Chicago’s public radio station WBEZ features Wells Academy Principal Ernesto Matias’s approach to keeping teens in school: paying for CTA passes.

“When you get poorer because you keep giving money out of pocket, and you realize that the kids are hitting up staff as well as yourself for money, you have to come up with something for the kids, and then that’s what I had thought of,” he told WBEZ. So he started a program that helped defray the cost of transportation to school.

So far, he said, it’s paid off.

That’s what makes UIC leaders unique — they do what it takes to transform the lives of the students they educate.