Urban Prep Academy is continuing its record of success. For the last three years, all graduating seniors from the charter school’s Englewood campus have been college bound. This year, the inaugural graduating class of the West Campus has accomplished the same goal. In all, 167 seniors, all African-American males, have been accepted to a four-year college or university.
“What this 100 percent proves beyond a doubt is that it need not be the exception but it should be the expectation for every child in the city of Chicago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a ceremony where the final students exchanged their red uniform neckties with the red-and-gold striped ones that signify their college-bound status.
Urban Prep founder Tim King said he was exceedingly proud of the young men. “It’s really heartwarming. It’s really an inspiration,” said Tim King. “These guys are an inspiration to all of us because they show you what can happen when you really work hard and do the right thing. I feel great. There are no words to describe how powerful and wonderful it is to be a part of Urban Prep.”
Urban Prep also announced a $150,000 donation from Citi Foundation to support the academy’s Alumni Affairs Program, which supports roughly 300 graduates enrolled in college.
“To me, it’s a place that wants to see more young black men grow and mature into men and be successful in life,” senior Malik Battle said of Urban Prep. Battle said he’ll be attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. in the fall, studying business administration and sociology. “Urban Prep cares,” he said.
Urban Prep Academies, founded in 2002 by King and a group of African-American leaders, will host commencement exercises for this year’s graduating seniors on June 7, 2013 at the UIC Forum.