Dear Friends,                                                                

I am proud to announce that the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program has officially launched our 2014-2015 Legacy Campaign!  Recently, we began to systematically explore the trajectories of CSP students and alumni; the data we gathered from the Program’s first decade reveal a multitude of remarkable successes on the part of our scholars.  Their stories will be showcased in this campaign to support the mission and growth of the Collegiate Scholars Program. Such is the notion behind legacy, a recurring motif throughout the stories and now the explicit theme of the giving campaign.  We typically associate legacy with that which we pass on to those who follow us.  For us, creating a legacy unique to Collegiate Scholars entails bestowing the same support and resources to incoming scholars that were enjoyed by previous classes, and further broadening that support base. 

Today we have more than 100 current scholars from 39 Chicago public schools, reflecting the diverse fabric of our city and country.  Our students are not only academically strong but also interested in examining tough questions, thinking critically about big ideas, and finding their voices to speak out on contentious issues.  As a result, we have created a strong college-going culture filled with lively debate, respectful dissention, and lots of laughter.  For me, one of the most compelling moments each year transpires at the Collegiate Scholars Program graduation ceremony.  Watching each of our seniors cross the stage, I see not only their collective success but also the power of their individual stories.  From the young woman whose internship at the medical center inspired her to pursue a career in medicine, to the father, a Polish immigrant with barely an eighth-grade education, watching his firstborn prepare to attend an Ivy League university, to the young man with both parents incarcerated who has defied the odds and received a full scholarship to college.  These stories are representative of the true diversity of our nation.   Furthermore, these individuals will harness their ambition, strength, and gifts to write the next chapter in their own narrative. 

The campaign’s goal of $25,000 supports a rich set of student development and college readiness programs including but not limited to University of Chicago faculty taught courses, ACT/SAT test prep, college visits and enrichment activities that prepare students to make a dynamic impact in their lives and society.  As we seek to expand opportunities for scholars, we ask that you consider making a financial investment in our work.  Every donation will be multiplied by an anonymous donor, doubling your impact and your support.   

Click here to make your gift today.  From our website, click the “make a gift” link, and be sure to select “Collegiate Scholars Program” in the area of support section.  Thank you for your support and contribution.  We look forward to sharing the stories of our current and future cohorts with you.                 

Sincerely,                                                                                                                  Abel Ochoa      

Interim Director

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