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Press release from Business Wire

With Support from Citi, Chicago's Urban Prep Academies to Expand Project GOLD and Improve Graduates' College Experience

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Support from Citi Community Development will Broaden Availability of Career Guidance, Academic Support, Resource Counseling, Emotional and Social Support</i> </p>

Thursday, March 28, 2013

With Support from Citi, Chicago's Urban Prep Academies to Expand Project GOLD and Improve Graduates' College Experience

12:25 EDT Thursday, March 28, 2013

CHICAGO (Business Wire) -- Today, Citi Community Development and Urban Prep Academies announced a commitment to expand the school's Project GOLD (Getting Our Lion's Degrees) initiative to bolster the college success rate of Urban Prep graduates. The school, whose graduates have a 100 percent acceptance rate to four-year colleges, will increase its capacity to provide ongoing support to its alumni so they are better prepared to handle the academic, financial and social challenges associated with higher education. The announcement was made at a school assembly attended by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Project GOLD is an innovative effort to support Urban Prep graduates with:

  • Optimal course selection and course load based on career aspirations
  • Tutorial assistance through on-campus resources like writing labs and individual tutors
  • Financial coaching for students and their parents, including emergency funding when necessary
  • Summer job placement and career counseling
  • Emotional and social support, including regular contact and mentoring

Urban Prep's four-year record of 100 percent college acceptance for its graduating seniors is an achievement made even more notable by the challenges many students face outside the classroom. More than 85 percent of its students, most of whom are African-American, qualify for free or reduced lunch, and many of its students enroll at Urban Prep at least two grade levels behind. Despite those obstacles, Urban Prep's 83 percent college retention rate is far above the national rate of 70 percent for all college students and 42 percent for African-American males nationally.

With $150,000 in support from Citi Community Development, the expanded Project GOLD will reach the 300 Urban Prep graduates currently enrolled in four year colleges as well as the school's current college-bound students.

“Entering college is an exciting and also a challenging time in anyone's life,” said Helen Hammond Redding, Citi's director of community development in Chicago. “However, many high school grads, like those from Urban Prep, are the first in their families to do so and many of them, especially African American males, do not receive the ongoing support they need to ensure successful college careers. Project GOLD will train and support them as they strive to earn their college degrees.”

About Citi Community Development

Citi Community Development (CCD) is leading Citi's commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, please visit www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.

About Urban Prep:

Urban Prep Academies was founded in 2002 by Tim King and a group of African-American education, business and civic leaders who wanted to improve the educational opportunities available to urban boys. In 2005, this nonprofit organization was approved to open Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men – Englewood Campus. Urban Prep is the country's first charter public high school for boys. Since accepting its first class in the fall of 2006, Urban Prep has been recognized internationally for its success in improving the academic, social and emotional development of urban young men. Urban Prep now operates three schools in Chicago. 100% of Urban Prep's graduates have been admitted to college. The Urban Prep Motto is We Believe.

Citigroup Inc.
Tyler Daluz, 212-793-5234

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