If you were asked what percentage of Chicago Public High School students graduate from college, what would you guess?
The truth is much more sobering. According to a longitudinal study by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, only 8% of freshmen students entering CPS high schools in 1995 earned a college diploma within the 10 years that they were tracked. Of these students only 3% are African American or Latino males.
The problem isn’t simply a high-school dropout problem. The CPS high-school graduation rate has improved considerably from a low beneath 50% to its current 69% annual rate, still considerably lower than the national average of 80% among low-income youth. However, only about one-third of CPS students will even enroll in college and many will drop off before graduation due to a lack of preparation or social and emotional supports.
Make an Impact
With these statistics in mind, World Sport Chicago is committed to helping improve graduation rates, swaying youth violence and increasing student engagement through the Becoming a Man – Sports Edition (BAM-Sports) program. Â Delivered in partnership with Youth Guidance, BAM-Sports uses a holistic participant experience featuring weekly in-school group counseling sessions, hands-on mentoring, after school sports training and routine check-ins with faculty and staff that the students interact with.
BAM-Sports is focused on helping young men from at-risk communities across Chicago develop the social and emotional skills to face threats and traumas that exist in their communities, provide them a system of support and help give them the developmental skill set needed to assert their identities and gain the supports they need to achieve personal and academic success.
BAM-Sports is not just fun, it also delivers real results. A study conducted by the University of Chicago Crime Lab proved that BAM-Sports had a positive impact on the youth it served. This study, which ran over the 2009/2010 school year, found that participation in BAM-Sports caused a 44% lower incidence of violent crime arrests and sustained improvements in school performance and engagement including a 10% -23% increase in predicted graduation rates and a 37% reduction in failing grades.
How You Can Help
As a non-profit organization, World Sport Chicago is dependent on the donations we receive to make programs like BAM-Sports possible.
On April 18th, 2014 World Sport Chicago is hosting itâ€™s second annual Spin to Break the Cycle fundraising event at the House of Blues Chicago, giving individuals, corporations and the greater Chicago community a unique and inspiring way to be a part of the solution. This high-energy spin (indoor cycling) event raises funds to support BAM-Sports and other WSC programs.
Visit www.worldsportchicago.org/spin/ for more information about Spin to Break the Cycle!