High School Graduation


To increase high school graduation among the most vulnerable

This Change Network seeks to improve the high school graduation rate among Opportunity Youth (young people age 16-24 who are not in school and not working). To achieve this, the group has developed targeted action plans to:

  • Improve information, outreach, and engagement strategies for Opportunity Youth in order to increase the number of Opportunity Youth who are reengaged in high school through the CPS Student Outreach and Re-engagement (SOAR) Centers and community-based organizations.
  • Streamline the assessment and referral processes for youth, making their re-engagement in school and attainment of support services much simpler and more effective.
  • Create a youth council to directly engage Opportunity Youth in strategy development and serve as a leadership development and paid work experience for participating youth.
  • With a grant from the Aspen Institute – help inform strategy and key metrics for dual enrollment program for Opportunity Youth. Youth at two option schools will be able to take college classes at City Colleges of Chicago and will receive both high school and college credit.

This group is co-convened by UCAN/Peace Hub and the CPS’ Office of Pathways to College and Career.


Recent accomplishments of this Change Network:

Informing Community about SOAR Centers

Conducted widespread outreach to let neighborhood organizations learn about SOAR Centers. Invited CBOs to attend SOAR Center Open House

Thrive Youth Council

SGA Youth and Family Services runs our youth council. Youth have developed professional and leadership skills and attend Thrive meetings.

Option Schools

Work with option schools to determine what specific supports are needed for SOAR Center youth to succeed.


In the months ahead, this Change Network will:

  • Work closely with the Youth Council and help youth with their professional/personal development and have youth provide input on Thrive strategy.
  • Determine what services schools and students need for SOAR Center youth to succeed.



For more information or to become involved, please contact Kate Warach.