Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Announces Class of 2014

175 Students Selected - Largest Number of Future Teachers Enrolled in 26 Years

CHICAGO--()--Golden Apple proudly announces the selection of the 2014 class of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program, a group of 175 dynamic young people who have chosen to dedicate themselves to a future career educating children in schools of need.


The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program has grown to more than 1,600 statewide participants since its inception in 1989, making it the leading pre‐service teacher preparation and internship program in the nation. The program is uniquely designed to prepare future teachers to thrive in the most challenging high-needs school environments where more resilient teachers are desperately needed. Recently, Chicago Public Schools approved a $1 million agreement with the Golden Apple Scholars program to provide 150 additional new teachers on top of the program’s annual state-supported cohorts, during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. The 2014 class represents a 30% increase in future teachers now participating in the program in Illinois.

“We applaud these young people for making the selfless choice to inspire and lead future generations of students through a career in education,” said Dominic Belmonte, Golden Apple president and CEO. “As teachers they will experience the reward of improving the lives of thousands of children. We know from experience that excellent teachers produce successful students and we welcome this new class of future educators with deep gratitude and enthusiasm.”

The Scholars program has been proven to profoundly improve persistence and graduation rates among participants. In addition, the program has been shown to have a significant impact on workforce development by helping low-income and under-represented students gain necessary skill development for a lasting career in teaching. Evidence of the success of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program includes:

  • 83% of Golden Apple Scholars successfully graduate from college each year, dramatically outpacing the national average graduation rate of 58%.
  • 84% of Golden Apple Scholars who complete their five year commitment to teach in a school of need remain in education today vs. 44% of new teachers who leave their initial school within two years.
  • More than 665,000 students in Illinois have been taught by Golden Apple Scholars since 1989.
  • 50% of Scholars earn more in their first year of teaching than their total household income at the time they applied to college.

The 2014 class of Scholars represents a diverse group of young people from across the state of Illinois:

  • 61% are the first in their family to attend college
  • 39% are from very low/low income households
  • 56% are people of color
  • 21% are men and 79% are women

The program provides tuition assistance to each future teacher while they pursue an undergraduate education at one of 52 Illinois universities. Beginning the summer after high school graduation and continuing throughout their undergraduate years, Scholars benefit from four teaching internships, ongoing academic and career mentoring and course work on the art of teaching delivered by Golden Apple Award‐winning teachers. When Scholars complete the program, they have acquired more than three times the classroom teaching experiences garnered by traditionally prepared teachers. Golden Apple continues to support Scholars after they begin their teaching careers through ongoing mentoring and professional development. In return for the financial, academic, and professional development support that is provided by Golden Apple, Scholars agree to teach in a high-need school in Illinois for five years following college graduation.

About Golden Apple

Golden Apple began with founders Mike and Pat Koldyke and a shared inspiration — to offer outstanding schoolteachers a level of recognition and engagement in the larger work of education reform. Golden Apple’s successful track record of integrated, innovative programs and resources enhance the quality, resiliency, and creativity of classroom teachers and improve teaching and learning throughout Illinois. Qualified, passionate educators — including Golden Apple Award‐ winners and finalists — lead a small staff of dedicated employees with functional and program expertise. A connected and committed board of directors oversees Golden Apple’s strategic direction. Together with a larger community of expert educators, this nonprofit organization works to ensure that all Illinois children have the excellent teachers they deserve. Visit for more information.


for Golden Apple
Eileen Rochford, 312‐953‐3305

Release Summary

Announcing the new class of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program, 175 dynamic young people who have chosen to dedicate themselves to a future career educating children in IL schools of need.


for Golden Apple
Eileen Rochford, 312‐953‐3305