HOPE Chicago Launches Transformative Scholarship Program

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Dr. Janice Jackson, former Chief Executive of Chicago Public Schools, appointed CEO of HOPE Chicago 
Edited by Lawndale Bilingual News

HOPE Chicago is a first-of-its-kind scholarship model serving Chicago students and their parents. Led by former Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Dr. Janice Jackson, HOPE Chicago is committed to raise, invest and deploy $1 billion in college scholarships and support funding over the next decade, effectively creating pathways to economic success for multiple generations of Chicagoans. Today, more CPS students are graduating from high school than ever before, and 90 percent of surveyed CPS 9th graders aspire to go to college. However, significant barriers exist between these students’ dreams and earning a diploma; just 63 percent of CPS students enroll in college and only 27 percent earn a degree, according to a HOPE Chicago survey.  

According to an EdSurge article, InsideTrack reported that finances are one of the top three reasons traditional and post-traditional age students drop out of college, and historic methods designed to support students, like state grants, cover just one-third of the cost of today’s tuition at Illinois public universities. HOPE Chicago seeks to bring together the civic community to invest in the city’s students and drive multi-generational change.

“As a life-long educator, I understand the barriers that college students face as they enter the higher education system. Many of those – financial, social, psychological and emotional have been further exaggerated by the COVID-19 pandemic hindering student success,” said Dr. Janice Jackson, CEO of HOPE Chicago. “HOPE Chicago has a bold vision and an ambitious goal. However, through a generous initial investment, our operating and administrative costs are covered for the next three years meaning we can ensure every penny raised will go directly towards educating underserved Chicago families. With the help of the community, civic and business leaders, we have the opportunity to redefine the education landscape in our city.”   

Higher education has proven to increase the likelihood of employment and higher earnings, according to Labor Department data reported by the Wall Street Journal. The impact of HOPE Chicago – and the opportunity to increase college completion rates – will be significant for CPS students, of whom 90 percent are students of color and 80 percent are low-income, according to Chicago Public Schools. For more information or to read the full story, visit www.hopechicago.org.

“HOPE Chicago’s visionary mission sets our students and their families up for success. Like many of our students, education was my way out of poverty. As I embark on my work with CPS, programs like HOPE Chicago motivates us to help students complete their education and ultimately get on the pathway for economic success,” said incoming CPS CEO Pedro Martinez.  

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