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A collection of CPS students' stories and their hopes for the education system

The data we report represent individual students, who every day face—and overcome—systemic barriers. The To&Through Project seeks to share Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students and graduates' stories to elevate them as experts of their own lived experiences.

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Exploring Life Beyond High School

Nine stories of CPS graduates’ unique triumphs and struggles as they navigate various of post-secondary tracks all on the same journey to becoming young adults. Their stories push us to expand our understanding of success and imagine how we can support our young people across all post-secondary pathways, not just as students but as people.

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Navigating the Post-Secondary Maze

Our 2021 study on CPS graduates’ post-secondary pathways revealed that the normative view of college — being continuously enrolled at one institution and graduating with a bachelor’s degree — is not typical for many CPS graduates. These findings inspired us to seek out students who have made these transitions to understand more about their experiences. This series shares five of their stories.

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Experts by Experience

Experts by Experience is a series of discussions with college students from Chicago who navigating the pandemic-induced rupture in their educational journeys. In each episode, our experts — Black and Latinx college students — reflected on their personal successes and challenges. Our conversations provided perspective on how colleges, nonprofits, and practitioners can better respond to the evolving needs of FGLI students of color. 

Looking for more? Read about the report that inspired our first student stories series, and see how its findings can help education practitioners understand what led Chicago Public Schools (CPS) graduates’ college enrollment rates to increase while college completion rates remained flat. Read more about what CPS students value in school and beyond from this article which shares what middle grades teachers were able to gather from their students’ post-pandemic schoolwork.