Amidst a few years that have found increasing hurdles for students to graduate high school, such as a third of Chicago schools closing and increased requirements for graduation, a glimmer of hope exists on the South Side.
Urban Prep academies, with campuses in Englewood, Bronzeville and the Near West Side, has graduated 100% of its seniors for seven straight years, totaling over a 1000 students enrolling in colleges since 2010.
The school is a 501(c)(3) non-profit all-boys charter school with students from all over the South Side and who go on to colleges all over the country.
According to the school’s website, their mission is to “provide a high-quality and comprehensive college-preparatory educational experience to young men that results in our graduates succeeding in college.”
A video posted by Newsy shows interviews with some of the graduates from last year and their future plans.
The nonprofit organization was founded in 2002 by Tim King and their motto is “We Believe.” “Our motto is a constant reminder that Urban Prep students will not fall into the trap of negative stereotypes and low expectations.”
“Often it feels like we in Chicago’s forgotten communities need a hero,” King says at a graduation speech. “There is no hero because our answer, our salvation, our heroes are sitting in this room.”