October 28, 2016

Over 1,200 Admissions Offers Were Extended and Over $50 Million was Awarded in Scholarships to Students On the Spot at Chicago’s Annual Onsite Admissions Forum Hosted by Chicago Scholars
CHICAGO.– On Tuesday, October 25, nearly 1,000 low-income and first generation Chicago students attended the Onsite Admissions Forum hosted by Chicago Scholars, and became the first in the country to gain college admission this year.
Admissions officers from 176 competitive colleges and universities from across the nation descended to Navy Pier to interview with the Chicago Scholars Class of 2021. These driven students and future leaders interviewed with up to eight best-fit colleges of their choice, and participated in over 5,000 interviews. So far, with just over 30 percent of colleges reporting, these interviews have culminated in 1,200 acceptances and $50 million in scholarships.
“Recruiters have traveled from every corner of the country for a chance to meet with our Scholars because they recognize that Chicago is a hub of talent, leadership and innovation. There is no other event quite like this in the country,” said Dominque Jordan Turner, President and CEO of Chicago Scholars.
The event also drew more than just college hopefuls. Notable politicians like New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as well as business and civic leaders from across the city attended this truly transformative event to witness the real stories defining today’s youth in Chicago. Senator Booker and Congresswoman Duckworth met with a small panel of students to hear their stories, and offered advice and encouragement.
“You’re going to fail in this journey that is your life, you just have to be willing to pick yourself up and keep trying,” said Congresswoman Duckworth of her personal experiences.
Current and past Chicago Scholars also spoke during the luncheon portion of the day, when Sandra Guthman was honored with the 2016 Crystal Award for her contribution to Chicago Scholars.
Daniela Fernandez, Chicago Scholars Class of 2015, illustrated how life-changing Chicago Scholars was for her, tearfully saying, “Chicago Scholars isn’t just a program that came into my life. Chicago Scholars is who I am.” After finding out she was undocumented when she went to apply for college, Chicago Scholars is what helped Fernandez give up the life path she’d at that point accepted of becoming a waitress. Today, she’s a senior at Georgetown and has been recognized for her environmental and economic work by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, President Bill Clinton, Glamour Magazine and more.
Similarly, Paul Trussell, Chicago Scholars Class of 2004, shared his own personal story of triumph, recognizing that “1,000 more stories were written today at the Onsite Admission Forum.”
Over the past 20 years, Chicago Scholars has helped over 2,000 students through the organization’s leadership pipeline, and hopes to serve over 4,500 students by 2019.
“We are most proud that 86 percent of our Scholars are graduating from college,” said Jordan Turner. “We believe that we can create the next generation of leaders by nurturing the talent that already exists in our city.”


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