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Stories

Meet Najaé

School: Bowen High School

With the support of College Possible, Najaé will be the first in her family to attend college.

From an early age, Najaé knew she wanted to go to college. Her family is very supportive of her goal, but because she’ll be the first to go to college, they don’t have the experience to help her navigate the complex process.

That’s why Najaé joined College Possible Chicago’s inaugural class in 2015, her junior year at Bowen High School. Today one in five Bowen graduates enroll in college, but through a partnership with College Possible, school leaders are committed to strengthening the college-going culture.

Najaé is a determined college-bound senior. She maintains a 3.0 GPA, takes honors and advanced placement level classes and participates in after school programs. She must balance her academic aspirations with the fear she feels walking home from school every day in a neighborhood struggling to overcome gang violence.

“I am consistently impressed with Najaé’s ability to see every day as a blessing and keep a smile on her face through challenges that many people never have to worry about,” said Alison Gerber, Najaé’s College Possible coach.

With the support of the program, Najaé was able to raise her ACT score from a 20 to a 25. This new score allows her to have a competitive application at very selective colleges around the country.

Recently Najaé has been thinking about a degree in computer science. Her top choices are the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she has participated in a STEM workshop, and Bradley University, where she has just learned she was accepted! She is now in the process of applying for financial aid. Regardless of which school she chooses, College Possible will support her as she earns her degree.

We are thrilled to be partnering with five Chicago high schools to help 400 students like Najaé realize their full academic potential.

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