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How I Went From Chicago's South Side to Chemotherapy to College

After being diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma at age 12, school became my outlet.

What does it take to close the achievement gap? Last month the principal of Chicago's Gary Comer College Prep wrote about how 100 percent of the school's seniors earned acceptances to four-year universities. This is the last of four student stories.

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How a Gay, Homeless Teen Became His High School's Valedictorian

Chicago teen Marquise Brown got kicked out of his home after he came out. Now he's heading to Pomona College.


Earlier this month, the principal of Chicago's Gary Comer College Prep wrote about how 100 percent of the school's seniors earned acceptances to four-year universities. This is the third of four student stories.

Going to college has always been a dream of mine—but it almost became a dream deferred. As a 16-year-old sophomore I came out as gay to my aunt, who was my guardian, and she kicked me out of the house. I didn't get to take my belongings, and I wasn't wearing anything but my underwear. But thanks to the support I've received from other family members and the community at my high school, I’ve continued to pursue my goal. This fall, I'll be heading to California to start my freshman year at Pomona College.

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One Student's Path From the South Side to the Ivy League

Most of Travell Taylor's peers are in gangs. This fall, he's heading to Dartmouth.

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