More than 26 years ago, Golden Apple was founded on the belief that all children deserve excellent teachers. Golden Apple is a non-profit organization that works to inspire, develop and support teacher excellence in Illinois, especially in schools of need. Because the critical contributor to student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom, Golden Apple is dedicated to providing exceptional preparation for teachers at all stages of their careers. Over 5,000 Illinois teachers have participated in Golden Apple’s professional development workshops and events. This organization identifies motivated future educators with diverse backgrounds and through the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program, provides advanced teacher preparation and mentoring both during and after college to ensure their lasting success in challenging teaching environments. The annually bestowed Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching celebrate outstanding teachers and invite those awarded the platform to further the organization’s mission. Golden Apple’s innovative programs build on one another to transform teachers and teaching, enriching student and teacher lives.