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Craig Pines, CEO of Amerigo Education. 0

Chicago firm invests in program for teens from abroad

January 24th, 2017

A top private equity company in Chicago is starting up a housing and support program for international high-school students.

Sterling Partners’ Education Opportunity Fund will pour at least $10 million into Amerigo Education, a start-up it created. Amerigo partners with private high schools to offer boarding and support services for international high-school students who expect to stay in the United States and go on to college here.

“We’re working with high schools that are interested in increasing the global diversity of their student population,” Amerigo CEO Craig Pines. “We provide all the services to bring students here and get them the support they need” in terms of housing, language assistance and getting around town for after-school activities or spring-break adventures.

Traditional “foreign-exchange” programs, for example, aren’t always consistent. One host family might go out of its way to help a teen learn English, while another takes a laissez-faire approach.

The company has teamed up with Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, where Amerigo will hire a support staff to work with the students and school faculty. It’s starting a program in Lexinton, Ky., too.

“We’re really looking for high quality, college-prep schools committed to creating a diverse student body,” says Pines.

Sterling Partners invests primarily in business services and the health-care and education sectors. Last year, it led a $42.8 million investment in a software company with a live-streaming video platform for use in the business and education worlds.

 

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