Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gay Albion College alumni on new project, other endeavors
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2018-07-08

This article shared 1750 times since Sun Jul 8, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Over the past few years, Chicago-based Albion College alumni Austin Baidas and Larry Schook have been working on a project to send academically qualified/financially challenged students from Chicago to their small liberal arts college, located in Michigan.

Since Albion has small class sizes and professors who are committed to becoming student's mentors as well as a tight-knit campus, Baidas said this means students do not fall through the cracks and leave. Baidas explained that, in the past 30 years, 73 percent of Albion graduates from Chicago return to the city to being their adult lives. He sees their project as an opportunity to positively affect many neighborhoods, not just the ones where families can afford to send their kids to college.

"There are neighborhoods in Chicago that have problems with violence, lack of economic opportunity and other issues," said Baidas. "I believe if we are going to solve these issues we have to give smart people in these neighborhoods a way forward and that includes a college education. Albion not only trains people to follow a career path, the college also gives them the tools to become citizens who are involved in their community."

Baidas said their goal is to finance 50 students a year over the four years of college, adding that fundraising is their primary focus because the gap right now is about $10,000 per student per year. Baidas and Schook want the program to be fiscally sustainable for many years.

"Albion College has long been committed to students from Chicago and giving them the tools of a Liberal Arts education to change their lives, their neighborhoods and the city," said Schook. "Austin's work, as a proud Albion College alum, has been key to connecting Albion with the Chicago community, raising money and building bridges with the alumni network. He is an exemplar of the Albion College tradition."

One of the many students the project helps is Albion College LGBriTs Co-President Raylan Grace, who identifies as pansexual.

"I chose Albion because I wanted to be my own independent person and the distance from Chicago gives me more of an opportunity to make new life choices," said Grace. "Being successful at Albion means I will be the first in my family to graduate from college which will start the trend of other family members dreaming of a college education. I am so grateful to be a part of Austin's program. I can always ask him for help when I am concerned about my college experience."

"I have also been helping connect students into the Chicago alumni network for internships and career opportunities," said Baidas. "Many first generation college students after graduation make only 66 percent of what their more affluent peers do. My fellow alums can help close the gap for these talented students. I am excited to see them succeed in their careers and make a difference in their neighborhoods and the city as a whole."

Another way Baidas gives back to his college is as a visiting scholar. He has done this three times over the past year where he speaks with students either individually or to classes about his experiences in business, finance, government, non-profits and politics.

"I try to bring the real world to campus with these talks," said Baidas.

Baidas grew up in the Detroit suburbs and spent time working at his family's RV dealership as a teenager after school and on Saturdays. The most important message his father imparted on him, that his grandfather also imparted on his father, is to get a college education. When Baidas was searching for a college to attend he discovered Albion and its Gerstacker Institute for Professional Management. He chose Albion for the Gerstacker program and its small class sizes, and graduated in 1992 with a BA in economics and management. Baidas said working in his family's RV store stoked his interest in business and that is why he chose those college majors.

In addition to his interest in business, Baidas has always had a passion for public policy and politics. This manifested itself most acutely during the 2008 economic crash.

"I believe that bad public policy caused the economic crash of 2008 and the great recession of 2009," said Baidas. "Seeing the job losses, financial distress and uncertainty that my friends and neighbors went through during this time created a passion in me to get involve to prevent another man-made disaster like this in the future."

This led to Baidas' involvement with then-Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration to turn around state government. He served as the associate budget director and assistant director of the Department of Central Management Services for four years.

"During my tenure, my colleagues and I were able to save taxpayers money by closing prisons, consolidating space to eliminate leases and reducing the cost of retiree healthcare without cutting benefits," said Baidas.

Baidas moved on to the Obama administration, where he was the senior advisor to the administrator in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. In this role he "developed the Agency's business plan that tied directly to the agency's budget and operations goals."

For the past 12 years, Baidas has also been a partner at Creekside Communities which acquires, finances and manages 11 manufactured home communities in Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

Baidas was also a senior executive fellow at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2004.

"This was an executive education program that condensed the highlights of a master's of public administration degree into a very intense, six-day-a-week, monthlong program," said Baidas. "At the time, I was the youngest student in the class joining approximate 50 senior executives primarily from the federal government."

Baidas explained that in addition to giving back to his college, he is a Howard Brown Health board member and serves on the finance and development committees. He previously served on the board at the Center on Halsted and was part of the team that made the Town Hall LGBT Senior Apartments happen.

"Because Albion College and Howard Brown Health directly benefit Chicago, I felt in a Trumpian world I also needed to do something internationally focused which would make a difference so I joined the Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch," said Baidas. "In April, I made a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with members of Congress on human rights issues, and in June, I attended the Human Rights Watch Summit to hear from researchers around the world about what issues they are working on to bring about transparency and policy changes."

When Baidas is not working or doing non-profit volunteering, he spends as much time as he can with his five nephews and one niece ( ages 8 to 15 ), plays CMSA flag football, and campaigns for state political candidates J.B. Pritzker and Kwame Raoul. He will also be participating in TPAN's Chicago Ride for AIDS this fall.


This article shared 1750 times since Sun Jul 8, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Lambda Literary to expand LGBTQ Writers in Schools Program in New York City schools
2021-09-27
--From a press release - New York, NY — Today, Lambda Literary announced that New York City has quadrupled its investment in the organization's LGBTQ Writers in Schools program, increasing funding from $100,000 to $400,000 to reach 10,000 students and provide ...


Gay News

Crystal Lake's Raue Center for the Arts opens new school
2021-09-27
On its 20th anniversary, the Crystal Lake, Illinois-based nonprofit organization Raue Center for the Arts has launched a new school. Raue Center School for the Arts (RCSA) will provide youth and adult classes in a wide ...


Gay News

Indiana students sue over gay-straight club's alleged treatment
2021-09-24
In Pendleton, Indiana, a group of Pendleton Heights High School students has filed a lawsuit against the school and South Madison Community School Corporation over allegations that the school has been treating its Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) ...


Gay News

Report: 2.3M Latinx LGBT adults live in the U.S.
2021-09-23
--From a press release - A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that an estimated 2.3 million adults in the U.S. identify as Hispanic or Latino/a and LGBT. Researchers found that Latinx LGBT people fare ...


Gay News

OPALGA+ Scholarship Gala taking place Oct. 23
2021-09-21
The 2021 OPALGA+ (Oak Park Area Lesbian & Gay Association+) Scholarship Gala will take place Saturday, Oct. 23, at Nineteenth Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Cocktails will begin at 6 p.m., with the program/dinner ...


Gay News

[UPDATE] Lisle school offers job to lacrosse coach in same-sex marriage
2021-09-21
The administration at Lisle’s Benet Academy, a west suburban Catholic school, has reversed course and offered a job to a woman in a same-sex marriage after initially rescinding the offer, The Chicago Tribune reported. ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois 'deeply troubled' by investigation into pro-LGBTQ teacher
2021-09-20
Equality Illinois issued a press release stating it is "deeply troubled" after a DuPage County teacher is being investigated for posts about LGBTQ history and racial justice. The videos, which were reposted to Twitter in early ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Genera+ion' axed, sports items, Wilson Cruz, k.d. lang, Lil Nas X
2021-09-19
HBO Max did now renew Genera+ion, its OC-high-school-set dramedy, out.com noted. "We will not be moving forward with a second season of Genera+ion," a spokesperson for HBO Max said in a statement. "We are very proud ...


Gay News

Students urged to apply for Musical Theatre Awards
2021-09-14
Broadway in Chicago is inviting high schools across Illinois to participate in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in high school theater throughout the state. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 16, ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine
2021-09-12
In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...


Gay News

One in ten LGBT workers experienced discrimination at work in the last year
2021-09-07
LGBT employees of color were more likely to report being denied jobs and verbal harassment A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds an estimated 46% of LGBT workers have experienced ...


Gay News

Virginia school district settles with Gavin Grimm
2021-08-28
A Virginia school district that discriminated against a transgender individual by making him go to the bathroom in a converted supply closet will have to pay $1.3 million in attorney's fees and other costs accrued over ...


Gay News

Mental health of Black and Latinx LGBQ people worsened after the 2016 presidential election
2021-08-26
--From a Williams Institute press release - A new study from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law finds that the mental health of Black and Latinx LGBQ people declined in the 17 months following the 2016 presidential election of Donald ...


Gay News

Report features eight Illinois child-welfare agencies working with HRC Foundation
2021-08-26
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a new report ...


Gay News

Campus Pride names one Illinois school to 'Best of the Best' list
2021-08-26
Campus Pride chose 30 schools this year for the 2021 Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities List. This list is based on the campuses overall ratings on the Campus Pride Index and specific LGBTQ-inclusive ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.