Toyota USA Foundation Awards $500,000 to IIT Academy for Future Leaders in Science and Technology

July 31, 2008

July 31, 2008 - Chicago - The Center for Strategic Competitiveness at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Stuart School of Business is pleased to announce that it has received a generous $500,000 grant from the Toyota U.S.A. Foundation to support the Academy for Future Leaders in Science and Technology. The Academy, scheduled to launch in the summer of 2009, invites talented, but often under-served high school students, aged 16-18, from the metropolitan Chicago area to attend a summer-long science and technology education and internship experience at IIT's university campus.

The three-year grant, the largest IIT Stuart School of Business has received to date, allows the Academy to provide an engaging 10-week educational program in the field of Environmental Science and Management. In the first summer of the program, 25 students will have the opportunity to take classes in a university setting, coupled with a rich curriculum of professional internships, individual mentoring and guest lectures.

"It is a great honor for IIT Stuart to have received such a generous grant from the Toyota U.S.A. Foundation, which will enrich the education of our future leaders in the emerging field of environmental science and management," said IIT Stuart School of Business Dean and Executive Director of the Center for Strategic Competitiveness Harvey Kahalas. "We look forward not only to the growth of the Academy, but also to the future expansion and replication of the program in other communities across the nation."

The goal of the Academy is to enhance the potential of under-served students to learn about science and technology and help them advance through high school and into post-secondary education. In addition to building their science skills, the Academy will prepare students to become environmental stewards and leaders involved in making important decisions that will help protect the environment for future generations. While the grant from the Toyota USA Foundation lays the foundation for launching the Academy, IIT hopes that this will be a catalyst for additional public and private investment, helping to establish the Academy as a model program for other schools and universities, and expanding its reach to hundreds more students each summer.

Thomas Anderson, associate dean of IIT Stuart School of Business, will play an integral role in the development and operations of the Academy, serving as its initial director. Anderson is the creator and founding director of the successful Wayne State University program, of which the Academy is modeled after.

"Toyota is pleased to be able to support the Academy for Future Leaders in Science and Technology," said Patricia Pineda, Group Vice President, National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation. "Toyota is committed to the environment and to supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. By combining classroom education with a real-life internship experience, the Academy is preparing students to become the next generation of environmental stewards, while also helping them expand their science skill sets."

For more information on how to become involved as an internship provider, supporter, guest speaker or student mentor, or for more information about the Academy, please contact Marie Vanderford at (312) 906-6547 or

Founded in 1890, IIT is a Ph.D.-granting university with more than 7,300 students in engineering, sciences, architecture, psychology, design, humanities, business and law. IIT's interprofessional, technology-focused curriculum is designed to advance knowledge through research and scholarship, to cultivate invention improving the human condition, and to prepare students from throughout the world for a life of professional achievement, service to society, and individual fulfillment. Visit

The Toyota USA Foundation is a $100 million charitable endowment created to support education programs serving kindergarten through 12th grade students and their teachers in the United States, with an emphasis on mathematics, science and environmental science. For additional information about the Toyota USA Foundation, visit


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