Evanston Chamber Names Steve Newman of Evanston Scholars Nonprofit Person of the Year
Steve is the founder and executive director of Evanston Scholars, a non-profit organization that improves college access and success for a diverse group of ambitious Evanston students who are traditionally first-generation college entrants. They are low-income students, and students of color, starting with the college admissions process, continuing through college graduation, and preparing for careers. The comprehensive, six-year program offers college access/success workshops, mentors, SAT prep, college visits, community building, career readiness, and college counseling to support students with financial and/or academic needs.
As a startup in 2011, we served 10 students. Now, we take in roughly 40 new 10th graders each year and serve over 250 students. While only 11% of first-generation and low-income students who begin college graduate, the college graduation rate for our first four cohorts is 83%, with 52 College Graduates. Additionally, 91% of College Scholars are persisting towards their degrees.
Part of Steve’s responsibilities include overseeing a nearly $1M budget; fundraising; developing partnerships; ensuring an effective curriculum of college access, college success, and career readiness; recruitment and retainment of Scholars and mentors; and overseeing support efforts for all Scholars; and managing a dynamic, superb staff of 11.
Born in Evanston, he went to ETHS, the University of Michigan, and graduate school at the University of Chicago. Steve began teaching English at Evanston Township High School (ETHS) in 1997. He co-founded and taught Senior Studies (an interdisciplinary course that combines English, history, and service learning) for 19 years. Steve received the Golden Apple Award in 2004. Steve’s past also includes working for the McGaw YMCA as teen coordinator, and for Camp Echo as an adventure trip guide and outdoor education director. He currently lives with his wife and two kids in Evanston.