Early Holiday Excitement For 14 Chicago Public High School Students

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Former Chicago Bears player James “Big Cat” Williams joins Comcast for surprise classroom visits to award laptops…

Former Chicago Bears player James “Big Cat” Williams surprised Alcott College Prep senior Kim Perez and the rest of her classmates when he delivered a new laptop on Thursday in Chicago. Kim was one of 14 Chicago high school students to win new laptops through Comcast Internet Essentials’ “Get Schooled, Get Connected Challenge.”

Get Schooled and Internet Essentials from Comcast joined former Chicago Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams today at a number of Chicago Public Schools high schools to surprise and present new laptops to 14 students, who won a citywide contest during the semester-long “Get Schooled, Get Connected Challenge.”

The challenge uses a technology-based platform that incorporates games, pop culture references, localized information, recognition and rewards to engage and motivate 13- to 19-year-old students to prepare for college.

“I literally screamed when I got the email telling me I won,” said Geneva Riley, a student at Chicago’s Walter Payton College Preparatory High School. “We only have a desktop computer at home, and four of us are using it. This will allow me to start working on scholarship applications for college.”

The winning students include: Rachel So (Northside College Prep); Kimberly Perez (Alcott College Prep), Geneva Riley (Walter Payton College Prep); Daniel Rosales (Alcott College Prep); Mayra Calderas (George Washington High School); Deisy Cardenas (Thomas Kelly High School); Rosa Portillo (Thomas Kelly High School), Herman Calderon (George Washington High School); Justin Torres (Whitney Young Magnet High School); Jeremy Suski (George Washington High School), Estrella Lopez (Solorio Academy High School), Diana Bender (Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy); Taylor Waters (Dr. Martin Luther King Junior College Preparatory High School); and Jazmine Alvarez (Chicago Bulls College Prep).

“I found out from my teacher,” said Daniel Rosales, a student at Alcott College Prep. “He said, ‘Check your email, check your email.’ I was like ‘Oh my God!’ I really need this to do my homework, because my brother takes the one computer we have at home to college.”

A first of its kind, this citywide challenge brings together Get Schooled’s educational content and technology platform and Internet Essentials, which helps low-income families get connected to the Internet at home. Get Schooled is a national non-profit organization, whose unique approach has helped thousands of students in locations across the country plan for their futures. Internet Essentials has connected more than 22,000 Chicago households to the internet and more than 1.4 million people in the U.S. Chicago has more Internet Essentials connections than any other U.S. city.

The students with the most points and badges at the end of the challenge will be invited to a celebration with an “A-list” celebrity in January. Comcast will provide $100,000 to the top Chicago Public High Schools and community-based organizations at the event to enhance computer labs, increase Wi-Fi access and support digital literacy training.

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Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to businesses and residential customers.  Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings.  Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company.  Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

With nearly 7,000 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region (chicago.comcast.com) serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.  “Like” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Facebook by visiting Comcast of Illinois, NW Indiana and SW Michigan.  “Follow” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Twitter at @ComcastIllinois.

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