Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Urban Prep boys representing Chicago well

The Tribune's Dawn Turner Trice writes this morning that the bus trip to Washington by 22 young men from Urban Prep Academies, 6201 S. Stewart in Englewood, is going well. People are "moved by how put-together they are," she reports.

We've written a lot here about the need for youth programming and schooling that lets kids rise above the dangers and low expectations of their neighborhoods. It seems these kids are doing that:

"As impressive as Urban Prep's students look, their clothing doesn't begin to complete their stories. Many come from low-income, single-parent homes and live in the tough community of Englewood, where education isn't always the priority.

Some of these guys have to carry their clothes to school and change there rather than endure the harassment of peers who are street toughs.

"You do what you have to do," Alfonso Henderson, 15, said during the interfaith breakfast. "Englewood can be rough at times, but not all the time. You have to know when to go out and when to stay inside. You have to know who you're going to be."

My hat is off to the school, the students and to Turner Trice for capturing the story.

Photo above by the Tribune's Nancy Stone.

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