Mayor Lightfoot, CTA and CPS Announce “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund” Now Accepting Applications from CPS High School Students

December 29, 2020

In partnership with Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) contractor Walsh-Fluor and non-profit Chicago Scholars, CTA opens college scholarship program for low-income Chicago youth in program’s second year

CHICAGO – Mayor Lightfoot, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced that new applications are now being accepted for the “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund”, an innovative program that provides a path for economically disadvantaged youth to pursue education and careers in construction and engineering.

Created in partnership with the Walsh-Fluor Design-Build team -- the contractor for CTA’s historic $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project -- the scholarship program provides aid to students who plan to pursue four-year degrees in construction management, civil engineering, industrial engineering or systems engineering.

"It’s important that as a city we continue to invest in our youth and prepare them for the future,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The CTA’s innovative scholarship program provides opportunity to hard-working students from low-income backgrounds, helping them achieve their potential in an especially challenging world."

“With every CTA project, we are committed to creating opportunity and inclusion for Chicagoans across the city,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “With potential future labor shortages in these industries, there is a growing opportunity for our youth to enter occupational fields in which they have been historically underrepresented.”

The “CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund” was created by CTA in 2019 and is now in its second year. Walsh-Fluor is funding the program with $250,000 for 10 scholarships between 2020 and 2023. Students who are awarded scholarships are also eligible to apply for paid summer internships with Walsh-Fluor. The program is administered by Chicago Scholars, a mentoring and leadership development organization that helps first-generation college students and students from under-resourced communities navigate transitions into college, through college and on to careers.

“We have so many students who work hard and are committed to their education and need financial assistance to achieve their dreams,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “The ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund,' lessens the barriers they face and gives them the opportunities they need to succeed, especially during such difficult times.”

“Chicago Scholars is proud to partner with the CTA and Walsh-Fluor and create important opportunities for CPS students through the ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund’,” said Jeffery Beckham Jr., Chicago Scholars Interim CEO. “This fund will elevate opportunities for our financially under-resourced and first-generation Scholars beyond college access as they continue on the path to becoming young professionals and leaders within Chicago’s STEM industry.”

Program details and timeline

  • The application period opened Dec. 10, 2020 and applications will be due March 1, 2021. To apply, click here.
  • Up to three scholarships will be awarded of $5,500 a year for four years per winner.
  • Scholarship winners will be announced on April 15, 2021.
  • Eligible students must be enrolled in a CPS or CPS-supported high school and currently part of the Chicago Scholars program. Chicago Scholars recruits from all 77 community areas of the city and has student representation from 75 CPS and CPS-supported high schools.
  • Eligible students must be enrolled in STEM coursework, have a grade point average of at least 3.0, and have a good attendance record.

In 2020, three CPS students were awarded scholarships. Learn more about them here and check out a video of them here.


Back to news
System status snapshot
‘L’ route status
Red Line
Normal Service
Blue Line
Normal Service
Brown Line
Normal Service
Green Line
Normal Service
Orange Line
Normal Service
Pink Line
Normal Service
Purple Line
Normal Service
Yellow Line
Normal Service
Bus routes w/alerts
Elevator alerts