Chicago Scholars Foundation
Chicago Scholars is transforming the leadership landscape of our city by resolving the fundamental barriers to success for academically driven, first generation college students from under-resourced communities. Through college counseling, mentoring, and by providing a supportive community to our Scholars through each phase of our program: College Access: Launch, College Persistence: Lift and College to Careers: Lead, we ensure that they realize their full potential as students and leaders.
All Chicago Scholars receive extensive college counseling, which helps them successfully enroll in best match & fit colleges, and are supported through the college transition process by their mentors and staff. 86% of Chicago Scholars graduate college within 6 years. Per the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, only 49% of their peers earn a degree within 6 years.Upon graduation, our Scholars move into leadership positions across Chicago, helping to drive the economic future of their communities and our thriving city.
These are a set of guiding principles that apply to all stakeholders within the Chicago Scholars ecosystem. We select and retain stakeholders based on these stated expectations for how we achieve our mission and vision. Each are supported with core competencies and narrative for the sake of clarity.
We Dream Big. We speak up, innovate, push the boundaries and keep the creativity flowing. We don’t accept the status quo because the stakes are too high. We have an incredible belief that growth and change is possible. While we dream big, we are laser focused on our intended goals and outcomes for our Scholars, our city and the world.
We Show Up. We show up every day; not just physically, but with a positive attitude and willingness to work, connect, challenge, engage, solve problems and have fun. We don’t wait for someone to tell us what to do. We take action and get the job done. If we don’t know how, we figure it out through our knowledge, exploration or our network.
We Embrace Our Differences. We represent a multicultural nation and our collective backgrounds, experiences, styles, values, perspectives and beliefs are an asset to the world. We recognize that together we achieve better outcomes more quickly. Justice and equity starts with us using our collective voice.
We Model the Way. We exhibit the behavior that we want to see in others and in the world. Titles are granted, but our behavior is what earns us respect. In order to model the way, we must be clear about our guiding principles, celebrate our accomplishments and learn from our challenges and failures.
We Care For Each Other Along the Way. We adapt to the needs of the person in front of us. We pause, reflect and listen. We do our best work when we are in good relationship together. We care personally and challenge directly.
We Keep Our Word. When we commit, we are all in. Whether for events, a Scholar, a peer or ourselves. Our words are as powerful as our actions and are the building block of trust, respect, self worth and integrity.