Our Team

Aiyeshia Wong

Founder & Executive Director

Aiyeshia Wong launched Global Leaders Initiative as a CICS Education Entrepreneur Fellow. She is working to reimagine classroom design and close the opportunity gap for underrepresented students in Chicago.


As a teacher-leader, Aiyeshia has spent the past nine years educating students, designing culturally inclusive curricula, coaching teachers, and transforming school culture. She has also launched travel abroad programs across multiple Chicago schools serving students of color from under-resourced communities.


Aiyeshia began her career in education as a high school reading teacher in Miami through Teach for America. She holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Miami. When Aiyeshia isn’t busy supporting classroom innovation at CICS, you will likely find her wobbling through a yoga class or spending quality time with her loving husband and lively daughter.

Michael Bota

Mike's Bio Pic.jpg

Founder & Director of STEAM

Michael Bota joined CICS as an Innovation Fellow working with communities to help create the next generation of global citizens and social entrepreneurs. He specializes in problem-based learning, cultivating resourcefulness, and artistic expression.


Michael’s passion for helping gather support can be traced back to Wrightwood Elementary, where he spent significant time working on real-world, scientific learning and created a game-making club to teach basic computer skills.


Michael spent last summer in Israel, developing techniques to teach English to Hebrew speaking children. He earned a Master’s in the Arts of Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education and holds a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from The University of Michigan. When he isn’t busy developing new school models at CICS, you can find him relaxing with friends, playing basketball at the park, or back home with his family in Michigan.