Stay in School Program Celebrates 10 Years of Success, Achieving 97 Percent Graduation Rate for Most Involved High School Seniors
Exelon/ComEd/United Way initiative releases 2014-15 report card,
kicks off its tenth school year
Public high school seniors who actively participated in an innovative
afterschool program created by Exelon, ComEd and United Way of
Metropolitan Chicago achieved a graduation rate of 97 percent for the
2014-15 academic year, far exceeding CPS averages and marking the eighth
year in a row it exceeded 90 percent. This was one of many program
successes reported as the Stay in School Initiative presented its
“report card” for the last school year and kicked off its tenth
anniversary year at The Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier on
Saturday, Sept. 19.
Some 75 current students and alumni of the program gathered to celebrate
a decade of progress in keeping youth on the path to high school
graduation and academic achievement. Speakers, including CBS-2 Chicago
Traffic Reporter Derrick Young, addressed students, urging them to stay
in school and graduate.
“I want to challenge each of you to figure out what you want to do and
go after it,” Young said. “Find a mentor. Surround yourself with the
right people. Make the most of every opportunity that presents itself.”
Since its inception in 2005, the Stay in School program has served
approximately 23,000 Chicago-area public school students ages 11 and up.
It currently serves students in neighborhoods where dropout rates have
been among the highest in Chicago, including Armour Square/Bridgeport,
Austin, East Garfield Park, Greater Grand Crossing, Humboldt Park, and
North Lawndale, as well as in Cicero, Evanston and Skokie, Ill. Exelon
and ComEd have contributed nearly $3 million to fund the program.
“The communities we serve can only thrive if youth have an opportunity
to succeed, and that begins with education,” said Steve Solomon, vice
president of corporate relations at Exelon. “For 10 years, Exelon and
ComEd have been working with United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and
other effective nonprofits to give thousands of students the additional
support they need to finish high school and continue their educations.
We’re so proud of what this collaboration has achieved.”
The 2015 report card reports outcomes for the approximately 365 core
students who were most involved in the program and tracks its progress
and effectiveness in keeping students on the path to graduation. Other
report card highlights for the 2014-15 academic year include:
98 percent of students stayed in school and in the Stay in School
94 percent of students were promoted to the next grade.
81 percent of students increased their level of involvement in their
79 percent of students participated in leadership-based activities,
such as peer mentoring or serving as team captains.
“United Way knows that social, academic and family support, including
mentors and internship opportunities for at-risk youth are critical to
helping kids succeed in school and ultimately graduate,” said Wendy
DuBoe, President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. “The
critical support that the Stay in School Initiative has provided for the
last ten years to thousands of students is making a lasting impact not
just on their lives, but in our communities.”
Six community-based agencies support the Stay in School Initiative:
B.U.I.L.D Inc., Corazon Community Services, Gary Comer Youth Center,
Project: Vision, Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN) and Youth &
Opportunity United (Y.O.U.). The agencies provide a holistic suite of
programs for students and their families that include tutoring, social
services, leadership and social engagement, skill-building and parental
Exelon and ComEd employee volunteers provide one-on-one mentoring to
students during the school year. The companies also run a series of job
skills development workshops that provide paid summer internships to 12
or more students at Exelon, ComEd, United Way and the afterschool
Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) is the nation’s leading competitive
energy provider, with 2014 revenues of approximately $27.4 billion.
Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon does business in 48 states, the
District of Columbia and Canada. Exelon is one of the largest
competitive U.S. power generators, with approximately 32,000 megawatts
of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and
lowest-cost power generation fleets. The company’s Constellation
business unit provides energy products and services to more than 2.5
million residential, public sector and business customers, including
more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100. Exelon’s utilities deliver
electricity and natural gas to more than 7.8 million customers in
central Maryland (BGE), northern Illinois (ComEd) and southeastern
Pennsylvania (PECO). Follow Exelon on Twitter @Exelon.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon
Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy
provider, with approximately 7.8 million customers. ComEd provides
service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois,
or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit
ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
United Way leverages expertise, connections and resources to transform
individual lives and entire neighborhoods. We advance the common good on
both a regional and neighborhood level by focusing on the building
blocks for thriving people and communities: a good education, financial
stability, access to quality health care and ensuring basic needs are
met. United Way is more than three quarters of the way to reaching
significant community-impact goals set for the year 2020 for connecting
200,000 individuals to a primary care physician, helping 50,000
underachieving middle school students enter high school on track for
graduation, and improving financial stability for 100,000 households.
Additional information is available at www.LIVEUNITEDchicago.org.
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