residency program and is looking forward to leading his own classroom next school year!

Sandra was a Diverse Learning Cohort Resident that changed careers to follow her passion of helping others into the classroom. Originally a liberal arts major, Sandra did not have all the prerequisite classes required to complete DePaul University’s Masters of Education program. Rather than allowing this to prevent Sandra from continuing the program, Sandra and other students missing a prerequisite are allowed to complete supplemental coursework needed to satisfy their missing credits. Deficiency courses allow Residents to make up the credits they need to graduate as high-quality teachers. Sandra signed up for a “History of Math” deficiency course to satisfy a missing Math prerequisite. However, she was concerned with how she’d be able to afford the class on top of her DePaul coursework and living expenses while she’s in the residency program. The CTR Need-Based Fund provided Sandra with the cost of her deficiency course, $398, so she could continue on in the program and be on track to graduate with the rest of her cohort. Because of this support, Sandra completed her deficiency course, successfully completed the residency program, and is ready to lead her own classroom next school year.

Steve was passionate about becoming a classroom teacher and took advantage of all the training opportunities made available to him throughout the Residency program. When Steve’s CTR Associate Director noticed he missed two in-person professional development sessions in a row, they knew something was off. After checking in with Steve, his CTR Associate Director discovered that he didn’t qualify for all DePaul University scholarships made available to Residents and, as a result, Steve had been paying for additional tuition. This didn’t discourage Steve from following his passion to become a teacher. Steve instead took a part-time job serving at a local restaurant to cover living expenses throughout the program which prevented him from attending some professional development training. The CTR Need-Based Fund awarded Steve a one-time stipend to assist with living expenses so he could attend the valuable in-person professional development sessions. This allowed Steve to gain important supplemental skill development that he can use in the classroom while making ends meet. Steve graduated from the Residency in May and, come Fall, he will lead a classroom of his very own.

These impact stories are shared among Residents and reflect the varying levels of barriers that present challenges during their residency experience. The CTR Need-Based Fund fuels Residents’ courage to persist through their circumstance and focus on the valuable knowledge and development that builds their skillset to serve underprivileged school communities. There’s still a chance to support AUSL’s 48 Hours of Giving Campaign by donating here!

Thank you for supporting The Chicago Teacher Residency Need-Based Fund!

*The narratives shared above are based on real events. Names and details may have been changed to respect program participant privacy.

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