Great Schools Matter

Great Schools Matter is a series of education-related stories told by real Chicagoans. Chicago's schools have the capacity to dramatically impact students and families—either positively or negatively. We wanted to provide a platform for the authentic stories of real people to illustrate one key point: that great schools really do matter. 


While riding his bike one day, a shooting occurred in front of Armani and his friends. Since the incident Armani says, "I'm just really scared of dying." Now, Armani rides the bus for over an hour every day, in order to attend a high-quality school in another area of the city that makes him feel safe so that he can learn. "What goes on outside, doesn't effect me in school, because I feel better in school."


A native of East Rogers Park, Nate speaks about being distracted in school, and eventually falling into gang activity. "I chose the streets over school, I knew it should have been the other way around." For every year that Nate was enrolled, his school was on probationary or intensive support status. Now, Nate wishes he had finished high school so that he could find work and be there for his children.