NAPERVILLE – To support more young people entering the        field of education, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is announcing that two local high schools are set to receive an Education Career Pathways Grants from the Illinois State Board      of Education.

“Educators play some of the most import roles in our society. They prepare our children for the future,” Ellman said. “That’s why these grants are so important. They will help future educators develop the skills they need to be as effective as possible.”

DuPage Area Occupational Education System has been awarded nearly $250,000 that will be split between seven schools, including Wheaton North High School and Wheaton Warrenville South High School to help with developing Career and Technical Education programs to prepare students for careers in education.

CTE programs help students develop technical and employability skills while strengthening their core academic abilities to enable them to pursue higher education opportunities and succeed in the workforce. Students in CTE programs also have the opportunity to earn dual credit or credentials and certifications from partner institutions prior to high school graduation.

The programs will place a special focus on recruiting underrepresented students into education careers to help meet the high demand for teachers of color across Illinois.

“Students are successful when their teachers are successful,” Ellman said. “It’s time that we start investing in them.”

Nearly $2 million in total funding has been awarded to 11 Education for Employment Systems statewide to recruit and support future educators at 62 high schools and vocational centers across the state. For a full list of grant recipients or to learn more about career and college readiness programs in Illinois, visit www.ISBE.net/CTE.


NAPERVILLE – The federal government has extended the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is encouraging local business owners to apply for the PPP and other forgivable loans through the Small Business Administration.

“Businesses of all sizes, in particular small local businesses, are facing unprecedented financial hardships,” Ellman said. “Many business owners are worried about what’s to come and if it will affect their ability to provide for their families. The Paycheck Protection Program helps give owners the ability to reestablish a level of stability.”

To help provide financial support to businesses, the Federal Treasury Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration extended the application period for the Paycheck Protection Program. Businesses can get up to $10 million in relief funding through the first come, first served program. Under the extended deadline, businesses must apply by Aug. 8.

The financial lifeline helps employers keep people on the payroll and pay overhead expenses. If used as intended, the loans don’t have to be repaid.

More than 27,000 Illinois businesses have already taken advantage of the loans – saving an estimated 1.36 million jobs – according to the Small Business Administration.

PPP loans have an interest rate of 1% and can be fully forgiven if they are used for payroll costs, rent, utilities or interest on mortgages. To find participating lenders, business owners and managers can visit the Small Business Administration’s website, found here.  


NAPERVILLE – To highlight older adults who have contributed to their communities through service, education, the workforce or the arts, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is asking residents to submit their nominations to the Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame.  

“In these uncertain times, I believe it’s important to acknowledge people whose service has a positive impact on the community,” Ellman said. “If you know an older adult who has made a difference in our community, please nominate them to the Hall of Fame.”

The Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame celebrates outstanding accomplishments in community service, education, the labor force and the arts. Each year, four candidates—one from each category—are inducted.  

Eligibility is based on an individual’s past and present accomplishments, and the candidate must be a current Illinois citizen or a former citizen for most of their life. Posthumous nominees are also considered.  

Since its creation in 1994, 121 people have been inducted into the Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame.

“Many older adults have been worried and isolated during this pandemic,” Ellman said. “Nominating a friend, mentor or loved one is a great way to show them support.”

The Illinois Dept. on Aging has extended the submission deadline through Monday, Aug. 31. Nominations may be submitted online or by calling the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966.


NAPERVILLE - State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is encouraging Illinois residents to nominate a new poet laureate, a position that has been vacant since 2017.

Composed of poets, writers, and academics from across the state, the committee will review nominations and give a recommendation of which Illinoisan should become the state’s newest poet laureate.

“I’m urging residents to nominate individuals who qualify for this great honor,” Ellman said. “Poetry is an important part of our culture, and I’m thrilled that a resident will once again have the opportunity    to be named Illinois’ poet laureate.”  

The position was established in 1936, with Howard B. Austin serving as the first poet laureate. Since Austin, only three other Illinoisans have held the title: Carl Sandburg (1962-67), Gwendolyn Brooks (1968-2000), and Kevin Stein (2003-2017).

Nominations for the title begin July 1, 2020 and will be accepted until August 15, 2020. Nominees are required to be a current Illinois resident, a published author and have a history of activity in the state’s literary community. Nominations may be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed to:

Illinois Poet Laureate Search Committee

c/o Office of the Governor

207 State House

Springfield, IL 62706

A full description of the position qualifications and nominating requirements is available on the website of the Illinois Poet Laureate: www.illinois.gov/poetlaureate. For additional information, or questions regarding the Illinois Poet Laureate nomination process and position, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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