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Chicago’s Urban Prep Celebrates First College Graduates


(Krishaun Branch, right; Associated Press, Mark Humphrey)

Urban Prep Academies in Chicago has earned national recognition in the past four years for preparing 100 percent of its graduates for four-year colleges or universities.

The Associated Press ran a story on Jamil Boldian, Krishaun Branch and Rayvaughn Hines who were among the first group of Urban Prep graduates to earn their Bachelor’s degrees.

The students’ journey to walking across the college stage was not easy. They underwent much trials and tribulations before achieving triumph.

The students hail from gang-infested and crime-ridden neighborhoods in their hometown of Chicago.

Krishaun Branch was a former gang member. The troubled youth was able to attend Fisk University and earn his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Boldian nearly dropped out of school after losing his academic scholarship at Heidelberg University due to low grades. But with the support of Urban Prep, Boldian was able to get back on track. Boldian, who played football and ran track at school, graduated from the university with a degree in sports management and business.

Hines, a Gates Millennium Scholar, lost his grandmother who raised him much of his childhood. His morale suffered a blow after an engineering professor dismissed him after asking for help.

“My professor told me, ‘You’re not going to do well at this university and you’re not going to do well in my class.’ That hurt my heart,” Hines said, according to the AP. “I immediately thought of Urban Prep and the creed, ‘We Believe. …We never fail because we never give up.”

Hines graduated from University of Virginia with a degree in Psychology. He begins graduates studies at Virginia this fall.

Head over to the Associated Press to read story in full by clicking here.

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