Urban Prep Academies in Englewood, Bronzeville, Near West Side Celebrate 100% College Admissions

In a celebration 13 years strong, the school network celebrated the Class of 2022

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Over 150 bright futures were taking shape on Thursday at Daley Plaza.

Family, friends, faculty and staff all celebrated the news that 100% of the Class of 2022 from Urban Prep Academy campuses in Englewood, Bronzeville and Near West Side have been accepted into college.

“It’s just a blessing to be here today, you know, I get my hat - next thing you know it’s graduation,” Amari Austin, a senior at Urban Prep Academy, said.

Austin has been accepted into 73 different universities and colleges, a record for the school. The senior is working towards a computer science degree and has his mom and teachers to thank for the accomplishment.

“I am speechless right now - overwhelmed, excited. I am just proud of my son,” Altrice Peterson, Austin's mom, said.

Austin is one of 158 seniors with their sights set on graduation and beyond. The 2022 class is made up of Black and brown men, working together to reshape their future.

“It was hard, but it feels great seeing that it is paying off through all the scholarships I received. I received over $500,000 in scholarships, so it’s a really great feeling,” senior Elijah Barnes said.

This class has amassed more than $18 million in scholarships and grants. Students say the example they are setting to the dozens of young men making headlines for the wrong reasons is not lost on them.

“We are here to break that narrative to say that black men are going to school they are going to get educated they are going to be something that is going to be great they can be the next Barrack Obama,” Dorian Hill, a graduating senior said.

The joy is not exclusive to the students and their families, however; the teachers that have watched these young men grow and blossom have made the hard work worth it.

“These are lives that are not only going to change themselves, but they are going to change their families, their neighborhood and the community and the entire world,” Tim King, chair and CEO of Urban Prep Academy, said.

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