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Still On Track : Middle School to College

For Perspectives graduate Armani Buie, the path to college began in middle school, at the Perspectives Auburn Gresham Campus. Six years later, he is attending the University of Illinois with grants and scholarships covering his full tuition. 

The difference between Perspectives and his old school was immediately clear to Buie. "At my last school, I didn't get challenged," Buie said. "At Perspectives, they don't expect us to fail. They hold us to a higher standard." 

Buie's story is not unique. Every year, hundreds of students enter middle school at Perspectives Middle Academy in Auburn gresham, Perspectives Rodney D. Joslin Campus in South Loop and at Persepctives/IIT Math and Science Academy in Bronzeville, they are on track for college.

The key, accoding to Perspectives Middle Academy principla Sauda Porter, is Perspectives' unique A Disciplined Life©  curriculum and culture, which helps students develop positive self-perception, healthy relationships, and personal productivity. "Students and staff alike live the principles of A Disciplined Life, creating a school culture that is positive, safe, and focused on learning," Porter said. 

Middle School students at Perspectives also have access to opportunities and activities rarely available in middle school. At Perspectives Middle School Academy in Auburn Gresham, a partnership with Elev8 program provides a comprehensive health center and dozens of after-school programs. "Field studies" and "community action days" take students to all corners of the city, from museums to homeless shelters. 

"Too many schools wait until high school to focus on preparing students for college," Porter said. "At Perspectives, we know that the path to college begins with the opportunities we offer in middle school.

GADC Editorial: Armanie Buie is a Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation's City of Chicago, Smart Commuities Digital Youth Summer Jobs Intern 2011 alumni.

Keywords: college, education, Elev8, On track, PCSEDU, Scholar, SMART Chicago, UIUC

Posted in Community Highlights, Education Initiatives