Brandon H. was the student with a lot on his plate. He balanced school with National Honor Society, Louder Than a Bomb competition, Mikva Challenge, student government, policy debate, and the entrepreneurship club to name a few. His extracurricular activities in high school not only helped him achieve academically—he was valedictorian and earned a Posse Scholarship—but also helped him to excel in college and life.
Edith is the mother of three students enrolled at CICS-Irving Park, a public charter school. When her oldest child was at the age to be enrolled in kindergarten, Edith started to gather information about her school options.
Michael N., a native Chicagoan and former CPS student, is the proud father of Carson a 4th grade student at CICS-Avalon, a charter public school on the south side of Chicago. Before discovering CICS-Avalon, at the New Schools Expo at Soldier Field, Michael and his family looked at the neighborhood traditional school when their son was about to start kindergarten, but didn’t feel that the environment was right for their son.
Carmen currently studies economics at New York University, after studying for a year in Malaysia and Italy directly after graduating from high school. She is the daughter of two immigrant parents and while she was born in the United States, up until age 7 she lived in northern Mexico.
For Sherri, going to school was her job. Mom was a nurse. Dad worked at the bank. Sherri went to school. Homework and class attendance were not optional. A former student of Skinner Elementary School, and high school graduate of Whitney Young Magnet High School, Sherri now studies English Literature at Washington University in St. Louis.
The father of six children, Alex G. has perfected the system. Growing up, Alex’s own parents instilled the idea that education is the linchpin of success. His father, an African-American man born in 1895, attended college and his mother always told him he could be whatever he wanted to be, as long as he studied and worked hard.