Hilton Foundation awards grant to ACE

by Dennis Brown

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) in support of the program’s recent initiatives among inner-city Catholic schools in the Los Angeles area.p. ACE first expanded to Los Angeles during the 2000-01 academic year, placing eight teachers in five under-resourced schools in South Central and East Los Angeles. This year, ACE is providing 14 teachers to nine schools in South Central LA, East LA, Bell Gardens, Downey and South Gate.p. Founded in 1994 by Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., executive vice president at Notre Dame, and Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C., ACE is a master’s in education program that serves the dual purpose of training highly qualified young college graduates as teachers while also providing assistance to understaffed Catholic elementary and secondary schools nationwide. In exchange for a modest stipend and a tuition-free graduate program, ACE participants make a two-year commitment to the program.p. Some 80 recent college graduates enter ACE each year. Coming from a wide variety of educational disciplines, the students take courses and engage in teacher-training projects at Notre Dame during their two summers in the program, then are assigned to full-time teaching positions at schools in some 30 cities in 14states. Within each city, the ACE students also live in community, sharing the rewards and challenges of teaching.p. After two years, the students have completed the requirements for a master’s degree in education and, while under no obligation to continue teaching, more than two-thirds stay in the profession in both public and private elementary and secondary schools through the country.p. Established in 1944 by hotel entrepreneur Conrad N. Hilton, the Hilton Foundation remained relatively small until his death in 1979, when it received the bulk of his estate. Offices are located in Los Angeles and Reno, Nev. The foundation and its affiliated Conrad N. Hilton Fund and related entities have total assets of $1.7 billion. Since their creation, the foundation and fund have distributed $335 million for charitable projects throughout the world.

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