With Support from Citi, Chicago’s Urban Prep Academies to Expand Project GOLD and Improve Graduates’ College Experience

  With Support from Citi, Chicago’s Urban Prep Academies to Expand Project
  GOLD and Improve Graduates’ College Experience

 Support from Citi Community Development will Broaden Availability of Career
Guidance, Academic Support, Resource Counseling, Emotional and Social Support

Business Wire

CHICAGO -- March 28, 2013

Today, Citi Community Development and Urban Prep Academies announced a
commitment to expand the school’s Project GOLD (Getting Our Lion’s Degrees)
initiative to bolster the college success rate of Urban Prep graduates. The
school, whose graduates have a 100 percent acceptance rate to four-year
colleges, will increase its capacity to provide ongoing support to its alumni
so they are better prepared to handle the academic, financial and social
challenges associated with higher education. The announcement was made at a
school assembly attended by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Project GOLD is an innovative effort to support Urban Prep graduates with:

  *Optimal course selection and course load based on career aspirations
  *Tutorial assistance through on-campus resources like writing labs and
    individual tutors
  *Financial coaching for students and their parents, including emergency
    funding when necessary
  *Summer job placement and career counseling
  *Emotional and social support, including regular contact and mentoring

Urban Prep’s four-year record of 100 percent college acceptance for its
graduating seniors is an achievement made even more notable by the challenges
many students face outside the classroom. More than 85 percent of its
students, most of whom are African-American, qualify for free or reduced
lunch, and many of its students enroll at Urban Prep at least two grade levels
behind. Despite those obstacles, Urban Prep’s 83 percent college retention
rate is far above the national rate of 70 percent for all college students and
42 percent for African-American males nationally.

With $150,000 in support from Citi Community Development, the expanded Project
GOLD will reach the 300 Urban Prep graduates currently enrolled in four year
colleges as well as the school’s current college-bound students.

“Entering college is an exciting and also a challenging time in anyone’s
life,” said Helen Hammond Redding, Citi’s director of community development in
Chicago. “However, many high school grads, like those from Urban Prep, are the
first in their families to do so and many of them, especially African American
males, do not receive the ongoing support they need to ensure successful
college careers. Project GOLD will train and support them as they strive to
earn their college degrees.”

About Citi Community Development

Citi Community Development (CCD) is leading Citi’s commitment to achieve
economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and
communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and
building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus
areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial
products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access
to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities.
For more information, please visit www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.

About Urban Prep:

Urban Prep Academies was founded in 2002 by Tim King and a group of
African-American education, business and civic leaders who wanted to improve
the educational opportunities available to urban boys.In 2005, this nonprofit
organization was approved to open Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men –
Englewood Campus. Urban Prep is the country's first charter public high school
for boys. Since accepting its first class in the fall of 2006, Urban Prep has
been recognized internationally for its success in improving the academic,
social and emotional development of urban young men. Urban Prep now operates
three schools in Chicago.100% of Urban Prep's graduates have been admitted to
college. The Urban Prep Motto is We Believe.


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