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Our work is centered on our Scholars, but it doesn’t stop with them. We’re dedicated to creating a sense of belonging that extends past our Scholars and Alumni to the rest of the city and the world.


“I still can’t believe Harvard chose me, la muchacha Mexicana de Belmont Cragin.”

– Minerva Garcia | Class of 2026 

“I’m so blessed to announce my acceptance to Harvard. This has been my dream since I was a little girl. As a first generation student and the oldest daughter of Mexican immigrant parents, getting accepted to Harvard means the world to me. I still can’t believe Harvard chose me, la muchacha mexicana de Belmont Cragin…I’m the most excited about bringing more Hispanic and Latina representation to Harvard. Remember that you are more than enough.”

Christeena Jojo | Class of 2022

“Chicago Scholars has so many resources that are just put out in front of you.”

Hear Christeena Jojo talk about her journey from a Chicago Scholar to a future medical student.


“it is very much attainable to reach your goals as long as you advocate for yourself and lean on your support system.”

-Razan Khalil | Class of 2023 | University of Richmond

“As a first generation queer Palestinian woman, it has been very hard navigating my PWI university. Since I have been at the university of Richmond, it has been a tireless fight toward achieving equity for all on my campus, fighting against Zionism, classism, elitism, ableism, sexism, and rape culture on my campus.

I am studying psychology with hope of pursuing a career in mental health services. I plan on traveling the world to gain experiences in this expertise and to expand my horizons and perspectives to broaden mg current scope on the world. As someone who is completely independent, I want others to know that it is very much attainable to reach your goals as long as you advocate for yourself and lean on your support system when in need.”

Paula Daniliuc | Class of 2006 | Harvard University

“Getting a mentor has been a defining experience.”

“And to this day we stay in touch. She was so instrumental in my journey to college. She helped read all my college applications. I had the fortune to get accepted into Harvard, thanks to all that support.”


“After our graduation, Chicago Scholars faculty made sure to tell us about all of the resources and opportunities we had access to while actually in college and beyond. I took them up on that.”

-Eva Maria Lewis | Class of 2022 | Founder and Executive Director, Free Root Operation

“It is surreal to recount these successes, now approaching the other end of my Chicago Scholars journey as a self-employed budding college graduate. I wish I could tell the 17-year-old version of myself that first started the college readiness workshops how what I would learn and gain throughout these years would change my life. It is important to listen to and validate young people of color. In the work I do with the community now, I take from Chicago Scholars the value of providing people with what we can because there is always something we can do for others. I’m grateful to not have just been serviced by this program but to pass the blessings forward. Thank you to Chicago Scholars for sticking with me, and others like me along the way.”

D.V. Willams | Class of 2000

“The greatest gift I got from Chicago Scholars was friendship.”

Listen to D.V. Williams talk about how Chicago Scholars put him on the path to the executive team at