By Alexis Taylor For

Chicago’s Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men graduating class of 2012

Chicago’s Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men graduating class of 2012

For the third consecutive year, Chicago’s Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men saw every single member of the senior class at its’ Englewood campus graduate with acceptance letters to a four-year college or university.

The accomplishment is no small victory for the original location of the charter school, which opened in 2006 with only four percent of its student body reading at grade level.

The school now operates three different sites, each with an all African-American student body, and each on a mission to prove young Black males can succeed despite their inner city surroundings.

“We are completely committed—laser focused—on increasing the number of African American males who have earned college degrees in our country,” Tim King, CEO and president of Urban Prep Academies, told the AFRO. “I know this isn’t the end. This is just one more milestone of many that our young men will reach.”

With a motto of “We Believe,” the school has been successful in replacing negative statistics with positivity.

“We feel the most effective way to realize our goal is by making sure our students are well prepared for college,” said King. “The next step is getting them into college and then getting them through college.

King, a graduate of the Georgetown University Law School, first became compelled to address the lack of diversity in the charter school realm after a short stint teaching in Washington, D.C. With the help of local school officials, King was able to obtain a charter and find sponsors to pump cash into his dream. Now, six years after opening day, the Englewood campus is not only surviving but thriving and awash in success stories.

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