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. We wanted to create a platform to share authentic stories of real Chicago students, families, and educators to illustrate one key point: that great public schools really do matter. We invite you to watch the stories below.
Cornelius leverages the education he received in CPS through his work as a mentor in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. Cornelius works to ensure that kids have the support they need to stay in school and realize their true potential. We know great schools matter, but students today are often confronted by tremendous obstacles that make navigating to and staying in quality schools difficult. The support students and families receive in and outside of school matters.
Sariah was struggling in school during her 6th grade year. Her grades were slipping and she was acting out in a school that wasn't meeting her needs. Sariah and her parents found a consistent Level 1+ rated school to transition to for 7th grade. Sariah's grades and engagement in school have dramatically improved. Her new, high-quality school supports and challenges her to achieve her best each day.
While out riding his bike one day, Armani and his friends witnessed a shooting. Armani says, "I'm just really scared of dying." Now, he rides the bus for over an hour each day to attend a high-quality school in another area of the city that makes him feel safe so that he can focus on learning. "What goes on outside, doesn't affect me in [my] school."
For every year that Nate was enrolled in a Chicago Public School, he was provided with a consistently low-quality education. While Nate acknowledges many of the challenges he faces today are because of choices he made, it's also true that his life outcomes may have been different if he had access to better educational opportunities.