Best Commitment to Education Program Finalists

Chicago Fire Football Club

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Chicago Fire Football Club PLAYS
© Chicago Fire Football Club

Studies show there is correlation between academics and physical education students receive. Chicago Fire FC embraced the opportunity to impact lives of underserved youth through enriching programming across Chicago Public Schools. In 2013, the Chicago Fire Foundation, the charitable arm of the Chicago Fire, established the P.L.A.Y.S. (Participate, Learn, Achieve, Youth, Soccer) Program, designed to enhance academic performance and development of social and emotional learning skills of students through a sports-based curriculum. 

P.L.A.Y.S. currently serves 1,000 boys and girls, of which 98 percent are of color and nearly 95 percent are classified as low-income, and live at, or below the U.S. poverty level. Research has shown that engaging youth within these demographics has positively impacted those most at-risk for academic success, as 94 percent of participants believe P.L.A.Y.S. has helped them do their best in school.



Mastercard India
© Mastercard

Girls4Tech™ is Mastercard’s signature science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum for girls ages 8 - 16. Since its launch in 2014, Girls4Tech has leveraged the company’s employee expertise in payment technologies and cybersecurity to inspire girls around the world to become the tech leaders of tomorrow.  

Across 44 countries, 6,000+ Mastercard Mentors have shown 1.6 million girls how their unique skills and strengths can lead them to any number of exciting STEM careers. In its seven years, the Girls4Tech’s global team has welcomed former participants as interns at Mastercard and created the world’s largest STEM program for girls.

Raytheon Technologies

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Raytheon Technologies PR AOE
© Raytheon Technologies

Diverse perspectives drive innovation, and as the speed of innovation quickens, inspiring the next generation’s diverse technical talent has never been more critical. To accelerate gender, racial, and ethnic diversity among future technologists, Raytheon Technologies has made new and far-reaching investments in NAF, an organization increasing the numbers of underrepresented groups in STEM fields.  

Raytheon Technologies’ work with NAF ensures access and connections to education, mentors, industry leaders, and work experience programs that transform passions into careers. This work reaches 120,000 students across the U.S., including a focused strategy in Puerto Rico.  From rebuilding school infrastructures affected by natural disasters and installing labs to mentoring students and filling STEM teacher gaps with employee volunteers, Raytheon Technologies’ goals are simple, yet bold – boost inspiring connections, bridge the diversity gap, and build the workforce of the future.