250 Young Black Men announce College Choices

Urban Prep’s 7th Annual College Signing Day Event Supports White House’s “Reach Higher” Initiative

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STUDENTS FROM THE Urban Prep Academy’s Englewood, West and Bronzeville campuses wait patiently to sign the commitment letters to the college or university they will attend in the fall. They are wearing the school uniform jacket and caps from their soon to be school. This is the school’s 7th year of holding this event.

For the seventh consecutive year, the seniors at Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men publicly committed to the four-year college or university they will attend in the fall. Traditionally, National Signing Day refers to the day when high school seniors sign their letters of intent indicating the college where they will play football. For Urban Prep, it’s not about a student’s athletic intent, but rather their academic commitment to attend and complete college.

In 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Reach Higher Initiative and this year declared April 26 as National Signing Day, encouraging students from across the country to announce their college decision.

THESE TWO YOUNG Black Men are not signing an athletic letter of intent, instead their signatures will represent their academic commitment.
THESE TWO YOUNG Black Men are not signing an athletic letter of intent, instead their signatures will represent their academic commitment.

Surrounded by friends, family and proud spectators at the Richard J. Daley Center Plaza each student publicly announced the college or university they have chosen to attend and committed to that school by signing the Urban Prep “100 Percent to College” banner and the “Credimus Book.” Tim King, CEO of Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men, had seniors from the school’s Englewood, West and Bronzeville campuses, participating.

As of the signing day, the members of Urban Prep’s class of 2016 have received 1,500 college admissions to more than 220 colleges and universities across the country including Carleton College; Columbia University; Cornell University; Dartmouth College; Fisk University; Georgetown University; Hampton University; Howard University; Illinois Institute of Technology; Morehouse College; Purdue University; Tufts University; Tuskegee University; University of California, Berkeley; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Pennsylvania; University of Virginia; Vanderbilt University; Williams College; and Yale University.

URBAN PREP’S CEO Tim King, (center), congratulates two students at the National Signing Day event.
URBAN PREP’S CEO Tim King, (center), congratulates two students at the National Signing Day event.

In total, this year’s seniors have been awarded more than $15 million in scholarships and grants to date. A record seven Urban Prep seniors have been awarded the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship, covering college related expenses through graduate school.

The Urban Prep class of 2016 will graduate Saturday, June 4 at the Lyric Opera House.

About Urban Prep Academies:

Urban Prep Academies, founded by Tim King and a group of African-American education, business and civic leaders, operates the country’s first network of charter public high schools for boys. Since opening its first school in 2006, 100% of Urban Prep’s graduates—all African American males, mostly from low-income families—have been admitted to college. Urban Prep’s three schools in Chicago’s Englewood, Near West and Bronzeville communities, as well as Urban Prep’s unique Alumni and Fellows Programs, have provided more than 2,500 students with the tools they need to succeed in college and life.  During 2016, Urban Prep commemorates its 10th anniversary with 10AndChange, a campaign centered on the achievements of African-American boys and young men, that will celebrate positive stories, engage community support, and inspire commitment to changing the narrative. To learn more about Urban Prep, visit www.urbanprep.org.

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