Park district honors volunteers, sponsors at first-ever event

Homewood-Flossmoor High School junior Alexandria Staton will spend the next two years strengthening her leadership and science skills through the Global Leaders Program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). This program helps outstanding high school students from Chicago and suburban schools improve their leadership skills and their passionate about STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math).

Alexandria Staton

This summer speakers from all areas of the sciences gave the students a look into their worlds and how important STEM majors were for their careers. For Staton, who hopes to become a medical doctor, the lectures opened up new paths for her to explore. 

“One speaker talked about Ebola. He went to the main region (in Africa) where it was happening and talked about the lack of water treatment. I thought it was really cool that he went to a Third World country to help them,” and she listened intently as he spoke of “the science side of it.”

Staton, of Homewood, was in Global Leaders workshops and training sessions Monday through Friday June 28 to July 29 at IIT. The program included several weeks of mentoring and skills building. Then she was assigned to a group with nine other students focusing on a society-improving program. 

Staton’s group is developing a community outreach program to share information on individual rights and how to handle police encounters in hopes of reducing police brutality issues.

The Global Leaders Program continues through her senior year at H-F. She’ll work on various projects with her group this school year before returning to IIT for another intensive summer session in 2016, and a final academic year of projects geared toward college admission.

This is the second leadership program Staton’s participated in.  She spent two weeks at Princeton University in summer 2014 at the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

“It was a great opportunity to meet so many other young women my age, including eight girls from Jamaica. And the amazing celebrities Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe were very inspirational,” she said. 

Staton, who graduated from Infant Jesus of Prague School, credits her mother, Pamela Jackson, with keeping her on task and involved in programs both at H-F and outside of school.

“She’s so hands-on,” Staton said of her mother.  “She finds it really important to do things outside of school because it’s what colleges look for, and these programs help further my experiences.”

At H-F, Staton is a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta math honor society. She writes for the school newspaper, The Voyager, and is on the girls golf team this fall. She’ll switch to the track and field team in the spring running long distance track.

Photos by Marilyn Thomas/HF Chronicle.

Community Calendar

News by email

Subscribe to The Latest (daily headlines email)

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Free weekly newsletter

Subscribe to The Weeks (weekly newsletter)

* indicates required

Recent video: Progress on police reform, part 2