The To&Through Project’s mission is to close the aspiration-attainment gap with research, data, and resources designed to give every student who aspires to earn a college degree the opportunity and support to do so.

Data and dialogue on what matters most for educational attainment.

In collaboration with educators, policymakers, and communities, the To&Through Project aims to significantly increase high school and post-secondary completion for under-resourced students of color in Chicago and around the country by providing education stakeholders with research-based data on students’ educational experiences and facilitating dialogue on its implications for adult practice.

A Collaborative Model for Change: Data and Dialogue

Our Approach

Data can provide educators with powerful windows into the educational experiences of marginalized young people, but data alone cannot change their outcomes. Transforming adult systems, practices, and mindsets requires deep dialogue about how to use data to create more equitable experiences and outcomes for all students.

Our Values

Practice Anti-Racism and Equity: We recognize the legacy of racism and work to interrogate our individual and collective biases. We accept the discomfort of conflict and find the courage to interrupt inequitable mindsets, policies, and practices.

Respect All Forms of Expertise: We believe that students, families, and communities are experts in their own experience, and we respect educators as professionals. We share data and tools, not answers.

Have Integrity: We prioritize students over institutions and take responsibility for the impact and consequences of our data. 

Be Creative and Curious: We are learners who prioritize the collection and incorporation of feedback.

Care for Each Other: We value each other as individuals and human beings, and we laugh, when we can.


Our Team

Jennifer Ciok's headshot.
Jennifer Ciok
Middle Grades Network Coach of the To&Through Middle Grades Network,
The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
Jessica Vargas Headshot
Jessica Guadalupe Vargas
Engagement Analyst, The To&Through Project
The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
Ashley Leonard
Ashley Leonard
Associate Director of the To&Through Middle Grades Network,
The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
To&Through Logo
Shelby Mahaffie
Research Analyst II,
UChicago Consortium on School Research
May in front of a building on the University of Chicago campus.
May Malone
Senior Public Engagement Strategist,
The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
Ella Marrero's headshot
Ella Marrero
Research Analyst,
UChicago Consortium on School Research
Roy McKenzie headshot
Roy McKenzie
Research Assistant, The To&Through Project
Dominique McKoy headshot
Dominique McKoy
Associate Director of Engagement, The To&Through Project,
The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
UChicago Consortium Jenny Nagaoka
Jenny Nagaoka
Deputy Director, UChicago Consortium on School Research; Senior Advisor to the To&Through Project,
The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
Suleyman headshot
Suleyman Rahameto
Research Analyst,
UChicago Consortium on School Research
Alex Ritson Headshot
Alexandra Ritson
Senior Case Study Writer, The To&Through Project,
The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
Alex Seeskin
Alex Seeskin
Director, The To&Through Project,
The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
Alexandra Usher Headshot
Alexandra Usher
Associate Director for Data Research, The To&Through Project; Senior Research Analyst,
UChicago Consortium on School Research

Our Supporters

The To&Through Project is made possible by the collaboration of many school leaders and community partners throughout Chicago as well as the generous financial support of organizations and individuals. We would like to thank all who have been and continue to be part of our work, and recognize all of our supporters who have contributed to The To&Through Project as well as the members of the To&Through Project’s Advisory Group for their guidance and support.

Crankstart Foundation
The Crown Family Foundation
Finnegan Family Foundation
H.A. Vance Foundation
McDougal Family Foundation
Neubauer Family Foundation
The Osa Foundation
Polk Bros. Foundation
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation

Our Partners

Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools’ mission is to provide a high quality public education for every child, in every neighborhood, that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life. The To&Through Project works with schools and departments across Chicago Public Schools.

Network for College Success

The UChicago Network for College Success (NCS) works to cultivate postsecondary readiness and success for all students by translating research into practice and supporting high school leaders to organize their schools for improvement and innovation. The To&Through Project works with NCS and its partner schools to inform upcoming research and data, and to co-construct projects on data-use and communication of practice.

Philadelphia Academies Inc.

Philadelphia Academies Inc. (PAI) uses 50 plus years of programming expertise and best practices to support career-connected learning in partner schools across Philadelphia. The To&Through Project partners with PAI in their work to support the 9th Grade Success Network in Philadelphia, a group of schools collaborating on improving support for 9th grade students. 

Revolution Impact

Revolution Impact (RI) advises social sector and educational organizations and leaders to solve growth strategy, data, operational, and organizational challenges. We work closely with RI to build data tools and provide professional learning to improve student attainment in the School District of Philadelphia.

School District of Philadelphia

The School District of Philadelphia seeks to deliver on the civil right of every child in Philadelphia to an excellent public school education and ensure all children graduate from high school ready to succeed, fully engaged as a citizen of our world. The To&Through Project works with the School District of Philadelphia to build data tools and deliver professional learning that support high schools across the district in their efforts to improve freshmen success.

UChicago Consortium on School Research

The UChicago Consortium on School Research conducts research of high technical quality that can inform and assess policy and practice in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The To&Through Project partners with the UChicago Consortium to conduct research and publish data on the educational attainment of CPS students, and to produce materials designed to spotlight key insights from research and data.


The To&Through Advisory Group:


Aide Acosta
Noble Network of Charter Schools
Daniel Anello
Kids First Chicago
Andreas Alvear
BUILD Chicago
Priya Linson
Chris Broughton
Bottom Line Chicago
Matt Bruce
Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance
Jessica Canas
Enlace Chicago
Jason Cascarino
Cascarino Ventures
Duane Davis
University of Chicago
Catherine Deutsch
Aarti Dhupelia
National Louis University
Sue Farruggia
University of Illinois at Chicago
Jon Furr
Education Systems Center
Veronica Herrero
City Colleges of Chicago
Amy Huang
Chicago Public Schools
Jeffery Beckham, Jr.
Chicago Scholars
Chris Kelly
Phoenix Pact Fund
Pranav Kothari
Revolution Impact
Marilyn McCottrell
Fuller Elementary
Gerald Morrow
Dunbar Vocational Career Academy
Nate Pietrini
High Jump
Paige Ponder
One Million Degrees
Tamara Prather
Surge Institute
Barrington Price
Dominican University
Stephen Raudenbush
University of Chicago
Shaz Rasul
University of Chicago
Heidi Truax
Chicago Public Schools
Candace Kyles
University of Chicago Charter School
AJ Watson
Becoming a Man (B.A.M.)
Lisa Castillo Richmond
Partnership for College Completion