Please share your mission.
Citizen Schools is helping all children discover and achieve their dream ensuring that all adolescents are successful in high school, college and beyond.
Describe how your organization lives/realizes its mission.
Citizen Schools believes that the achievement gap is driven by “opportunity gaps” in the resources that are available for students to discover, learn and succeed. Research shows that students from low-income communities have spent 6,000 fewer hours in extracurricular activities by 6th grade than their more affluent peers. Dr. Robert Balfanz, a prominent researcher in education from the John Hopkins University, has demonstrated that certain indicators that can be identified in as as early as 6th grade (i.e. grades, attendance, and behavior) predict the likelihood of graduating high school. By intervening in the middle school years, we reach students at a critical inflection point in their education. In Chicago, not enough middle school students are on track for the future by graduating high school and college and pursuing successful careers. In fact, 30% of Chicago public school students do not graduate high school and only 14% of those students graduate from college by the age of 25. We are closing the opportunity and achievement gaps for middle school students by partnering with schools that lack existing high quality after-school and mentoring programs in low-income communities to provide students (in which 95% qualify for free or reduced lunch and identify as Black or Latino) with relevant hands-on learning, inspiring role models, meaningful information about educational and career opportunities, and more time to practice their skills.