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Experts by Experience is a series of discussions with college students from Chicago who are navigating the current rupture in their educational journeys. Through our monthly discussions with students, we aim to shed light on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young Chicagoans who are pursuing higher education. These discussions provide opportunities for students to share their insights on how educators, policymakers, and college success practitioners can best support them through this new normal. The series also highlights the innovative ways that students themselves are adjusting in real time to rapidly evolving conditions.

For our sixth and final conversation, we are joined by two CPS alumni, Carmen and LaShawndra, who recently graduated from Johnson College Prep, a Noble Charter Network high school in Englewood. Both students left Chicago in August to embark on their college journeys: Carmen at the University of Illinois, a large public institution, and LaShawndra at Albion, a small liberal arts college in rural Michigan. During the conversation, they offer us a look into the widely varying rules and policies that colleges have imposed to keep students and surrounding communities safe. They also speak to the impact of these rules and policies on their mental health and their ability to build a support system on campus.

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Resources for Students

Chicago "300" Black Women is non-profit founded by and for black women that is devoted to the educational, political, and cultural development of black women and youth through training women for leadership positions in government, non-profit, and private sectors. Carmen credits Chicago 300 with supporting her in the transition to college. If you are a young Black woman in Chicago, this network is built to help you learn different approaches for effectively handling common obstacles in leadership, how to strengthen your emotional intelligence, and develop the skills necessary to stand out as a leader among both men and women. Inquire about joining today by sending Chicago 300 a message through the form at the bottom of their webpage.

Previous Episodes

Listen to the fifth episode of Experts by Experience, "When You're a DREAMer" with Sherelin & Yessenia.

Listen to the fourth episode of Experts by Experience, "Clapping Back" with Guillermo & Jameelah.

Listen to the third episode of Experts by Experience, "Remaining True" with Guillermo & Jameelah.

Listen to the second episode of Experts by Experience, "Robbed of Those Experiences" with Kiara & Yoselin.

Listen to the first episode of Experts by Experience, "The Energy to Adapt" with Yahriel & Yessica.

Experts by Experience Episode 6: Download the transcript

Download the discussion transcript