Chicago Tribune


Evanston Work Ethic Program Introduces Second Student Cohort

"The Evanston Work Ethic (WE) Program unveiled its second group of seven ETHS juniors on Thursday , March 22, at a private dinner. The first group of students were introduced in 2017, representing a variety of interests and aspirations. The WE Program is an Evanston-based non-profit that assists students who seek an in-demand, high paying career requiring a two-year degree or some type of certification/apprenticeship."

Evanston Work Ethic Program Expands as it Enters Second Year

The Daily Northwestern

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“This isn’t a program to stop students from going to college,” Coleman said. “It’s just a program to introduce students to alternatives besides college.”

“The people who run the program are learning with us,” Seiler said. “They’re not managing us, they’re talking with us and communicating.”


Spotlight on the Evanston Work Ethic Program

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“We’re very focused on four-year college everywhere in the country, particularly maybe in Evanston. So, we’ve really been interested in this issue and presenting young people with the different options there are for a successful life,” said Marybeth Schroeder, Vice President for Programs at the Evanston Community Foundation. “We want for every young person to find a career that is more than just a job, something they can really be involved in, but everyone doesn’t have to walk down the same path.”

Success Takes a Different Path


“In high school it’s so focused on college acceptance, where you’re going, all the academics are focused on that. But a lot of these careers you don’t need that college degree. You need training and certification.”

She gets it!


CBS Chicago


Evanston Program Pairs Teens With Trades, As Potential College Alternative

There is a new face among the programmers and developers at Chicago’s Pivotal Labs.

Avontay Coleman is a hard working high school junior who’s been paired with product manager Daniel Witenberg. Witenberg is a mentor helping him see that these jobs — which can pay as much as $100,000 a year — require technical training but not necessarily a college degree.

“A lot of people my age aren’t into internships and apprenticeships — they think about four-year colleges,”Avontay says.

“If that’s not the right path I don’t think it should be forced on someone. It could lead to frustration.”

The Daily Northwestern


Mentoring program with local businesses welcomes first class

A mentoring program for high school juniors matched its first class of eight participants with professional mentors last week.

Business owner Hecky Powell started The Evanston Work Ethic program through the Forrest E. Powell Foundation. The program at Evanston Township High School was launched with help from the Evanston Community Foundation and the Evanston Chamber of Commerce.

“Not every kid is made to go to college nor is every kid made to go to trade school.”

Evanston Now


New Career Prep Program Launched

Hecky Powell and The Forrest E. Powell Foundation have announced the launch of a new non-profit organization, the Evanston WE Program, to help career and technically-minded Evanston Township High School students with career preparation, certification and placement.

The WE -- for work ethic -- program will provide one-on-one mentoring, career-readiness workshops and financial aid access.

"We believe that all ETHS students deserve support and mentoring to reach their full potential.” 

Evanston Program Focusing On Lifelong Employability

EVANSTON, IL — In launching the new Evanston Work Ethic Program (WE), Evanston community leaders say they are creating a model to address the shortfall between what businesses are increasingly looking for in employees and what high schools are supplying. Business operators and entrepreneurs will tell you a four-year degree is not the only path to a successful and reliable career. Many are searching for ambitious, trainable candidates to fill well-paying skilled positions.

"We want to let students know that there are multiple paths to success after high school.” 

Dear Evanston

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The Forrest E. Powell Foundation announced last week that it will support 10 ETHS juniors who are interested in pursuing Career and Technical Education after high school. Applications are due Friday, October 14 and are available at and at Hecky's Barbecue, 1902 Green Bay Road.

The new Evanston We Program (WE for Work Ethic), which was announced late last week by Foundation, will mentor ETHS juniors who are interested in pursuing a two-year Career and Technical Education (CTE) path rather than the more generally pursued four-year college track.

"Our goal is to create a pipeline to employment.” 


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The WE — for work ethic — Program will provide one-on-one mentoring, career-readiness workshops and financial aid access. Hecky Powell, founder of the WE program says, “For years, The Forrest E. Powell Foundation has provided scholarships to youth pursuing training for the career and technical fields. This program takes our mission one step further with a full curriculum and mentorship that really gives students the support they deserve from high school to training to career placement. Engage. Educate. Employ. That’s what The Evanston WE Program is all about."

“College for everyone’ is a statement of political correctness, rather than fact."

'WE' Program Receives $3500 Grant from Chamber of Commerce MashUp Event

The Evanston Chamber of Commerce awarded the Forrest E. Powell Foundation’s Work Ethic (WE)program a $3500 grant at the annual MashUp, held recently.

The Chamber agreed to donate 10% of the proceeds from its Mash-Up gathering of business, academics and arts personages, to a local non-profit. Prior to the award, President Morton Schapiro and Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl had determined that the annual Catalyst award would recognize an organization in Evanston focused on workforce development, the Skilled Trades Program.

"The Chamber is very proud to support this program.”

Daily Northwestern

Hecky Powell’s foundation helps launch youth training program

The Forrest E. Powell Foundation — operated by the owner of Hecky’s Barbecue — is investing in helping high school students find career success through trade school.

“I’ve discovered that many kids aren’t at the top level with AP classes and not in trouble or at the lower level. They’re good kids but they don’t get much attention,” Hecky Powell said. “They come through school, and they don’t know what to do after, even though they definitely have the work ethic.”

evanston Now

New Career Prep Program Launched

Students are inducted their junior year of high school and matched with a career related mentor. They will participate in a supportive and sequential curriculum of career readiness seminars and apprenticeships. Candidates may attend community college, vocational school, trade school, apprenticeship or short-term training programs such as automotive technology, cosmetology, culinary, healthcare or manufacturing.

Newsletter for the 2nd ward


Hecky Powell and The Forrest E. Powell Foundation have announced the launch of a new non-profit organization, the Evanston WE Program, to help career and technically-minded Evanston Township High School students with career preparation, certification and placement.