EPOL doctoral student plays key role in securing 1.25 million grant for local leadership academy

by Meg Dickinson   /   Nov 14, 2011

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois State Board of Education has awarded the TAP In Leadership Academy, currently at Edison Middle School, a $1.35 million, three-year grant.

Shameem Rakha, a doctoral candidate in EPOL (pictured), and academy Executive Director Sally Carter and wrote the grant. Rakha earned her master’s degree in Special Education and her bachelor’s in elementary education from the University of Illinois.

The money will allow the academy to expand to serve Edison students at their school every day, rather than two days a week. The academy will also expand to include 150 Centennial High School students daily at that school, and 25 students from any of the district's three middle schools. Those students will participate at the academy's campus location, at the McKinley Foundation on the University of Illinois Campus.

The TAP In Leadership Academy began in 2010 as a summer program. It's designed to add to what students in fifth through 12th grades learn at school and at home.

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