In July of 2010, during the fledgling stages of The Family Meeting, I posted about Urban Prep in Chicago, Illinois. Urban Prep is a charter school in Chicago that back in 2010 had 85% of its students living below the poverty line and 90% of them products of single family homes. I suspect that the numbers are not much different now.

There is another interesting characteristic of Urban Prep, all of its students are African-American males.

For the third year in a row, this year, Urban Prep has a 100% graduation rate and all of the graduates are college bound. Take the time to view this link below from the Huffington Post and the video within it, I was personally moved to tears.


I was moved to tears because I know as a poor kid, raised by his Grandma and the village, who is an Ivy League graduate and lawyer, that this should and can be the norm. So, I have a few questions/thoughts for a family meeting.

1) Why aren’t there more of these charter schools throughout the Country? The blueprint has obviously been written and proven to be successful, just look at Urban Prep. There are others too! Is it politics, teacher’s unions, a conspiracy? I don’t know for sure! What I do know however is that we should be talking about it, researching it, demanding it, and most importantly making it happen!

2) Since the formula for success is obvious and readily available, why are we not insisting on the reformation of the public schools to enact this exact same plan?

3) Why wouldn’t everyone, from the liberal to the conservative, the tolerant to the bigot, understand that at the end of the day young men like this are and will continue to be positive contributors to our society, a good thing for us all no matter where you are on race, politics, economics, religion, or anything else.

The creed of Urban Prep, recited by its students daily, is so insightful. We must create and demand systems that allow all of the young men in similar circumstances to be exposed to the creed, believe it, adopt it, live it, and teach it to successor generations.

“We believe. We are the young men of Urban Prep. We are college bound. We are exceptional-not because we say it, but because we work hard at it.”

Read, learn, and share….. Have a Family Meeting and ask somebody why this approach is not implemented and taught in every urban setting in America.

Maybe it’s because unlike them….all we do is say it…… and we don’t work hard at it!

This entry was posted in African American Leadership, Conduct and Behavior, Education, Mentoring, Motivation, Politics, Public Charter School. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. momshieb says:

    This is wonderful; I ask the same questions so often, as a parent and a teacher. Why are we not demanding the BEST for all of our children, every day?

  2. Reggie Anderson says:

    My wife and I have talked about and studied the subject of the ” Urban College Prep environment for years”. Highly unpopular and marked by previous “charter school” failures, at times we felt it landed on deaf ears and minds when we had clearly done our research and invested our goal oriented wisdom. We have always looked for alternatives to the ultra-rich and elite learning institutions believeing that a childs mind and soul are nourished at home. Cleveland College Prepratory has augmented our teaching with a sound and proven method that fousters success for those who dare to challenge our current system of learning. Sure, there are many wake up calls for those who think their child will get it through osmosis only to be told their child needs “Saturday school”. Our well rounded and socially balanced12 year old son is an honor student who excells in math and science with vigor and my 8 year old daughter is following his lead with all A’s and believes she can compete in any environment, just ask the Cleveland Museum of Art art instructors on any given Saturday. It starts and continues with us, let’s demand the best out of our children and the best will happen, EVERYDAY. Have a meeting with those who can add to and lead to change, our future minds depend on it. Ideas are not waiting. Try one.

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