stephen mcclain, darrious hilmon, leeandra khan

Two CICS Leaders Selected for Chicago Urban League’s IMPACT Leadership Development Program

Written by Darrious Hilmon
27 August 2018

Chicago, Illinois (August 28, 2018) - Chicago International Charter School (CICS) is proud to announce that Stephan McClain, Co-CEO of CICS school management (SMO) partner, Empowered Community Schools, and LeeAndra Khan, CEO of SMO partner Civitas Education Partners have been selected as Fellows in the 2019 class of the Chicago Urban League’s IMPACT Leadership Development Program. Additionally, Darrious Hilmon, CICS’ Chief of External Affairs will serve as a program mentor.

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“CICS couldn’t be prouder of Stephen and LeeAndra for their selection as IMPACT Fellows, and Darrious for answering the call to serve as a program mentor,” said Elizabeth Shaw CICS CEO. “This represents more than just a testament to the immense talent and demonstrated community engagement of these Black leaders, it’s an important and meaningful opportunity for our students, 96% Black and Latinx, to see reflections of themselves – and all that is possible - in the leaders championing them on their paths to success in college and in life.”

A nine-month program, IMPACT empowers young, African American executives by providing them with the tools and skills necessary to thrive in increasingly responsible leadership roles. It accomplishes this through a curriculum that comprises five distinct program elements: (1) leadership modules; (2) historical and political perspective modules; (3) current issue modules; (4) individual leadership assessments; and (5) the “Lessons in Leadership” speaker series.

Each year, IMPACT selects a cohort of approximate 35 African American professionals between the ages of 30-45 years old who hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and have at least seven years of increasingly responsible professional experience and a demonstrated track record of civic leadership. Selection to IMPACT is competitive and requires submitting letters of recommendation and engaging in a formal interview process.

Prospective fellows are assessed based on personal and professional accomplishments, leadership potential, and commitment to civic engagement.

Monthly modules serve as the classroom learning component of the IMPACT Leadership Development Program. The Chicago Urban League, in partnership with University of Chicago Booth School of Business, invites prominent academics, subject matter experts, and industry leaders to impart their knowledge and insights on our Fellows over the course of a day-long session. Learning material is presented in a variety of ways – via lectures, panel discussions, and breakout group reflections. In addition to the modules, Fellows participate in supplementary events and activities each month. IMPACT also hosts a “Lessons in Leadership” speakers series, which features senior leaders from the Chicago area who share their stories of challenges, triumphs, and lessons learned in their careers. 

Additionally, each Fellow is paired with a mentor who offers guidance on matters such as professional development, relationship mapping, work/life balance, and board engagement. 

To learn more about IMPACT visit:

About Chicago International Charter School

Chicago International Charter School is a vibrant network of diverse Chicago Charter schools which enables students to thrive every day, puts them on a path to success in college and life, and empowers entrepreneurial educators to pursue excellence through innovation.

About Civitas Education Partners

Civitas Education Partners aims to provide teams and students with an exceptional experience rooted in high expectations for student achievement and civic responsibility. Civitas manages CICS Chicago Quest, CICS Northtown Academy, CICS Ralph Ellison and CICS Wrightwood.

About Empowered Community Schools

Empowered Community Schools is a collaborative and innovative learning community, empowering students with advanced academic knowledge and the mindsets and behaviors needed to flourish in college, careers and life. Empowered Community Schools manages CICS Loomis-Longwood.

IMPACT Class of 2019

  IMPACT Program 

 Stephen Darrious LeeAndra

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