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PRESS RELEASE: APS Training Academy Hosts 3rd Annual Masquerade Gala

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Aurora, IL – November 2023 – APS Training Academy (APSTA)

On October 27, APS Training Academy (APSTA) hosted a sold-out fundraiser at Paramount Arts Center’s Meyer Ballroom to raise money for student scholarships.

The memorable evening was full of special guests and student stories highlighting the love that APSTA has for their families and the Aurora community. Live auctions had attendees on their feet with excitement, a 360 photo booth had everyone smiling, and the dinner provided by Leilani received rave reviews. Look out for Leilani’s new Asian Fusion restaurant opening in the historic Hobbs building this winter!

APSTA Founder & Board President, Harish Ananthapadmanabhan, was honored for his three years of dedication with The Founder’s Award. “We could not do this without the support of the people in this room,” he humbly proclaimed after receiving a standing ovation.

Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan started APSTA in honor of his late mother, Leela Padmanabhan, who was known in her community as The Lioness for her generosity and care. Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan’s father, AP Naidu, presented fourth grade student, Saory Ferrer-Lopez, with the Student of the Year award to honor his late wife and her legacy through APSTA. Also in memoria, William Burns presented sophomore, Chantz Trotter, with Volunteer of the Year in honor of his wife, Alderwoman Scheketa Hart-Burns. Rounding out the student awards presented at the Gala was fourth grade student, Alex Amezcua, who was the first Founder’s Award recipient. All three students were awarded a $1,000 scholarship to further their education.

Since 2021, APSTA has empowered vulnerable communities in Aurora by providing free education and vocational opportunities in STEM. We rely on our friends and community partners to provide scholarships for the thousands of K-8 grade students applying for hands-on courses.

APSTA would like to thank Keystone Management Group for their continued support. Corporate sponsors included Inventions Solutions and NTI National Technology as well as many area partnerships. If you would like to contribute, visit and to research if your employer participates in a match program, visit to double your contribution!

APS Training Academy Student Highlights Over 5,600 learners have completed courses at APSTA. 2023 is on schedule to serve over 3,000 kids and adults. At the Gala, Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan announced the Academy’s goal to reach 10,000 learners by the end of 2025.

APS Training Academy is Hiring! If you love kids and are passionate about education equity, please apply at and send a resume with cover letter or video resume to Three instructor positions are available, and APSTA will train the right individuals regardless of their background in STEAM.

For more information about APS Training Academy classes, job and volunteer opportunities, partnerships, and sponsorships, contact or (331) 201-2687 or visit their website at

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