Program Prepares Area Students for College

Program Prepares Area Students for College

Erin_adam_blitzErin and Adam Blitz

Getting the opportunity to attend college is a dream that may never be realized by those with limited financial means, but through donor support, the Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools is making such aspirations possible for some academically motivated students in need.

Since 2013, the academy has provided personal enrichment, leadership development, college advising and cultural and civic engagement for qualified candidates who want to excel beyond high school. The multiyear college preparation program is administered by the University’s School of Education and Social Policy as part of Northwestern’s Good Neighbor, Great University initiative to expand college access.

Last year, the academy launched a state-of-the-art space in Abbott Hall on the University’s Chicago campus. Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were joined by friends of the program at the grand opening of the new high-tech center, which is designed to make programming and support services more easily accessible to CPS students.

The academy graduated its inaugural cohort of seniors last June — all 56 were accepted into college, and two now attend Northwestern. Currently, about 200 teenagers from 40 schools are enrolled in the program at no cost thanks to the generosity of donors.

“Donor contributions are critical to addressing the needs of the Chicago public high school students we serve,” says Northwestern Academy director Cassandra Geiger. “Philanthropy is vital to ‘keeping the lights on’ for these students in accessing higher education.”

Adam and Erin Blitz are among the donors who value the impact the academy is making on students and are helping to bolster its mission.

“When my wife and I learned about Northwestern Academy, we were intrigued by how it provides support to kids in Chicago Public Schools, especially students who might be economically disadvantaged,” says Adam Blitz, who is principal, CEO and chief investment officer of Evanston Capital Management. “This is a group of high-achieving kids with high potential.

“The most tangible benefit and outcome is guidance throughout the college process, from visiting schools to helping with the application process and financial aid,” he continues. The Blitzes also were attracted to the fact that the academy not only assists students with getting into good colleges but provides continuing support once they are there.

By Northwestern Magazine
Last Modified: 4/9/18