The‌ ‌Great‌ ‌Expectations‌ ‌Mentoring‌ ‌(GEM)‌ ‌Program‌ ‌exists‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌pipeline‌ ‌for‌ ‌equipping‌ ‌and‌ ‌advancing‌ ‌African‌ ‌American‌ ‌male‌ ‌and‌ ‌Latinx‌ education ‌leaders‌ ‌in‌ ‌Chicago‌ ‌Public‌ ‌Schools‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌next‌ ‌stage‌ ‌of ‌their‌ ‌leadership‌ ‌and‌ ‌equity‌ ‌journey.

During‌ ‌the‌ ‌year‌-long‌ ‌program,‌ ‌GEM‌ ‌fellows‌ ‌work‌ ‌closely‌ ‌with‌ ‌district‌ ‌leaders‌ ‌to‌ ‌practice‌ ‌leadership‌ ‌skills,‌ ‌develop‌ ‌equity‌ ‌lenses,‌ ‌and‌ ‌connect‌ ‌with‌ ‌GEM‌ ‌mentors‌ ‌and‌ ‌other‌ ‌innovators‌ ‌in‌ ‌order‌ ‌to‌ ‌operationalize‌ ‌their‌ ‌own‌ ‌leadership transformation‌ ‌in‌ ‌relation‌ ‌to‌ ‌their‌ ‌school‌ ‌and‌ ‌district‌ ‌work.‌ ‌The‌ ‌mentoring‌ ‌program‌ ‌connects‌ ‌fellows with‌ leaders internal and external to the district that ‌can‌ ‌help‌ ‌them‌ ‌test‌ ‌ideas,‌ ‌reflect‌ ‌on‌ ‌their‌ ‌own‌ ‌practices,‌ ‌model‌ ‌and‌ ‌affirm‌ ‌practices‌ ‌and‌ ‌approach‌, ‌and‌ ‌navigate‌ ‌challenging‌ ‌situations ultimately building the fellows leadership capacity. ‌

GEM Mentors are intentionally matched with GEM Fellows to deliver thought partnership and guidance around a focused set of practice or competency areas as mutually determined by mentor, mentee and GEM program staff. Through this structure, GEM Mentors share their experience and knowledge of best practices for improving student achievement, and education management and leadership to support GEM Fellows in expanding their capacity as education leaders.

Fellow Role Criteria:

  • Successfully led teams and/or projects at scale to support the CPS Vision
  • Knowledge of the CPS Equity Framework and CPS Equity Toolkit
  • Successfully executed and monitored Continuous Improvement (CI) or Continuous Improvement Work Plans (CIWP)
  • Successfully modeled, led, trained and motivated multiple levels of personnel to be excellent at problem solving

Eligibility: African-American males and Latinx employees that are CPS Principals, Assistant Principals, and Central or Network Office managers and Directors, has the capacity to participate and complete the program’s monthly time commitment

Competency Alignment

Influences others to positive action: Mentors equip mentees with the skills necessary to influence their peers and allow them to impact change throughout the district.

Strategizes and drives for results to maximize impact: Mentees learn best practices and strategy from their mentors who serve as leaders within the district. Mentors will instill a need for maximizing productivity, innovation, and impact.

Fosters trusting relationships to enable productive change: Both mentors and mentees build strong relationships throughout the program. Mentees will develop skills to lead teams and instill a value in trust and collaboration.

Adapts and shows resilience to create solutions: Both mentors and mentees identify as coming from historically marginalized ethnic origins. Mentors share their experiences to inspire mentees to persevere when faced with adversity and to always have a solutions oriented approach.