The Issue

Low-income students are often behind their wealthier peers when they begin
kindergarten and too often remain behind throughout their academic careers.

Our Approach

We invest in organizations that are aligned with The CAFE’s mission/values and have
demonstrated significant impact in the college access and success space. We leverage
the capacities of these organizations to broaden the reach and influence of The CAFE.

Chicago Scholars is transforming the leadership landscape of our city by resolving the fundamental barriers to success for academically driven, first generation college students from under resourced communities.  Through college counseling, mentoring, and by providing a supportive community to our Scholars through each phase of our program: College Access: Launch, College Persistence: Lift and College to Careers: Lead, we ensure that they realize their full potential as students and leaders.

A third of students in Chicago’s public schools drop out. Students who drop out earn roughly $1 million less than high school graduates. Furthermore, out-of- school, out-of- work youths collectively cost Americans about $1.6 trillion in increased social services and lost earnings and taxes over the course of their lifetimes. But there is a solution. Using near-peer mentors in Chicago’s most under-served schools to address specific areas that lead to students dropping out, City Year helps close the gap, between what students need to succeed and what schools are designed to provide.

While there are often opportunities available to students at the top of their class, OneGoal prioritizes students whose college prospects are extremely limited. Our cohorts enter the program with an average of 2.7 GPA and a 840 SAT score. To make college graduation a reality for all students, we need an in-school solution that is both rigorous and scalable. OneGoal offers an innovative and proven solution at a low cost.