“Chicago Scholars changed my life by introducing me to a very incredible network of people, including mentors and peers, and by allowing me to get involved in so many opportunities and conversations that I wouldn’t have had the chance to experience anywhere else.”
– Allan Lake, Class of 2019, University of Chicago
Since kindergarten, Allan Lake has never missed a day of school. For Allan, education has always been important and while growing up in the Beverly/ Morgan Park neighborhood, Allan dreamed of going to college.
When it came time to apply to college, however, he struggled with anxiety about finding the right college and the right major, as well as navigating the college application process. Becoming a Chicago Scholar gave him the resources he needed to confidently pursue his dream of higher education. He credits his mentors and counselor at Chicago Scholars for helping him apply to multiple schools and secure several scholarships. Allan enrolled at University of Chicago, majoring in Computer Science.
As he settled into college life, Allan discovered that despite his campus’ efforts toward diversity inclusion, there was still a lot of work to be done and minority students were faced with unique challenges. He once again turned to his network at Chicago Scholars and was able to connect with other peers who were experiencing similar issues. Together, they discussed solutions and advised younger students on how to overcome similar challenges.
“At Chicago Scholars, I not only found other students who witnessed the same issues at their universities, but we created groups to talk about the problems and solutions for handling that lack of diversity. I also get a chance to create dialogue so students who may follow in our footsteps to these universities can be more prepared.”
ALLAN’S VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Following his graduation in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, Allan plans to pursue a career in hardware engineering. One day, he dreams of following up his successful career in hardware engineering with a return to the classroom as a Mechanics and Technology teacher.
Education is central to Allan’s long-term vision for Chicago: He believes a thriving educational system is imperative for our city’s future, giving people options and opportunities they might not have had otherwise. As an active Chicago Scholars Peer Mentor, Allan is already giving back by helping guide younger students. He also recently completed an internship with Future Founders, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth to pursue their own opportunities and become entrepreneurs.
“Supporting younger peers and tutoring others can make a world of a difference, creating tighter relationships and overall making the public school system here better for future students.”
Allan will graduate from University of Chicago in 2019 with a bachelors of science in Computer Science and minors in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies and American Sign Language. Hailing from the Beverly / Morgan Park neighborhood of Chicago, Allan enjoys building and crafting and playing sports, including swimming, soccer, basketball.