Sway Calloway from MTV presents a check to Julian High School during the Get Schooled, #GetConnected Celebration. (PRNewsFoto/Get Schooled)


A host of celebrities were on hand Monday at Malcolm X College for a first-of-its-kind challenge to help motivate students for college and increase digital literacy in Chicago Public Schools.

Christina Milian, MTV’s Sway Calloway, Chance the Rapper, Chicago White Sox Executive Vice President Ken Williams, Chicago Bears safety Ryan Mundy, and others helped award students in the Get Schooled, Get Connected Challenge. Get Schooled, a non-profit organization launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Viacom, and Comcast’s Internet Essentials partnered with the Chicago City of Learning for the semester-long challenge that used educational tools, games, and other resources to help students increase tech skills, prepare for college-entrance exams, complete college applications and apply for financial aid.

On Monday Internet Essentials gave a $100,000 check that will be split between six high schools and six community based organizations who earned the most points throughout the challenge. The money will be used to enhance computer labs, increase Internet and Wi-Fi access and support digital literacy training, according to a news release.



“This citywide effort successfully engaged thousands of students in activities to enhance their technology skills, which are absolutely necessary for college and 21st century jobs,” said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.

“It’s great to know we’ve helped nearly 100,000 Chicagoans tap the power of the internet for educational content outside of the classroom, job searches and so many other things that help further their education and lives,” added John Crowley, Comcast Regional Senior Vice President.

Chicago Public Schools also recently launched CPS Connects, which provides students free virtual learning opportunities and free online educational content available to Chicago students.

“The city is focused on helping students prepare for college, and The Get Schooled, Get Connected Challenge did just that,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.