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February 10, 2018

Common Roots Initiative has decided to award its $1,000 2017 Teacher Scholarship to Proviso East High School (PEHS) art teacher Daphne Hill. CRI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has updated its mission, helping to deliver opportunities that inspire under-resourced high school youth and their teachers to courageously create fulfilling careers. Thus, this is the 1st scholarship offered by CRI that includes funding for an educator’s professional development, in addition to classroom projects.

This scholarship is another accomplishment among many for Hill. Several years ago she co-wrote curriculum for AP Studio, which allowed Proviso Township High Schools District 209 to give serious art students a path toward having their portfolios scored by the College Board. Since then, she has started a new art club at Proviso East, participated in the design of the school’s Career Academy initiative and taught a competency-based pilot class.

CRI’s $1,000 scholarship will provide a technology upgrade for her classroom and help pay for her continuing education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). As a master-certified teacher in her discipline, Hill aims to introduce more graphic design components to her students, thus expanding their art career opportunities.

“I am looking forward to purchasing a new classroom projector that I can use every day in my classroom. It will allow me to spontaneously show my students images and videos that will be useful for their individual project work on a daily basis in a way that has not been available to me before,” says Hill. “I am also excited to use the rest of the scholarship funds to take a continuing studies class at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago in graphic design. This course will update my knowledge of graphic design software in line with the programs we currently have available at Proviso East.”

“My goal for the future is to obtain a certificate in Graphic Design from SAIC, which will help our school offer new courses as we move forward with our Career Academies,” she adds.

CRI is thrilled to support Hill’s academic dreams. “The teacher scholarship candidates were all impressive,” says Kesha Green, CRI VP and 2017 Scholarship Committee Chair. “Yet we could clearly see that Hill’s vision would closely fulfill the needs of current students and provide a great foundation for innovative curriculum growth.”

Lastly, here are ways that you can help CRI support more under-resourced teachers and students: