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Knowles Partners with PEAK to Pilot New Program

Determined to champion educational equity, Knowles, a sound engineering firm, has become a partner with PEAK on every level. Over a dozen staff members have volunteered to begin tutoring incoming PEAK freshmen who struggle with the fundamentals of math due to poor education and other challenges stemming from growing up in Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods -- as well as provide opportunities to PEAK scholars who excel in STEM.

In November, Jeffrey S. Niew, the CEO of Knowles, announced an enhanced commitment to nurturing a more diverse and inclusive workplace, beginning with initiatives to advance educational equity in underrepresented communities.

Knowles had long pursued hiring engineers from underrepresented backgrounds and identities. But they consistently ran into the reality that failings in the education system based in racial and gender inequalities meant many great minds never graduated high school, let alone made it to a college engineering program.

The Knowles Tutoring program is in its pilot phase this summer. Next year, all PEAK scholars will have the opportunity to work with Knowles tutors and other volunteers. The plan is for students at all levels to tap into all that Knowles has to offer -- ranging from initial exposure to engineering careers to more advanced academic support for upperclassmen keen to enter careers in STEM.

Knowles is also demonstrating its commitment to the value of educational equity by becoming a four-year scholarship sponsor, making it possible for PEAK to offer an additional student the opportunity to join the PEAK Class of 2025.

We look forward to growing this partnership. It is an extraordinary opportunity for PEAK scholars, and it reflects that the leadership and staff of Knowles understand the great potential present in Chicago’s young people -- that even those with average or below average academic performance in middle school can succeed in any chosen career, given the support and the opportunity.


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