Today Kirkland & Ellis, a global law firm with 1,300 attorneys, announced its decision to become the newest partner in Scholarship Chicago’s High 5 Program, an initiative aimed at increasing diversity in the professional world and improving college opportunities for talented, high-need youth. Long known for its commitment to diversity, this announcement reconfirms that commitment and makes Kirkland a leading supporter of the diverse “pipeline” being created by Scholarship Chicago.
“Kirkland & Ellis is very pleased to partner with the High 5 program and help advance the educational prospects for talented, young individuals,” said Kevin R. Evanich, a partner in Kirkland’s Chicago office and a member of the Firm Management Committee.
As a High 5 Partner, Kirkland will join 12 other major Chicago businesses in giving financial and programming support to the Scholarship Chicago College Bound program. Their contributions allow five students to take full part in the five-year program, which runs from the students’ senior year in high school to their college graduation. Along with “gap” college scholarships of up to $2,500 a year, college bound scholars receive substantial programming that includes a year of college preparatory workshops, mentoring, summer internships, and career networking opportunities. It is a system that works, and 96 percent of college bound scholars earn their degrees in four years.
While new to the High 5 Program, Kirkland is not new to the Scholarship Chicago network and has already benefited from the success of the College Bound Program. Karla Sanchez, a College Bound Scholar from the Class of 2006, is a project assistant at the firm and has recently been accepted to law school.
“Kirkland’s contributions to Scholarship Chicago provided me with a great opportunity,” Ms. Sanchez said. “Not only was I well prepared to enter the workforce after graduation, I got the chance to be a member of the team at a world-class firm like Kirkland.”
With this announcement, Kirkland has taken a leading role in helping to make sure that there will always be positions for well-educated, diverse students like Karla. Their commitment to the High 5 Program is a commitment to build diversity from the ground up. With their support, Scholarship Chicago will continue to ensure that talented, high-need students from Chicago have all of the opportunities they deserve, and that the future leaders of our country will come from a variety of different backgrounds.