Milhouse Charities’ and Project SYNCERE Open Doors for CPS Students

August 15, 2017 by Milhouse
Project SYNCERE STEM Career Panel: Sandor Williams, Erika Abernathy, Melanie Mosley, James Fifer, Jada Jameson, and Jelani Hanna

For nearly sixteen years Milhouse has worked tirelessly to improve communities around the world through engineering. In 2012, Wilbur C. Milhouse III, President and CEO of Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc. and his wife Dawn co-founded Milhouse Charities, a private 501c3 foundation as a community partner to support scientific and educational organizations engaged in the fields of math, science, engineering and technology. Milhouse Charities is committed to the advancement of academic achievement and opportunities for minorities and other underrepresented youth. It also intends to support charitable community-based programs and organizations that benefit people of all ages in the Chicagoland area and beyond. Milhouse Charities has been a dedicated partner with Project SYNCERE for the past five years.

Founded in 2008, Project SYNCERE (Supporting Youth’s Needs with Core Engineering Research Experiments) is a free program dedicated to preparing students for successful careers in engineering. Having served over 10,000 students across the nation, the program focuses on project-based learning, which helps raise test scores, and improve critical thinking and problem solving skills. In addition to conducting challenging activities, such as, building catapults and designing golf courses, the program recently hosted a panel discussion to share insights from successful engineering professionals.

“Our mission is to prepare the minds and create pathways for underrepresented and disadvantaged students to pursue careers in STEM,” shared Jason Coleman, Co-Founder of Project SYNCERE.

During a recent STEM Career Panel hosted by Project SYNCERE, students had the opportunity to meet and hear from successful engineers working in various industries. The session consisted of the panelists sharing their experience, background, challenges, and valuable advice in preparation for attending college and entering the professional workforce.

Panelist, James Fifer, the Director of Project Development at Milhouse and a Civil Engineering graduate from University of Illinois, enjoys participating in programs like Project SYNCERE which have a profound impact on the students. Looking back at his time as a CPS student he said “access to programs like this would have enabled me to be more aware of the various opportunities in engineering, and be better prepared academically for college.”

Fifer is also a Milhouse Charities board member. “Through the charity we look to support grass roots organizations like Project SYNCERE that are working to bring STEM education to minority students,” said Fifer. “There are tremendous opportunities in engineering, and minorities are significantly underrepresented. Our goal is to change that.”

For more information on Project SYNCERE visit

For more information about Milhouse Charities visit


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