Kehrein Center for the Arts groundbreaking

On Thursday morning, scholars, parents, stakeholders, and community members convened at Catalyst Circle Rock to break ground on a new center for the arts, a 1,000-seat auditorium.  At the ceremony, the name for this center was publicly revealed for the first time – the Kehrein Center for the Arts.  The center is named in honor of Glen and Lonni Kehrein, the founders of Circle Urban Ministries 45 years ago in the Austin neighborhood.

Catalyst was honored to host over 200 attendees, including U.S. Representative Danny Davis and Alderman Chris Taliaferro. The event was featured in various media outlets, including Fox 32 Chicago, linked here.

Many, many, many thanks to the innumerable supporters that made this celebration such a success and have supported this project for many years!

Ground breaking 2

Catalyst Circle Rock scholar and parent featured in blog post!

We are inspired by the words of Catalyst Circle Rock 6th Grade scholar Wanye W. and his mother, Ms. Kenya Williams! Both were featured in a recent blog post by Elevate Chicago, in which they described their experiences at Catalyst Circle Rock.  Check out the article linked here, and a HUGE shout out to Wayne and Ms. Williams!

Catalyst Circle Rock Black History Event

Catalyst Circle Rock held their black history program, Arts to Activism, on Tuesday. The program featured ten acts that spanned from the great debate between WEB DuBois and Booker T Washington, covered the women of the Civil Rights Movement and even showed how the music of Motown and hip hop used art as a means of political expression. After months of practice, the scholars did a great job and truly thrived! Amazing work by our scholars at staff!

Black History Assembly 2018

Catalyst Maria and Adrian College Partnership- Project Intersect

Catalyst is honored and grateful to partner with Adrian College through Project Intersect, a non-profit organization started by Mr. Taylor Docking and Adrian. On Wednesday, Adrian’s Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs Frank Hribar met with 15 CMHS scholars and awarded ALL scholarship money.  One scholar, Wendy M. (pictured below with Vice Presindent Hribar) was awarded a full scholarship as the Project Intersect winner! She will receive a 4-year full tuition scholarship to Adrian and will be joining CMHS graduates Andrea M., Jesse M., John J., Mariah E., and Angee P. as CMHS graduates who are currently Adrian students.  We are so proud of them!! Congratulations to Wendy, all scholars that received scholarships, their families, and the CMHS community, and many, many thanks to Adrian College for this incredible opportunity for our scholars!

Wendy and Adrian

Catalyst scholar selected for prestigious research program

Catalyst Maria HS scholar Chris A, Class of 2019, was recently accepted into the researcHStart program with the University of Illinois Cancer Center/University of Chicago.  This program includes eight weeks of full-time work over the summer in biomedical research, mentoring from leading medical researchers, support for career development, and skill-building workshops/seminars.  Chris was chosen as one of 24 accepted students in the largest applicant pool to date competing with students across Chicago Public Schools.  Chris won this year’s Catalyst Maria High School science fair (pictured below) and is a current candidate in the city-wide fair as well.  His accomplishments in science also include passing the AP Biology exam in his sophomore year at Catalyst.  We are SO PROUD of you Chris!


CA science fair

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