Empowering Communities

TV host helps STEM students shine

March 5, 2020

When Cortney Hall isn’t hosting a Chicago Bulls game or NBC-5’s Chicago Today show, you can find her helping students shine at ComEd’s Solar Spotlight program during Black History Month.

The program introduces African-American high school students from across northern Illinois to learn about solar energy and future opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“This program is special because it allows students to see what a future in STEM could look like,” Hall said.

Cortney Hall at ComEd's Solar Spotlight program

“Hall has been involved in Solar Spotlight for several years, but this February was her first time hosting.

“I first heard about Solar Spotlight four years ago when I was a reporter and came to cover the event,” she said. “I was delighted when ComEd asked me to host the program this year.”

During the two-day program, Hall watched the students grow as STEM enthusiasts. They worked alongside ComEd professionals to build portable “solar suitcases” that provide backup power for lights, cell phones and computers during emergencies.

“It was inspiring to see these students come together on a Saturday morning to assemble these suitcases that will help communities,” Hall said.

Cortney Hall with students

The suitcases will be sent with personal notes to areas devastated by natural disasters, including Kenya and the Bahamas. In her own travels, Hall has visited countries and villages that don’t have access to electricity and is proud to be part of a program that’s helping change that.

“A lot of people don’t have the luxury of turning on the lights or charging their iPhone,” she said. “The fact that young students in this program are helping change that is huge.”

                                                      For more information, visit ComEd.com/SolarSpotlight