For the fifth year in a row, Chicago’s Urban Prep Academy has again achieved a 100 percent acceptance rate for its 2014 class. This year, 240 students were accepted into four-year colleges and universities. “I got into a lot of different schools but right now I’m thinking about four different choices,” student Keshawn Cathery said.
“I got into Georgetown University which I will be attending in the fall,” student Derrick Little said.
As part of an Urban Prep ritual, when seniors are admitted into college, they exchange their red uniform ties for a red and gold striped tie, a symbol of how hard they’ve worked. “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.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave the students a pep talk Tuesday, and NBA star Dwyane Wade donated $10,000 through his foundation to offset the cost of the student prom.
- Urban Prep Academy Graduates All College-Bound For Third Consecutive Year
- 100 Percent of Urban Prep Academy Seniors College Bound for 4th Year in a Row
- How Urban Prep Academy Led to Creation of Good Black News
But while students, staff and parents are celebrating the Class of 2014’s achievements, critics say the students in danger of not graduating never even make it to senior year.
“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.”
Just ask Urban Prep alumni. The 2010 class the first to graduate from the school in 2010, and now they’re about to graduate from college. “Being the first graduating class you see a lot of progression, you see a lot of downfall, but everything comes just together. If you keep striving for that one goal, no one can tell you no,” Urban Prep alumnus Paris Williams said.
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article by LeeAnn Trotter via nbcchicago.com