OneGoal has called Chicago home since its founding in 2007 and has seen its impact on the city increase throughout the years to now serving 5,300 Fellows across 84 schools. This type of reach could not be possible without the trust and support from Chicago’s high school principals, who deeply care about seeing their students graduate from their schools and go on and earn college degrees.
OneGoal honored these principals at OneGoal-Chicago’s annual School Leaders Appreciation Breakfast. Here is what they had to say.
What kind of impact has OneGoal had on your school?
In the fall of 2015 I accepted the principalship at Kelvyn Park School. I had to learn quickly in my new role given the number of obstacles we faced as a learning community. Prior to my appointment, the school had a plethora of resources to choose from, but as fate would have it when I came along funding from various grants had ended – taking with it vital supports and services for students. Little did I know that OneGoal would prove to be an inexpensive and efficient alternative in helping us meet students’ postsecondary needs.
As I reflect on my few short years at Kelvyn Park, I would have to say partnering with OneGoal has been one of the best decisions I could have made on behalf of my students. We share in the belief of developing well-rounded students who are self-confident, righteous, and conscientious. As educators we all should aspire to create a school full of OneGoal Fellows; for the future is bright for these young people.
Allyson Fox-Crump, Principal of Kelvyn Park High School
Why did your school choose to partner with OneGoal?
We have been trying to change our school culture so that everyone is focused on getting to college, not just the seniors. They have to live it, they have to breathe it, they have to believe it. I always say that if a student can explain to me the importance of college then they’ve got what it takes to get there.
We brought on OneGoal to help more students develop that mindset. Now, years later, we’re helping pilot OneGoal’s full-release model and so hundreds of students can participate. So many students are benefiting. Students that before were defeated because they have learning disabilities are now talking about college for the first time and seeing high school not simply as something to do, but as a stepping stone to the next level.
Cheryl Williams, Assistant Principal of Steinmetz College Prep
What kind of impact has OneGoal made in your school?
When I was growing up, I always approached college as something that was mandatory and critical to succeeding in life. My time in education has showed me that not everyone grows up in an environment that fosters the importance of a college education. Working with OneGoal, we’ve been able to set up a lot of systems to guide students toward that mindset and I’m seeing a shift in how students slowly need less external motivators and are instead putting on the ‘college-going hat’ on themselves.
One of my priorities as Assistant Principal is to figure out how to get students to believe in themselves and their potential and evolve the systems and structures that are preventing students from succeeding in college. OneGoal has been a great partner in this process.
Ellen Kennedy, Assistant Principal of Tilden Career Community Academy
When did you realize the importance of not just a high school diploma, but a college diploma as well?
A college diploma is what a high school diploma used to be 50-60 years ago. It is the gateway to sustaining a profitable existence in our society. My students need the added support that OneGoal provides to navigate the processes and skills needed to enter and graduate from college. OneGoal is pivotal in creating a strong college-going culture amongst a population of learners that includes many who are the first in their immediate families to attend college and I am in full support of keeping and expanding the program.
Wayne Issa, Principal of Foreman College and Career Academy
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OneGoal program staff members Will Collins and Lydia Young reflect on the progress made towards providing opportunities to communities of color and the work that remains ahead.( )