The Chicago Urban Prep Charter Academy is celebrating yet another milestone, as 100 percent of its graduating class has committed to attending a four-year college or university.
At a special ceremony Tuesday at Daley Plaza, in front of family, friends and onlookers, each senior announced which college he planned to attend, CBS News reports. Each student then signed the Urban Prep “100 Percent to College” banner and the “Credimus Book.” This is the seventh year in a row that the academy has a achieved a 100 percent college acceptance rate.
“We love telling the world where we’re going in life,” said Tyree George, who will attend Hampton University and major in veterinarian medicine. “We share our brotherhood. Urban Prep expanded my mind, to look at the bigger picture.
Per CBS News, Urban Prep’s class of 2016 has received over 1,500 college admissions and racked up nearly $15 million in scholarships and grants. The graduates have been accepted to more than 200 universities, including Yale, Georgetown, University of Illinois, Morehouse and many more.
“Every year, I’m just wowed by these young men by what they are doing,” said CEO and founder of Urban Prep Academy, Tim King. “They really make me proud. We started Urban Prep with the goal of moving the needle when it comes to Black male achievement and these guys proved to me, the city and the world every year, that we did the right thing when we founded Urban Prep ten years ago.”
According to an article published by Diverse Education, college enrollment of African-Americans peaked in 2014. A 2014 U.S. Labor Department Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that of all the U.S. high school graduates that year, 70.9 percent of African-American graduating high school seniors had enrolled in college by October 2014 compared to 67.3 percent of Whites. That was the first time a BLS population survey had ever determined that Blacks enrolled in college at a higher rate than whites, per the article.
“I think there have been large and successful efforts on widening access to post secondary education, said Dr. Jeff Strohl, director of research at the Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce, in response to the BLS findings. “And there’s been very good efforts among many different populations, African-Americans included, that have raised the ante and made people conscious of the importance of going to college.