Press Release

Back to news

Chicago Public Schools Lands 3rd Place at T-Mobile’s “Unconventional Awards” by Leveraging Premier Wireless’ Innovative CPR³ Solution for Homeless Youth

As the epidemic of homelessness across the country continues to grow, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has taken decisive action to support students in temporary living situations across Chicago.

Las Vegas, NV - September 27, 2023 – As the epidemic of homelessness across the country continues to grow, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has taken decisive action to support students in temporary living situations across Chicago. By utilizing Premier Wireless’ innovative solution for youth experiencing homelessness, CPS was awarded third place at T-Mobile’s “Unconventional Award” for “Innovation in Community,” which “recognizes disruptors in government, education, and public safety who bring new innovations to their organizations.”

Receiving the award in Las Vegas, CPS was recognized for leveraging innovative technology to assist some of Chicago’s most vulnerable students. CPS serves approximately 13,000 Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS), with over 1,000 being unaccompanied minors facing the challenges of homelessness. The collaborative effort from Premier Wireless, a T-Mobile Elite Partner, and the CPS system’s STLS program has been immensely impactful to the students and educators the collaboration supports. This award-winning initiative aims to remove critical barriers such as inconsistent housing, transportation, nutrition, and, most importantly, a lack of consistent and reliable connectivity for these students.

Mr. Marcellus Summers, Students in Temporary Living Situations Coordinator, expressed the significance of this partnership and innovation, stating, “The CPR³ program has been outstanding. This has been a very critical lifeline for these students to stay connected and stay in touch. They update us on where they might be living or where they plan on going jobs, and food services. This is their ultimate lifeline to stay connected to those that are able to help them.”

View the Chicago Public Schools “Unconventional Award” submission here.

Research has consistently demonstrated that students with internet access exhibit higher levels of motivation, engagement, attendance, and academic achievement compared to those without internet access. Over the past year, the CPR³ solution has been provided to over 800 unaccompanied minors in CPS, marking this the first-of-its-kind initiative in a large, urban, K-12 school district. This innovative solution is student-centered and leverages technology to empower students experiencing homelessness, offering:

Unlimited Communication: The CPR³ solution provides unlimited calls and text messaging, ensuring consistent and reliable communication between students, their schools, counselors, coaches, and McKinney-Vento liaisons.

Mobile Connectivity: Students receive a handheld device with a hotspot that offers unlimited internet access, allowing them to complete their homework wherever they may be.

Access to Resources: The CPR³ solution includes access to essential, pre-loaded community and national resources, including food, shelter, mental health services, and crisis hotlines.

Harnessing the power of 5G technology, this partnership has kept students connected to Chicago Public School personnel, leading to higher attendance rates and improved student achievement. Furthermore, wraparound services have ensured the social and emotional well-being of students have been fully supported, whether the school was in session or not.

CPS has witnessed first-hand the positive impact the CPR³ program has had on their students; their dedication to supporting homeless youth is so strong that they have ordered enough devices with connectivity to support an additional 500 unaccompanied students facing homelessness. We commend Chicago Public Schools on their efforts to assist homeless youth, and together, we look forward to driving positive change in the lives of many more unaccompanied youth across Chicago. For more information about the various industries Premier Wireless serves with our CPR³ solution, please visit

Read more about T-Mobile’s Unconventional Awards here.

Photo: September 27, 2023, at T-Mobile’s “Unconventional Awards” in Las Vegas, NV Marcellus Summers, Citywide Coordinator for Students in Temporary Living Situations – Chicago Public Schools; Lea Bogle, President & CEO – Premier Wireless; and Onshelle Blackmon, Students in Temporary Living Situations Coordinator – Chicago Public Schools

To download a printable PDF, click here.

Get the latest updates