The college process can be scary. Intimidating applications, tests, and interviews can deter and discourage students. Is there any way we could change this?

Teachers and staff at Urban Prep in Chicago, IL are wholeheartedly throwing themselves into changing the overwhelmed students into excited ones. And it’s working! Urban Prep students can’t wait to get to college, and savor the journey it takes to get there.

The school has a 100% college acceptance rate. Amazing, right? But how? Many students out there don’t know what it’s like to be a college student because they don’t know any. The teachers at UP work through those issues and motivate students to believe in themselves and all their hard work. Without further ado, here’s Edutopia:

Via: Edutopia 1

In my own experience…

I’m a writing and editing intern here at EWC and a high school senior. I’m observing every day that when kids don’t feel smart enough or good enough to get into college, college stops feeling like an option. But Urban Prep has found great ways to turn the negative thinking around, and prove to students that possibility is out there!

Why don’t all high schools provide this kind of education? Sure, not every school will have a 100% acceptance rate, but in giving students the confidence to strive for higher education, we are empowering them to take control of their own future.

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As a high school senior getting ready to apply and interview with colleges, the road ahead scares me.

Sometimes I wonder if my school has done everything possible to prepare its students for college.

Many of my classmates won’t even be applying, and perhaps this is because they don’t know their own potential.

I wish I could share my passionate attitude for education with others, but it’s not always an easy attitude to inspire in my peers. If schools do begin to offer college prep classes, or put programs in place to support students’ aspirations for higher education, how does a high school begin to cultivate a culture of excellence to inspire students?

In a world where higher education is becoming the norm, how do we best prepare students for the world ahead? What responsibility do schools have to help students turn their passions into life-long, meaningful work?

What’s keeping us from making these kinds of innovations in education?

Isn’t success on the scale that Urban prep has demonstrated something that everyone should know about? The teachers, administrators, and students are modeling the kind of possibility that will pave all our futures. With all the negativity in the 24-hour news cycle, these are the kinds of thought leaders we could be celebrating in the mass media, but at least you’ll find them here daily at Ever Widening Circles

Be understanding, be passionate, be joyous. But most of all, be yourself.


“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill

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  1. “College Prep: College Acceptance for Every Student.” YouTube. Edutopia, 16 Mar. 2016. Web. 12 Sept. 2016. <>.

Bethany is an editing and writing intern at Ever Widening Circles.