For five consecutive years, all of the graduates of Chicago’s Urban Prep Academy have been accepted at four-year colleges and universities.
The charter school has garnered national recognition for providing minority students with the academic skills necessary to be “college bound.” Last spring, 240 students had college acceptance letters in their hands before receiving their diploma. An accomplishment that Mayor Rahm Emanuel considers to be phenomenal. The Chicago mayor delivered a moving speech at the 2014 graduation, congratulating the students for their hard work and achievements.
As part of an Urban Prep ritual, when the high school seniors are accepted into college, they exchange their red tie with a red and gold tie.
“The tie represents to me moving on from a boy to becoming a young man and actually doing something with my life,” graduating senior Dumar Harris said.
While people all over the country are inspired and impressed with the accomplishments of the students at Urban Prep Academy, there are some who criticize the school, noting that there are many students that have come to the school, but do not graduate due to transferring and dropping out. But school administrators at Urban Prep Academy feel that fact should not diminish the accomplishments of the students that actually do graduate.
“Urban Prep is not for everyone, and those students may leave us,” school founder and CEO Tim King said. “But the fact that some students choose to leave us should not be used as a weapon against the students who have chosen to stay and have achieved this incredible accomplishment.”
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SOURCE: Your Black World
Angela L. Braden