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A Letter to Our Scholars & Alumni from DJT

Dear Scholars and Alumni,

As many of you already know, I made the decision to leave Chicago Scholars at the end of this year. It has been a great honor to serve as CEO of this organization for the last seven years. Each and every one of you are incredible leaders who will go on to do amazing things in your futures. I’m excited to continue to watch you reach your goals and be the leadership that our city so desperately needs.

As we have been living through COVID-19 and a Social Justice crisis over the past nine months, I have gotten even more clear and passionate about elevating the talent and genius of first generation professionals. I call them Firsties™. There is a need beyond just Chicago and I want to be on the front lines supporting them to live up to their greatest potential and helping companies to achieve their goals by connecting to them.

In this next chapter, I will focus on connecting high performance diverse talent with opportunities for them to create change and impact in the spaces where they lead. One of the services that I’m most excited about is a 6-week masterclass that I recently launched. It’s called Firstie™ University. This course is meant for first gen grads to major in THEMSELVES. For them to get clarity on their purpose, identity, personal brand and goals. I believe the clarity that they get from the course will help them become better leaders. The curriculum truly includes everything that I wish I would have been taught in college!

I will also be doing more speaking, writing and coaching. Feel free to follow me on IG and LinkedIn if you haven’t already or check out if you’re interested in learning more.

While a search for the next CEO is underway, the Chicago Scholars Board of Directors has appointed Jeffery Beckham Jr., current Chicago Scholars Vice President of Partnerships, to serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer. The Chicago Scholars staff will keep you updated over the next several months as to the progress of the search.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be a small part in your leadership journeys. I look forward to crossing paths again soon.