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By Azia Sid, Word in Black

This nonprofit helps prepare students for college (Photo courtesy of Chicago Scholars)

“I think as an African American male who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, I always knew I needed to go to college,” says 23-year-old Chicago resident Kyle Larry.

And Larry did just that. He earned a full ride to a school that’s 1,100 miles east: Bates College in comparatively tiny — population 37,121 — Lewiston, Maine. 

“I graduated class of 2021 with a double major in politics and psychology,” Larry says — and the accomplishment is due in no small part to Chicago Scholars

Founded in 1996, the nonprofit works with students from under-resourced backgrounds for a seven-year cycle that covers the transition to college, through college, and beyond college toward their careers.

Every year about 5,000 students participate in Chicago Scholars programming, from current high school students to college graduates. The nonprofit has proven to be an ally for Black students, particulary Black identifying young men who sit at a 74% six-year college graduation rate.

“I think Chicago Scholars really helped me in understanding the nuances of the college application as well as what it means to be in college,” Larry says. 

Read more about Chicago Scholars.

Young Black men, especially, fall out of the education pipeline.

Find more stories like this.

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