College Prep: College Acceptance for Every Student

>>Teacher: Yeah, yeah.>>Gregory: This first step
is to change that self talk. I think should go to college. I could go to college. I’m going to go to college. I’m going to graduate college. The only person that
could stop you is you.>>Teacher: We have a hundred
percent college acceptance rate. We believe that if you put the right
support mechanisms around our young men, they have an opportunity to rise above
the challenges that they often deal with and become successful.>>Dion: Back in two thousand six
when we first started operating, we’d hear the statistics
being about two percent of African American males were
actually graduating from college. The goal is to make them
want to go to college, as well as give them a very clear
insight as to what to expect in college.>>Desmond: Soon as you come in the door, it’s just you getting ready
for the real work, buddy. Like it’s a wake up call. It’s in the atmosphere. Like you can’t say Urban
Prep without thinking, man, these guys are going to college.>>Gregory: Good morning, good
morning, good morning, good morning.>>I actually grew up two
blocks from the school. So when I’m talking about college in
my classes, I’m constantly stressing to them, I know exactly
your frustrations.>>Begin to plan, begin to set up
how you will solve your problem. If you don’t change that talk, you
will continue to get the same results.>>Lionel: People can’t believe
they can be what they don’t see. So they never met a graduate
college graduate, they don’t think that
that’s a possibility. So we start to plant
those seeds very early on.>>Tim: The first field trip they go on when they are freshmen
is to a college campus. We want them to understand
that in four years, you’re going to be at a place like this.>>Donte: Every teacher has their college
pennant where they graduated from. Students can look up and see, “Oh, can
you tell me more about this school?”>>Christopher: And when you all apply to
DePaul University, I know you’re going to want to do early admissions, because
you’ve already made up your mind and you really want to go there. Let’s figure out what it
takes to get into this school.>>Lionel: Unfortunately, the majority of
our students enter Urban Prep unprepared for the rigors of high school.>>Teacher: Students were coming to us and they were reading at
the fifth grade level.>>Lionel: And none of them
were able to perform math above the seventh grade level. So we’ve had to design an academic
model that allows us to remediate and accelerate almost simultaneously. It’s a double period of
English for four years.>>Teacher: So let’s go ahead and start
off with one of our strong opinions. Who’s ready to go?>>Student: She inherited that name,
she wanted to escape that name, which means she wanted to also
escape the Mexican heritage.>>Student: I strongly disagree,
because I can change my last name, but that may be because I want to escape
my American culture that’s been forced onto me.>>Lionel: They take a double period
of math freshman and sophomore year, where we really want to build that
foundation at algebra and geometry. What the research supports is
that if students are algebra ready by the time they complete
their freshman year, they are more likely
to succeed in college.>>Success in college is dependent
upon the student’s academic ability, but also their social
and emotional skills.>>Christopher: What are some
of the issues that you feel men of color might face in
their first year of college?>>Student: Racism, of course,
because if you look on the news, there’s a lot of fraternities.>>Christopher: Are you talking about
some of the black face incidents?>>Student: Yeah.>>Christopher: Yeah. Can you get up and go
punch somebody in the face because they’re making
fun of your culture?>>Students: No.>>Christopher: No, but how do you
advocate for yourself and educate them to know like, yo, that’s not cool?>>Lionel: Once they become seniors,
we have a college process class.>>Student: Actually type it up.>>DaShawn: Before Urban
Prep, college was more of, if I go, I go, if I don’t, I don’t. But once getting here, college
is a must, like I have to go. Recently I have been having
to look up colleges to find out information about them. We fill out certain applications. We work on our personal statement.>>Student: I said I am
a very quick learner. This skill will be very useful in
college because I have aspirations to become a teacher and it takes
a lot of patience and learning to be successful in a
teaching environment.>>Donte: We talk to them about,
you know, what to include in your essay, what not to include. We talk about financial aid.>>Jessica: They’re encouraged to apply
to eleven schools, two probable schools, a reach school, two safety schools. We want them to have
a variety of options.>>DaShawn: I was like, I don’t
believe I can get into these schools, but she was just like, “You most
definitely have the scores.” She pushed me to sit there and say,
“I’m not going to let a school deny me.”>>Student: It teaches
us about responsibility. It’s our job to get the essays done and
finish all our applications on our own and then have them check off on it.>>DaShawn: I think about
college every day. I’m so amped up for it right now, it’s just a burden burning
in me to get there.>>Lionel: The best ritual in the world to me is what we call
“On to the Next One.” It’s when we present our seniors
with their red and gold tie for being accepted to their
first college or university.>>Ke’Avery: I had trouble sleeping
last night because of the excitement.>>Darius: I’ve been accepted
into Anthem University, Tuskegee University,
St. John’s University.>>Jeramee: I feel good. I’ve been waiting four long
years for this red and gold tie.>>Lionel: This is a generational
shift, so now all of his cousins and siblings are looking
to him and saying, “Hey, if he did it, then I can do it too.”>>Tim: We’re changing this
narrative around what is possible for young black men, what is possible
for this possible for this population, what is possible for these communities.

24 thoughts on “College Prep: College Acceptance for Every Student

  • March 16, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    They are accepted, but then who pays

  • March 17, 2016 at 1:07 am

    I heard about this school years ago. Love that you guys give us a closer look here. The video is beautifully done. Thanks for inspiring me to create my own edu-docs of what's been happening in my classroom 🙂

  • March 21, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Awesomeness! Future leaders….CEOs, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Scientists, etc.
    They are the game-changers making a difference! They are #BlackExcellence

  • May 31, 2016 at 1:52 am

    Every black man in America should donate money to this school.

  • June 14, 2016 at 2:17 am

    this is great

  • September 18, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I was wondering, if this school's success rate includes students with learning disabilities?

  • September 21, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Quality presentation. Very tastefully done.

  • October 23, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I'm so excited to be sending my two boys there for class of 2026 and 2028. They're in 1st and 3rd grade now but I'm ready to Sign them up now!! As a teacher/future professor this is the schools that will give them the push they need from growing up in rural Colorado. They will see that African Americans are just as successful as whites.

  • October 29, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    ` need more schools like this! The children in these rough areas are smart enough to make it out, they just need guidance.

  • October 31, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    This is a beautiful school.

  • November 17, 2016 at 4:01 am

    So much love to you all!! You are making great men and role models . May God bless each and every one of them and their wonderful teachers 😊

  • November 28, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Y'all bringing tears to a brother's eyes. Keep striving young brothers!!

  • December 24, 2016 at 5:09 am

    This is beautiful to see people who truly care grab these young men and guide them to success and show them what is important. I would love to to teach here someday.

  • January 13, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Wow! Amazing work.

  • June 13, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    I am sending my 10% of my earnings to this school. this should be the norm in every community. thank you for sharing the template that needs to be replicated. now, where is Facebook, Oracle, Microsoft, Live Nation as well as other corporations that should be extending a partnership for these future men who will soar? send your funds.

  • January 2, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    I have my degree but not a teaching degree. I would love to teach and help kids at a school like this.proud of these young men!!! #black excellence

  • May 10, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    This school imparticular offers an absolutely incredible education. What an extraordinary process of learning.

  • June 4, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Is there a school like this for High School Girls in Chicago ????

  • September 18, 2018 at 10:12 pm


  • October 3, 2018 at 4:32 am

    Yes you can young brothers! Yes you can! We will not go quietly into the night.

  • October 6, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Kudos to the founder!

  • December 3, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    This school needs to be invested like TM Landry!

  • March 29, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    What's the criteria for a young man to be accepted into this school?

  • August 2, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Students , educators , upper administration , teamwork , unlimited care and attention create Black Male Excellence.


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