Southland College Prep class of 2022 are 'All In' college, receiving $62M in scholarships
CHICAGO - The Class of 2022 entered the Covid-19 pandemic as sophomores and their high school experience was certainly filled with unique challenges.
But now, one school in Richton Park is celebrating their seniors for overcoming those challenges after learning each member of its graduating class was accepted to college.
It’s the remarkable story at Southland College Prep Charter High School, but even more remarkable, it’s not that unusual.
All 115 graduating seniors gathered in the school’s gymnasium on Tuesday to announce their college of choice in what’s known as the "All In" ceremony.
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Since the first graduating class of this public charter school in 2014, virtually every student has gone on to attend college or university.
Four of this year’s students will be heading to Ivy League schools, including one student who had multiple Ivy League offers.
"I actually found out on my mom’s 50th birthday in Paris," said Xari Carbins, a graduating senior. "I got into Harvard and Yale."
Dr. Blondean Davis founded the public charter school, which draws from five lower income south suburbs that are majority African-American.
"It just shows you no matter what the circumstances, it can be done," said Davis. "With any child. And… I feel a great sense of pride that turned out to be true."
The class has collectively been offered a staggering amount of scholarship money — $62 million.
Four million of that was offered by 26 different colleges to Lauren Russell, who plans to become a pediatric oncologist, possibly at Dartmouth.
"Knowing that my family won’t have to come out of pocket financially for me to attend such great schools, it warms my heart because I worked hard enough to relieve that debt from them," Russell said.